Showing posts from May, 2011

A Celebration and A Rememberance

As usual, time's evaporating, and I'm getting further behind with updates to the blog with every passing day. It's a consistent problem for me when we sit in one place for an extended period and I'm preoccupied with other things. Since the last post is now over a week old, let's bring the record up to date.

Our weekend trip northward for the wedding morphed into a busy week once back to Beaver Dam late Sunday the 22nd. This weeks project was working with Dar's brothers, Dennis and Steve, to remodel the main first floor bathroom in the house here at The Farm. The centerpiece of the project was the replacement of the old tub/shower module with a new walk-in shower -- which involved cutting up the old (wouldn't fit through doors) and installing a cool new three piece unit that assembled like lego blocks. And since things were all torn apart it was decided to retire the old vanity/sink, replacing it with a younger, more attractive unit (the quest for youth and …

Weddings and Raptures

Chippewa Falls, WI. is where we find ourselves this morning. We're here for a family wedding... Dar's nephew Joel is tying the knot with his betrothed, Mandy this afternoon. We wish them nothing but the best as they start their life together.

But how did it happen that they're getting married on the very day of the rapture? For the record, a California evangelical broadcaster... one Harold Camping... has predicted the long awaited event will take place at 6pm tonight. (Conveniently, it's going to happen at 6pm local time regardless of where are the planet you live. Wow!) According to the prediction those souls who are going to heaven will be plucked from amidst the rest of us sinners and whisked directly into heaven during the day today. The rest of us will have about 5 more months to suffer (wars, earthquakes, volcanoes, floods... all the bad things you can imagine) until the worlds comes to a complete end in October.

Considering that as I write this, 6pm has already…

News from My Hometown

Alright all you big city folks out there... here's a slice of small town America for your enjoyment. Over the past couple weeks I've collected a few reports from the Beaver Dam Police Beat in the local newspaper. They're cut and pasted verbatim.

None of these would have gone beyond the dispatcher in any place much larger than Beaver Dam (pop. 15,000)... but here they earn a response from a police officer as well as a line in the paper. You can almost picture Andy and Barney hard at work. There's something attractive about small-town America... the simplicity... the peace... so different from the hubbub of the big city.

Police work at its best?
Harassment - At 1:10 p.m. on Friday, police received a report from a 26-year-old woman in the 600 block of South Spring Street that she was being harassed over the phone by another woman. Police left a voicemail for the suspect asking she cease all contact.

Parenting at its best?
Juvenile - At 7:47 a.m. on Jan. 19 a woman in the 500…

Celebrations and Milestones

We've been back in Beaver Dam for a week and a half and there's been no moss growing on these rolling stones... that's for sure. May is a busy month for family events... my Mom and Dad's Anniversary (61 years this year), a few birthdays, Mother's Day, a wedding next weekend, then Dar's Mom and Dad's Anniversary (the big 60). June promises to be a little less hectic, but a growing list of bus-house maintenance and repair issues will help set the pace and keep me from getting too sedentary.

Then our son and daughter-in-law (JT and Kaytlyn) are in the process of moving to the Seattle area.  He's been out there for the past few weeks, busy with his new job... finding a place to live, etc. while Kaytlyn completes her Masters Degree at UW Oshkosh and gets ready to move. So JT flew back this past Thursday and we all attended Kaytlyns graduation (hooding ceremony) Friday night... a touching event that is such a mile-stone, not to mention an emotional release for…

Catching Up

I've added a small bunch of new posts to the Journal earlier today. They're all back-dated to the appropriate day last week and may require some scrolling to find... lower... lower.

Just for fun, I'll throw up a few more pics from our trip.

Tennessee State Capitol

One thing we both grew tired of during this trip was schlepping bags in and out of motel rooms. Another thing was the variation in mattresses, blankets, and pillows in the various motels that made sleep difficult at times. These are little things but they sure made us appreciate the bus-house... and the ability to take our home with us most anywhere we go.  Well, at least most of the time.

Let's see... I guess it's Tuesday now and we were up early once again. The past day or two I came down with a good old fashioned cold and it was a doozie. Added to the motel experience and the cold rainy morning, I would really have preferred to be back at the bus-house, in my own bed, and just left alone to whimper and moan. But reality is what I had to deal with, so off we went to downtown Nashville to visit the Tennessee State Capitol.

The Capitol Building in Nashville is the 18th we've visited. Built before the Civil War, it's one of the oldest Capitols still in daily use. A small…

Daniels and Lewis

We got an early start Monday morning and continued west on US-64, which runs along with the Interstate System through the Chat. metro area. At Monteagle TN., US-64/I-24 intersects with TN-15, which we took west through Sewanee to Winchester and then took little Lynchburg Road up to the community of Lynchburg... which is home for the Jack Daniels Distillery. I've wanted to visit old Jack and the nation's oldest registered distillery for some time.

Our tour guide was a fella' named "Goose"... the quintessential Jack Daniels employee... exactly what you'd expect a JD tour guide would look like. Goose is so right for the part, he's been in a number of print ads for Jack Daniels. With a booming voice and slow methodical style, he entertained us for almost an hour and a half as we meandered from the rickyard, through the cave spring, original office, the still house, the charcoal mellowing vats, and a barrel house. The business has 1800 acres around Lynchburg a…

Through the Appalachians

Our week with Tim and Chris flew by and on Sunday, May 1, we fired up the little Focus, said our good-byes, and headed for Wisconsin. Our plan was to take a little more time going back... to take a different and more challenging route... and to explore a few places along the way.

We took SC-11, the Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway, west from the Gafney area, past Ceasars Head and Table Rock State Parks, to the intersection with US-178 at Mosely Gap, and then north to Rosman, NC. where we picked up US-64 west. Here we start crossing the Appalachians in earnest and for much of the 150 miles (crow distance) between Mosely Gap and Chattanooga TN., the road is twists left, bends right, climbs, drops, hair-pin turns... I swear not a straight section the entire distance. This is not a road that would be fun with the bus-house, but it's wonderful country filled with hills and hollows... and sprinkled with a number of retirement communities, golf courses, and upscale amenities in stark c…