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As I commence writing this post, I should have done something like “Travels with Charlie,” Steinbeck’s book, or some kind of version of it. After all, there are four Standard Poodles in the Rooster’s family.
The Rooster’s family just does not sit still. Be it a town within a state, a state within a country or multiple countries throughout the world, they are on the move folks. Some spouses are crisscrossing and waving to each other out the car, bus train or plane window.
For today, Jeff is at home on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. As some of you are aware, he just returned from Stockholm, Sweden 48 hours ago.
Oh and daughter Kathryn, Jeff’s other half, she and the Rooster’s wife just left PHL yesterday afternoon for Düsseldorf, Germany after an, Oh so brief stop in Dublin. I’m sorry Rita no time for a visit to Kilkenny.
Before that Sweden visit, Jeff happened to slip into Thailand, the Philippines, and New Zealand, then coming home via San Francisco. On the way out it was west to east, so he got a circumnavigation in. There must be some kind of a reward out there for that, right? Ah, there is, but it’s for boaters. https://www.cruisingclub.org/award/Circumnavigation
Bangkok, Cheap shopping and fish stories.
The Air Force family of Sam, Zed, Mia, Ana, Dax and Zoe as many of you know, have transitioned from Tinker AFB in OKC, shipped most of what they own to Geilenkirchen, Germany and have been attending Squadron Officers school. I reported on that a while ago. We had them here over the fourth if you remember and off they went to Michigan for a few days before arriving at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, AL. Sara’s daughter. Our Grand and Sam’s cousin went with them to be a Nannie.
Hey Sam, how about a graduation photo!
Things got a wee bit busy in the cramped quarters at the base, and after a week or so, Kathryn and Abby drove to Charlotte, met the family and transferred the kids and Rachael and returned to the Eastern Shore for a couple of weeks. Jeff and Kathryn reversed the trip two weeks ago, and they made the transition in Salisbury, NC this time. It was right after that switch that Jeff headed off to Sweden.
I must give a round of praise for Abby and Rachael. Those two girls were just amazing in caring for their three nieces and nephew. Rachael by day ran a well-organized house with four children five and other. When Abby returned from a hot day’s work at the nursery, she would help her mother and Granny with baths and what all. Granny made most of the weekday meals. Kathy would work the hospital by day and grandchildren by night. Folks, these are four women who can start on my team any day of the week. Semper Fi my ladies, Ooh-Rah!!
For the past few days, the Oregon G-Parents have been with the kids and Rachael in the Atlanta area. Great Wolf Lodge and the Aquarium were on that schedule. Stacy and Elaine took a few days off from the Cattle Ranch in Frenchglen, OR to spend some of the last days for a while with the kids. ( I’ll do a blog on the Oregon grandparents and their ranch soon)
Sam and Zed graduate today, head to Atlanta tomorrow and fly out Saturday with the kids, 4, 5 & under!!!! They will be met on arrival by Granny and Kathryn, (G) & (Great Granny), on landing, and help with the Jet Lag and transition for the next week. Grannies, the gift that keeps on giving.
What about Rachael you ask. Well, she just happens to be taking a phone job interview as I write and left today for Austin, TX as a possible new home location. Rumor has it there may be some Mid-West Irons in the fire also. https://www.statesman.com/news/local/for-second-year-austin-named-best-place-live-america-news-and-world-report/1R3DZ3wmujbm8r7GakwaMO/
And Abby, the recent college graduate has been hired by the local hospital working in an off-site Neurology office. She has been in a training program for the past few weeks learning the ins and outs of an office tech. Put that Psyc degree to work young lady.
The Connecticut connection of son Matt, Beth, David in NYC, Kevin, Jill, and Rebecca have no Moss growing beneath their feet either. Mexico at an all-inclusive two weeks ago, a week at Cape Cod and a quick trip to Gloucester, Massachusetts has rounded out their travels. Matt, David, and Kevin also did the Circle of Hope Hackers Conference in July. https://hope.net/
Kevin did get two weeks in at Ft. Drum, NY with the guard and will start at UConn next week. He also spent some time in New Hampshire with the Love (Marissa) of his life and her family.
As for the Rooster, he got a shot of juice in his Right, Hip Bursa this week, and he’s halfway through a Pastoral Care in Hospitals course. Should he be found worthy at the completion of the course, he will be a Pastoral Care Volunteer. We can only hope they won’t be upset at having a Rooster roam their halls.
