Sunday, July 30, 2017

Editor's Note

I am obviously not posting daily as I did for many years. I do not plan at present to resume daily posts, but will occasionally post as time permits and circumstances warrant.

Island Camp Out

The last time I camped out on one of my Louisville islands was the fall of 2001 while Sherry and I were dating. We returned at long last to the scene of that memorable camping adventure this week. My friend Tom, known as Brush, came in Tuesday evening and camped on the island until this morning. Our friend Terry and I came out Saturday morning, and we had a wonderful day on the island.
Brush cleaned the place up a lot before Terry and I got out there, but we cleared it out more during the day yesterday. We made good progress without wearing ourselves out.
The tree to the right has long been out landmark for our landing place on this island. At its base there now dwells a hive of bees. We aggravated them upon arrival by tossing gear on top of their colony and by chopping privet hedge with a machete. Once they got our attention we became better neighbors, thankfully without the lesson of anyone getting stung.
Brush and Terry pose for the camera with the lake in the background.
My canoe, the Enterprise, once red, is now a pinkish grey with age, but the old girl served us well and will still cross the lake at a good clip with two people paddling. May she carry us to more adventures in the near future.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Last of this Summer's Beach Pictures

Here are the last few pictures from this summer's beach trip. Sherry took the kids into Seaside for a visit.
There is a wonderful toy store in Seaside. How does a kid get out of this chicken outfit?
Joey and Abby pose in front of the Seaside church.
With only two days during which we could swim in the gulf, the kids occupied a lot of their time excavation the sand. I have an army surplus trenching shovel I bring every year, and they put it to good use.
Of the two boys, Joey tends to be the straight man and Jake the joker, but Joey never could resist a funny hat.
Joey, Sarah and Jake pose at the purple wall in Seaside.
Sarah and Sherry pose on the back porch at Beachcrest.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy Independence Day


Today is Independence Day in the United States, and citizens here celebrate it as our nation's birthday with a day off work, fireworks, patriotic music and ceremony and, of course, food.

Monday, July 3, 2017

More Snapshots from the Beach

Lest I leave the impression that we didn't get to spend any time on the beach due to the weather, I will post some pictures taken on the sunny days we had. The last two days were sunny, but the surf was to high to allow swimming.
Sarah poses with my beachcomber hat. I had a hat like this for years during my Louisville Lake days, but it fell apart due to wear and exposure to the elements. I finally found a place where I can order them for about five dollars each, so I bought five. I get a lot of compliments on it at the beach.
The brothers Ferrelli contemplate the surf.
We spent a lot of time, as usual, hanging out on the patio at Mom and Laura and Leslie's condo. Sherry poses for a selfie with Joey and Abby.
Sherry takes pictures of the kids in front of this purple wall in Seaside every year she can.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Seagrove Beach 2017 -- Tropical Storm Cindy

Here are a few pictures from our summer vacation week down in Seagrove Beach, Florida, this year. It coincided with Tropical Storm Cindy, which dumped constant rain on the coast for two days and nights before relenting. Even then, the beach was closed to swimmers every day we were down there except the first two. As you can see from the surf in the picture posted above, it was a smart decision by local authorities.
This is a shot of the flooded courtyard of Beachwood Villas taken from the condo unit we rented this year.
Sherry was thrilled at the rare occasion of having all three of her kiddoes together for a week. On one of the rainy days they went to Panama City, and these two pictures were taken there.
I hated to miss a trip to the Panama City Margaritaville restaurant, but I knew traffic would be awful. After ten hours getting down there Saturday due to congested traffic, I didn't fancy any more time in an automobile until I had to drive back home.
Laura and Grace flew in from a wedding in Canada, so Mom rode with us this year. Mark and Leslie drove up from Delray Beach, which is about the same mileage as we traveled from Tennessee. Jake rode from Nashville with Joey and Abby.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Memorial Day Weekend in Estill Springs

Here are some of the photographs I took at the Camp when Sarah and I were out there Memorial Day weekend with my friend Johnny and his kids, Natalie and Teddy. We stayed out there three nights, which is the longest stay I've had there in years.
Sarah and I arrive before Johnny and his kids, and we quietly enjoyed the woods and the creek. As usual, Sarah contented herself with her sketch pad.
As you would expect on a hot spring weekend, we spent a lot of down by and in the creek, which was very healthy. We saw a lot of crawdads and periwinkles, the latter being small, black snails that live on the river bottom.
Other that to relax, play with the kiddos and have fun, our only other mission was to put up the railings on the new front porch we built for the place last month.
Sarah and Natalie enjoy some quiet time on the screened porch.
You can't really tell from this picture, but we built a dam that brought the water up about five inches. An earlier flood had piled up a bunch of rocks, mud and leaves on the rock shelf we use to access the creek. We used the rocks for the dam, and when the water came up it got rid of most of the rest.
We had hauled the remains of the old porch down to the fire pit for later burning last month, and we burned about half of it up.
In addition to the railing, we also rehung the screened door, replaced the threshold and put Old Glory back in her place.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Old Stone Fort

