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Aachn

Bright and early on this past Wednesday, 0400 hrs., EDST, (Eastern Daylight Savings Time), my awakening text from the German travelers informed me they were on a train headed Aachen. Don’t they know I’m sound asleep. Ben, my Black Poodle stirs, “What, What’s up Rooster”?

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Wiki photo

 

I’m told today is a down day from House hunting. Several rental homes to visit are on the schedule for Thursday.  We best see some sites, say the girls. So they gather themselves and head to the place every German traveler goes when they want to change locations.

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The Railway Train

I like to see it lap the miles, And lick the valleys up,
And stop to feed itself at tanks; And then, prodigious, step

Around a pile of mountains, And, supercilious, peer
In shanties by the sides of roads; And then a quarry pare

To fit its sides, and crawl between, Complaining all the while
In horrid, hooting stanza; Then chase itself down the hill

And neigh like Boanerges; Then, punctual as a star,
Stop – docile and omnipotent – At its own stable door.

Is it time for a bath?

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Carolus Thermen Bad Aachen, Aachen. 31 mil curtidas. http://www.carolus-thermen.de Passstr. 79, 52070 Aachen Impressum: www.carolus-thermen.de/go/impressum.html

Aachen: Cathedral city of Europe.

Located at the border of Germany – Netherlands – Belgium, Aachen is a German city with a long-standing connection with the country’s history. Thanks to its many sulphur-laden springs, this historical spa city has been a site where the German Kings were crowned. Residence of Charlemagne, Aachen is one of Europe’s most important cities. The city itself has many historical sites that are worth visiting. Check out some of the best things to do in Aachen @ https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g187367-Activities-Aachen_North_Rhine_Westphalia.html

A beautiful gothic cathedral like one should be. Situated in the old town of Aachen with hundreds of nice shops & restaurants and cafes all around it. Definitely worth the trip.
Aachen: cathedral city of Europe.

Aachn Cathederal

Kathryn’s image capture

Aachen is a city that lives and breathes Europe. It is practically Europe in miniature. Aachen, on the border with Belgium and the Netherlands, has encapsulated the spirit, value and ideals of Europe since the days of Charlemagne. Indeed the Charlemagne Prize for services to European unity has been awarded at Aachen’s town hall since 1950.
Aachen Cathedral is both a local landmark and a monument to Europe’s illustrious past.

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Pinterest photo

 

After starting out life as the imperial palace’s chapel in 800 AD (the year of  Charlemagne’s coronation), the completed building became the first cathedral in northern Europe and for many centuries served as the church of coronation for nearly every German king. The term ‘completed’ is open to interpretation, however, since the cathedral has been extended numerous times, including the addition of the great chancel in 1414 – a Gothic masterpiece whose windows reach an impressive 27 metresin height, making them the tallest ever at that time. The cathedral’s treasury is the most important north of the Alps and features precious artefacts such as the Cross of Lothair, a silver and gold bust of Charlemagne and the shrine in which Charlemagne was supposedly interred in 814 AD. Both the cathedral and its treasury are among the highlights on the Charlemagne Route, the historical path that winds through Aachen. The route takes in a series of eye-catching buildings, including Haus Löwenstein (a former residence and inn) and the Büchelpalais, which until 1752 served as the local corn exchange. Every checkpoint on the route focuses on a different topic: history, science, Europe, religion, power, business and media. It’s a wonder there’s not an equestrian-themed checkpoint, given how passionate the locals are for this noble sport. The annual Concours Hippique International Officiel is among the leading equestrian tournaments worldwide. It’s just one of numerous major events in the city, many of which are held in the equestrian arena before a crowd of 50,000 enthusiastic spectators.

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Aachen is also renowned for its relaxed atmosphere, best experienced on a stroll through the historical streets. There’s a charming contrast between the grand old buildings dotted along the Charlemagne Route and the lively buzz supplied by 45,000 students from all corners of the globe. They give the city a vibrant yet laid-back character that everyone seems to be enjoying wherever you look – evidence of Aachen’s cosmopolitan flair and yet another reason to wander around the city centre, walking back through the centuries.

 

Wiki photo

 

Aachen Town Hall, built on the site of the old imperial palace in the 14th century, is another firm favorite for sightseers. It was later converted into a grand baroque palace during the city’s prosperous heyday. Just next door is the Postwagen, a refined restaurant that has been welcoming visitors through its doors for centuries.

 

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So many choices of dining.

