Monday, September 17, 2018

Catching Up on the Month


What a month so far. 

I traveled to Milwaukee, saw Ringo Starr and his band (again) and 
had my 50th high school reunion, and yes, I said FIFTIETH. 

Over the weekend, I found my mother's pictures from her 50th... why do those 
people seem so much older than we do? 

Here are some of the happy St. Peter's Cathedral graduates from the 
class of 1964!  We took some pictures on Friday because one of us
(Ted Kokoruda, left) was not able to make Saturday's get together. 

There were two women missing from this picture, I got a picture of them 
and Ted a little later.  We look pretty good (that's your blogger in the green). 

The men look older, sorry, guys! 

The following night, we met at a venue in the Crossroads, in KCMO.  It was  a
great dinner and another chance to visit with everyone.  Ted, if you are reading this... I will send you copies of the grade school picture and of the big class picture. 

I remember my mom was so apprehensive about going, and had herself 
really worked up... I took her over to the reunion venue that day in 1980 something... and 
she had a BLAST, in fact, called me to say "she had a ride home" in a happy voice.  I've never forgotten that.   My mom was widowed twice, so this was a big deal for her. 

I went with the idea of just having a good time and seeing old friends, and 
that was accomplished!

Now, back to farm business!

I hit a milestone in the last two weeks... in fact, last Tuesday. 

A year ago last Tuesday was this: 

If it had not been for my grandsons Jacob, Nathan and Christopher, I would have
never gotten the move done, we worked all summer.  

Then, on the 12th, Two Men and a Truck came and moved the last big stuff for us, 
and about 20 boxes.  Chris and I literally fell asleep on the front porch while they were 
moving the things in. 

Now, that ugly Hughesnet satellite is gone, and the deck is full of flowers again. 
Likewise the old refrigerator on the porch.... tho in looking back, I should have moved it 
to the barn for egg storage.   Hindsight, you know. 

A year later, to the day. 

Would never have dreamed sheep would be here, or that I would like them so much. 

Despite the fact that we got lots of rain two weeks ago, they are working away at the large bale that their owner brought for them.  He has bought four more, from what I understand.  That's good, 
because we only got one cutting on most fields this year, and hay is already at 85.00 to 125.00 for a large round. 

My four Black Stars and six Gold Comets are growing into beautiful young birds. 
None has started laying yet, and in fact, the molt is starting.  I am getting barely 
ten eggs a day out of almost 40 hens.  

I also have a purebred cochin girl this size... but cochins are not prolific egg 

I'll try to get a picture of the two young roosters, who are expending great energy running back and forth after the pullets and hens. 

My boy Jes can be pretty intent.  As I said on Instagram, 
I have not had even ONE full sandwich in the last ten years, before 
Jes it was the four pugs. 

I had a bacon sandwich that day, by the way. 

These are ornamental peppers in a bed at the 

I took it Saturday morning when I went to work the front desk. 

These were in a bed in Topeka, when I took my sister in law there on Thursday. 

I am so doing this next year.  I have also thought of a way to keep these guys off the deck: 

Sheep did this. 

Yes, these guys.  I did not get the camera out in time to get their guilty looks. 

An hour later, the four dark ducks were up there picking through everything. 

Now... look at the picture of the spilled washtub and you will see some sweet potato tubers.  I cleaned them off.... and was going to cook them to see what they were like, and was told they were 
poisonous.  Well, guess what... after throwing them away.... I found they are NOT, and can 
be eaten.  They just aren't bred for flavor like the garden varieties.  I have another washtub of 
vines, and am going to try one out of it.  I had been afraid to even put them in the compost heap so the sheep would not touch them, but now am no longer afraid. 

One of the dark ducks is now laying, but she is dropping her eggs at random spots in the yard. 
Yesterday's egg was pounced upon by the chickens, who broke it and ran around with it. 
You can see they are much bigger than the chicken eggs, and I'll use them for 
baking.  I wish she would pick a spot that I could check daily. 

