The Altenburg Lutheran Heritage Center & Museum has brought back their ever-popular Christmas tree display. The museum has undergone some major renovations to make more room for genealogical research, so I was wondering how they were going to find space for all the trees I had seen in previous years.
Director Carla Jordan said they have about the same 47 give-or-take trees they’ve always had, but they’ve made more efficient use of the space available. I’ve been going to the exhibit since 2010, and I recognize some ornaments, but they are used in different ways, so don’t think just because you’ve seen it once that it’ll look the same.
If you are looking for decorating ideas before putting up your own tree, you’ll find some great ideas here. The museum is open daily 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free (and the place has the cleanest bathrooms in SE MO). The volunteer staff will make you feel right at home. This was one of my mother’s favorite places. It’s a pleasant 30-mile drive from Cape over some beautiful farm country. The exhibit will be up from now through January 15.
Thursday was a pretty productive day. Back in 2013, I wrote about finding Keith Robinson’s Boy Scout canteen. Mother kept bugging me, “When is that boy going to come by and pick it up?”
Keith, my go-to guy for all things railroading emailed he was going to be escaping Kansas City for a few days to come to Cape. FINALLY, a chance to get rid of this crazy canteen.
We made arrangements to meet at the Jackson at the Cape County History Center. It turned out that he and his dad knew some of the people mentioned in the museum’s exhibits.
Journey to the Land of Liver & Onions
Museum director Carla Jordan shares my love of liver and onions, so she said she’d buy dinner at the Mississippi Mud in Altenburg if I’d drive. I rhapsodized about how good the Mud’s L&O were on September 11. Well, they were even better Thursday night. The meat was so tender you could cut it with a fork; the onions were grilled just right, and my two sides of cheesy mashed potatoes and corn couldn’t be beat.
Carla and I shared our table with Gerard Fiehler and Lynn Degenhardt; two more museum folks filled in the table next to us. Lips were smacked and plates were cleaned. I can see myself making a pilgrimage to Altenburg every Thursday night until I get my fill of Innards and Onions.
I can’t go to East Perry county without dipping down to Tower Rock. Carla and Gerard piled into the van and we got to The Rock at the crack of dusk. Our timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Click on the photo to make it larger.
Here’s why I don’t wade
The river’s going to have to fall about another three feet before you’ll be able to walk out to Tower Rock.
I was up there two days earlier hoping the leaves had turned, but they still needed a few more days of cold weather. This catfish was sitting on the rock where Mother used to scoop up some of the best persimmons to ever hang on a tree.
My thought was, “If the fisherman didn’t keep this guy because he was ‘too small,’ I don’t want to stick my feet into any water that would hold his big brother.”
I whined on Facebook Wednesday that I was tired of eating frozen microwaved dinners and needed somebody to nudge me to a craving. I ended up visiting the El Sol on Broadway for the first time and chowing down on an excellent platter of nachos.
Museum Maven Carla Jordan pointed out that if I could hold out until Thursday night, I could feast on the liver and onion special at Altenburg’s newly refurbed Mississippi Mud Saloon. I love L&O, so Thursday evening saw me bellied up to the bar between The Missourian’sNancy Hadler and Gerard Fiehler from the Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum.
The photo doesn’t do the dish justice. I’m a lousy food reviewer because I’m more interested in consumption than documentation. I had already taken a couple of bites before even thinking about pulling out my Droid smart phone to record this. The funky bar lighting gave the meal a strange cast.
Sharp knife or tender meat?
When the server brought out my meal, I made a quick cut and asked her, “Is this a really sharp knife or is the liver really tender?”
“Use your fork. You won’t need a knife.” She was right.
I’ll be back. The only minor problem for me is that it’s a bar that allows smoking. I was lucky that nobody around me was puffing away Thursday. Generally you can find a table that’s relatively smoke-free.
It was too dark to get a good shot of the front of the building, so I’ll substitute this picture taken through the front door of the now-defunct Altenburg Grocery in 2011.
If I’m reading the news stories correctly, this is the big year for cicadas in Missouri and the Midwest. The 13-year brood is hitting the southeast part of Missouri at about the same time the 17-year variety is showing up in the northwestern part of the state. They get their names from the number of years they spend underground before coming out and creating a deafening noise.
Click on the photos to make them larger.
Won’t happen for another 221 years
An Associated Press story quoted Rob Lawrence, a forest entomologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation, as saying that this is the only time in this century that the two sets of insects will appear at the same time. After this visit, it’ll be another 221 years before they show up together again.
I’m going to trust the experts who say that broods can contain as many as 10,000 to 1.5 million cicadas per acre. I tried to do a count, but couldn’t decide if I was counting 100 different insects or one bug 100 times.
As loud as a lawnmower
Road Warriorette Shari and I spotted these guys in the treeline bordering the Mississippi River bank in the ghost town of Seventy-Six. The insects are harmless to humans, but they can startle you if you don’t know what they are. They were as plentiful as bees flitting around a rose garden.
The noise is made by the males trying to attract the attention of potential mates. The chorus can reach 90 decibels, as loud as a lawnmower.