Friday, December 26, 2014
Tuesday, December 23, 2014
Saturday, September 20, 2014
SILVER STRUTTER DEAD for Blog.
Thursday, June 12, 2014
Today I spoke at the Cumming Optimist Club and not only sold some books, but also was very impressed with their "Optimist Creed." Please see it below:
The Optimist Creed
To be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health,happiness and prosperity to every person you meet.
To make all your friends feel that there is something in them.
To look at the sunny side of everything and make your optimism come true.
To think only of the best, to work only for the best and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
To forget the mistakes of the past and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times and give every living creature you meet a smile.
To give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.
The Optimist Clubs: Sponsor Oratorical Contests for children
Sponsor annual Essay Contests for High School Youth.
Sponsor Christmas party for Mentor Me with their sister club.
Sponsor a track and Field event twice yearly for elementary age children
Sponsor a Fishing Derby yearly.
Honors "Youth of the Month" monthly.
Donate funds to various organizations with Mini Grants.
Provides multiple college scholarships yearly.
Provide supplies for local youth organizations
Provides Christmas gifts for seniors at a local retirement home.
They also, for a small donation, they supply a US flag placed in your yard every President's Day, Memoriald Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, and Veteran's Day, which are delivered and retrieved till next holiday.
Monday, April 7, 2014
I got my dog several years ago, and people kept telling me that my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel was really a King Charles Spaniel (without the Cavalier part). I did not know the difference between these supposedly two different breeds. Since then I have learned the difference isn't very much except in size and to the breeders.
In the late 1600s the King Charles Spaniels were interbred with Pugs, which resulted in a smaller dog with flatter noses, upturned faces, rounded heads and protruding eyes. It was developed in the
Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
If you are looking for one of the most charming companions in the canine community, consider the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Cavaliers are the largest breed in the Toy Dog category and make wonderful pets for people with many different lifestyles.
Cavalier Spaniels are indoor dogs that were traditionally bred as lap dogs. They become quite attached to their "people companions" and do not tolerate being left alone for extended periods of time well. If your pet will be alone often, particularly as a puppy, consider choosing a breed that has less separation anxiety than a Cavalier.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Tuesday, April 1, 2014
Sunday, March 30, 2014
Above you can see what a Dahlonega Gold coin that was minted in 1855 looks like. " By law, gold coinage during the operation of the Dahlonega Mint (1838-1861) was 0.900 fine, meaning 900 parts per thousand (by weight) pure gold. The remaining 100 parts constituted the alloy (pure gold being too soft and malleable to prodce coins that would stand up to the rigors of circulation). By law for that time period, the alloy for gold coins was copper and silver, provided that the silver did not exceed one-half the alloy. Thus, the silver content could be up to 50 parts per thousand. It was therefore lawfully possible to have coins with varying concentrations of silver, about which we can today make observations relative to the coloration differences.
Generally speaking, a gold coin with 100 parts per thousand copper alloy is distinctly orange in color. Gold coins with silver and copper tend to be less orange, and if the silver content is high enough, the coins do not look orange at all, possessing a light "green gold" color. As a consequence of this imprecise specification for the alloy, the mints at Dahlonega and Charlotte had the flexibility to have a higher silver content than the parent institution, the Philadelphia Mint." Carl N. Lester, GOLD RUSH GALLERY, INC.
Remember that when gold was discovered in Auraria, Georgia, in 1829 the subsequent gold miners had no place to put their accrued gold in a safe place. There were no nearby banks. No way to create their gold into coins. If the miner traveled to a bank, then he might return to find someone else working his plot of land, i.e. stealing his gold. Land with possible gold could only be obtained by lottery. No choices of land parcels were available. It was pretty critical that a mint be established in Dahlonega, about eight miles from Auraria. The owner of a parcel won in a lottery could sell his parcel, often for an exorbitant price. The owner would have to hide his gold, or possibly have it stolen or himself killed for it. Auraria is actually quite small and there were some 5000 miners working to strike it rich at the peak of the gold rush in this area.
Monday, March 24, 2014
Summer In The South consists of fireflies darting through the lush forests at dusk; of air so humid it appears cloudlike in the heat and you can see what you are breathing. There is a pervasive silence as the woods breathlessly await any passing gentle breeze for relief. Even squirrels have better sense than the lazy bumblebees out making their living lethargically moving from flower to flower.
Begonias line my entry walk, thriving as usual, before the lavender Hostas and bright Day Lilies. They all think they live in a greenhouse. Canopy is the truly right description of the trees. I look up through the lacy leaves to see the sky, grateful for the gentle filter of the heat. My little Garden of Eden.
The cicadas (also known as katydids) have at last begun their nightly chant, somehow relating that all is right with the world. And the full golden moon now begins its helium ascent at 9:28 p.m.