Ramona, this one's for you! 

I have quit feeding any wet cat food for the time being, 
because of this.  The pasture feeder is being 
emptied nightly, too, and the raccoon getting it is a big boar, so I am 
leaving him alone. 

The time and date on this cam is correct... and Spooky and Harlequin got there 
early enough last night that they were able to eat.  Not ten minutes later came the 
first of the raccoons, and in all, there were about 8 of them. 

Spooky also made it to the front deck of the Hen Spa (where they are, here) to 
eat the little bit I put out there, so I know they got fed. 

The pasture feeder camera was NOT TURNED ON.  My bad.  All the 
food was gone, though..

Gray tabby checked WAY too late... that was early this morning...

I hope he got some in the pasture...

This guy got there too late, too, and peed to show his displeasure. 

Butterfly goodness at the Ag. 

I want to wish a happy birthday to my oldest son, Jim, too... who turned 
the BIG FIFTY on Saturday! 

Friday, September 7, 2018

A Really Fun Week

Two posts in less than a week!

I have returned from Milwaukee, and despite my total exhaustion, 
I am going to share some pictures. 

My view from the audience on Monday night at Ringo Starr and the All-Star band. 
My cousin Mary Frances went with me, and no, we didn't take a selfie. 
Thanks to her husband Richard, we had drop off service. 

That's Steve Lukather (Toto) in front, Warren Hamm behind him (Toto), 
Ringo... Graham Gunderson of 10CC, Greg Bissonette of Toto behind him, 
and Colin Hay (Men at Work) on the right.  Greg Rolie of Santana was 
off to the left.  This is a HUGELY talented and tight band, I missed 
Toto's performance here this week. 

Ringo was very entertaining... but my cousin (roundly in Paul's house) said 
"He's not Paul".  :-) 

It was a great evening at Starlight, a venue I don't often visit. 

On the jumbo camera.... Ringo at 77 was still in great shape. 
It's time, though, to drop "You're Sixteen" from the lineup, though, 
Ringo... in the age of  #MeToo. 

The next day, Rich and Mary Frances took me to MCI for my trip. 

I had only flown one time in the last seven years, to Houston 
to see Keith's family.  (Keith drove).  As I was still working, 
I only took two days, so it was an overnight trip, and the flight left almost six hours late. 

I was in a right old state, let me tell you, and drove my traveling friends crazy with questions for the last month. 

I flew Southwest, and it was a pleasure. 

Because of Judy and Marsha (from the Ag Hall) I knew what to expect. 

My suite at the Residence Inn Downtown Milwaukee literally looked 
down on the theater where the concert was to be held. 

I had to walk maybe 100 feet from the back door to the front door of the theater. 

I did not know until the day before I left that there was a river walk in 
Milwaukee... my bad. 

This is taken at the back door of the hotel.  (okay, maybe it was more than 100 feet to the theater). 

There are apartments, lofts and condos everywhere, and many, many young adults running, jogging, walking and playing downtown. 

There is old architecture, 

And a former indoor downtown mall being converted into living space. 

There is artwork everywhere. 

(this lights up at night) 

There is also the Bronze Fonz, Arthur Fonzarelli, in bronze, but 
try as I might, with TWO forays, I could not find him.  I did later talk to 
someone at the concert who had actually seen it. 

Yes, folks, I am a sucker for Duck Art, and there was a LOT OF IT. 

(and those weren't the only ones) 

There was sadness, too, these homeless person's blankets, etc., were in the bandshell at Pere Marquette Park, along the river.  It made me think of the folks at the shelter for whom I cook. 

There were countless places to eat, and many German restaurants, but 
on the diabetic meds I take, my appetite is almost killed.  I just cannot get 
food down most days, and depend on protein drinks a lot.  


These are about 99 cents at the commissary at Fort Leav. 

So now, on to the reason I came to Milwaukee for my "vacation". 

