It’s Valentine’s Day. Do You Know Where Your Roses Are?

Mine are in the closet. The bathroom closet to be exact. Well, right now they are where I can see them, but when I’m not at home they have to go in the closet. They have to spend the night there, too.

Why? Because I have this cat. As you can see, she’s enamored by the roses. And the baby’s breath.

Maizey Roses
The first thing she had to do was taste them. Yummy, I’m sure. Next she had to nudge them. Not good considering they came in a lovely, tall, glass vase.

Beautiful as that vase is, it would never do with the curious cat about. What to do?

Find one with a broader base, naturally.

Luckily for Maizey, the roses look even better in the antique coffee pot. Now if they could just stay out of the closet.


Adventures in Geocaching: HMGT #14 Dils Cemetery aka McCoy Gravesite

Dils Cemetery is our stop in this installment of the Hatfield McCoy GeoTrail Adventure.


McCoy Gravesite Sign


See our white van way down there?

I had read about the uphill, mountainous hikes to the graves; I was a bit concerned.

Rightfully so, as it turns out. Good gracious—turns out all these mountain folks are buried, of all places, on mountains. Imagine that.


Dils/McCoy Gravesite

Honestly, I’ve never seen anything like it. In Alabama, we have nice, flat cemeteries. Drive up. Get out of your car. Stroll to grave. Easy. No fitness required.

Not so in Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia. Dils Cemetery was our first introduction to vertical burials. This uphill climb graveyard visit took us to the graves of Randal and Sarah McCoy, their daughter Roseanna of the Johnse romance fame, and various McCoy and Hatfield graves.


McCoy Headstone


Original Headstones

Also of interest is that Dils Cemetery is the first integrated cemetery in Eastern Kentucky.  Seems Colonel John Dils wasn’t a big fan of slavery, so he employed freed slaves and later provided burial spaces for them and their descendents.

Dils-Cemetery-Markers-HMGTFreed Slaves’ Graves

We walked about the graveyard, found the cache, and steeply descended the stairs to our car.

On a side note, when we arrived and got out of the car, a fireman and his daughter stopped us because we are from Alabama—I guess the Alabama plates and the Back-to-Back Championship magnet on the car tipped them off. His daughter wants to play softball at The University of Alabama, so we told them that would be a great choice. Roll Tide!

He also said that before the documentary came on TV, hardly anybody ever went “to that old man’s grave.” Now he said there are days he sees as many as 70 go see him in a day.

He helped an old woman go up there one day and spent “the most interesting three hours of my life with her.” She told him that Perry Cline could not have been involved as the lawyer because he was only 13 years old at the time. She also told him that Randal McCoy died after getting drunk and falling into a burning fire in the fireplace of a house that then burned down.

We heard various stories, and who knows what is fact or fiction at this point. All I know is that the whole deal is fascinating.


Sarah Syck’s Grave—what an interesting name.

Ready to go yet?

You can find more info here:

Disappearing Skills: Maps

In one of my classes with my international students today, I was telling them about the dream trip DH & I took in 1999 to Yellowstone National Park.

In the course of the conversation, they wanted to know how we got there.

“What do you mean, ‘How did we get there?'”

“How did you get there?”

“Um, by car.”

“No, no–How did you get there?”

“Well, we certainly didn’t have a GPS.”

“So, how did you get there?”

I just looked at them.

“We used a map.”

Triptik Map

“A map?”

“Yes. A map,” I said matter-of-factly.

“Oh, that’s so dangerous!”

“What?!” I couldn’t believe my ears!

A map? Dangerous?


“Haven’t you ever used a map?”

“Oh, no!” That is too dangerous!”

Honestly! They’ve never considered using a map, never heard of a AAA Triptik, and have never pondered the possibility of setting out on a trip with just a map in hand and no GPS.

Truthfully, I still like a paper map to show the big picture. I love my GPS (I have 6 of them, after all, 8 if you count the ones on our iPhones), but there’s something reassuring about a paper map that a GPS just can’t provide.

Teaching continually opens my eyes in many ways, but today takes the cake.

Maps. Dangerous. Who’d a thunk it?


Fake Spring Break

Today is the first day of Spring Break.

It’s been spitting snow all day.

It was 38 degrees.

The wind chill was 28 degrees. In Alabama.

I had to get our taxes done.

We have to get a new AC/Heating unit put in later this week. (The one that’s kaput is only 5 years old.)

If I had thought this through, I would have gotten my sister, and we would have gone to her condo in Florida after I rescheduled the above tasks.

