Friday, December 21, 2012

A great list of knots.

Many years ago, before there was even the International Knot Tying guild, I came across this book. It is now considered the bible on knot tying.

The book was written when natural fibers were used in rope making and the book does not go into how some of the older knots can not be used with the newer rope materials.

It is a fun book, one which I carried around a lot, trying to learn many of them.

Lots of great apps out there now for IPADS and such.

Check out the list of knots on wikepedia.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Solo expedition. . .

 A couple of weekends ago, while wife and daughter helped around Great Grandma's farm house for a few days, I had some time to myself.
One of these days I set out to explore an old farmstead that I have been spotting for a couple of years on our drives back and forth.
It sits off the highway, pretty far back, across a creek bottom field.

The day I went by the owner was outside so I asked permission to take some photo's and he said fine and we ended up having a good long talk about the place.

The farm was settled by his family in 1817. And they first lived in a log cabin on the site. They built this big classic beauty in 1840. When the present owner started coming here his folks lived in St Louis and shipped him off to the farm to spend most of his time with his grandparents.

The house has been tuck-pointed at some point and maintained well.
A porch no longer covers the front of the house, but you can still see the outline of where it had been.
The only thing detracting from the look of the place is the new windows. Although the shape of the window openings is the same, the newer style windows do not belong.
I am sure it was done to help cool and heat the place better.

A neat stone building is attached at the back.

It is in very fine shape.

 Also on this trip I explored some more back roads and came across this wonderful old church at Mt. Air cemetery.
Lovingly maintained next to the cemetery.
I was very much surprised and pleased to find the place wide open and well furnished.

One big room with a covered entrance.

 Inside was definitely period to about the time the place was built.
This wonderful pump organ.
 Right next to the beautiful bookcase holding bibles and hymnals

On the wall the page and attendance board.
 On another wall, this old upright piano.
 Keys on the organ.
 This is the second stove covering we have come across in the last year to make a stove safer and better looking.
 Tucked behind an extra bench is old folding tables that could be set up outside for nice weather functions.
 Although, as you can see, not original to these doors, the locks and bolts being used are still very old.
 I was afraid to turn to many pages in the bible for fair of pages coming out, so I did not find the date it was printed. But it sure was old.
Lined up, ready for church.

 The cemetery also was well taken care of, with some very old dates.
 I have never seen this type of raised plot before.
As you can see, at least four markers on top.
Probably a horse and carriage step.
There were two on the site.

 I also checked out a couple of old barns.
One in better shape. . .
. . . than another.

Also drove through Vandalia Mo and found that the old hotel, although decorated for Christmas, was for sale.
Vandalia has a very nice old main street.

But, alas, not everything I went past was worth saving.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Milestones - Another one reached.

Through out our lives we are reaching and passing milestones, real or self imposed.
Some of these milestones are set by our families or society, but non-the-less we are expected to reach them and pass them.
Some, like graduations, birthdays and awards we celebrate.
Others quietly go by unannounced.
Some we can't wait to reach; most of our birthdays when we are young, winning competitions in school or sports, first prom, your first jock strap (well, except for the part where your mom is there when you get it and pays for it.)
Others, like birthdays over 40, or all the years we work at one place till the year we retire, we hope slip by unnoticed.
Some we wear as badges of honor; passing our drivers test, conformation, reaching the age old enough to vote or drink, our first kiss, our first time to . . .well you know. . . .
Others we just grit our teeth and carry on; your first colonoscopy, the first time your doctor tells you to exercise and eat more bran.
You never think you are going to make some of them; reaching forty when you are in your twenties, reaching any age when you get past fifty, your first kiss, your first time to. .   well you know. . . .
Some of them you hope you never reach; making it to forty when you are in your twenties, having to get your first job, having to make your first speech.

But none-the-less, milestone are out there and they come and go, whether real or self imposed.

I reached another this past Sunday. I hadn't been expecting it, there was no warning. It wasn't even one I had though about having to pass or even reach. And I didn't realize I had even reached the point of being able to consider it.
But it happened anyway, no fanfare, no balloons and if I hadn't commented on it myself, it would have passed unnoticed.

We usually go out to eat Sundays after church. Having a light breakfast before church usually means we are ready for a good late breakfast or lunch right after, It has become something we look forward to. We don't always go to the same place, but we do go to some more than others.
This past Sunday we returned to Bob Evans. At the time we usually arrive you are caught in that never land  between breakfast and lunch, so the menu is wide open to suit most tastes.
Wife ordered an omelet, daughter ordered a kids cheeseburger and green beans and I, seeing something I liked, in a portion I found appealing, ordered Chicken Pot pie.
It was only while reading the surrounding text that I realized I was ordering from the SENIOR MENU and that it sounded good, the price was right, the portion suitable, and most importantly, I was old enough to have that privilege.

Now don't get me wrong, other than when my knees really hurt or I am trying to keep up with our six year old, I don't feel or act like a senior. Well, I do have to get up and pee a lot, but I thought that was only cause I drink a lot of tea. But other than that, I still listen to music from the 80's and we don't subscribe to public television and we don't have any chairs around the house that help me up.

The thing that really surprised me about the experience was the fact that I was proud to be able to now chose from that once forbidden category. I had made it. I could now look forward to the day when I can spend my mornings drinking coffee with other retired people at the Hardee's down the street (well, after getting the six year old off to soccer or dance or gymnastics or school or girl scouts or parties).

I didn't find myself looking around to make sure that no one saw me order from "there".
I didn't whisper it to the waitress.
She didn't laugh or ask to see some ID (maybe I should wonder about that one a little).
I just did it and didn't even flinch.
No alarms went off, no balloons came down. Time did not slow down, and it did not grow quiet.

I even enjoyed it, wasn't overly full, and took part of it home.

Another milestone passed.

I can now look forward to that chair that helps me up, and watching public tv.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Scoutings founder as an artist. . .

Illustrations like this one by B-P and other artists like him made for very adventuresome reading up through the 1960's for all adventure seeking kids.

B-P as an artist.