Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bird Bird Bird Bird Dog?

Some people have exotic birds flitting to and fro in their back yard. Me? I have sparrows. Hubs built this birdhouse originally for blue birds. Sadly, they moved in to a posh penthouse next door. After the sparrows moved in, Hubs gave up and added a perch.
Looks like Mama found something good.
Num num num num num.....
"Hey! What 'cha lookin' at?"
"Can't you take a hint? Go! Get out of here!"
Okay, so this isn't a bird, but he's so cute I couldn't resist.

Linking to the Bird D'pot

Mom and me...
Happy Mother's Day!

Small Town Critters and a Flower or Two

I've always heard of a town named Trowbridge and knew it was west of Neoga, so on our ramble last weekend, Fergus and I checked it out.
I thought we might be lost, but this sign pointed us in the right direction.
What we found wasn't necessarily what you would call a town, more like a few houses on both sides of the road... old barn with a rusty roof...
...and this barn. Sadly a drive-by shooting only gained me an obscured view. There were people staring at me so didn't want to hang around too long. :)
On the edge of town Fergus alerted me to this donkey critter. He was happily munching on that fresh spring grass...
...until he tired of Fergus barking and showed his disdain by turning his back.
Mr. Donkey had a horse friend who didn't seem to mind Fergus hanging his head out the window.

Linking to Saturday's Critters

Hubs has planted and hung our window boxes, which actually are hanging just below our screened in porch and not a window at all.
This is a pink clematis, which is really lavender and pink, but it's hard to tell in these shots. Our house is on a major street, so Hubs added a trellis for them to climb on, which will keep passerbys from staring at us when we are sitting on the porch.
He added some pink petunias...
...and Snapdragons. 

Linking to Today's Flowers

Hope you are having a wonderful weekend. We are supposed to have a nice day today, but rain the next 3 or 4 days. I hope the farmers are all finished planting.

Friday, May 9, 2014

W is for...

The Whitling Whimsy Cafe!
Last weekend, daughter and granddaughter came down to take me out to dinner for my birthday. They wanted to know where I wanted to go. "This isn't Dallas," I said. "The choices are extremely limited." Here in town we have a Subway and The Fillin' Station. Subway is open reasonable hours, but The Fillin' Station is only open during the evening on Wednesday and Friday and this was Saturday.
Then I remembered the Whitling Whimsy Cafe from my post about Casey, Illinois. If you have an interest this is the LINK. So, even though it was a bit of a drive, I suggested we give it a try.

 This isn't a sit down and the waitress takes your order kind of restaurant, this is an order at the counter and then choose your seat while you wait for your food to arrive at the table. The employees were congenial and gave excellent suggestions as to what to try. I ordered the chicken salad sandwich which came with chips and a drink. The iced tea was tasty. Daughter and Granddaughter chose 1/2 a chicken salad sandwich and soup. Daughter ordered tomato basil and Granddaughter ordered cheesey rice (I think). It was my birthday dinner and I am getting up there in years. So, it's alright if I forget that one tiny detail, right?

Anyway, the food was delectable!

As we were waiting on our food, we looked around. Granddaughter pointed out a sign. Hmm...the game was on. What items could we find beginning with the letter W.
Believe me, there were lots, beginning with the 2 huge Ws hanging from the ceiling. I probably could have gotten both of them in had I sprawled out in the middle of the floor on my back. Didn't!
And there were tons of items decorating the ledge around the room, beginning with W, starting with the wheel on the far side. and ending with...
 ...the Guinness World Records Certificate. What is the world record for?
Well, it's the massive wind chime outside. Daughter is admiring the view. Granddaughter is taking pictures like her Grandma. The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

So, if you are ever in Casey, Illinois stop in for a bite at the Whitling Whimsy Cafe and enjoy listening to the wind chime.

And while you are in Casey, don't forget to see the world's largest crochet hook, the world's largest knitting needles, the world's largest golf tee, and coming soon! the world's largest rocking chair.

Linking to Skywatch Friday

Linking to Weekend Reflections

Happy Friday!!!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Good Fences

On the way to Neoga, I decided to take a side trip down a road where my family lived for a summer. We had sold the house we were living in and Dad was building another, so we needed a temporary home. My dad's sister had a rental house that was vacant, so we moved in. This was the summer between 2nd and 3rd grade.
I was a little disappointed in what I found. The road was blocked and the house appears to be vacant. The barn wasn't there back in the day. I learned to ride my bicycle on this lane. It was a fun summer. I was happy to find a fence to post, though. There are cows and horses inside the fence, but they were back between the barn and the house so I couldn't get a good shot.
 This isn't really a fence, it is a grape arbor, but it looks like a fence.
On the way back home, I found this freshly painted fence down an old country road.

It was a beautiful day for a ramble. I hope next weekend is as nice so I can take another drive.

Linking to Good Fences

A Bird, a Barn, a Grain Bin, and Hodge Podge

Yay, it's Wednesday. The worst part of my week is over. From here on out it is merely finishing up what Monday and Tuesday left undone. Life is good.
This European Starling was enjoying leftovers on the ground.

Linking to Wild Bird Wednesday

This is one of the most unique barns around here, but the picture turned otu blurry so I had to tweak it. Looks better in black and white. I'll have to drive by and take another picture next time I'm in the area.

Linking to Black and White Wednesday

The farmers are out in force, trying to get the fields planted while the weather holds out. This is a familiar site in my neck-of-the-woods. 

Linking to Rurality

1. Share something you appreciate (or something you appreciated as you were growing up) about your mother.

My mother was one of the gentlest, kindest persons I have ever known. I don't remember her ever saying a bad word about anyone.

2.  A quote most commonly ascribed to Plato reads "Necessity is the mother of invention." When did this last play out in your own experience?

