Thursday, July 7, 2016

Railroad humor

While standing near Ashland Rail Yard in Chicago, IL this train was rolling by and the humor of what was spray painted on the center (red K LINEs)  railcar made me laugh out loud.

Look closely at the yellow part under the red containers.




Trail buddies.

I don't hike alone much these days because I almost always have my trail buddies along with.

It's so difficult for me to stay indoors during the summer...and the dogs feel the same way mostly.
Here we are enjoying a local trail. Reese is the one in the lead here...Dodi close behind. 


Things I can say about Ohio trails is never a poisonous snake, never a black bear...maybe the occasional squirrel or ground hog....but no less number of ticks than in Tennessee. (I keep meaning to get the dogs t-shirts that say "tick-magnets" on them.)

Oh and this is a section of the Wabash-Cannonball Rail-to-trail North Fork.





Happy Summer trails!!


Fulton County humor

While driving home one day....Chris noticed this sign in someone's yard.  She told me about it and sometime shortly thereafter we took this photo.

Gotta love some Fulton County Ohio!

bucket list...

Bowling?  Yep. 

We're making every effort to do things this summer that are fun, not real pricey, fairly easy to do and close by.

This was actually Isaac's idea...bowling....as it's so hard for me to stay indoors when the weather is fab fabness outside.  But we went anyway.

Isaac (Chris' 13 yr old) grabbed a friend and off we went one day last week to give-a-go at bowling.  Me, Chris, Isaac and Juan.

After we gathered up all the necessary bowling accouterments (ie, bowling shoes and bowling ball) and after receiving a tutorial on how to set the scoring machine (very uncomplicated in a complicated way), the emotions of trying to roll a heavy ball down a slick, waxed, wooden alley with aluminum gutters on both sides (which I think have magnets in them that suck in bowling balls) while attempting to knock down ten pins...is no where NEAR as easy as it looks.

It took us all some finagling...a little bit of trial-and-error...some luck...and some good ole crap shoot...before we got the hang of it.

I made an audible explosion sound complete with hand-motions nearly every time Chris bowled because her pins seemed to go careening like they just got hit by a truck.  Made me smile.

Technique is everything in bowling.  And no doubt...100% mental.

Needless to say, we all had a lot of fun.  And will likely try it again sometime soon.

Group activities...definitely something to write home about.

What wanders into the yard...is anybody's guess

Having grown up in an old farm house with huge windows...it was easy to be drawn to look outside when passing by...mainly because it was anybody's guess as to what you might see.

This farm house I live in now...while not such the large windows...it still amazes me what you can spot...you just never know what you're going to see.

This particular day...two of the cutest baby coonies wandered through.  Yes, yes...I know. I'm fully aware that baby raccoons grow up to be big raccoons and often wreak havoc on a chicken flock...but somehow this was different.  These two looked dehydrated and a little lost.  One was much smaller than the other...and it took some doing to manage to get some food in his belly.

The term "cooned-up" comes to mind...when I approached them both with a can of open tuna...the littlest guys' first response was most likely what mom had taught him...coon up (he turned sideways and arched his back like a cat and poofed his tail) and climb!  Although not so fast...he did manage to climb up into the nearby crab-apple tree.  His climbing skills were amazing...paws like velcro to the tree bark.  I was concerned that he might stuggle to get down...pfffft, silly me. He came down like a champ, just like he went up.  Well taught by mom!!

Anyhow, he did finally manage to sniff his way to the tuna can I left on the ground nearby. I didn't want to try and touch or pick up either of these guys...as my intent was simply to hydrate them a bit, give them some energy with no worries that they'd stick around.  (They seemed very intent upon moving on...like they were looking for something.  Probably mom. She was no where to be found so I'm guessing she had been killed on the road or some such.

The larger of the two climbed a nearby tree and watched while chattering to his little brother.  I left them both in the backyard...hoping that they would simply move on...which it seems they did.  I never saw them again.

For as often as I've had to shoot adult raccoons messing around in the chicken barn, somehow this little act of kindness made me feel just a tad bit better.  As if the universe sent these two across my path so I could "pay-it-forward" in some way.  No idea if it did any good at all...but at least the little guy got a belly full.

Yet another way that nature shows me...life is truly one moment at a time...if we choose to pay attention.  Never know what might wander through your yard.

And let the wild things remain wild. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Vacation....Tennessee style!



















Finally!  After nearly 2 years...we made it back to our favorite stomping grounds....Chattanooga, TN.  This trip was specifically engineered around attending the 2016, 4 Bridges Art Festival...as a personal favorite of mine...not to mention was my birthday week.

We usually take our two toy fox terriers (which is always a hoot) to romp around in the woods with us (they make great tick magnets).  Chris and Pieces are sporting a smile in the photo below.  This time we purposely chose places to hike that would be least likely to have ticks crawling around. (That worked out real well...only one tick this trip.)


















We also visited some of our other mutual-favorite places in the "nooga" such as McKay's Used Books, The North Chatt Cat (which is now the Pub), various shops and galleries on Frazier Ave and a few new one's on Main Street.












Thrilled to have AMAZING weather...we stomped around North Chickamauga creek which is an amazing outdoor extravaganza of mountain stream meets mountain trails.  Dodi...pictured here with me above...especially loves swimming but he didn't seem too crazy with the numbing cold temps of the fresh mountain water here. 












Seems like we were both especially drawn to water this trip. Most of what we spent our time doing involved the Tennessee River one way or another.  Here's the TN river above in front of the TVA Raccoon Mountain complex. Both dogs did play around in the water here some...and we just soaked in the beauty of the place...one moment at a time.



















No vacation experience is complete without some wings and beer so naturally we visited Buffalo Wild Wings in Downtown Chattanooga.  We enjoyed sitting on the patio while watching the Grackles and Sparrows sweep in and grab the bits of fries on the ground.  Probably could have fed them by hand if we wanted to.


















And then there was the actual birth date!  Here I am above enjoying a birthday morning campfire...in the still of the morning.  Doesn't get much better than that!

Stay tuned...always more adventures to come!


Friday, April 1, 2016

Spring turkey aerobics..














Well, it's that time of year again...where any available wild turkey tom comes to visit.  Who then visits over a period of days...and challenges our tom through the fence in an effort to court our female turkey.  It's quite entertaining to watch.

This year's wild tom visitor we have already named "TJ" for "Tom Junior" as he's been hanging around for about a week now.  My GOODNESS look how BIG he is!  (TJ is the one on the right in the photo above and our Tom is on the left.) Sugar Pea (our female) doesn't seem to be all that interested in TJ.  Time will tell I suppose.

Guess we shall see what happens.  In the mean time, we don't dare open the fence for the males to get a chance to fight one another. We're betting that our tom would likely be injured at best and possibly even fatally at worst.  So they can just do the turkey tom aerobics through the fence...until one of them decides enough is enough.

So goes the adventures of random wildlife showing up in our backyard.

Stay tuned for more adventures!


*******UPDATE*******
Well, Sugar pea disappeared with I assume to be the wild male tom for about a week. She has since returned and we no longer get visits from the male tom. So...time did tell.  We are glad sugar pea returned. We like her here.