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.

Roses
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.

Advertisements

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


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

Dils-Cemetery-McCoy-Family-Gravesite-HMGT

McCoy Gravesite Sign

Dils-Cemetery-stairs-climb-HMGT

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-Cemetery-HMGT-stairs

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.

Dils-Cemetery-headstone-Randal-Sarah-McCoy-HMGT

McCoy Headstone

Dils-Cemetery-Randal-Sarah-McCoy-Original-Marker-HMGT

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.

Dils-Cemetery-Sarah-Syck-HMGT

Sarah Syck’s Grave—what an interesting name.

Ready to go yet?

You can find more info here:

http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC3QE8B_hmgt-14-dils-cemetery?guid=3919e2b3-65d0-472b-873a-07e99cf3c077

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?

Really?

“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?

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.”

Silence.

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?

I Knew Better, and Now I’ve Got Homework


My colleagues gave me homework today. Humph. What did they give me for homework, and why, you may ask, did they give it to me when I am the one who should be dishing it out?

Well, in case you haven’t noticed, it’s been three months and six days since my last blog. I was on a roll for a very long time of writing a blog every single day. I always knew if I ever skipped a day, I would fall down the slippery slope of non commitment, and that, my friends, is exactly what happened. A day, here, a day, there, and before I knew it, I wasn’t writing at all.

Thanks to those dear homework assigners, I am climbing back up on the proverbial horse and will start writing again. It’s the least I can do.

I could tell you that I didn’t write because it’s been hot. That would be the truth as it has been hot as Hades in Alabama this summer–so hot I couldn’t even stand to go geocaching. However, I do have air conditioning.

I could tell you that I didn’t write because I’ve been off. That would be the truth, too. I will tell you that I have discovered that long stretches of being off for me does not cause me to be more productive–it has quite the opposite effect. With all that time looming before me, I find that I can procrastinate till the cows come home and then some.

I could tell you that I didn’t write because my muse left me, but I’m pretty sure I don’t have one. I’m just a pound it out at the keyboard kinda gal. 

I could tell you that I didn’t write because the Music of the Spheres quit playing, but that would just be a lie since I’ve never heard them play.

I could tell you that I didn’t write because someone told me that my writing sucked, but that’s not true because apparently some of you actually like to read it.

What I can tell you is that I started reading advice like don’t blog more that once a week, stick to one topic, have a set schedule, always include a photo to make it more interesting . . .

I started over thinking the whole deal.

Oh, and I got lazy.

Dear Readers, with that I have fulfilled my homework assignment for tonight, and I plan to pound the keyboard regularly once again.