I went to see my brother Bob here in town the other day. He is staying at a nice place. Lots of things for them to do. I got comped a meal with him. It was excellent.
Desert was bread pudding!! It was right out of the oven.
On July 4th, while I was in bed sleeping. Bob got up and did a mile in the halls of his place in his wheelchair. Six laps, he got this medal to celebrate. Not only was I asleep, I had covid so I couldn’t go cheer him on and take photos.
Last weekend, the Tulsa Urban Wilderness Coalition had a work day on Turkey Mountain. Lots of people showed up to do some really hard work repairing erosion damage and rebuilding jumps and all that heavy work. Kudos to them.
What did I do that day? I watered the butterfly garden.
And took videos of the cottonwood trees shimmering in the breeze.
I also gathered up my loppers, a trash bag, and my 32 oz water container and ventured out onto a lesser used trail picking up litter and lopping limbs that intrude on the trail too much. So I didn’t do the big heavy lifting that others were doing but I was doing what I could.
So for a musical interlude, “American Kids” by Kenny Chesney. A fun summertime song. Enjoy
I was on Tulsa’s Turkey Mountain the other day and came across something I had forgot about. A Human Sundial.
Here is what it looks like
And here is the instructions and the guy who put it together as an Eagle Scout Project.
So, I stepped on the July step, and sure enough, it gave the correct time. Corrected for daylight savings time of course. I remember discovering this years ago and I completely forgot about it. Nice to find stuff like this again.
Kudos to the Eagle Scouts of the World and their multitude of projects.
I was going to go work on our sprinkler system this morning but I went outside and saw momma cottontail underneath the bench in our back yard. This means she probably has a kit stashed not too close and not too far away. I decided not to stress her so I’ll be leaving her alone until she leaves on her own.
She’s laying down chilling but very alert.
Other pics of cottontails in our yard. Might be her, might be somebody else, I can’t tell.
They get very still. They can’t fight at all but they can remain still and can run very fast in a herky jerky manner.
I’ve been laid up lately so I haven’t been taking any skywatch photos. So what does any self respecting blogger do in such a case? Of course they go to the archives. So here are some photos from a family trip to Idaho and Wyoming back in 2012
This is the back end of a thunderstorm that went through swan valley. The whole sky opened up in a deluge that lasted maybe two or three minutes and then it was over. The deluge was still happening it was just moving toward Wyoming quickly.
We were stopped at a store at Rainey Creek, Idaho. They sell square ice cream in many different flavors, and ours is huckleberry. I strongly recommend it.
Later in the day, we got to the Grand Teton National Park. We went to Mormon Row home of the most photographed barns in the world. The Mouton barns.
They were some bison there munching away on the tasty grass.
We had gone there to visit my father. Here we are on Teton Pass that afternoon.
Anyway, thanks for letting me do the blast from the past. It brings back lots of great memories.
Come check out Skywatch Friday. Lots of talented bloggers post their best work there.
I got cleared by my doctor today to go out and about so next week I’ll have new photos. Gotta tell you that though that they are not going to be of the Tetons or of a mountain storm passing through.
At the very end of June I came down with a huge allergy attack. I get them every once in a while but decreasingly over the years as I have learned strategies from my doctor to nip them in the bud. This attack’s bud wouldn’t be nipped.
So at the beginning of July I broke up open a Covid Test and boy was it positive. I didn’t have to wait 15 minutes, as the sample percolated past the test line it brightened up with a big huge positive! Dang, I got Covid-19 or as some idiots call it, “The China Flue”, or the “Kung Flu”, “The Rona”,
So I isolated. I ate a lot of meals outside on the patio, at the kitchen counter standing up.
We were trying to figure out the rules. It was probably okay for me to load the dishwasher, but not to unload it. No sticking my hand in the frito bag in the pantry elsewise it is mine. That’s easy, it became mine. I moved upstairs and tried to keep to myself.
