Monday, January 03, 2011

Well, that just happened.

I'm back from Kansas.

The drive wasn't too bad. Since I've started driving again my eyes didn't exhaust quite as quickly. We took the Prius but drove like maniacs so we only got about 35MPG on the drive out. Around 40 on the way back. We stopped in St Louis on the way out. On the way back we started out from Kansas City and stopped in Columbus, Ohio.

No sightseeing on this trip. We need to do an extended stay in Saint Louis some time. Most of the stuff we want to see is there or darn close.

Come to think of it, there were very few stops on the trip. Could have something to do with the fact that we were driving on Christmas Day. The only dining establishment that we could find open was Shoney's. Everywhere else was locked up.

The stay in Kansas was pretty packed. So many people to visit.
Grammie has deteriorated since I was last there. She's 92. Her voice is very weak and she was a bit confused.
Grandma is better, but still 92. She's moved into some small apartments for the elderly. But her strength is going and she misses her friends.

Our plans to make bird baths from metal around the farm met with complications. The disks from old farm working equipment weren't as deep as I remember. Then the welding masks were old and malfunctioning. The disk we were gonna use for a base may also be too hard to weld on. We're not 100% sure because the welder proved to be too much for the circuit we initially put it on. Dad and I blew a good long time following wires. It wasn't until we gave up that we found a bathroom with a flipped reset button on the outlet that we got things working. At that point we pretty much just said "fuck it."

I got no measurements taken on the brick press.

Mom is overseeing a pair of churches down on the Kansas/Oklahoma border. This means she can't give either quite the same attention that she gave her old one. The plus side is that this makes the congregation have to get more involved. The downside is that she's not as familiar with the church itself. We kept asking questions she couldn't quite answer. "How old are these World Book Encyclopedias?" (a: 1970 and 1975 and 19??) and "Where does this rope go?" (a: it lowered a stained glass panel in the ceiling. It appears not to have been moved in a couple of decades. Certainly not in several paint jobs.) The one that she lives next to really is pretty nice. It's old and has some features I hadn't seen before.
One church had a building they'd practically abandoned. High water bills made them think there was a leak under the foundation. Rather than fix it they just shut off the water. Mom turned the water back on. They found that the toilet ran. $20 in toilet parts later they had the building back. The building will soon be offices.

The town she's in now, Caldwell, is pretty small and pretty isolated. While smaller than the town I grew up near it's so far from a significant town that there are shops and places to eat. But a lot of the shops are only open a couple of days of the week. You have to plan well.

Sometime in 2011 they're gonna have a cattle drive start there for the 150th anniversary of Kansas. For $2,500 you can get a spot. You have to be able to ride a horse, ride it for a week, and be able to camp out. You'll spend a week moving a herd of cattle across Kansas. I just hope to be able to see the herd driven through downtown Caldwell. When the website for the cattle drive comes up I'll post it here.

A friend from Texas was in town. Had dinner with him. We tried to follow it with a trip to the Hank Is Wiser brewery in Cheney only to find out they're not open except Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night.

I got a sand plum sapling from the farm. Now I have to make it survive.

Got measures taken of the existing hay barn so I can develop a more detailed version of my replacement plans.

We made a trip out to one of the old dump sites. I was hoping to find inspiration for the bird bath, but mostly some huge old truck spring from a suspension system for Yummy. That dump used to be full of them. We either made off with them all or they're buried. Still, Yummy got a lesson in the stages of metal decomposition.
We also found a sizable percentage of a cow skeleton. Yummy took her mom a vertibra. I brought back a femur for Mom's tiny dog. No skull. The coyotes must have that.

Thanks to our regular hosts in Kansas City. It's always good to see them. You're right about the Toddtinis. Only one. ONLY one!

1 comment:

Mike Rhode said...

1. What's a sand plum?

2. In Columbus, one should visit the comics library at OSU.