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
The Columbia River gorge's cliffs are lined with windmills as it turns out. The night before, all we could see were the lights at each one--they stood out like stars so far overhead. The gorge itself makes you feel like you're at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. We found the windmills in daylight. The river changes names as others merge with it. We passed maybe four dams and locks, where ocean barges work their way inland against the current. It's so amazing that the road we were on was cut through solid rock a couple hundred feet straight down, at the bottom of about 200' cliffs. It feels like a huge wall. At the top of Oregon, the river looks like an ocean and must be a mile wide. It's all barren of trees and shrubs, with only a little grass that shares space on the hills with windmills for another fifty miles or so. A couple of green patches off on the Washington side must be watered from the river because they stand out like a couple of oases. We think they're citrus orchards, but they were so far away we couldn't be sure, but there were jet engines planted we think to ward off frost.
We headed to Pendleton--the place where super well made wool clothing is made. We hope to see a lot of woolens. We next passed Arlington with its little marina full of sailboats. We were in Umatilla County, which I suppose is a Nez Pearce name. A friend, Jess Wright, had a horse named Umatilla in my past life when we rode with him in the 1970's. Hmm. Of course there is a railroad track running along side the freeway. All the traincars have graffiti on them. I guess nobody is exempt. Right where the snake river comes in from the north the land has flattened to desert, again complete with sagebrush and tumbleweeds--also a bombing range. Which is across the Columbia from Horse Heaven Hills. Go figure.
Next we were in power line jungles. I would think the dams we've seen could power the whole United States. But it looks like a bad day in El Paso, Texas, the ugliest town I have ever seen.
Scrubby trees suddenly appeared--and ah! A reason for the smog--a huge chemical plant mixing in with the wires. A good place to leave--ugh.
Suddenly desert forests of densely planted tree farm trees that looked about fifty feet tall appeared as farmed crops mixed with hundreds of acres of trees, onions, citrus, hay. Monster commercial agriculture. Pacific Albus Trees, a sign said. Whatever that is. This area look like Southern California rather than Western Oregon--arid but just enough rain to make parts of it green, with oleander bushes, bottlebrush, citrus trees and lots of decomposed granite. The temperature was 47 degrees.
On the overpass railings/fences, are running horse sculptures. I guess there are wild horse herds in this area. The Umatilla Indian Reservation includes Pendleton. Oregon soon looked like Iowa--farmland to all horizons. Half of Pendleton is a prison. Home of the Pendleton Roundup. Home of Pendleton woolens. So we stopped and bought a blanket at the factory. It's a beautiful piece of work we intend to use for a bedspread at home. Pendleton is a cute, old-fashioned 1950's style Western town. It included the Wildhorse Umatilla Indian Casino. Next we continued off the flat mesas into the Blue Mountain Umitalla National Forest--a bald forest that's east on I-84. We saw the longest horsetrailer in the west, as well as a triple trailer longhauler, which we'd never seen before. They kind of looked like trains. Trees there are at about 4000 feet--which includes snow fencing. The hills looked like gold cushions with pines, cattle, deer and antelope. No higher mountains were around us, but chain signs were required and we saw the occasional Sno cat. The temperature changed to 53 degrees. Baker, Oregon, has a sign that says we were half way between the North Pole and the equator. I've been wondering about that. I-84 is a good place to be if you don't want any people. I have a hunch that area's weather is treacherous.
Saturday, March 1, 2014
Friday, February 28, 2014
Sunday, October 17
We arrived in Bandon last Tuesday, found Gary (the brother ) at the state park. Gary already had a site for us and the weather was sunny at 73 degrees. We walked a trail through underbrush to the Pacific Ocean and we were rewarded with a deserted beach cluttered with driftwood. Abby was a happy dog tearing around like a coocoo. Richard, our nephew and excellent artist, was there to paint which he'd been doing for two weeks. He intends to be a world class painter and I suspect he'll do it. Gary and wife, Jean, took us sightseeing the next day. Some amazing state parks with majestic ocean views, harbors coves and rivers. But the temperature dropped and fog rolled in so it never got over 48 degrees for four day. We were glad to head to warmer weather. Their puppy, "Precious," was excited to see us and Abby, Precious's mother. Precious has never met a stranger. By Saturday she and Abby were doing the tandem run thing Cavaliers do with their playmates. Also playing chase, they found a neighbor dachshund who participated with them. Fun! for them and fun for us to watch the glee.