I’m retired so I didn’t really get a “Coronacation” and I was taking OTC decongestants that don’t mix with alcohol very well so I didn’t mix any “Quarantinis.” That first day I felt like crap and being the last day before a three day holiday the earliest virtual doctor visit I could get is going to be the day after I can emerge from my “iso.” I was able to turn things around by the next day. I didn’t have a fever and and my blood oxygenation stayed in the 96% to 100% range. The only thing is that every evening I get a huge headache that the OTC doesn’t really touch. It generally fades away after four hours and I sleep well.
Today, I’m on very little meds. I am very fortunate. I have personally known several people who died from this disease, most of them people younger than me. I had an adult friend who’s adult child died of it late last year after three months of misery in a hospital. I don’t know what these people’s vaccination status was, and I don’t really care. It doesn’t matter.
Ironically, I tested positive about two weeks after getting my second booster. That makes four jabs. The first jab caused no issues at all, the second caused minor problems on the day after as did the third injection. This last one kicked my butt for three days! Not bad but I was definitely “off my feed” as my cowboy friends might say.
So anyway, I’m lucky. For the longest time I thought every morning that I had it because I feel lousy most mornings because of almost year round allergy issues. And then after a while, it seemed like I was never going to get it.
But it got me this time. Now I am trying to figure out the way forward. Using the CDC “tool” online it looks like I can leave isolation the day after tomorrow but I should wear a mask when I am around others for five more days. (I never had a fever and symptoms are improving). (Check here for the CDC guidelines.)
What have I been doing on my coronacation. Reading a lot, online jigsaw puzzles. Checking out blogs, and seeing Lizzy the cat. She misses me.
She comes up a lot. Sometimes to just to say hello, other times whe wants petted, and sometimes she comes up and sits beside me. She doesn’t wear a mask though.
Anyway, I am looking forward to getting out of the house the day after tomorrow after my virtual doctor visit. Sorry, we can’t get together after that until next week.
The other day our little pomeranian Rascal had been outside and wanted in, the only problem was that a baby bunny was hanging from his mouth. The little critter was already gone. Now Rascal was just doing what dogs do, right? Heather went out and found its sibling about six feet from the nest looking scared to death and helpless.
A quick consultation with my friend Mr. Google indicated that the best thing we could do was just leave it alone. We did although it was a hot day and all that, so monitored it through our bedroom window and it survived the rest of that day and to the next afternoon when it looked like it was rallying a little bit and seemed to be more energetic and active.
And of course we watched Rascal closely when we let him out side to do his thing. And I’m happy to report that the little bunny has made it to some cover and is being closely monitored by its mother so we are happy that our non-intervention plan worked. (so far at least).
In other news I am sad to report that I have come down with Covid. The symptoms I am having are like a really bad allergy attack. And since it is a holiday weekend I couldn’t a teleappointment until Wednesday which is the day, if I don’t have a fever, that the CDC says that I can end isolation. Kind of sucks being sick at the start of a holiday weekend but I think I’ll be fine. I just don’t want to be cooped up but that is just the way it is.
We just had the primary elections in Oklahoma and of course I voted. If you had elections I hope you did the same.
We had a huge hot spell for a while and then lately it has been lots cooler and drier. I have to advantage of that.
One day I went to Turkey Mountain and hiked about three miles. My knee that has been bothering me was not a problem. That made me happy.
I moseyed along on the new trails and some old trails. I love being retired. You got the woods to yourself most weekdays!
I found a good vantage point on the mountain to see the Arkansas River and south Tulsa on the other side. This truly is an Urban Wilderness.
One day Heather and I bicycled 15 miles on the RiverParks trails. Doesn’t sound like much but it was a nice time.
At the house, the crepe myrtles are loving the sun. I posted this image on instagram and while I was thinking crepe myrtles, I typed out azaleas. Nobody said a thing about it except my wife. You need wives like Heather keep you straight. In other news along that line, I had some books to return to the library and so I went there and tried to put them in the book return slot and they wouldn’t fit. You know why? Cuz I was at the post office, that’s why. Heather got a laugh out of that as well. And I’m saying the books would have eventually got back to the library.