When my children were young, trying to entertain them on a shoestring budget. I was always on a quest to find free or cheap things to do. 

3. Share one of the earliest memories you have from childhood.

I remember running down the lane with my brother from our house to the main road, where the train tracks were. We waved to the engineer on the train and he would wave back and blow the whistle.

4. When did you last 'hit the mother lode'? What was it?

Mother lode makes me think of gold or money. I haven't won the lottery yet, but I occasionally buy a ticket.  My mother lode isn't monetary, it's my grandchildren. I have 5 and they are the joy in my life.

5. What is/was your favorite dish mom made? Do you make that dish for your family/friends now that you're all grown up?

My mom made the absolute best cobbler ever. Her cobblers were reallly a pie made in a 9 X 13 baking dish with both a bottom and top crust. Apple was my favorite, but she also made blackberry cobbler from berries we picked on our land. I occasionally make both, but haven't in a long time. Note to self, make one for the next holiday meal.

6. Mother May I? was at one time a popular children's game. It required no equipment or parts to play. What was your favorite childhood game where you could just turn up and play-no gear needed?

I remember playing Simon Says and Hide-and-Seek with my brother. My favorite game was pretend. We were always pretending to be or do something. Once my dad brought home a blackboard out of a school that was being torn down. My brother drew an airplane cockpit with chalk. We would sit in front of that blackboard for hours pretending we were flying an airplane. We travelled the world. 

7. Which TV mom (past or present) is your favorite, and why?

Beaver's mom, June Cleaver. Not sure why. She was the first TV mom that popped into my head. She was always in the kitchen cooking and was nice yet firm with her boys.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

My random thought stems from this past weekend and really has nothing to do with a mom unless you would consider my actions mom-like. Last Saturday I drove down to The Rez to check on the geese family. When I drove up there were some people fishing in different spots on both sides of The Rez. The geese usually hang out on the west side on the dam that separates The Rez from some murky water on the other side. And as usual, they were there. But, there was also a boy of about 12 years of age, with a stick, running toward the geese. The gander took off after the boy and he ran away. I thought Mr. Gander scared him away, but the boy ran toward them again. The gander again chased him away. The boy then picked up some rocks and started throwing them. Although I'm sure the boys mom and dad were the couple fishing nearby, they didn't say or do anything, so I decided it was my responsibility. I drove my car down near where th boy was, rolled down my window and yelled in my meanest mom voice, " Hey! You! Leave the geese alone!" The boy wouldn't look at me, he hid behind a tree. I pulled the car where I could see him from the rear view mirror and watched until he left. I feel a little guilty about yelling at him. Perhaps I could have handled it better, but my instinct was to protect the wildlife.

Linking to Wednesday Hodgepodge

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Our World - Neoga

Sunday Fergus and I went for a ramble through the countryside and decided to stop in Neoga for a cold drink
My mother was born out in the country near here and lived in town as a child.
The population as of the 2000 census was 1,854. Neoga was incorporated in 1856. The name Neoga means "deer" in the Indian language Kickapoo.
The first thing I noticed when I drove into town was the huge grain bins. Upon closer inspection I saw one of my favorite things—a train.
So, of course, I had to take another picture or 10.
The vacant building to the left was once Kern's Manufacturing. My mother worked there as a young woman and went back to work when I was a preschooler. They made bras or what was then known as brassieres. I applied and was actually hired when I still lived in Illinois. I made it 2 1/2 days. Sewing all day was not my cup of tea. The factory is still in Neoga, but it is housed in a brand new building on the western edge of town. 
This mural is on the north side of the old Kerns building. Since it included a train, I had to take a picture.
I saw these brightly colored posts along the edge of a parking lot. They were uneven, seemingly placed willy-nilly between the sidewalk and parking area. 
I was sad to see Short Furniture had gone out of business. My mom and dad always bought furniture there and when I bought my house here in Illinois, Most of my furniture came from there also. My dining room table and hutch were being unloaded when I was there looking for dining room furniture. I bought it without ever even seeing it set up. The hutch was exactly what I had been looking for and the color was perfect. 
There are 3 restaurants on the main street. I've never tried any of them, but would be interested in trying them sometime when Hubs has a weekend off.
Sorry to end on a sad note. The doctor's office on the left, with the green roof, is hard for me to look at or talk about. My mother's doctor was there. She had an appointment and was in her car in the parking lot when she passed away. I always feel sad when I see that building. Yet there is some comfort in knowing she passed away in the same town where she was born. Her life had come full circle.

Linking to Our World Tuesday

Monday, May 5, 2014

Rubbish Tuesday

Love it when I find an old windmill. Like this one at Douglas Hart Nature Center. I remember seeing them everywhere when I was but a mere child. Now they are getting hard to find.  I wasn't sure what they were used for, but I always thought to pump water. So, to be sure before I posted incorrect information, I pulled up Wiki.

Wiki tells me these are actually called windpumps, but are known as windmills, and were used to pump water. They were used on farms and ranches in the USA, Canada, Southern Africa, and Australia. They have a large number of blades so they turn slowly in low winds and self-regulate in high winds. The farm windpump was invented by Daniel Halladay in 1854. Originally, they had wooden blades. In the late 19th century steel blades and steel towers replaced the wooden construction. At their peak in 1930, an estimated 600,000 units were in use.

Above is one of the newfangled variety. This one isn't for pumping water, it generates electricity.

The plan was to have name only on the link, but obviously I messsed that up. Will I ever get this linkey thing right?  Probably not, but it is an adventure every time I click 'publish'.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

American Coot

As usual, I went for a drive around The Rez and found this guy swimming all alone along the shore. He wasn't as skittish as most. He allowed me a fairly close shot before moving to the far side.

Linking to the Bird D'pot