On our way out on Sunday, we decided to go ahead north as planned, even fearing more cold weather. We've never been on I-84 and thought it was about time. The bleak desert didn't sound so good to us and we'd have to retrace through the whole state if we had gone south. So we hit 5 North to Portland, Oregon. The Unipqua is a major river running all over the place. More lumber mills were at Roseburg--I think we've seen five of them. I'm not sure how forestry works but I suspect it's 100% controlled. All of Oregon seems to belong to the government. Everybody seems to work for the state. I'm not sure how the state owns so much land. Oregon is all about mountains and trees, good roads, tourist oriented, user friendly. Fall is turning leaf many different colors, except for the pines of course. Wildflowers are in bloom in little meadows between the tree clumps of Oaks, birch and cottonwoods, and we're weaving between the mountains and hillocks. It's no wonder I've always been enamored of Georgia's forests. The only forests I'd ever seen till I was 33 years old were California Pines and Oregon Pines. It came to me how much we must be like Europe--their counties and our states so different one from the next. We are totally impressed with the beautiful cities of Salem and Portland. The freeways are showplaces--of course they are on Sundays. Rivers make the Chattahoochee look tiny and the trees make us feel we're driving through a park. It's all mowed and landscaped--green, lush and inspiring. 45 degrees and sunshine at 4:30 p.m.
We were stopped in a traffic jam due to a crash for about a half hour. People all got out of their stopped cars. A man saw Abby in our truck and asked if I had a leash he could borrow to walk his lab puppy. I gave him one. We were there long enough there was no problem with him returning it. I expected someone to ask about our restroom on wheels (the Coyote) but nobody did. Sunday was a slick day to get around Portland. Traffic heave but flowing well. Tons of state parks are on the map on 84 after the city. We planned to use one with wifi for a change.
Mt. Hood peeks at us as we drive through/around Portland. It's 11,239 feet--it looks like the perfect Littering fine--$6250.00. I think these people are serious greenies..$97.00 seat belt usage fine. Hmmm. Washington State was right over there on the next hills to our left. The Hood River is as big as the Mississippi and navigable with a series of locks. We're dwarfed by the massiveness. We're in Lewis and Clark territory. A canoe on that river which becomes the Columbia River, would look like a pebble on a beach. Our road follows this river. Perfect Christmas Trees are everywhere.
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
Tuesday, Oct. 12. Last night we had dinner with cousins in Medford, Oregon. A lovely chicken stew with homemade noodles, which was a first for me. Today we went to his sister's house and we met Cindy. I find it interesting how differently people live. On this property of a few acres, Ted keeps his huge shop. He builds airplanes from scratch for people who can afford it. Some say they would never get inside a plane that Ted hadn't built. The owner has a problem and doesn't bend so well to get in and out, so Ted made doors that open upward, like a DeLorean car I saw once. And standing outside this building was Ted's 28 foot boat that he took up to Vancouver Island on a five week trip. It looked like a fishing boat with a cabin and very deep hull.
Medford is a gorgeous city, especially in the spring, even with all its growth. It looks all brand new, like there's been no recession at all.
Mountains and hills endlessly spread around chains of valleys with rivers and almost solid trees. I hadn't remembered just how beautiful Oregon is. The next day we took off on I-5 for about 120 miles then West on 42 to the coast and Coos Bay. We had called Darrel's brother earlier, who works as a campground host each October. All we had to do now was find him. So we looked for some bars on our cell phone. We passed through Roseburg which is a whole city lumber mill--probably two miles of pine 2 x 4s and plywood stacked four stories high. The little town is crouched around the lumber yard's perimeter. Traincars stand loaded with wood ready to be hauled to Iowa. Huge pines that make 12 Georgia Pines each. Gas is $3.48. Hiwy 42 is a log truck road but incredibly scenic Aspens and Cottonwood trees are just coming yellow. It's 61 degrees. Expresso kiosks are on every corner of the little towns. The largest buildings are fire departments. Pines are managed and mountainsides display stripped areas that have been deforested but looks like a green quilt with other stages of new growth remaining. The current fire danger, which this entire state monitors, is low. We felt lucky.
The closer we got to the Pacific ocean, the more lush and green the woods became. Abby is still sleeping from her trauma with Grace the English Bulldog at Cindy's house, who smurfed Abby first then launched herself on her rope swing, hanging by her teeth. Abby was mesmerized.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Okay, I'm very past my due date to continue this series:
Mon. Oct. 11 We headed back over the mountain to find some civilization so we could continue our journey, but stopped first to wash clothes at a Laundromat. First thing out of the hat we ran across some people also over doing business from Cedarville. Unfortunately I felt the need to keep a firm grip on my mouth--no easy feat. Something had happened in the past with these folks that caused so many people to change their faith in mankind. Rudeness didn't nearly cover the whole problem. It's hard to erase people from your mind, but I'm still trying with these folks.