Sea Oats

On the upside, we are getting a tax refund. Nice, since it’s our money anyway.

How has your first day of Spring Break been?

Adventures in Geocaching: It was a Cold & Snowy Day

A couple of days ago DH & I made our way to a local nature preserve known as Cane Creek Canyon. We would have loved to hike, but since we were enduring cold blowing wind and wet snow, we just found the first, easy cache at the beginning of the trail.

Cane Creek Canyon

Airplane on a Stick

After we left Cane Creek, we stopped to photograph this plane on a stick. See Santa & Mrs. Clause in the pilot seats?









Next we found this cache which was in really great shape. That’s always a nice surprise.

Rock Grave















When we emerged from the woods I saw this rock pile grave. I wonder why some graves are like this. Do you know? There were 3 in this cemetery.


I really like finding caches in old cemeteries, and this was our second cemetery find of the day.













It’s fun finding caches in fence rows.
Arrowhead Gravestone

When I turned around, I saw this–an arrowhead gravestone. (I’ve masked the info.) I have never seen one like this before, and this is what makes geocaching so interesting–you never know what you might stumble across.

Melted Snow on a Spiderweb

Sometimes the beauty is just at your feet.

Flat Rock Community House

Another interesting location a cache brought us to was the Flat Rock Community House. This used to be a one room schoolhouse, but now it is used for voting. Out back of the house was another fun sight.


How many of you have ever used an outhouse? I have, and it’s a cold seat on a day like the one we were there!


We saw fields and fields of buttercups whilst we were out caching this day.

Jesse Owens Memorial Park

Our caching adventure took us to the Jesse Owens Memorial Park. There are other caches there, but this is the only one I found on this trip.

Oakville Indian Mounds

I’ve lived close to here all my life, but I didn’t know about the Oakville Indian Mounds until this caching trip. If you’ve never tried geocaching, you really should because it will take you to so many unusual places!

Indian Clans

Personally, I want to be a member of the Long Hair Clan. 😀

Cherokee Removal

Cherokee Indian Removal information.

Creek Removal

Creek Indian Removal information. These are my people.

Oakville Indian Mound

Oakville Indian Mound Information

What’s funny about our visit here is that we think we may have been driving on the walking trail, but honestly, it was impossible to tell. I think we were okay because trust me–it was so cold and windy there wasn’t a soul on the trail.

Geocaching is a marvelous adventure that took us on a several hour trek through several Alabama counties experiencing sights we would have missed otherwise.

Grab a GPSr and go!

What Men Know That Women Don’t

English: A backpack leaf blower

A backpack leaf blower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes the difference between men and women becomes crystal clear to me.

DH and I helped out friends today by blowing the leaves off their driveway, walkways, and patio. The leaf blower ran out of gas, and instead of just refilling it with gas, DH had to mix up a concoction of oil and gas.

On the way home, we had this conversation:

Me: “Why can’t you just put gas in a leaf blower? Why does it have to be oil & gas mixed together?”

DH: “Because a leaf blower has a 2 cycle engine.”


Me: “Well. I know so much more than I did.”

DH gathering his thoughts.

DH: “Cars, and lawn mowers for that matter, have 4 cycle engines which means that they . . . and the square root of 25 is 5 and pi can carry to infinity and the astronauts didn’t overshoot the moon because the quadrant of quantum leaps equals supercalifragilisticexpialidocious which lubricates the internal engine . . . and that’s why you have to mix the oil & gas in a 2 cycle motor and not a 4 cycle motor.”

More silence.

Me: “Ah. Thanks, Dear. It’s clear to me now.”

He gave a great explanation, really, but I still have no clue except that I’d be scared to death to mix oil and gas for fear of blowing up the garage. I am amazed that he just knows this as a matter of fact.

What the Heck?!

I was about to write a blog on a whole nother topic when I decided to check in on my stats before commencing, and what to my wondering eyes did appear?

400 views today!

Say what?!

On a good day I might have 30 or 40 views, with my highest before being a little over 100. But 400? And for a tiny short blog about rain boots of all things. You can read it here if you want to be dazzled. Ha!

I guess the torrential rain we’ve had today in Alabama may have contributed to the uptick in interest, but I highly doubt it.

Maybe WordPress had a numbers malfunction? Accidentally added me to the Freshly Pressed page?

No, I’m sure it must be the unbelievable, stylistically perfect writing that drew all those readers like a magnet to my blog.

I can dream, can’t I?