 

https://www.yelp.com/search?cflt=restaurants&find_loc=Aachen%2C+Nordrhein-Westfalen

Over on Pontstrasse, inside the Grosses Haus – believed to be the oldest residential block in Aachen – you’ll find the International Newspaper Museum featuring many fascinating exhibits. The museum now explores the wider media and its collection includes more than 200,000 newspapers and other printed matter from all over the world and in (almost) every language, demonstrating the transience of history and how today’s headlines become tomorrow’s chip papers. Whereas at the Ludwig Forum for International Art, the works on display are always contemporary, with genres ranging from pop art to photorealism. Throughout the ages, however, one thing has remained constant in Aachen: its European ethos. You can’t fail to notice that when you arrive in Aachen, you arrive in Europe                              (From the pages of Trip Advisor)

The girls got back to Geilenkirchen just in time to learn that Abby (Kathryn’s youngest daughter), got to take a tour of the new office she will be working out of next month. The young recent college graduate will be working in an off site Neurological practice of PRMC.

 

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Nice space Abby.

Down Texas way, my traveling granddaughter Rachael took a sightseeing day and went to Waco, the home of Magnolia and, Fixer Upper and Chip and Joe.

 

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elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

The First Three Days

Forward

Today I send out another Blog, this time by a guest author, my daughter, Kathryn. It was one week ago today I drove Kathryn and her mother to PHL for their trip to Germany. The two of them seem to be surviving quite nicely and I am so glad they have had this opportunity to spend time together as well as be with the Grands & Greats as they transition to their new duty station in Germany.  So my friends, read on and theRooster shall return later.

Heading Out

Once dropped off by our fabulous chauffeur, Herr Lee, we got through security, ditched our luggage, and walked the Philly Airport.  We went to the USO for an hour or so.  I took a nap, mom played Bob One “O” and others in Words with Friends, and we enjoyed stretching out in preparation for the flight.

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We boarded our flight, it got off a bit late.  The flight attendants were fabulous and extremely professional.  That was the high point of the flight. There was a broken bathroom, so the line for the bathroom went the whole line of the cabin.  After 7.5 hours, we landed in Dublin.  The best part of landing was being able to stand up!  the most interesting thing in Dublin and this part of the trip was border control.  We moved into line to enter Ireland and noticed 2 lines, there was one for all EU, and another sign for mom and I that read…. “Rest of the World”.

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After an hour layover, we were on to Düsseldorf.   Arrived at 11 AM.  Got a taxi to the Marriott.  The staff and concierge were delightful. Checked us in, let us know there was no water until 4 PM, and we fell asleep for a few hours.

That afternoon, we took off with an U Bahn pass and went into the big town of Dusseldorf, to the Ko, or Königsallee.  As we came up out of the station we were surrounded by white tents.  We had happened upon the city three day Food and Drink Festival.

 

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Gourmet Festival Düsseldorf 2018

We were surrounded by everything Jeff and Lee love, brats, weinerschnitzle, kartoffel, and every wine, beer, gin and other “cocktails” were available.

 

 

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Foodbeast photo

 

We saw hundreds of beer tables all over.  It was a great time, kind people and lots and lots to see.  We bought some pepperoni for Zed, a few glasses of dry (troken) German and South African wines, had spetzle for dinner, and absolutely enjoyed the beautiful evening.

 

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Thanks Wiki

The next day we got up, had a fabulous German breakfast (soft eggs, cheese, breakfast meat, fruit, coffee, tea). There is so much I miss about Germany, and breakfast food is one of those things.  We headed out Day 2 to the large market at Andreaplatz.  WE had figured out the transportation and every street and stop brought back memories of my time with Jeff and our fabulous life in Berlin so long ago.

 

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Day 3 we didn’t have great plans.  We had thought of church, but the masses were so late after checkout we opted out.  We went to the Hauptbahhof to find our train.  Getting tickets was easy, so was getting a marzipan croissant, hot and fresh, along with my milkkaffee.  We boarded the quiet train to Erkelenze, a quick 1 hour ride, then got on our bus to Geilenkirchen.  Mom, ever the trooper, hauled her suitcase up and down stairs, platforms, busses.  She is amazing!  Sunday’s in any German town are quiet, and our Sunday here was no different.  After checking in, walking up 3 flights of stairs (who needs Elevators in buildings?) and dropping our stuff, we got on our way to investigate the town.  We went to the local grocery, ReWe, and bought cheese, rolls, meat, milk, coffee and tea.  Oh yeah, and they have nice wine for 2.99 a bottle.  Why is our wine so expensive?