Sarah and I met my friend Johnny and his kids in Estill Springs last weekend to enjoy some time in the woods and creek at my grandparents' cabin there. On the way we stopped in Manchester so I could show Sarah Old Stone Fort, a Native American archaeological site that was build during the Middle Woodland period, some 1,500 to 2,000 years ago.
To the best modern science can surmise, Old Stone Fort was a ceremonial meeting place, not a permanent habitation site. It is bounded on one side by the Little Duck River and on the other side by the Duck River.
This field is where ancient people gathered. There is an feature they built at the entrance to the site that lines up with where the sun rises on the summer solstice. This picture is taken looking in that general direction.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Andrew Johnson Acquitted

On May 26, 1868, the United States Senate acquitted President Andrew Johnson of the charges the House of Representatives impeached him on. Johnson was the last Tennessean, and the only East Tennessean, to have ever held the office of the Presidency.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Throwback Thursday

Since we just recently visited the Tennessee Medieval Faire in Harriman, for today's throwback Thursday picture, here are Sherry and Sarah back in 2004 at the Nashville Renfest.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

El Gato

This is another piece of her artwork that Sarah brought home at the end of the school year. Her art teacher had dubbed it El Gato.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Food Truck Review -- Mamma Gallina's

The latest food truck to visit the Blount County Justice Center is Mamma Gallina's, and their colorful truck is pictured above. They serve delicious hot Italian sandwiches and desserts, although I don't see how someone could eat one of those big sandwiches and still want dessert. Lunch runs from $9.00 to $12.00 and includes chips. You can check their Facebook page, linked above, to see where to find them.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Book Review -- On the Road by Jack Kerouac

I've been on a kick recently to try and read some classic novels, and I pulled On the Road by Jack Kerouac off of my bookshelf, where it has languished unread for a couple of decades. As its title implies, it is a story about the protagonist's travels back and forth across the United States with friends and acquaintances. It is known as one of the important books of the beat generation, and it actually has dialog that includes phrases like "real gone cat" to describe someone enjoying jazz. It was a short read, but enjoyable.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

A Visit to the Tennessee Medieval Faire in Harriman

Yesterday Sherry and I took Sarah and her friend Grace to the Tennessee Medieval Faire in Harriman. I've been to other such events, which I generically call Renfests, near Nashville, Charlotte and Atlanta, and Harriman's is relatively new. I think they've been there for three years or so. They do a good job of it, but their village watchman is kind of tough.
We got there just in time for jousting, and after the performance they invited the crowd up to pet the horses.

Fortunately, we got some of the seating in the shade, because it was around 85 degrees out. A nice breeze made it better.
I tried my hand at jousting while I was there. It did not go well. Fortunately, there was a high level cleric on hand to revive me.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Fort Jefferson

I would have liked to visit Fort Jefferson when we visited Key West. Unfortunately, the way the trip came together, but the time I thought about it, all the slots were booked for the time we were down there. That will be something to look forward to the next time we're down there. (Via Phils Phun)

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Throwback Thursday

For today's throwback Thursday picture, here are Jake and Joey. This was taken when they were about eleven.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sarah's Batik Flowers

With the school year drawing to a close, Sarah brought home some of the art she's done at school during the last few months. I like these batik flowers.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Battle of Alamance

On May 16, 1771, the Battle of Alamance was fought between a force of about 2,000 Regulators from the western parts of North Carolina, against militia forces similarly strong under Royal Governor Willian Tryon. The Regulators formed to oppose what they regarded as unfair policies of the colonial government, which was largely controlled by interests in the eastern part of the North Carolina. While the opposing forces were similar in size, the Regulators were disorganized and defeated by the militia, which had more ammunition and artillery.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Lost Dog in East Maryville

In hyperlocal news, this flier about a lost dog appeared on our mailbox a few days ago. I do not know the owner(s), but thought I'd share the flier in case one of my neighbors sees the pooch.