Sunday, November 1, 2009

Another Safe, Triply Made

We made the trip to East Tennessee to honor and bury our brother, Jim. This was the second trip to Tennessee in October. The first was to see Jim alive; a trip that I knew was to see Jim alive for the last time. The trip down was long and hard due to a never-ending rain, a rain that finally ceased as I pulled into the driveway at Jim’s home in Elizabethton. The rain was unfortunate since it partially obscured the magnificent fall colors we saw throughout the trip through the Shawnee, Hoosier, Daniel Boone, and Cherokee national forests. The heavy rains in October did not lessen the brilliance of the colors since the reduced sunlight (due to cloudy days) contributes to the signal for the colors to begin emerging. The heavy rains also contributed to a major earth slide that closed the interstate from N. Carolina to Tennessee. We had a good visit with Aunt Wanda and Uncle Albert. Albert is not real good. He takes dialysis three times a week. We saw a lot of first cousins. I especially enjoyed talking with Janice and Brenda, my dad’s sisters’ daughters. Brenda is on chemo due to breast cancer, a cancer that appears to be controlled. We went to the funeral home early Wednesday to have a private viewing. The funeral director, a young woman originally From Jacksonville, IL, is Catholic and knows Donna, Jimmy, and knew Jim. She was very kind and professional while frequently lightening the mood. The Knights of Columbus, of which Jim was a fourth order member, provided honor sentry duty over the casket. Jim had a military ceremony at gravesite. He served in both the army and the navy. They even had a real bugler playing taps. The day was cool but brilliantly sunny. The service was long. The Ladies Guild at the church provided lunch. Most of the food was homemade with great variety. Someone provided a sweet potato casserole that was so good I had seconds. We left for home after the dinner and after saying many goodbyes. We once again encountered rain during about half the trip. We got home about 10:30 and went right to bed. I checked the rain gauge and it showed over four inches of rain. We are getting flooding on the rivers in the area. Must have been weird for you not having to move the clock back one hour. The extra sleep here was nice. That’s all from home alone. dad

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I woke up 5 AM this morning, Oct 18 to see the thermometer reading 31 degrees. Sure enough, frost all around. Just bone more lawn mowing (and leaf mulching.

Headed to Auburn this morning. Looking forward to seeing the Townsend’s of Auburn, I'm sure that Brandon and Brooke won't hang around long. They always have something going on. And that's OK, its tough being teenagers so the more good times they have, so much the better.

My boss at work bought me a coconut cream pie for my birthday. They made me tell my age and were surprised. They all said they thought I was around 61. Bless 'em!

The light in the kitchen went totally out. When the house was built, they used non-union electricians. I have worked on four lights in this house and every one of those did not have electrical boxes installed. Those are required by code. I'm surprised it passed inspection. But then again, as dishonest as the contractors were, I am not so surprised.
Anyway, that condition made the job tougher to complete. Your mom wants to replace the light in the bathroom. I know that that has a similar condition.

We drove down Hartman lane yesterday and so a small doe lying dead right by the Richland Creek Bridge. It was removed later in the day. We got an estimate on fixing the dent in the side of the Sable…$300…not bad so we are getting it fixed.

That’s all from Home Alone.

Love to all,


Sunday, October 11, 2009

My Truck

I miss my truck. We go shopping and Grandma ends up buyimg something that is too big for the car.

Went to Highland for the art show. Beautiful weather this weekend. That is better after getting 3 inches of rain on Friday.

Had frost on the roof tops overnight. The new furnace has started kicking in.

We are going to take a ride up along the Great River Road to Grafton today...the fall colors are beginning to peak. Next weekend we will go to Auburn. I look forward to going to Lincoln gardens and the walk along the lake.

I got a new monitor for the computer, a 22 inch wide one from your mom. Thats my birthday gift. On the way home we saw a herd of six deer down by the bridge over Richland Creek. Shoo! Scram!


Sunday, October 4, 2009


This is the best time of year. Lots of festivals, the fields are being cleared, and the deer are running.

It is 41 degrees here this morning. Turned the new heat pump to winter and it does the job. I am thinking about replacing the water heater. It is making rumbling noises. A newer, more energy efficient one is what I am thinking.

Took the Taurus in for new dashboard lights. The car was pretty dark at night. They also changed critical fluids. I have to drive a school bus for a week to pay for those items.

Did I mention that a deer hit the Sable at the end of my Tennessee trip? It left a tuft of hair in the chrome strip and a diner plate dent in the door on the passenger’s side.

I gutted him and put him in the trunk and took him to Jim’s house; venison for everybody.

We went to Papa Vitoes last night. Big crowd there and the pizza was very good.

Finally got the pedestal sink installed in the lower bathroom. Due to plumbing issues, the sink is not square in the wall. Mom was not a happy camper.

I have tickets to the Cardinal final game today. Two tickets but don’t have anyone who can go with me. So I’ll go alone.

That’s all from home alone.


Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sixteen Candles

Sixteen Candles
The beautiful weather continues. WE drove up to Auburn yesterday and enjoyed the views of the lush fields and woods along the way. My favorite area is north of Lebanon where the countryside is rolling and the grain fields seem alive as the wind ripples the tops like the surface of a body of water.
The blacktop road to past Divernon is like a green hallway. The corn is seven feet tall and closes in on the sides like the walls of a green painted hallway, then abruptly opens up with a view of the distant horizon while the clear air acts as a magnifying glass. There is beauty in the Land of Lincoln.

We spent the day with the Townsend’s. Brandon got his spanking new Illinois drivers license and was quite a happy young man.

We watched a video of Brandon performing with four other young men and one young lady as they competed in the Macoupin County fair talent contest. They came in third. Brandon has become an accomplished drummer. Needless to say, several of his gifts were drummer related.

Their home had the rich fragrance of freshly baked caked. Dawn put the frosting on as we observed her and then Brooke got to lick the spoon.

Brandon’s choice for dinner was a trip to the newly opened Golden Corral. That was the first trip to a Golden Corral for him and for his girl friend, Nicole. The food was excellent and we all made three trips back for seconds and thirds.

Back at the house, we waited for Brandon to return with Brooke and Nicole. He, of course, drove. He decided to get gas for the car and that turned out to be a small adventure involving Muslims, gasoline spills, and “drummer” shoes that now smelled of gasoline.

We had cake and coffee (there is always room) and said our goodbyes.

The drive home was begun in deep twilight and as I pulled onto the Divernon blacktop, we could see a myriad of fireflies. I turned the headlights off, drove slowly and we marveled at the light show being performed along both side of the road and deep into the cornrows.

That’s all from HOME ALONE

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Yesterday I cleaned up both cars. The Sable was a disaster. Reminded me of the days when we had a station wagon (now know as an SUV) and three kids. The Taurus was much easier work: except for ancient coffee and coke stains.

The Taurus has developed a leak in the exhaust system. It sounds like a well-tuned Harley. Cool. I have never had exhaust work on the Taurus but now that it is a teenager, it becomes more demanding of its needs. I hope it never needs braces.

We went shopping for groceries and various things for the house. First phase remodeling is about done. Which is both good (yes!) and bad. A completed job, in a woman’s mind, spawns ideas for new jobs. It is better to delay completing any home project as long as possible.

The weather is fantastic and is predicted to continue for a while. Everything continues to be green outside. Unfortunately, the weeds are exuberantly happy. And the moles and voles have developed a real urban neighborhood in the backyard. I need a dog. You would think the coyotes would be supping out back…or maybe those feral cats?

I am still working industriously on the bus routes. I have created 15 special needs routes. There are two new schools in the district. One older school not previously served by busses, has had its boundaries expanded so now we bus some of those kids. O’Fallon has added sidewalks in several areas and now kids who were bussed before, have to walk up to 1 ½ miles. Parents are complaining about that…I anticipate traffic jams at the schools as parents bring the little angels to school. I guess the parents would welcome higher taxes so the kids can ride the bus. One of the complaints I get is about timing. Parents would like the bus schedule to coincide with their work schedules. Fortunately, most people understand.

We will be going north next weekend to help celebrate Brandon’s birthday number XVI
Time has flown by – and will go by even faster from now on. Cie le vie.

Time to get ready for church. I plan to go on West Main. Several buildings have been torn down including the old Tribout building. The murals are gone.

That’s about it for now from HOME ALONE.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Little Firecracker

5 years old !!!

This is the birthday of our nation and of our youngest granddaughter.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SOPHIA! (…………….xxx…………..)
I woke up to the sound of rain on the roof. It has been dry and cool for the past week; beautiful weather.

The VP fair is underway and the big parade kicks off at 10:00. Looks like it will be a wet one. Too bad since it usually is a great parade.

I like to walk the fairgrounds and see all the sights. May not happen today.

Jason and Rebecca are planning to come up from Louisville late today and go directly down to the landing to view the fireworks. Hope it works out for them.

The rain just got more intense. I mowed the lawns yesterday (here and at the school and at the church). I was surprised to see how dry the ground was already though we have had record rainfall the month of June. Many farm fields are way behind in germinating the crops. But this rain should be beneficial for the farmers.

Bill and Dawn and family will be down tomorrow. I am going to do pork steaks on the grill and also hamburgers, sweet corn, and etc. I am looking forward to it.

Been real busy at work. The boss went to Florida for a week. My associate, Kelly, and I were in-charge. Unfortunately Kelly’s husband had a heart attack and subsequently had a three way by pass. I have been getting a lot of questions about my surgery. Everyone is surprised how healthy I appear to be.

Needless to say, I have been real busy. I am developing bus routes for the fall; the most difficult and time-consuming routes are the special needs routes. The parents and schools are really pushing me to get this done, as are the drivers who will be picking their routes.

Been looking at all the pictures on Facebook. I wish we could have made it to the islands. I am glad that family is making the most of the trip.

That’s about it from HOME ALONE.