Thank You Czech Republic!

Today, July 4th, someone in the Czech Republic looked at either my post about a rainbow or how I spent my summer vacation.  It was my first visit from the CR, so thanks who ever you are.

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A Rainbow IN our front yard

Yesterday a passing sun shower briefly rain hard and I went onto the front porch to call in the dogs when I noticed something I had never seen before – a rainbow actually in our front yard.

As the house is sited to face southeast the sunshine was coming from the southwest. The rainbow, which was not even higher than the tops of the trees, started from about the middle of our pond and arched for about 75 feet towards the north which is the direction the golf club is located just past our property.

I called Pat over to see it but before we could get a camera to try and take a picture it was gone.

It was like having our own personal fireworks before the July 4th firework shows.

Happy Fourth of July to my readers!

How I spent my Summer Vacation

As I wrote last, I was off to Boy Scout camp for a week to help as the second adult as required by the camp and Scouting rules.  With the Scoutmaster going my role was minimal and I had planned to bring a book and my Kindle to occupy my free time. However, I somehow forgot to bring my book or my Kindle but when an unintended opportunity presented itself, my free time was quickly consumed by the opportunity.

From:

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As the opening assembly it was announced that the staffing of the shooting sports area had become affected by unexpected events and was in need of qualified volunteers to be able to make it possible for the Scouts to fully enjoy their time at the range. As my NRA qualifications that I had gotten when I helped out at the Scout Jamboree back in 2010 had expired during my battle with cancer in 2011 I didn’t volunteer at that time.  However at lunch time I heard that they were still desperate for help so I went down after lunch to see if they would accept my help, which they did gratefully.

To:

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As I had worked on the shotgun range at the Jamboree I helped out more on the shotgun range this past week but did a stint on the pistol range the first day of shooting as that is when one on one coaching was needed the most.

All in all I worked for the first ½ day as classroom and the next 3 days on the range with the Scouts.  It was a joy to watch the Scouts progress in their skill sets for each discipline. The better they got the more their enjoyment level went up as the majority of them had not shot before.

At the final night’s assembly for flags and announcements the three of us who volunteered to help out were called out by the Range Safety Officer and presented with our staff hats and badges as HSR (Hood Scout Reservation) Shooting Sports.

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Meanwhile, the three Scouts in our Troop who came to camp had a wonderful time and accumulated 19 merit badges in all.  Our two first time to Scout camp boys were really pumped up by their experience and are ready for the new Scout year to start in August.

 

Pat Goes to Pluto and Back in One Evening

On Thursday June 14 I joined 20+ women on a visit to Pluto Plantation in Tchula Ms  in the Delta. We went to the house made famous in the book, “Dispatches from Pluto” by Richard Grant. The house was built-in the early 1900s, consisting of living room, dining room, kitchen with wood burning stove and three bedrooms.

The home is surrounded on three sides by cotton fields and the Yazoo River is on the other side of the levee.  While not a historic plantation in the sense of being built-in the ante or post bellum period it is now a tourist destination due to the book.

We were told the story of living out here in the early 1900s by  the grandson of the couple that built the farm-house. His grandparents lived in isolation on the farm, especially when the floods would happen. The mail was delivered twice a week via the river.  They traveled to Yazoo City by the river. Once a month, they would get their food supplies in town.  Of course back then, people raised chickens for eggs and meals; had a dairy cow for milk; hogs for meat, etc.

The house had been sold to a cousin who sold it to the author Richard Grant who wrote a book Dispatches from Pluto that Clay wrote a post about meeting the author back in January 2016. Recently the home came back to the original family, having been bought by the great-grandson of the original owners.

‘Vacationing’ at Boy Scout Camp?

Now that I am retired it is hard to go on vacation as life is a vacation, isn’t it?  However, one of the volunteering commitments I do is as a Boy Scout leader for the only Troop locally which is Yazoo City.  With Boy Scout camp coming up next week and none of the Scouts’ parents stepping up to be at camp as the second leader which is required for a Troop to go to camp, I stepped up to the plate to be the second leader for the week.

The last time I was a leader for a Troop was back in NH when my boys were in Scouts, which is about 14 years ago.  That is when I would use vacation time to make it possible for the Scouts to go to camp.  That camp was in the hills / mountains of New Hampshire and even it got hot during the day at least it would cool off in the evenings.

I am not even bringing a sleeping bag as the one I own is rated to 20° F and would be like sleeping in a roasting bag one usually cooks items in an oven.

I am expecting it to be brutally hot, but I did encounter a similar experience when I was on staff for a National Jamboree back in 2010 that was held in Virginia during a very hot summer.

I wonder if my wife will send me off with pre-addressed post cards to be able to send her notes while I am gone?

 

Bucket list: Visit Toomsuba ✓

We had the pleasure this weekend to attend the wedding of Hugh Leigh’s sister’s son to a lovely young woman in a town just east of Meridian, a two hour drive from where we live.  The bride’s family is from the town of Toomsuba which is about the same size as Benton, in other words a very small country (slightly larger than hamlet) town of just under 800 people.

At the reception we were sitting with relatives of the bride and in comparing towns I jokingly said that I had fulfilled another bucket list item – that of visiting Toomsuba.  We all laughed at our small towns but the beauty of small town life.

Who Needs a Wheelbarrow?

As I was pondering buying a tractor last year and coming up with justifications for how it would be more cost-effective than the lawn tractors we have, I was provided with a potential cost savings I hadn’t thought about.  The wheelbarrow I had before we moved down here was not worth bringing with us so I have been operating without for a couple of years.

While we were out in California for the wedding last summer our son’s new father-in-law and I were talking about tractors and he mentioned that once you have a tractor, there is no need to ever have another wheelbarrow!

So, now when I use the tractor’s front loader to move things around I think of Tom’s comment and smile.  Below I am moving what had been a 8 foot long by 2 ½ wide raised vegetable bed to a storage area until we need to use it again.

Meanwhile, my tractor didn’t come with any type of protection from the sun but does have an optional sun roof one can buy to get protection from the sun.  While I decide if I want to pay the money for it I decided to use an old golf umbrella for the same purpose.  It works quite well, if I don’t say so myself.