Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Tuesday, October 16 - Just hanging around

OK, so I haven't written in awhile. Apologies to those of you who read my blog on a regular basis -- THANKS SHIRLEY!! Can you believe, Carroll Brackett SANBORN not Carroll Benjamin SANBORN? The things we learn...

Anyway, I've been working with three gals on photographing cemetery stones here in Casey County. There are over 300 cemeteries we've identified, and our goal is to photograph each and every stone in each and every cemetery. I spent last Wednesday, Thursday and Friday mornings working with Brenda, Linda and Rochelle, going into parts of the county that I'd never imagined I'd ever see. One place was a field off a cow path off a dirt road off a gravel road -- my poor little truck barely made it through, but we found a little cemetery in the woods, mostly fieldstones, but one stone with an inscription. We preserved it forever!

Now I'm spending days and evenings working on a website called Find A Grave, entering the inscriptions on the stones, and uploading the pictures. I've also expanded (since I have SO much free time) to do the cemeteries in Rome, Smithfield, Sidney, Belgrade and Oakland, so those will be preserved. All of Barry's relative's stones have been entered into the Elm Vale Cemetery in Waterford (have yet to do West Cumberland, Minot, Falmouth, etc), and I have done a few of my own family as well. It's a long-range project, perfect for those long, cold winter nights (when the temps here will actually get into the 20s at night).

Rick and Laura came up this past weekend, and we took them to Constitution Square (where Kentucky's state government was born) and more importantly, Burke's Bakery -- the source of the best dinner rolls, cookies, and spice bars in the entire UNIVERSE! Laura's mom cooked some of the rolls that we brought to Paducah awhile back, the way Barry had suggested -- a bit of butter and garlic salt in the frying pan -- and said they were the best ever! Of course! Barry is THE master cook in my humble opinion.

Laura took a nice nap, while we watched the University of Kentucky football team BEAT number-1-ranked-Louisiana State University in THREE overtimes! This is mind-boggling for sports fans. GO BIG BLUE! Just a nice, relaxing weekend -- Rick couldn't get in touch with any of his friends on his cell phone -- we're in a totally dead zone here -- so he was actually able to enjoy the game without interruption.

They both, we hope, had a nice, relaxing weekend before heading home to Paducah.

We STILL haven't closed on the house yet, but everyone we talk with says it's imminent. We'll see.

Feeding the fish in the pond is getting different -- the cooler weather means that the catfish stay near the bottom and aren't very active. We just bought 40# of fish food, but we will be using it since we will be feeding the little critters throughout most of the winter (which is only about 6 weeks here, from what we're told). It's crazy how the bluegills line up near the shore whenever they know that Barry is on his way. Like pigs at a trough, they wait for him to feed them. At this rate, they're becoming as much pets as the fish in the aquarium in the living room -- can't see eating them, but the cats are different. They swim by and all I can see is a nice catfish filet, deep-fried, with garlic and butter and cajun spices...of course I won't mind catching them but Barry will have to do the other yuckky stuff of processing them for eating!

Overnight temps last night were in the low 60s and it got up into the mid to high 70s today when the sun was out. It was a partly cloudy day with maybe four brief showers, not amounting to a tinker's dam. The drought here is at the extreme level, and though there is a state-wide burning ban, we see people burning in their back yards all the time. I guess in some cases, obeying the law isn't a big thing in this part of Kentucky. All-in-all, it's still like a Maine mid-August here. We have the windows open at night, no A/C or heat on, but it's absolutely perfect weather (lack of rain excepted).

The leaves are turning, barely -- not much like Maine this time of year, more like late August or early September -- but it IS getting more colorful. Seeing the reds and oranges come out, and having the temps in the 70s is really wierding me out though! It's supposed to be COLD when the leaves turn, and it isn't. It's still like summer. WHEN will I EVER miss going back to school?

Flying things -- we haven't seen many lately but today was a gold mine. Three or four yellow-shafted flickers, and TWO, yes TWO pileated woodpeckers. Robins, obviously fattened up from their summer in Maine, and the usual sparrows. We've also seen indigo buntings, bluebirds, and a couple of others we have yet to identify. The butterflies, I think, have either died off, or migrated south. Not too many of them left, but as I wrote earlier, they're as large as birds in Maine, and most of the birds are as small as butterflies.

The tomatoes are still growing -- another month maybe if we're lucky, and we'll have more fresh tomatoes. The hibiscus blossoms nearly every day with blooms that are much larger than they were in Maine. Our Swiss chard, carrots and spinach were stunted by the 100 degree heat though, and haven't recovered. We need to get some shelving to bring the plants in when the weather does get cold -- into Danville tomorrow to see what we can find. We have nine ceiling to floor windows that should be great for plants -- IF we can keep the CAT out of the plant pots. We think that paper plates and screening around the base of the plants should do the trick. The master bath (the "garden" tub if you will) will really be a garden tub. Barry trimmed some green astro-turf for the bottom and the sides, and we will be planting plants there under the skylight for the winter. "Millicent Matilda Grungetta Fred the Second", (the sheffleria -- sp?) will have the matron's place of honor at the bottom of the tub, since she's about five feet tall and won't fit anywhere else; the sea grape and lemon trees from Florida may go in front of the other windows since they need more light, but we'll see. Anyway, no one will be taking a relaxing bath in the "garden" tub this winter unless he wishes to bathe with plants!

OK, I really need to write more in the blog, so I will try to do a better job. Even if it's mundane stuff, it's more like a diary anyway, than an historical piece of work. Enough drivel for now. Hopefully tomorrow or Thursday we'll nave some news about the closing. We're sitting here waiting...waiting...waiting...

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