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Last night, the kids stayed with Grandmama, and this morning, Erica had to go to work.  I had the better half of the day to myself.  I debated on spending a lazy morning in bed doing nothing, but there were a few caches near the house that Perrin and I had been having trouble finding.  Also, earlier in the week, a coworker gave me his old Garmin eTrex GPSr that I couldn’t wait to try out.  So, with log pen and walking stick in hand, I headed out to the Bicentennial Trail.

For those of you unfamiliar with the Cumberland River Bicentennial Trail, I highly recommend you check it out.  It’s free, it’s beautiful, and the terrain is very easy on the out-of-shape (like me).  For a history of the trail and how it came to be, visit http://cumberlandrivertrail.org/

 

I confess that I only skimmed the manual for the eTrex; so, I also took along my HTC Droid Incredible armed with the CGeo geocaching app.  Perrin and I have logged 15-20 caches using only the smartphone, but it will only get you to within 10-20 feet of the cache.  From there, you have to rely on instincts or, more often than not, clues given by the cache owner.  So, I was anxious to try using an genuine GPS unit for geocaching.

I only had a couple of hours before I had to go pick up the kids; so, I only planned on hitting four caches.  And, I found four out of those four using an Android/Garmin combination.  I found “Quit While A Head”, “Emergency Preparedness on the Merit Badge Midway”, “Electronics on the Merit Badge Midway” (the latter two being caches hidden by the Boy Scouts of America) and “QuannIk”.

I think having the Garmin eTrex along for the hike will help us zero in a little closer when Perrin and I go geocaching…  which is good because I think I get more frustrated than he does when we have to go home empty handed.

Actias Luna

Moving the chicken tractor this evening, we found this guy:

That is a medium sized Luna Moth.

Avi, who will freak out if a gnat buzzes too close to her head, surprised me by “petting” him.  I actually had to ask her to stop.  I’ve heard that moths have a protective covering and it can rub off if you hold or pick them up.  So, I didn’t want her to hurt it.

I feel fortunate to have seen it because, though they are fairly common, while researching this little guy, I found out that the adults do not have mouths and, therefore, do not eat.  They emerge from their cocoons and live only a week, just long enough to find a mate and reproduce.

Hey, baby! What if I told you we only had a week to live... would you sleep with me then?

Adams, TN hosts the annual Threshermen’s Association Threshing Show.  This year was the 42nd event of its kind, but the first time I’d taken the kids.

There was a good deal of cloud cover all day that kept the heat from growing unbearable, and occasionally, a slight breeze would blow through the exhibit grounds.  So, we were comfortable as we waited for the 10am parade to begin.  We visited some of the vendors and looked at some of the antique cars that were parked just inside the gate, and soon the parade began.

Massey Ferguson, Allis Chalmers, John Deere, Ford, International…  they just kept coming and coming and coming.  There were shiny ones and rusty ones.  In fact, many of the tractors were clearly still in service, and it was amazing to think of all the years these machines have been in operation.

Here are some of the photos I snapped.  I even took a few of the “rat rods” that were in attendance.

Roy Acuff

I work not far from Dunbar Cave in Montgomery County, TN.  The man singing above used to use the entrance to the cave as a band shell during the time he owned the property in the mid-to-late 40’s.  Sometimes, I’ll take my lunch break there and I can only imagine the acts that would show up to play, the sounds from their instruments resonating and echoing out into the crowd.  How awesome it would’ve been to be there!

Note the grin that Bashful Brother Oswald carries throughout the entire song.  Pickin’ and grinnin’…

Here in Henrietta, there’s these blonde chicks I’ve been spending a lot of time with, and I’ve got it bad.  When I wake up in the morning, I can’t wait to see them.  I want to buy them things and build nice, extravagant houses for them.  I even spent all my birthday money on them.  They’re here at the house now.  My wife knows all about them, but I don’t even care.

These are country chicks, and they're wild, man!

We are the care takers of 6 baby chicks.  The kids have named them, but I can’t tell them apart so I haven’t bothered remembering the names (plus, I think the names have changed at least a dozen times in the last two days alone).  We inherited these chicks, so to speak, and are happy/honored to take care of them (Carrie – You still get the first batch of eggs when the time comes.)

Pictured: NOT Nice, Extravagant Housing

I’ve made them a “mini-coop” out of recycled shipping pallets and an old dog house that Monroe didn’t like to sleep in.  (More on Monroe, our three legged dog, in a later posting.)  The photo above shows the incomplete project, but I couldn’t wait to get them into their new digs.  I plan to manufacture a “human door” on the front for so we can access the inside for cleaning.  I need to add nesting boxes and a roosting area inside, and cut out a small access door so that the chicks can get into the “run” area.

My Girls

image

Aren’t they lovely?  This photo was taken at my mother’s house.  I spent who knows how many hours on that very same swing growing up; I never would’ve dreamed that one day my beautiful wife would be sharing it with our adorable daughter.  Thank God for life’s pleasant surprises.

Life Moves Slow, But…

“Life moves slower than the posted speed limit.”

It doesn’t seem like the most appropriate tag line for this blog any more.  It’s been months since I’ve been active on here and so much has happened in that short time.

Several holidays have past.  Spring is long gone, having given way to the heat and humidity of Summer.  And, the kids have each had a birthday.

We’ve been handed down an old farm truck affectionately called “Old Red.”  Later came a tractor, “Lil’ Red.”  With the help of these two work horses, we’ve cleared a good bit of land this year.   There’s still a lot of work left to do, but it’s good to see the progress that’s been made.

Our chickens have all but completely become part of the neighbor’s brood.  He let’s them all free range, though, and they spend a good deal of the day in our yard, often roosting in our trees at night.  So, we are still entertained by them.  I do miss gathering eggs, though, and I hope we can build another coop next year.

So much more has happened around here that I hope to share here in the coming weeks.  That is to say, of I can slow down enough.