Thanks again for dropping by. Cooler weather comes in soon, the leaves will begin to change and soon the smell of Turkey will be wafting from the oven. I know this will happen as the Wolly’s are starting to appear on the roads.
They arrived on the 3’rd with all their stuff and were gone on the 8’th. Who you might ask, the “USAF Family Davies,” granddaughter and hubby, 4 great grandchildren and all the joy and happiness they bring on their visit.
They arrived in time to decorate a float and ride in the Allen, MD Fourth of July parade. They ate Grandmom (G) and Grandpop (Pappy) out of house and home. Lady Liberty of the Yellow Lab variety has been pulled, prodded, sent fetching, and loved for 5 continuous days. She has responded by eating all dropped food items well befor the 30 second rule could take hold. Weight Watchers has a new client.
They got to go on a boat ride, swim in Uncle Greg’s pool and G & Pappy’s blow up pool next to the fish pond and watch the frogs. They fished Miss Sue’s pond for the big one with Pappy and Abby.
They were loved by all who came by to wish them safe journey as they head to Germany by way of Michigan and Alabama.
Aunt Rachael got a warm up exercise for her upcoming stint of six weeks of being a Nanny while Mom and Dad attend Squadron Officer’s School at Maxwell AFB, Montgomery, AL.
Once the school is completed it will be off on Big Bird to cross the pond to Germany. So, God Speed my children, Granny and G shall be there to greet you and spoil you and help get you settled. I’m sure you’ll have many visitations over the next few years, I plan to be one of those visiting.
L to R – Pappy, Abby, Zed & Dax, Mia & G, Sam, Rooster & Wife, Ana & the All American Girl ZOE.
For the past few years we have been minimizing. I’m guessing Mary Agnes much more so than me, there are just some things that I will not part with. At least once a month I’ll get the question “got anything for Halo.” Halo Ministries is a local organization that takes in any and all things one would part with and then sells them in their Thrift Store. They also run a shelter for men and women and have a soup kitchen. It’s a nice Ministry that does good things.
Just last week I got the notice a trip to Halo was planned. I found a few old ties and belts that I was willing to part with and off they went with the weeks donations. “That’s all, I was asked.” I’ve been told we are trying to make things easier for the kids once we’re gone. We are only going to Delaware tomorrow I said. I got that look that said you know what I mean. Ouch!
So a few days ago we made the 50 mile day trip to Delaware to visit Sarah the sister in-law who has been going through one of those hiccups in life for the past six months. We dropped Ben the dog off at the Pet Palace boarding kennel the night prior and would pick him up on the return.
We would pick up Sarah around 10:00 and head off to the outlets. No sales tax in Delaware, great outlets. We go to “That Store,” called Christmas Tree Shops in other states, and I drop the girls off. I stay in the car, catch up with my Journal writing, check email, etc. I’ll go inside at Harbor Freight, Cabela’s & Bass Pro, but that’s about it.
Forty minutes later Mary Agnes comes out the door pushing a cart just loaded with bags. She pops the back hatch and transfers the bags. “Where’s Sarah” I ask, “still shopping” she says as she closes the hatch and returns to the store. After a total of fifty-five minutes they reappear with cart #2 and off load once again. It’s only a Subaru I say, not a Penske Rental. I get that look from both of them.
Now where I ask, after the load transfer takes place. To the grocery store, we will buy the makings for lunch and visit sister in-law Barbara and husband Mike and make lunch for us all. A loaf of bread, Egg and Chicken Salad, Grandma Utz potato chips and some ice tea are bought and paid for and we are off to Barbara’s. I shall not even mention how I’m given directions by Sarah to get out of the parking lot maze. Suffice it to say a GPS she is not.
We have a nice lunch, learn about an upcoming trip to Alaska, one of those boat and train adventures and say our goodbyes and are off ninety minutes later. We will drop Sarah and her packages her house and head for our every six-week stop at the Big Box store. In this Case it’s BJ’s.
At this stop we only purchase what is needed. With some rearranging I find room for all we’ve needed to purchase as well as those items from that first cart full of bags. So I ask the question. “I thought we were minimizing.” Once again, THAT LOOK. It seems these are mostly items for others which makes it a bit easier.
We beat a good summer rain storm home and stay dry while off loading. I pick the dog up from the kennel, take him for a good run in a field as he rids himself of 22 hours of incarceration. Once back in the car he is a happy 20 month old 65 pound Standard Poodle. We feed the dog, open a cold bottle of nice wine, retreat to the porch and do what we do best – solve all the problems of the world.