Today is 63 degrees and sunshine for a beautiful driving day. However, Abby had decided to bathe in some serious caca, so she needed both a hosing off and a real bath. I was not impressed. But what are you going to do when you take a city dog into the country? So now she's fluffy and looks like a molting sheep, and is sleeping off the 10-day party we had back in Cedarville with such loving friends. She had to compete with two dachshund puppies.
Mike and Darrel were able to fix the Coyote's lift brake problem just before we left town.
The Oregon Mountains pine forests look almost exactly like southern Georgia's pine forests. Northern California is a bigger political mess than Georgia. Stupid is rampant everywhere, I guess. But I understand they finally made a budget after way too long and much borrowing. With this budget the young people in Cedarville will still have jobs, since the only employer of consequence is the Forestry Svs. All their jobs were scheduled to terminate without that critical decision being positive.
In the National Forests, which is most of southern Oregon and Northern California, the BLM is cutting out all of the Juniper trees felled among the pines in all directions. Apparently Junipers draw all the water from the soil and dehydrate plants and land. We've picked up a peculiar smell in the air which turns out to be a million acres of harvested onions which grow near Klamath Falls. Street banners advertise the potato festival in Merrill. Piney hills gave way to farmland separating medium height mountains. Klamath is known to be five feet deep in snow in winter. Fortunately we're a little early for that. From Alturas, Mt. Shasta's snow peak can be seen at its 14,162 ft. height.
Oregon law states a person may not fill his/her gastank with gas. Only the attendant may do that. Maybe that's why the price is even higher there than expensive California gas. I called my cousin Peggy in Medford Oregon to see if Abby will be a problem since she's a hair factory. She said not if her cat doesn't attack. So I warned Abby, who had never met a cat.
We went over the Klamath River then the GPS changed our minds for us and directed us through Keno and Ashland. A beautiful mountain drive. Darrel is only clenching his teeth a little bit. an amazing amount of underbrush has been cut throughout these woods, we assume to avoid fire exposure. The pines here are about a hundred feet high. It looked like the road from Cumming to Hiawassee in every way but pine trees instead of hardwoods. As the altitude decreased, the pines became shorter. The Klamath River was again before us to be re-crossed. My parents took us to these woods when we were children so we could camp in the rustic woods. My mother canned blackberries which she had picked while I invented horses from fallen logs and my dad fished. I have no idea what my brother did. We were seeing what looked like creeping cedar along the roadside, which I didn't expect to find in Oregon. This endangered ground cover shouldn't be in a dry climate..I will have to investigate that. We were over the 4551' summit of this Cascade Siskiyou Mountain Road and back into pinelands along Oregon 66. It looked like we'd left the desert behind on the other side of the mountains we'd just crossed. Now I'm confused--in front of us were Oak Trees? and switchbacks as we head into Ashland on the steep grade (down)--so glad the brakes were repaired on the Coyote. Ashland is the home of the Oregon Shakespere Festival then in progress. We saw ski slopes you wouldn't dare to steer wrong or you'd plaster yourself on a tree. Steep is in. No more pines next--only scrub oaks. Steep as the devil. I'm glad we were on the inside lane as we entered the valley. We were struck with golden hills and dense clumps of oaks both green and gold--my favorite. The Pacific Coast must be right over those hills but it's really 70 miles away. Monster clumps of mistletoe cling to the 20 foot oak trees. Seriously dry "Emigrant Lake" was on our right. And breathtaking majestic land with towering mountains practically blocked the sky from the road.
We've only seen five cars since we left Ashland. Could it be the winding switchbacks? Then we were thrown back into the 5 freeway north to Phoenix outside of Medford where we parked for the night. Not bad for one day. Ashland is so gorgeous we were delighted.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
This is the valley floor which has a saline lake that is about four inches deep and 120 miles long. This is looking from the California side of the lake to the Oregon mountains on the other side. When there is a drought, that lake disappears.
This is looking across the lake on a beautiful day, toward the Nevada mountain range.
This is half of Cedarville downtown. The residential part of town (about 50 houses) is tucked into the California side among groves of trees.
Donna, Mike, Kevin, Lorin, Cassie, Jackie and Eric, Charlotte, Kirstin , Can, John and Jess Wright were all there when we arrived for Thanksgiving. Everybody had driven 16 or 12or 7 hours or five days to get to Cedarville for Thanksgiving. We sat around and told lies and ate Mexican food for Thanksgiving dinner. We celebrated my and Darrel's anniversary again, and Kirstin's birthday. Then we took five minutes to tour Cedarville, then had a constant game going on for several days in the center of the dining room table. It was 40 degrees and snowing outside. Two days ago we were all dying from the heat. We parked the Coyote at the fairground, which doubles as an RV park when there are no rodeos in town. But the wedding pavillion will be busy Saturday night.