For thirty years, I worked at various venues as an usher, a ticket taker, a program seller, a ticket seller, 
and then performance house manager, and managed volunteer ushers. 

I saw many, many, many famous bands, and some many times. 

I was always working.  

My pleasure now is to go and hear those bands at leisure, where I  don't have to 
be running up and down stairs, dealing with irate customers, 
and generally working my behind off. 

I saw the Beatles at 14, and have seen Ringo twice, and Paul, three times. 

I love the band Queen, and saw them in the seventies at Kemper Arena, and 
again last year. 

I love the progressive rock band, Yes, and it is now in two iterations, one led 
by Steve Howe and Allen White... whom I saw in June, here, 
and one featuring original founder Jon Anderson (vocalist), Trevor Rabin,
(guitar) and Rick Wakeman (keyboards) , styled as Yes-ARW. 

These three admirable people are backed up by Lou Molino III (drums) and 
Lee Pomeroy (bass). 

This is whom I went to see in Milwaukee. 

You may think I am a fan.  This gentleman is a FAN. 
He has seen YES in its' different lineups 64 times! 
He has been to England to see them. 
He has partied with various members. 

He made this banner during the 90125 tour in 84, and 
they all signed it, and he has pictures of them with it up on stage. 

He shared many stories about them with us. 

The reception room was in the basement, and we were treated to a wonderful 
repast, which I mostly could not eat.  I did have some fresh pita and hummus, and 
a small lemon square which melted on the mouth.  There were turkey meatballs in sauce, 
and burritos, and people chowed down.  We got two drink tickets (most used them) but 
I got a diet coke.

After the reception, we were ushered upstairs (oh, how nice it is to let 
someone else do it)... and we were treated to three numbers during the soundcheck. 
No pictures, or the band's own security would erase them from your camera, and I saw no one breaking the rules. 

Our hostess, Uma, explained that the show's camera was malfunctioning, and they were afraid their pictures would not come out, and asked if we would mind if she took pictures with our own cameras while the photographer took the others. 

I expected to find one picture on my phone, I got EIGHT. 

So, let me say right here.... I expected the band members to be so jaded and 
tired of doing this, that it would be perfunctory, and yes, you will see Trevor Rabin does NOT look engaged in the pictures, but despite that, he was very friendly and nice as he signed autographs. 

I mentioned that my friends Marco and Stella lived in Bexhill-on-Sea in Great Britain, and I wanted to get an autograph for Marco.... and Rick and Jon looked up and said "Our bass player Lee is moving to Bexhill-on-Sea!"... and Trevor (who is from South Africa origanally, but lives in the US) said "Where IS Bexhill-on-Sea?"... they did not have to talk while autographing, but they did, repeatedly, and it made it lovely as we talked more about it. 

Then we all lined up again for pictures. 

I expected Jon Anderson to be a snob, and lo and behold, he COULD NOT HAVE BEEN MORE CHARMING. 

YES, he put his arm around me, was that cool or WHAT? 

And he talked the whole time, putting me at ease.  
And yes, I now am a slave at the altar of Jon Anderson :-). 

Notice Trevor Rabin wears protective gloves on his hands, I think that's wise, as he is a
red-hot guitarist. 

I will not bore you with the six other pictures, and don't I look like someone's grandma? 

 Rick is not smiling there, but I assure you, he was congenial with everyone. 

So for once in my adult life, I DID NOT TRY TO TAKE MANY PICTURES DURING THE CONCERT, but just sat back and soaked it in. 
I did buy the new DVD, ANDERSON RABIN WAKEMAN AT THE APOLLO, it is just released today, but they had copies for sale and that is what I had them autograph. 

Wait, one more picture, it is a better one... 

That's a snippet of "Your Move" (See All Good Men)... you can hear 
Lee Pomeroy playing Chris Squire's bass part in the background. 

WHEN am I going to learn to take good concert footage???

I only took maybe three more pictures and put the phone down for 
good so I could enjoy. 

