What’s the White Stuff?

The gravel in the driveway was getting a bit thin, so I put about a dozen 50-pound bags of it down several weeks ago. The recent rains exposed some more muddy spots, so I bought another five bags.

The irony is that Dad used to buy gravel by the train-load, probably for what I had just paid for about 20 bags. Anyway, while I was spreading the gravel, I noticed specks of white flying by. I didn’t think it was the fireplace belching ashes, so I watched more closely. Sure enough, some of the pellets were turning into flakes.

You can click on the photos to make them larger.

The Bolton House across the street

I decided I needed to bring in more firewood, so I hauled the wagon outside, then went back inside to piddle around for a few minutes. Suddenly, I saw people in the area posting on Facebook that it was snowing.

Son of a gun, it WAS showing. Snowing enough that the ground was white and I had to empty out the wood wagon before I could load it.

Walnut waiting to become firewood

When I bought Mother’s house from my brothers, I had a list of things that needed to be taken care of. One of the first was to chop down two maple trees that Mother and Dad planted when they bought the house. One of them was so hollow that it was a wonder that it hadn’t fallen on us or the neighbor.

I asked the tree trimmer to cut some dead walnut limbs that were about to fall either on the driveway or the roof. He looked this tree over and said, “You’d be better off to let me take it down now instead of having to come back in a year or so.”

I hated to see it go, but he does this for a living. I let him haul off all the big pieces, but had him leave pieces small enough that I could cut them to fireplace length without having to split them.

Shed in a Box

In 2013, David, Mark and I built Mother a Shed in a Box to park her riding mower in. It was a lot easier for her to do that than to wrestle tarps over it.

It’s getting some stress tears in the tarp top that I’m going to have to patch up with tape as soon as it warms up.

Mother loved having these spinners in the yard so she could tell how hard the wind was blowing. This is the last one left, and it’s only a matter of time before the elements get it, too.

Gradually returning to nature

There was an old tree at the corner of the yard that died many, many years ago. Mark said not to cut it because there were holes in that indicated that it was home for all kind of critters.

Old age and gravity finally won out. It’s gradually becoming compost to feed other plants.

 Needles and flakes

The tiny ice crystals lodged wherever they could. Fortunately, they weren’t accompanied by damaging ice and sleet.

A study in green and red

The holdover red holly berries add a festive touch to the cold. It’s 18 and falling at midnight (feels like 8 degrees), and it’s headed for 11 at 6 a.m. I don’t want to know the “feels like” temperature.

Leafing the Library

This hasn’t been a great season for fall colors in SE Missouri. It was too hot and too dry for the trees to put on a great show for more than a couple of days. I drove around trying to get excited, but there was too much brown for my taste.

If you’re wondering why I’m just getting around to writing about Fall when Spring isn’t far off (Please, please, please), it’s because the framework that drives the blog has been having Old Age issues.

Shaking out the bedbugs

Kid Matt has worked some magic that has given it a new look that’s going to take some getting used to, but will also, hopefully, shake out the bedbugs. By the way, you can click on the photos to make them larger, just like in the old version.

Trees were by the Cape Library

I stopped by the Cape Public Library to swap out some audio books and music CDs. On the way back to the car, the late afternoon set the trees on fire.

Is ‘Librarian Hell’ a real place?

I discovered the old Carnegie Library when it was on the Common Pleas Courthouse lawn. I must have been about 12 when I convinced the librarians that I really COULD read adult books. From then on, I would walk out with a stack of books on Saturday, then swap them out the next weekend.

The new library is one of the nicest I’ve been in. What makes it special for me is that I can wander the stacks and still find books I read half a century ago.

(How do I know? I may go to Librarian Hell for this confession, but I would write my initials very, very small print in the back of the book so I could tell if I had read it before. Some of them are still in circulation.)

The ‘good’ books

Debate partner Pat Sommers had a part-time job at the library, so we used his key to get in to do research when the facility was closed.

Not only did we have access to all the books and periodicals we needed for debate, but Pat knew where the “good” books were that were hidden from public view unless you were (a) an adult and (b) weren’t too embarrassed to ask for them.

Not just books

When I signed up for my library card, I was given a booklet that gave all the rules and regulations, plus a list of things you could check out. 

Take a look at some of things you can borrow: telescopes, WiFi hotspots,  audiobooks (they have a great selection, by the way), and cake pans. Yes, you read that right: cake pans.

It has an inviting kid area and lots of computers. Cape should be proud of its library. (I’d like to find out where they keep the “good” books, but Pat doesn’t work there anymore.)