It’s been a good day, and I didn’t have to get rid of a thing. Oh, and the stuff in the bags. It turns out they are patriotic decorations, paper plates, cups and the like for the Forth of July parade and picnic. The Oklahoma Grands and Greats will be in prior their stop in Alabama and ultimate flight in August to their new home in Geilenkirchen, Germany.
Last evening after a fine dinner of Chicken Piccata over Jasmine rice , I glanced out the window above the sink as I was loading the dishwasher. Herself, unless it’s an outdoor grill night prepares and I clean up after the meal. It’s been a good arrangement for fifty-two years. Come to think of it, I clean up after a grilling night also., must look into that . It was nearing sunset and the sky was just gorgeous.
Just as me wife was settling down on the couch with a nice glass of Chardonnay, I shouted “don’t sit, grab a jacket, we’re off to see the sunset.” The local Yacht Club is less than a half mile away and offers the most beautiful pictorial displays of a setting sun over water that you could imagine.
We hit the car running without spilling a drop of the nectar of the god’s and arrived at “C” pier in perfect unison with the sun as it was setting. My wife had set her glass on a piling and I captured what I thought was the perfect picture. This shot is titled “Sunset in a wine glass.”
I just wanted to share. It was one of those “Seize the moment” events, and I think I did. Enjoy!
I’m walking about one day and a stranger approaches and asks, “How do you know when winter is coming?” Short of looking at the calendar, in 2016, winter begins on December 21, 5:44 A.M. EST. Learn more about the winter solstice, facts, and folklore! Check out The Old Farmers Almanac. http://www.almanac.com/content/first-day-winter-winter-solstice
However, around our house the way we tell when winter is getting close is by the Paulonia, or more commonly known name, The Princess Tree. When the first frost approaches the tree loses most of it’s leaves.
Yep you guessed it, I’m saying winter began on November 20th this year.
An old friend who is a lover of trees gave me a Princess Tree some years back. In year one it grew six or eight inches, during one of my late grass mowings I thought it had died. Yep, you guessed it, mowed that sucker down I did. The next year it came back with a growth spurt that was amazing. We got an early frost and I remember all the leaves just fell off. Every year since, first frost, down come the leaves.
So if you were to ask me when winter begins I’d say, when the leaves fall from the Princess Tree.
The following on the tree is from Wiki. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paulownia_tomentosa
Paulownia tomentosa is cultivated as an ornamental tree in parks and gardens. It has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.
The characteristic large size of the young growth is exploited by gardeners: by pollarding the tree and ensuring there is vigorous new growth every year, massive leaves are produced (up to 23in/60 cm across). These are popular in the modern style of gardening which uses large-foliaged and “architectural” plants.
In China, the tree is planted at the birth of a girl. The fast-growing tree matures when she does. When she is eligible for marriage the tree is cut down and carved into wooden articles for her dowry. Carving the wood of Paulownia is an art form in Japan and China. In legend, it is said that the phoenix will only land on the Empress Tree and only when a good ruler is in power. Several Asian string instruments are made from P. tomentosa, including the Japanese koto and Korean gayageum zithers.
The soft, lightweight seeds were commonly used as a packing material by Chinese porcelain exporters in the 19th century, before the development of polystyrene packaging. Packing cases would often leak or burst open in transit and scatter the seeds along rail tracks. The magnitude of the numbers of seeds used for packaging, together with seeds deliberately planted for ornament, has allowed the species to be viewed as an invasive species in areas where the climate is suitable for its growth, notably Japan and the eastern United States.
The Paulownia tree
Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council Invasive Plant Manual
Common Name: Princess Tree
Scientific Name: Paulownia tomentosa (Thunb.) Sieb. & Zucc. ex Steud.
Only 48 hours until Thanksgiving.
By the President of the United States of America, a Proclamation.
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and—Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me “to recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favor, able interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquillity, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted; for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations, and beseech Him to pardon our national and other trangressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally, to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand at the City of New York the third day of October in the year of our Lord 1789.
So here we are, Monday, in the month of August, the eighth month, on the eighth day in 2016. Thus 8+8=16.
Post Yard Sale
We had our Yard Sale, made a few $$, not a lot mind you. All unsold items were donated to Halo Ministries
Over the past month we’ve made quite a few trips there as the Mrs. continues her personal purge of 51 years of accumulated stuff. She even has me admitting that there are a lot of things I no longer need. Forty Seven old tattered hats and hats never worn were either thrown out or donated to Halo. I must admit, I still have a few hats left. I shall be checking the heads of the homeless from now on to see if my fedora’s are on the men about town.
