Sunday, January 31, 2016

Eisenhower Veterans Center

We drove over to the VA today,  to take a few pictures. 

It was 50 degrees out, and sunny, but COLD in the wind. 

The career artillery officer had to take a look at this 
24 pound gun.  It was made in Spain in 1854.  That's EIGHTEEN 54. 
I suspect it was captured in the Spanish American War. 

It had beautiful scroll-work on top. 

It's forging  date was inscribed on the gun... 
April 24, 1854. 

Whatever was inscribed on that plate is lost to the elements. 

That is the building you can just barely see behind it, and no, it has not been re-done yet, though many others have. 

I am going to skip forward and show you a description of the Soldier's Home so you 
have an idea of what this was like in the 1880's and 90's. 

At one time, there were 3000 veterans living here at the home.  They had a small 
city of their own, with their own stores and hospital. 

They lived in (and still do!) in barracks like these. 

But there are numerous barrack buildings no longer occupied.  We think that the building in the middle of these two barracks that were facing each other was the mess hall for them. 

I know we passed one building that had a back door that read "Canteen". 

There is a very famous church there, that was featured on Ripley's Believe it or Not. 
It has a Protestant Chapel on top, and then, if you go around to the bottom side, a 
Catholic Chapel.  Yes, I tried the doors, and they were locked. 

The stained glass looked gorgeous. 

These gargoyles hang over the doors to the Protestant chapel. 

And these guardians were on either side of the door. 

I am going to go back over next weekend and take better pictures of the beautiful church from a distance, so you can see the whole building.  I was Just. Too. Cold. 

There are many buildings that have not been restored. 

I would love to know what this one was. It was right at the end of the row of barracks. 

There is a very large nursing home there, in use, of course. 
There is also a building that is newer (like this) that is the Domiciliary for veterans (lucky enough to get in) who are 
homeless with no income.  It is closer to the hospital. 

And right across from the nursing home is Lake Jeannette. 

There are huge old quarters around the lake, and off to one side street.  In the old days, these 
were the doctor's quarters.  Now, they are apartments rented out to people like you or I. 
It would be a wonderful place to live except for one thing... NO PETS. 

Keith and I couldn't do it. 

Another of the large quarters. 

They are now duplexes and tri-plexes. 

This is the governor's mansion, not the state governor, but the governor of the VA Home. 

It is still in use today. 

I will give you a little preview of what we are going to show you tomorrow. 

Our forecast  showed that we were to get lots of snow on Tuesday or Wednesday, but it appears to have now been downgraded to rain, and not too cold... 
For those of my friends in the storm's way in Iowa... we're praying for you, be careful out there! 

An idea of how large the place is, that's the hospital on the right. 

More tomorrow! 

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Friday to Saturday

Something happened today that reminded me how much 
I miss my animals from the country house. 

A friend who lost her husband very suddenly this last fall, 
a fellow blogger... is having to place their farm for sale, 
and has already started rehoming her beloved animals. 

I have had to do it twice, at the first Calamity
Acres, and again, two years ago when we moved here to 
this suburban house. 

It is so hard, especially if you have invested hours and 
many dollars in making those animals comfortable, happy and healthy. 

She is facing it with bravery, and I admire her.  It's hard. 
Donna Adams Madigan, I'm thinking of you and praying for you. 

It also reminded Keith and me that we need to prepare better for 
"that day"... so that our kids are not left having to pick up the 
pieces.  We have wills and powers of attorney, but 
we need to make plans for funerals and to make a list 
for each of us for those who should be notified.  At least 
with email, etc. it is easier now. 

Now, onto something happier for the evening post. 

This was in the window of Sonic when the kids and I stopped there this afternoon before walking the dogs.  I had Paiton and Jax for a few hours because their parents had to attend another funeral, the second in two weeks.  They are at that age, sadly... in their late forties... that relatives begin to leave us. 

Only in Leavenworth County... 4H and Feeder Pigs for Sale posted at Sonic. 

Holy Field Winery is also a local winery close to this Sonic who has 
wine tastings all summer long with WONDERFUL bands, outside, on Friday nights. 

Yesterday was gorgeous, 61 degrees! 

We are still doing only one loop at the park, until Lilly is all better. 

The squirrels were everywhere. 

On our way home, our friend was sitting on his pole on Leavenworth road. 

Looking at this bird, that I thought was a Coopers, I am now not so sure. 

Friend Jill???? A red-shouldered hawk, maybe?  Way too big for a Coopers, I think. 

Paiton did a GREAT job holding onto Lilly for me, so I could carry the camera. 
Alas, there were so many families enjoying the 60 degree weather, that no squirrels were 
out in the open. 

The dogs are always glad to see the kids, Jester lived with them for a year before coming to us. 

After we walked, Lilly and Jester and I sat down on a picnic table and watched the kids play on the play equipment for a while. 