 

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REWE Store

After our quick jaunt, since Sam and family had already arrived, so we took a walk 1.5 miles (with 1 mile up a large hill) to the Davies family. (Thank The Lord for Google Maps!  So worth the 10$ a day international with Verizon). The kids had a lovely guest house with lots of room and beds and a great back yard.  Karin’s Guest’s House did a great job for them with a car, fully outfitted home, cell Phone waiting with minutes, kid TV and toys. The kids looked good, happy, running around, but Sam and Zed looked gray and pasty.  Within moments of our arrival Sam and Zed hopped off to check out the McDonalds and see what they could get for the kids for dinner.  They came back with all sorts of chicken tenders and fries and little bags of gummy bears.  They then left a second time for real food, groceries, etc (a challenge on a Sunday night we have all come to find out).  No restaurants took credit cards, they had no euros yet, and got limited groceries.  Mom and I bathed the kids, got them all settled, got Zoe in bed, kissed everyone good night, then high tailed it to our apartment.  At least the way back was all down hill.  As we came down the hill we noticed a Bitberger Pils sign, and decided to stop.

 

 

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I think theRooster might enjoy one of those also.

 

We ordered a beverage, sat outside and absolutely enjoyed a lovely night watching people walk around the town center.  We were surprised by the wasps everywhere.  The restaurant had small cups of coffee and lit it on fire to keep the wasps away. It worked!  After an hour outside we headed back to the hotel. We stopped at a little Italy 🇮🇹 restaurant, ordered spaghetti Carbonari to go, and came back to our small apartment and enjoyed a lovely dinner in our jammies.

Here is a Blog from a travel writing Military Family, in this article they wrote about the ReWE experience. http://www.worldtravelingmilitaryfamily.com/rewe-grocery-store-germany-shopping/

Thank you Kathryn, you did theRooster proud. Many thanks to all who are following along. Peace my friends.

elderly couple

Yesterday daughter Sarah and friend came by to check on theRooster and brought a lovely salad from Panera. Feed the Elderly, they like food.

Settleing In

Deutschland Mietbremse Symbolbild

Sam’s post from Facebook yesterday

We’ve officially been here for 2 full days…all 4 kids are enrolled in school and medical, We have 1 of our 2 vehicles, have a German cell phone number, have 3 additional IDs, have a Rations Card, toured 1 house, and I have had my first funny international encounter.

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Italian – “Hello I’m Grandpa”
Me – “Hello”
Italian – “You’re going to die”
Me – Image result for female emoji what
Italian – points to the car behind me that is trying to back up!

What is a Ration Card, you might ask.

RATION CARDS

Because of host nation tax laws, some items are rationed in the Commissaries and Exchanges.  Gasoline is a big one.  Other rationed items include cigarettes, distilled liquor, and coffee.  You will be issued a ration card.  You will need your ID card to obtain the ration card and must present the ration card and ID card anytime you buy a rationed item.  Separate cards are issued for each adult family member authorized privileges and should be more than adequate for your needs.  DO NOT abuse the privilege.  Using your ration card to purchase items for someone not authorized privileges, except as a bona fide gift, is a violation of both military regulations and host nation tax laws.  A result of abuse may be loss of privileges, fines, and disciplinary action.

GASOLINE

Gasoline is VERY expensive on the economy.  The NATO Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) allows the sale of fuel to authorized members of the NATO forces free of local country taxes, on a controlled basis.  When your register your vehicle, you will receive a certificate which conveys your gasoline allowance and is used as your ration document for gasoline.

Geilenkirchen today From: https://www.geilenkirchen.de/en/home/

Center of Geilenkirchen Center of Geilenkirchen
At the southern edge of the Heinsberg district, where the B 221 (Aachen-Kleve) and B 56 (Bonn-Sittard/NL) trunk roads cross, lies the modestly sized town of Geilenkirchen. Surrounded mainly by rural countryside, the town has a population of over 28,000. Geilenkirchen owes its traditional key position in the daily life of the surrounding region to its convenient location and easy access.The face of the town centre has dramatically changed in the course of extensive renovation work. The extension to the Town Hall and the redesign of the Market Place put the final touches to this phase. Without a doubt, the town has benefited tremendously from this facelift.
Wurmauenpark todayWurmauenpark today
The town centre is surrounded by dozens of well-maintained villages that pride themselves on their cleanliness and are home to a particularly easy-going lifestyle. Geilenkirchen offers its inhabitants a high standard of living and above average leisure time activities. Apart from its excellent shopping facilities, Geilenkirchen has the full range of educational institutions and a whole range of social and care institutions – a modern hospital, old people’s homes and nursery schools. Making good use of one’s leisure time is hardly a problem here, with sport centres and gymnasiums, swimming baths, both indoor and outdoor tennis facilities, indoor riding, gliding and model aeroplane aerodromes and numerous recreational and sports grounds round off the options.Those in search of peace and quiet will find the town in the valley of the River Wurm – nestled between hidden castles and stately homes, old water-powered mills and impressive farm houses – the ideal choice. A particular attraction is the nearby Teverener Heath.The pleasures associated with this town are appreciated by, among others, the German Army and NATO, whose soldiers are stationed close to Geilenkirchen. Relations between the local population and these “visitors” are extremely convivial.
elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Day 4 Abroad/Food for Thought