I have to say something here about the good people of Milwaukee.  I found the hotel staff to be wonderfully helpful.  I also found everyone I met at random to be pleasant and polite. 
Talking with a group of Yes fans at the venue was so much fun. 

I was short 12 cents for a bottle of water and was digging for change when a man stepped up at Goodcents to pay it for me (and I ended up not being able to eat the sandwich any way)... 

And, the not so good part.... I had vacant seats on either side of me, those seats were 
horribly expensive, they were a gigantic splurge for me.... and I had just-met friends 
at the end of the row on my left.  Right at show time, two women were seated 
to my right, they were already drunk or high, and were ROWDY, I am talking state fair ROWDY. 
They were standing and waving and dancing and speaking loudly, ruining the concert for those around them. 

The one next to me barraged me with questions, and then began touching me 
all over, my arms, my legs, my hands, my shoulder, tried to put her arm around me. 
I was uncomfortable to say the least.... (and remember, two seats were empty to my left). 
Finally, after ten minutes, there was a tap on my shoulder from the rear.  A man leaned forward and said to me "MOVE".  He had been watching them. 
He pointed to the two empty seats.  I told him I would as soon as I was sure no one would come. 
(Remember, I have been on that end many times, the usher moving people). 

After the physical assault continued, I pointedly looked at this lady, and said 
DO NOT TOUCH ME AGAIN, in no uncertain terms. 
She stopped. 

They left, came back with drinks.... 
and her hand strayed several more times, but 
finally, she leaned over and asked if they could move into the two seats on my left. 
(and by the way, they had gotten free tickets from Ticketmaster). 


They left again, came back with more drinks....

and I moved.  I put a seat in between us.... and they promptly followed me. 
I turned my side to them and watched the rest of the show, and yes, her hand strayed several times, 
but I was left pretty much alone. 

I had my purse tightly across my chest and around my neck. 

After the show, I watched them leave before going out, and then trotted quickly to the hotel. 

I had to transfer in St. Louis, and was fraught with anticipation, but had NO PROBLEMS. 
I was so glad to see my wonderful cousin and her husband at the airport, 
and to get home here to Calamity Acres. 

I would do it again in a minute. 

I am so grateful to Christopher, my grandson, for 
watching everyone for me. 

When I pulled in the gate, I called out to the sheep in the pasture, and by the time I parked, they had run up to the gate to see me. 

The dogs were overjoyed, I admit it.  Lilly had not eaten well for Chris, and 
was worn out. 

It was so good to be back in my own bed, with a snoozing Jester next to me. 

It is rainy here, and has rained all week, so Calamity Acres is sopping, but HOME. 

I am so glad to come back to it, but oh, it was fun. 

Planning another trip in the spring already :-). 

Monday, September 3, 2018

Taking a Few Days Off

Friends, I am taking a few days off! 

I have not had a real vacation in over 20 years, though Keith 
and I made several trips to see his daughter Amber play volleyball, 
and another for a family reunion on his side.  

We were never able to take the trip we had planned to 
Gettysburg together, though we both had gone individually. 

So... I am going to leave here, spend the night at 
my cousin's after a concert (Ringo and the All-Starr Band), 
and then fly to Milwaukee! 

I'll miss my helpers!

This one....

This one, my snuggle buddy...

Of course, these guys...

And these guys.  I went through my phone, taking out 
pictures and videos yesterday... who has a hundred videos of their ducks 
in their phone?????  

Gratuitous stink-eye picture, and she has actually now destroyed another 
planter so she can lay in it.  It was still in good shape, too. 

I wondered where all my eggs were going! 

I found these in the back corner of the sheep barn last night. 
Grandson Chris is here to farm-sit, and he already knows he has to 
search high and low for eggs. 

Today would have been my beautiful mother, Mary's, 104th birthday. 
She passed away ten years ago.  She was a stunner in her twenties, huh? 

Why I'm going to Milwaukee....Oh, Yes!