Thursday, January 26, 2012

Ghost town winter. . .

White-out #2

Expanding possibilities . . .

Cool picture of how over time, the farmer expanded his small crib log barn into a larger barn with an over hang to protect his wagons, or in more modern times, his tractor.

The boards at the top may have been removed for better ventilation if he was storing hay up top.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Cold but still out of doors

 We are very lucky here in Missouri to have a wonderful Conservation Dept, and they do a fantastic job of making the out-of-doors accessible to just about every one. And every chance we get, we like to explore another area.
Well Powder Valley, where we went Sat. is one of wife's and daughter's favorite places to go.
This was my first time.
A nice big visitors area is ideal for bird-watchers, which wife is very good at.
 But first, we were greeted by a very big frog.
Inside bird viewing area is all glass, looking out over the feeding platforms.
 Lots of books and posters to help tell you what you are seeing.
We saw cardinals, blue-jays, juncos, wrens, finches and two types of woodpeckers, along with several other birds.
Feeders even have a microphone so you can hear the birds.
 Close up of a couple of woodpeckers.
 Landscaped waterfall so birds can drink.
 In the rest of the building there is lots of interactive stuff for the kids to explore.
Here daughter is in a big 'tree house' where she can learn all about the 'wildlife' we can see in our own yard.

 There's also an area where kids can put on 'wildlife' puppet shows.
Two wild critters.
 Right next to the viewing area is a wonderful fireplace that they usually have going,. . . but not today.
Boy we could have used it when we got back from our hike.
 Daughter and I did get outside for a while to explore.
Here she is checking out the creek.

We also spotted four deer on our walk.
Favorite outdoor game . . . 'Poke a stick in the water (ice)'

What a great day!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Going with the weather. . . . "White-out'

A log cabin poem by Robert Service . . .

The Little Old Log Cabin

When a man gits on his uppers in a hard-pan sort of town,
An' he ain't got nothin' comin' an' he can't afford ter eat,

An' he's in a fix for lodgin' an' he wanders up an' down,

An' you'd fancy he'd been boozin', he's so locoed 'bout the feet;

When he's feelin' sneakin' sorry an' his belt is hangin' slack,

An' his face is peaked an' gray-like an' his heart gits down an' whines,

Then he's apt ter git a-thinkin' an' a-wishin' he was back

In the little ol' log cabin in the shadder of the pines.

When he's on the blazin' desert an' his canteen's sprung a leak,

An' he's all alone an' crazy an' he's crawlin' like a snail,

An' his tongue's so black an' swollen that it hurts him fer to speak,

An' he gouges down fer water an' the raven's on his trail;

When he's done with care and cursin' an' he feels more like to cry,

An' he sees ol' Death a-grinnin' an' he thinks upon his crimes,

Then he's like ter hev' a vision, as he settles down ter die,

Of the little ol' log cabin an' the roses an' the vines.

Oh, the little ol' log cabin, it's a solemn shinin' mark,

When a feller gits ter sinnin' an' a-goin' ter the wall,

An' folks don't understand him an' he's gropin' in the dark,

An' he's sick of bein' cursed at an' he's longin' fer his call!

When the sun of life's a-sinkin' you can see it 'way above,

On the hill from out the shadder in a glory 'gin the sky,

An' your mother's voice is callin', an' her arms are stretched in love,

An' somehow you're glad you're goin', an' you ain't a-scared to die;

When you'll be like a kid again an' nestle to her breast,

An' never leave its shelter, an' forget, an' love, an' rest

The Service Cabin . . . How it looked then. .

The Service Cabin . . . How it looks now.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Expedition and pilgrimage Jan 2012

Many years ago when I first started working in OFallon there was still an old general store that still served the town. It lasted into the early 80's. I had heard about the one shown on the left, Crane's, for many years as still being an old general store. And after several tries to catch it open when I would go by, finally found it so this past Saturday. Although looking modern on the outside, it still retains it's old metal siding which probably goes back almost a hundred years. The front porch and all the concrete take very much away from the exterior appeal, but is necessary for all the traffic.  


Here is daughter going in the front door.
The inside still carries many of the things you would hope to find in an old hardware store, but you can tell it has almost become more of an old store museum than functioning hardware store.
(Maybe the locals who still use it avoid it at high tourist hours.)
In the center (not shown here) is the biggest wood burning stove I have ever seen, still heating the place with chairs around ready for a checker game.
Daughter found this old nuts and bolt holder interesting and explored many of the drawers.
The building is very crowded and full.
The old counter still displays goods.
You can get a sandwich and soda if you want.
Hanging from all the rafters are things you could have bought 50, 100 years ago, now just on display.
But, if you do need a pair of carhartt's or work boots they have hundreds of them.
Loved going in the store, and will do so again (lots to see) but most of the traffic now is tourists, and I guess that's ok.
Grandma and daughter sitting out front.
Second stop of our day was the old Union Covered bridge near Paris Mo.
A very elegant bridge, restored a couple of times.
The missing siding was to allow water to flow through during a flood in 2008.
Daughter on the west side.
Wonderful timbers inside.

 Perfect place for a warm Jan. day picnic.

As with most covered bridges, they were built next to the low water crossing and the bridges would only be used at high water or during winter when the stream was cold or frozen.
We found time to explore.
Could not believe it was Jan. 8th.
Third stop would be Shelbina.
Whenever I go to Shelbina I always like looking at this old house. The new owners are doing a great job fixing it up.
Sold for a song a few years ago.

Shelbina also means checking on the kittens.
Can't complain when your day ends like this.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How they look when they are coming down. . .

Log barn I helped my nephew take down several years ago.
As you can see, the barn was rather large, but only it's heart was the log crib.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Happy New Year!

There is not many things as satisfying on a cold day than getting a nice bunch of firewood split and stacked.

 And that is what today, Jan 2nd., was all about.
It was a very cold and windy day. Around 19 degrees when I got to the cabin, with an inside temp. of about 30.
 I spent a good number of hours cutting, splitting and stacking several wind downed trees.
Enough for the rest of the winter at the cabin and plenty I believe for home also.
 The chore was made a lot easier by a present my wife got me for Christmas this year.
The one she had gotten me several years ago had disappeared from her trunk during a rash of robberies where she works.
 Tested out the new gaskets in the stove. That had been a lot tougher project than I had expected, but all seemed to turn our fine.

Cabin temp when I arrived, around 30.
When I went home, around 52.
And of course I finished with the new beer tradition.
First one for 2012.
Billed itself as an English ale, and I have to say I enjoyed it.
Very smooth, and would take one when offered.

Happy New Year!