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I had the opportunity to FaceTime with the girls from Geilenkirchen today. We ended the call at 3:00 PM/9:00 their time. This lovely bottle of wine immediately popped into view. Other than no elevator and forty steps to climb to their suite, they seem quite content. It’s a one-mile walk to the temporary home of Sam, Zed and family, all uphill says Mary Agnes. The temp here on the Eastern Shore at the time was 93F, 60F for the girls at the sidewalk cafe of their hotel. I wish we could have some of that cool over the next few days.

Traveling about by train or bus seems to be a non-issue for the girls. Great maps at all the stations and aboard the transport mode, easy to figure out says my lady. The girls looked at one home today for Sam and Family, quite large, with a lot of stairs, OSHA might have to rule that one out says Granny. With the Netherlands also right on the doorstep of the base, either country could be an option for a residence.

E3 in GDR

E-3 AWACS

Kathryn just happened to catch a glimpse of one of the base planes as it was flying overhead. The below Banner is the base where the two young USAF Captains will be working. If you pull up the base web page, there is a plethora of information for you to digest should you be interested.

Down in Austin, TX

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Rachael says it’s hot and dry. She got to have lunch with her friend Jenna, Ray says it’s nice having so many options for food, dining out, and grocery shopping. With a population of 950,715, I’m sure there are more choices. Her old home of Salisbury, MD only had 30,343, quite a contrast there.

As for Me

Last night our good friends the Wojciechowski’s took pity on the old man home alone. I got to have one of my favorite meats, Lamb. Mary Agnes is not a lover of Lamb. She is not fond of the smell either. In the days of her late mother’s visits to Connecticut when that was our home, I cooked Lamb outside. M.A.’s mother loved Lamb also. Being the fantastic son-in-law that I was, I almost always cooked Lamb for the two of us, always on the grill of course.

The wife disliked that meat so much, she would only reference Lamb, referring to the words in the Agnus Dei:

Agnus Dei (liturgy)

In the Mass of the Roman Rite and also in the Eucharist of the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran Church, and the Western Rite of the Orthodox Church the Agnus Dei is the invocation to the Lamb of God sung or recited during the fraction of the Host.[1]

Now, I did say Grace last night, thanking the Lord for this fine meal of Lamb, Polish flat noodles, coleslaw, and carrots. Desert was a delicious Cheese Cake. Before dinner we sat on the banks of the Wicomico River and I was treated to a chilled glass of Pinot Grigio. No more beautiful evening could be had by man. I’m sorry you missed it, my dear, just in case you read this.

Hey, since I’m putting it all out on the table, so to speak, she could not stand Linguine and Clams either. Should you run into any of our children, you can ask them about that meal. We were fortunate when the kids were growing up to have her work evenings on Thursdays. Guess what we ate, Yes Sir E Bob. When Nurse Mary walked in from work just as Ed McMahon was shouting “Herrrre’s Johnny, she would turn up her nose and utter those all familiar words, “You had Linguine and Clams, didn’t you.” I think she could smell it when she pulled into the driveway.

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Real Simple photo

Chuck and Jan, if you’re reading this, thanks for a great meal.

Tonight is:               Image result for Spaghetti and meatballs

Abby is coming over for dinner, I’d best get the water boiling and say good night and finish this later.

Dinner with Abby was great. Had some leftovers and now she has lunch to take to work in the morning. Today she worked in Laurel, DE at a Family Practice, tomorrow she returns to the Neurological practice. Abby locked the chickens up for me while I cleaned up after dinner. Jeff returns home from DC tomorrow, and I’ll fire up the grill, do a few steaks, and we will eat some good Maryland sweet corn.

 

It’s time to wrap this up for the day, peace my friends, many thanks for stopping by.

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

 

Sittard/Zittard

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Thanks for the Pic Twitter

 

Today the ladies, Kathryn and Mary Agnes, got on the SB-3 Bus in Geilenkirchen, 15 Euro for two, and traveled to Sittard, Netherlands for some sight seeing. I’m sure the grapes from a local vinyard will become a tasting at some point, when in Rome, you know. The distance between Geilenkirchen and Sittard is 14 miles. Google maps say it’s a 34 minute ride by auto. I’m guessing the bus is a bit longer, but plenty of time to take in the country side.

 

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Fruit of the vine!