The ladies assisting in the Yard Sale were on station at 0500 the day of the sale. At 0605 a neighbor pulled in with his coffee on his way to work. The girls joined in, not with coffee mind you. It was Mimosa time. Mimosa time is usually a post church mass happening on an occasional Sunday when all the girls get together. No complaints here, NFL football is just around the corner and the boys will be doing their thing starting at 1300 on Sundays.
The Mrs. suggested doing something nice for the girls for all their effort of setting up for the sale. My take was, they should be thankful that all this stuff is gone. When we rise up at the end of this journey they will be thankful that they do not have to sort through all this stuff.
This past Saturday night 23 friends and relatives gathered in the Rooster’s Annex, which was a garage, will shortly become a guest house and on this night for some fine dining and socializing. Crabs were the center of the attraction accompanied by Fried Chicken, Hot Dogs, Watermelon-Salsa, Potato Salad, Sweet and Sour Cucumbers, Beans for 18 casserole, Sweet corn, Cookies, Arnold Palmer Iced Tea, Beer, Wine and good old H2O. Throw out the calories, disregard the Gerd and dive in. It’s the Eastern Shore for crying out loud. Thanks Ed and Lexi, the crabs were fantastic.
For the past few days our son and grandson have been in Las Vegas attending the Defcon annual conference. Our son is the owner of http://serepick.com/
His company manufactures and distributes items necessary for various groups and agencies around the world. He and co-operators also teach various courses to individuals who provide you with the reassurance that when you go to sleep at night, you will awaken in the morning. Sleep well my friends.
Once again, thanks for stopping by.
Yard Sale tomorrow, Saturday July 30th.
6:00 AM to 10:00 AM
Where – 25041 Collins Wharf Rd.
Between Redden Ferry and Yacht Club Rd.
Yep, she’s doing it again. Throwing my treasures away.
“Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
Matthew 6:19-21 MSG (Thanks Marijo for the inspiration)
Thanks for taking a gander.
Semper Fi, Lee
No, not the one down in the Gulf of Mexico soon to invade Florida, that would be Hurricane Colin. This storm would be on the Eastern Shore of Maryland if I didn’t get the house ready for the return of the Mrs.
After being up north, Connecticut, My Lady returned last week. In the nick of time all the Honey Do’s were wrapped up. Fresh sheets were on the bed, the table was cleared of clutter and I escaped any thought of a storm. The Hoover did a great job as well.
Things did change immediately upon her arrival. Healthy Eating 101 was back in style, no more subs from Jersey Mikes. Hey, they were quick, and I love the shredded lettuce. The cat would once again get to drink from the spigot, it took me the entire three weeks to break the feline from jumping up while I shaved. Simon says, “turn on the water. Please!”
Notice the placement of the clothes pins, equal distance apart. Oh yes, part of the hanging and folding ritual. Folding is a true art form. The center line fold sets the demarkation point for placement on the bed. The Tri-fold for the pillow cases shall be exact. Must be something she was taught back in nursing school in the early 60’s. She was never in the military. She could starch a pair of Utilities back in the day though. Gotta be an old Marine to understand that one.
I consider myself a multi-tasker. Love the Zagg keyboard on the iPad by the way.The late Pat Conroy and I have something in common, no, not writing skills, though I wish. We also lived in Beaufort, SC at one time. We carried our four-month old daughter to the pool in a Schmidt’s, quart beer case for a late night swim . We had a piece of screen over it so the Skeeters wouldn’t eat her up. That was back in my Marine Corps days. Mr Conroy’s dad was a Marine also. Wow, two things in common. The book behind the coffee cup is WordPress for Dummies. My Journal, two years continuously in September I proudly state, is under the iPhone. The shoe horn is used to fit everything in my bag, quickly due to herself’s pending arrival.
Well, I survived and it’s been great having her back home, if only briefly. She will return to CT soon and give my sister a helping hand as she mends a broken hip which was surgically repaired yesterday. We’ve solved all the world’s issues on our front porch while enjoying a cold glass of wine. I’ve gotten some gardening done, Pickling Cucumbers for one. My Lady shall be canning come September. And once again “The Hallmark Channel” graces the TV. Other than a Nat’s baseball game, it was not on during those three weeks.
So please note, I can correct disarray in a flash and shall have a chance to do it all again soon.
Thanks for stopping by.