After we took the dogs home... we went to Michaels Craft Store for a few things. 

We did some modeling of the St. Patrick's day finery. 

I actually think the hat looks great on Jax! 

Keith and I are going to try to make a short trip to 
a close place to take some pictures tomorrow afternoon... we hope you will 
like them! 

We have also battened down the hatches, we have a potential for 10 inches of snow this week! 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Walk on Hallowed Ground

A week or so ago, while it was really cold, I saw a picture in my Facebook feed from a site I follow call "Vintage History".  The lady who runs this shows all manner of vintage items, from 
pictures of people, to old buildings, to vintage items. 

That day, she showed a picture of a distinctive funeral stone, and 
it happened to be in a local cemetery, so I promised myself that 
the first time it was decent out, I would run over there and find it. 

I did, today.  

I went right to the sexton's office, and luckily, 
found him there. 

He knew exactly what I was talking about, and directed me straight to it, 
because this is a LARGE cemetery. 

This is the beautiful old memorial to the five Weed Children, and please notice, their dad was a doctor. 

I posted this on Facebook today, and one of my friends said "Creepy!" . 

It IS sort of creepy, but also very sad.  I'll show you the dates a little closer. 

Viola, born May 28, Died May 29, 1860
Lucien C., born December 8, 1861, Died July 20, 1862
Charlotte, Born March 10, Died August 18, 1863
Leonard and Buena Vista, twins, 
born January 22, died March 2, 1865

I could not find a stone for the parents, that was the sad thing. 

How many times did their mother stand in front of this stone, and think of their 
little faces, here so briefly? 

The drape signifies death. 

I spent over an hour there, praying for everyone as I walked. 

Father Oliver 41, Son Daniel, 14 years old, 
Massacred by Cheyenne Indians in Meade County, Kansas. 
August 24, 1874 

There really was a frontier, and if you notice, that's AFTER the Civil War. 

There is beautiful statuary. 

Though maybe it depends on the angle of the angel. 

Mount Muncie Cemetery looks across to the national cemetery where Keith and I will rest one day. 

I wish you could have heard the wind soughing in the pine trees up on this ridge. 
I would be a little apprehensive in the dark there. 

There are beautiful mausoleums that appear not to have been entered in many years. 

Rufus was only one of many military men in this family, and 
he fell during the Civil War.  

Here's our angel in a little better light... instead of being avenging, she is 
pointing the way to heaven. 

Another family who lost four children as infants. 
No wife's name, the poor mother. 

The Sudendorff family also lost many children, and I was stunned to walk around on the east side of the monument and find... 

There were so many, that Louisa was all by herself on the side. 

These children were buried in a ring around the monument. 

I cannot imagine losing baby after baby.  We do know that there was a diptheria 
epidemic here at one time, and many were buried in mass graves.  
These were individual deaths. 

Another beautiful stone. 

I will be going back, there is so much to explore. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Lilly Goes to the Dogtor and the Sun Returns

Well, we went to the dogtor this morning.
You can see that someone was worried. 

We had to get on the scale first.  82 pounds, that's a lot. 

She is ten now, last summer. 

Can we go home yet? 

The vet palpated her back after checking the leg that appeared to be dragging...and she 
gave a huge flinch.  He did it one more time... and she flinched big time again. 

He looked up at me and said "Xray time". 

So, he took a look. 

She has some compressed vertebrae, two, in fact. 

She is now on prednisone and tramadol, 
to lower the inflamation and manage the pain. 

Light walking.  

We went today, and walked only a few minutes, because I can 
see it's bothering her. 

So, we'll rest a few days.  

I'm so grateful it's not anything worse, and I suspect I know 
when it happened.  

Way back at the beginning of December, I was spending the night at 
the hospice with my brother, and Keith heard a loud noise and 
Lilly yiping loudly upstairs (Keith dialyzes in the basement). 
Sheriff's deputies came and checked the house for him... 
but I suspected at the time she had fallen off the bed, 
and I still think that. 

I think that's when she got hurt. 

Anyway, we are now on the road to repair. 

Gosh, it's so much easier to take pictures in the sunlight. 

Especially when you drive by sweet subjects. 

Almost every where you look!  Different hawk than the one above. 

Keith drove me around Wyandotte County Lake this afternoon.  There were lots of geese and lots of ducks.  These are coots with the Canada geese.  There were LOTS of mallards. 
I think I saw an eagle when we got to the dam, but he flew off so far I wasn't sure. 

There were lots of mallards. 

As you see, the water was really choppy... and it was interesting to see that
there were hundreds of ducks and geese resting on the ice, about a third of the lake is iced over. 
It was amusing to see them waddling over the ice. 

These little guys were waiting to eat at the buffet when we pulled into the driveway... and look!  The buds are more swollen! 

However, the weatherman tells us there is the possibility of a storm 
dropping six inches on us in mid-week next week. 

Say it isn't so!!!