 

Just last week, one of the AM TV shows were interviewing people on the street with a large map of the world. Passerby’s were quizzed on various country’s and their locations. OMG, no orientation to location on God’s Earth is held by anyone they interviewed. I do realize that for the effect they were trying to get, those with geographic knowledge were not put on the air. That’s kind of how things work in that industry. Is Geography even taught in school today? There was a good article in USA Today back in 2015 on just that subject. Check it out if interested at:  https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/10/16/us-students-are-terrible-at-geography

In case you’re one of those no-clue individuals, here is a map of Europe.

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Sittard from a Wiki view.

The city of Sittard is located in the Dutch province of Limburg, which is the southernmost province in the Netherlands. Sittard shares its eastern border with Germany, and is located about 45 meters above sea level at its city center. As a result of its close proximity to Germany, many of the residence speak not only Dutch, but also German fluently. In this respect, Sittard is truly a blend of numerous European cultures living together peacefully.

Early History

The earliest settlements in the area of Sittard have been dated as early as 5000 B.C. However actual settlements of the present day city did not take place until approximately 850 A.D. History says that the name of the city may have actually been given to it by Charlemagne. Others argue that the name came from the fertile nature of the land.

The Duke of Limburg is said to have granted the city its “city rights” in 1243. The 15th through the 17th centuries saw much conflict and war in the area and Sittard was destroyed by multiple fires and rebuild a number of times.

Sittard in WWII

In the years prior to the war, there was a large population of German Jews that had moved to the Netherlands to escape the rise of the Nazi Party. However, as with most other cities in Holland, the German forces occupied Sittard during the Second World War. Most of the Jews were then deported to concentration camps. The 2nd Armored Division finally liberated Sittard in September of 1944. Although the city was on the frontline of the conflict for nearly four months, the historic structures within Sittard somehow avoided being destroyed.

Following the War, Sittard quickly recovered and many of its neighborhoods were constructed in the years after the conflict.

Mining in Sittard

Part of the economic engine that drove Sittard’s recovery and growth was the coal mining industry, which had actually begun in 1926. Prior to coal, the main source of income had been agricultural. However, with the move toward “Green” energy, the coal mines were eventually closed down in the 60’s and 70’s. Industrial terrain and numerous large office buildings now cover most of the areas.

Sittard Today

Although the city of Sittard has continued to grow with the years, it has maintained its connection with its history. Many of the buildings in existence still today are indicative of the 16th and 17th centuries. Of special note are the following buildings:

-Saint Peter’s

– Saint Michael’s

– Our Lady Basilica

Though the city is quite modern in many ways, the original city walls, built in the 13th century, is still visible in many places throughout the city.

Summary

Although a little out-of-the-way, Sittard is definitely worth a visit if you are in the area. The city can be accessed my major motorways, rail and even bus. If you are not traveling far, you might even be able to ride a bicycle into the city. Whatever mode of transportation you choose, Sittard is an important city to visit on your tour of Holland, and one that will truly capture you heart.

(Thanks to Wiki for the information)

Once again I say thank you for stopping by.

This weekend Maryland Public Television featured long time DeMatha High School basketball coach Morgan Wooten ,now retired. His mantra was God, Family, School and basketball, what a wonderful way to approach the end result. Peace my friends.

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

The Oregon Connection

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https://www.countrynaturalbeef.com/

Roaring Springs Ranch
Stacy & Elaine Davies, Managers
Frenchglen, Oregon

Who are these two you ask,the other set of granparents to Mia, Ana, Dax and Zoe. Our eldest daughter, Kathryn’s first child was Samantha(Sam).  Sam attended and graduated from the United States Air Force Academy, class of 2012. While at the Academy Sam met Zed Davies, who also graduated from USAFA. Zed is the first born of six to Stacy & Elaine.

These two young Airmen became engaged and married the day after graduation in May of 2012. The ensuing years would find them stationed in Columbus, MS and Oklahoma City, OK. For a short time Zed would find himself at Naval Air Training Facility, Pensacola, Fl prior to Pilot training in Columbus, MS. As I write this blog they are now safely in their new home town of Gielenkirchen, Germany.

So, the below is a bit of information from Country Natural Beef and the Roaring Springs Ranch, managed by Stacy and Elaine Davies.

The historic Roaring Springs Ranch headquarters are located in the sweeping Catlow Valley on the high desert of southeastern Oregon in Harney County. The ranch is a contiguous block of land located between Adel, Fields and Frenchglen.

In 1872 the cattle baron Pete French occupied the area that includes the present day ranch and developed a magnificent ranching empire. In the early 1900’s the federal government purchased the heart of the ranch to create the Malheur Wildlife refuge and the remainder of the ranch has since changed hands several times including Eastern Oregon Livestock Company, Swift and Company, Gill Cattle Company, and Allied Properties, among others. In 1992 the Bob Sanders family of Vancouver, Washington purchased the ranch and they still own it today.