And another sunny photo at my MIL’s swimming pool. The net is up because my skin is so white that it causes sun reflections that blind our nations surveillance satellites. Don’t buy that, how about this? The local ducks took to using the pool as their hangout spot. Turns out that ducks can foul pool water quickly.
So that’s about it for me. I hope that everybody (in the northern hemisphere) is enjoying their summer. You folks way down south, just hang in there it will be your turn to have summer in several months. You guys in the tropics. Just enjoy if you can.
This past weekend I attended the Route 66 Roadfest in Tulsa. It was an event sponsored by AAA to celebrate all things Route 66. They had a similar event in Oklahoma City the previous weekend.
The event features cars (lots of cars!), music (which I missed).
They had a section on vintage travel trailers.
When I was a kid our family had a similar trailer, a little bit bigger. We went all over the place in the thing in our family of five. Soon, my brother and I got kicked out into a tent on our own, which was fine with us.
The thing I wasn’t expecting and enjoyed the most is the “pods” they had set up showing the history of the Route 66 by decade and highlights of the culture of that time. The above diner was in the 1950’s pod. They had hosts in costume who would show you around. (Who knew that women in poodle skirts could be so fetching?) So each pod was like a time capsule.
Also, in the 1950’s pod was a display of photographs by Charles and Irene Custer who got married in 1950 and took off on Route 66 supporting themselves with photography. Fast forward to recently when somebody found almost 90 negatives in a barn made with a medium format camera. They processed the photos, digitized them and put them on internet. They are incredible. Check out the site here. (I am not displaying any because they are copyrighted so check out the link.) They are incredible visions of an all but forgotten world.
The above was in the 60’s pod showing a wall on school safety. When I was in grade school in Price, UT I was so jealous of the crossings guards. I wanted to be one but I was not a cool kid.
Remember window decals. So many families plastered their cars with travel decals. There were two types of families back then, window decal families, and people who wouldn’t be caught dead with them (that was us.) It was fun looking at all the old stuff and talking with the people there. I loved the pods and had no idea they would be part of the show.
The best part though I just stumbled onto. Michael Wallis, the writer and historian, who wrote “Route 66: The Mother Road” among 20 or so other books, participated in a conversation about the history and culture of the road. His book is credited with a resurgence in interest of Route 66. He did most of the talking. And he is a great talker with a wonderful voice. “He was the voice of the Sheriff in the animated movies Cars.” Some of the high points of what he said were:
He looks at the road, stretching from Chicago to Santa Monica, as a one big community traversing eight states. He said it is Blue on either end and red in the middle but the road itself is purple with very little rancor like you see in the rest of country. He is hoping that the road will help bring the country together as it approaches its centennial in 2026.
He talked about how we cannot romanticize history. We have to be on a continual search for the truth. He said for example people get upset when he brings up the fact that the businesses on the road were just as racist as any place in the deep south and there were a bunch of sundown towns where people of color were not allowed to be after sundown. He said the racisim ebbed away after the Civil Rights laws of the 60’s were enacted. He said history is never set, it is like an onion that has many different layers and one cannot be afraid of you will find out.
He said the road is for travelers not tourists. It is for people who are not in a big hurry and like to stop and look at things and try out local restaurants and independent motels instead of the chains.
He also told a bunch of stories. One of my favorites concerned a snake pit in the Texas panhandle where a business had a pit holding dozens of rattlesnakes. He said at 4 pm every day a friendly grandmotherly lady would come out with a basket little chicks in it and dump them into the pit. He said that was a big hit. He had a bunch of other funny stories to tell.
He finished by saying, “Remember, life begins at the off-ramp.”
His 45 minutes flew by. It was the best part of the show.
I think they are going to have this show yearly leading up to the centennial of the road in 2026. I’ll be back!! (And I’ll take in the music next time!!)
It’s been hot lately, 100 F or over several days in a row. We added an extra water bowl to the two bird baths plus a fountain that we already have and we get a steady stream of customers. We have a rabbit who hangs out underneath the bench most of the day from about 9 am to 4 pm and then disappears. At first I thought it was kind of sickly but it does appear robust so maybe its a doe that has some kits stashed nearby.