The mission of the Roaring Springs Ranch is to be sustainable: This requires a focus on the economic, ecologic, and social function of our operation.

We are proud of the abundance of diverse wildlife species that share the landscape with our cattle, horses and ranch families. We are proactive in finding solutions to challenging resource issues. Clean water and air, beautiful scenery, open space, healthy fish and wildlife species are important outcomes of our management strategies. Through co-operative projects with a multitude of agencies and interested groups and individuals, we are able to ensure healthy ecosystems on our private land as well as our permitted public lands. Projects have focused on sage grouse, bighorn sheep, antelope, deer, elk, neo-tropical migrant birds, raptors, waterfowl, and overall ecosystem health. We are very proud of our wildlife populations and the health of our watersheds.

Roaring Springs Ranch recognizes the importance of the role we play as resource managers and food producers for our urban friends and customers. We are confident about our land and resource stewardship and take many opportunities to share our achievements, direction, failures, and opportunities. We value the input of others and seek opinions on issues that are important and include them in management decisions where appropriate. Involving and communicating with beef consumers, public land users, policy makers, voters and all of those who share our love for America is a responsibility we take seriously.

Cattle fit naturally into this environment with its diversity of vegetation types and over 4000 feet change in elevation. The conversion of grass to beef on rocky, dry sparse rangelands is the most economically sustainable use of our land. Marketing our beef directly to the consumer has insulated us from price swings and non-profitable years so common in the normal cattle business. Attention to detail, long term planning, frugal spending, and a consumer direct market are the recipe for economic sustainability.
A healthy environment, happy people, and robust economies are not in conflict but in fact are dependent upon one another. Our job is to leave this ranch in a position to benefit the families of Roaring Springs Ranch for many generations into the future.

Mary Agnes and I were honored to attend the feeding of the flock after the wedding at the reception held at the home of Eric and Melissa Bringhurst in Castle Rock, Colorado. Should you ever bite into a piece of Country Natural Beef, you’ll be in for a treat.

Prior to the kids going off to Germany the Davies grandparents spent time with the kids for a few days in Alabama and Georgia. The following pictures appeared on Facebook and I share them with you now.

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Stacy Davies with Son Zed.

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Granny Elaine with the Davies Crazys

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Ranch employment could be in Ana’s future.

It doesn’t matter if the grandparents are from the East or West, It’s the “LOVE” that matters. More pictures exist on FB, check out Elaine Davie’s FB page should you wish to see more pictures of the kids.

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The van and luggage carrier was there to greet them on arrival in Dusseldorf.

I hope you now have a little better feel on the Davies side of the Berthiaume – Fiddler Clan. The DNA keeps multiplying East to West and North to South.

My personal thoughts are also with G and Granny, in Geilenkirchen trying to make the transition a little smoother for the Davies Clan. I love you girls, see you in a week.

Yes, Rachael made it safe and sound to Austin, TX. If you have an address for her, send her a “You Go Girl.”

And last but not least,

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The Rooster says!

 

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

Criss Cross

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.

 

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I have big shoes to fill!

 

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.

 

Oleary pub Stockholm

Can you believe it, the man finds an Irish Pub in Sweden, and look who it’s named after. Edmund and family would be proud.

 

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.

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That’s my girl! Doing Dusseldorf one glass at a time. Cheers my Love.

 

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

Bankok fish 3busy street in BankokFish in Bankok 2Tempe Bankok 1 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.

 

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The Davies Crazys at Aunt Sarah & Uncle Greg’s house.

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!!

 

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Daughter Sarah at the Biltmore.

 

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.

Texas Flag

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/

 

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Mexico, Thank the Lord you got there prior to the wall going up?

 

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The CT Crew in Gloucester, MA.  http://schooner.org/

 

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.

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elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

 

Mutterings on a Day in August

 

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Here’s looking at you kid.

 

Watching us walk up the street early in the morning this past Friday was the neighborhoods newest “Trash Bandit.” Now this young cub can only be a few weeks old. There have been two of them on the road most mornings eating road kills, namely frogs, bugs and the occasional tossed fast food wrappers that seem to appear at various times. Really people, take it home and put it in the trash.

So the us is our trusty K-9 Ben, formally known as Benjamin Franklin Fiddler, our BFF. The acronym BFF was popularized as a quick way for friends to sign off and express their positive feelings for one another while instant-messaging (IM-ing) on the computer or sending a text message on cell phones, just in case you didn’t know.

 

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My BFF

 

Each morning after breakfast Ben and I go on a road trip, usually to an off road site so Ben can have some exercise, not chasing Mr. Racoon however. There are many of these sites within a mile or two of our home, on some days we both get some exercise. Ben usually gets his AM constitutional in at this time also. If you could observe Ben in the wild you would be taken back to the day’s of Tigger, as Ben hops about on all fours propelling himself in the air. His favorite route is a configuration of a figure 8.

 

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As the corn grows.

 

On a completely different note, Image result for Music note Rain. The east coast has been getting a lot of it of late. As I write this, Lynchburg, VA is holding it’s breath a dam doesn’t break. Major League baseball has games backing up due to cancellation. Our fifty acre corn fence just grows higher and higher. It surrounds our home and limits our vision in three directions. Most evenings just after sunset the sly fox, a very large one I might add. emerges from the corn adjacent to our driveway and strolls across the street. I’m sure neighbor Jim putting out the cat food, the sound of which is likened to days of old when coal went down the shoot to feed the furnace, lures the fox in. Our flock of backyard chickens remains safe so far.

 

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Thanks Google

 

Bob Marley, may he rest in peace, had some great quotes in his short life, he died at the age of thirty six. His music lives on, even today. Here is just one of his quotes. Very appropriate for America’s East Coast.

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Thanks Pinterest

If you’ve never heard one of his songs, hear’s one for you. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CHekNnySAfM

We’ve had Thunder Storms earlier, it cooled off a bit, now the sun is out and the Sauna is back. September, football, trees turning colors and crisps nights lie just ahead. Bring it on.

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.

A Share & Remembrance

I can not help but share the beauty that is SE Oregon, so I share my granddaughter’s Blog.

Today in the tiny Village of Allen, MD we bury our Fire Chief David Barry, who tragically died in a car accident on 15 July, may he rest in peace.

 

.Reposted 21 July 2018 A rainy Saturday on the Eastern Shore.

S 1 E 3: Ranch Life

by c12samb

If you haven’t been out to the Roaring Springs Ranch, or really this part of Oregon, you need to find a way to make it out here. Each time we come out I am reminded of the beauty of it. This trip out was a little more relaxed than normal because I have no ties to anyone but my family right now. We have out-processed from Tinker and have yet to in-process to our temporary duty at Maxwell AFB.

We began this leg of our trip with a much needed nap. The kids played with all of PaPa and Grandmas toys while Zed and I enjoyed some sleep. After waking up we had a date with 11 bulls. After getting them loaded in a trailer we drove 3.5 hours and dropped them at a ranch who would be leasing them for the summer. Along the way we stopped at Dairy Queen (more popular than McDonald’s out there) for dinner and ice cream. You’ll see that ice cream is a common thread for this trip. Once dropping the bulls we headed back towards the ranch and spent the night in the apartment over the office in Burns. On top of running the ranch Stacy also runs a co-op of ranchers who make up Country Natural Beef. They supply beef to places like Whole Foods, Blue Apron, and Burgerville. The next day we woke early, picked up kid horses and finished the drive to the ranch.

The kids enjoyed riding horses, helping PaPa work cows (it’s AI season currently), and riding toys. Zed and I are storing our four wheelers at the ranch while we’re in Germany and they bought 2 little motorcycles for the kids. Mia mastered the one without training wheels while Ana claimed the one with the extra help. Zed taught the kids how to climb rocks (I missed the photo op). It was great to see him in his element and sharing that with the kids. While we were there the ranch was hosting an AI school. Those who take part in the school learn something new and Stacy gets a few more hands to help out. Ana also adopted a calf and it was her responsibility to feed it each day.

One of the most fun days was when we enjoyed a trip to Fields for burgers and shakes. The kids (Jonah and Dallen (brother #3) had made it out and joined us) climbed trees and played in the mud while we waited for our food. This is another most stop when you come to visit the ranch. We then headed out on four wheelers and motorcycles to enjoy the reservoir.

While there Zed found a nest, where two of the eggs were beginning to hatch. The kids insisted we stay until they were out, but we explained we couldn’t wait that long and had to go see Sadie.

On the drive back, 3/5 kiddos fell asleep and we met up with Wes (brother #2) and Sadie. That night the couples went into town and enjoyed a benefit dinner for the boys’ high school English teacher.

The final day on the ranch we took a Steen’s Mountain tour and truly enjoyed the south eastern Oregon landscape.

One of the many gorges along the Steen’s. There should be some snow still visible on the peaks, but it wasn’t a great snow year.

This looks out over the historic Riddle Ranch.

Mia and Ana attempting to throw rocks into Wild Horse Lake. The angle of the picture deceives the eyes. Ana’s right foot is hanging over a sheer face that drops a “couple” feet.

Behind Zed and me is the Alvord Desert.

We concluded the tour with a stop at the Frenchglen Mercantile for some ice cream. The ability to easily come to the ranch for a break is going to be missed while we’re in Germany. It will be an amazing treat to be welcomed back to.

-S

c12samb | July 6, 2018 at 3:19 pm | Categories: Uncategorized | URL: https://wp.me/p7p01n-3J
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A Trip to the Nutmeg State

Last week the Mrs. and I headed to Connecticut for a visit to our son’s home in Tolland. His family is involved in a supporting role with CLCC, The Creative Living Community of Connecticut. On Saturday evening we would attend CLCC’s 5th Annual Farm to Table Dinner at Arrigoni Winery. 1297 Portland-Cobalt Rd, Portland, CT 06480  This is the 5th dinner and the first we’ve been able to attend.

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Norwich Patch photo

 

The festivities begin with a welcome glass of wine, music, and appetizers. Under the big tent on the vineyard’s open grounds, guests will enjoy locally sourced foods, live music, a six-course dinner, and wine served throughout the night! Dessert and a silent auction will complete the evening. The Mrs. has been making Quilts for the event every year. Were I an Arteest of one sort or another I’d make something also. All I can do is write about the event.

It was a great evening, the weather cooperated, and over a hundred guests helped support a group of people who do so much for the Developmentally Disabled. We also got to socialize with our son’s extended Connecticut family. Thanks Dave and Jan for riding along with us. (Son’s in-laws)

I’m guessing wine was the theme for this trip. We made a stop on the way up and purchased wine in good old no-tax Delaware. “Shh,” the Tax Police might be listening. Then on Friday night last, it was the Cassidy Hill Winery with music the feature for two hours by “Take 2.”

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It was a trip down memory lane with these two men. The crowd was appreciative, the wine was favorable to the palate and the evening couldn’t have been more pleasurable.  Should you ever see them on an upcoming activity billing somewhere, they are worth a visit., especially if you can enjoy them with fine wine.

On their Facebook page, “Take-2” explains their selves like this:

Rick and I have been performing musicians for over four decades. We have done everything from solo work, performing with other collaborations such as “The Tomglen Band”, “Seventh Dawn”, “Big Party”, and “Impressions of Sound” as well as session work with groups such as “Turkey Foot” and “Still Kickin’ & The Big City Horns”. Our latest Hartford based classic rock group is called “In The Groove” and we are still active and performing in CT/MA venues. In 2015, Rick approached me to collaborate on a duo project focusing in the area of classic rock acoustic artists as well as some select contemporary performers. Take 2 was formed.

Take 2 focuses on many of the more acoustic artists of the Classic Rock era including James Taylor, Van Morrison, Cat Stevens, Harry Chapin and Jim Croce. Through their melody and lyrics, these songs were the “stories” that we grew up to and all know and love. That’s not to say classic rock is the only genre that Take 2 plays. We also include contemporary artists such as Zac Brown, Jack Johnson, Jason Mraz, and some select country material. Take 2 prides itself on musical diversity to bring something for everyone in every performance.

While most of our performances are in public venues through CT and Western MA, we also love to play private events. From casual picnics and club events to weddings and other formal occasions, Take 2 blends music and energy to bring every party to life.

We want to thank you all so much for your support and we look forward to seeing you at our shows…       Rick & Glenn

Where in the world is JB

Son-In-Law Jeff is currently on a trip for Dept. of State to Indonesia. Apparently, from his Facebook pictures, it’s not all work and no play. He’ll be off to Aucland, New Zealand after this stop. Jeff and work partner Matt never go anywhere that there isn’t some fish story of one type or another.

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The crew with their catch.

 

Sam and Zed, “The Crazy Davies,”  are at Maxwell, AFB in Montgomery attending Squadron Officer’s School and Aunt Rachael is tending the four wee ones. “God Bless that girl!” Granny, Mary Agnes, and G, Kathryn  are counting the days till they fly off in “Big Bird’ to meet the family in Germany to help in the transition from Stateside assignment to Foreign assignment. Thanks for your service young’ns.

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The Crazys traveling with Aunt Abby. No Mini Cooper for this crew.

 

While in Connecticut my Brother-in-law John entertained us with a cookout. . My brother Richard (Rick), his friend Tina came from Rhode Island, and John’s grandson Tim and girlfriend Lauren came from western Connecticut with their Rhodesian Ridgeback Luna in tow.  As always when you live a great distance away, there was much to catch up on. We look forward to them coming south for a visit prior to it being too cold to hit the beach.

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Tim & Luna

 

So, I’m thinking the Rooster has crowed enough, don’t want to bore y’all. Someone once said, “Brevity, Brevity, Brevity.” It’s an Element of Style” thingy.

“Be sincere, Be brief, Be seated.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

elderly couple

Don’t forget to check on the elderly.