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Indian Paintbrush and Texas Blue Bonnets

Monday, September 30, 2013

Proud Mama....

I don't think there's anything that makes a parent happier than to see their kids grow up to be happy adults.  One of the biggest factors to being happy is liking what you do.  Today, we had the opportunity to visit our son at his place of work. Danny is a tech in the Corrosive Technology lab that is part of the engineering department at Ohio University.  Their main function is to test or development solutions for corrosion problems in the gas and oil field.  They are funded by some of the largest oil companies in the world, so facilities and equipment are state of the art.
 Danny has been with the department nearly 10 years and absolutely loves his job.

A little background:   Our daughter and son-in-law live in the Hudson Valley, about 90 miles north of the city.  Since Bill and I are in Ohio for such a short time, they came here for a week-end visit.  Our son Danny lives here, (as do my brother and sister) and we've had a great time having a very impromptu family reunion.  (more of that in another blog)....

Donna and Glenn had to head back to NY this morning, but before leaving, we went to Danny's place of work for a tour....

There are about 50 people in this department...  I think Danny said they represent at least 14 nationalities.  
Here's Dan...  at his desk.
Which he says he's seldom at because he's out in the lab area most of the time.

There are some separate rooms which house specialty equipment...  rooms where h2S is used and other rooms that require haz/mat clothing and equipment.
But the huge room that houses much of the work is open....
The above collage shows a small section of the room.  At the upper right is one test in progress.  At the lower right that's Donna and Danny as Dan's explaining this piece of equipment.

That's Danny's boss on the right...
Al has been a engineering prof at OU for 18 years.  He was in the old building which is closer to campus, but had the opportunity to design and see this facility become a reality.  

Danny gave us a walking tour throughout the building, explaining what different equipment is used for.  I was really impressed - not just with his knowledge but with his love of the work he does.
Donna, Danny, Bill and Glenn

Looks like something straight out of a Science Fiction Movie to me!
There really are beakers of liquid bubbling...  hoses running from one beaker to another....  glass vats...  stainless steel tanks....  you kind of expect to see Frankenstein's monster lurch from behind a huge storage tank.

Danny gave us a great tour of the place, but it was soon time for him to get back to work.  And... Donna and Glenn to get on the road for their 10 hour drive back to NY.
Donna, Me, and Danny
I am very proud of all my kids, but am so very happy that they do what they like to do, have jobs they like and have good bosses as well.

Yes, I am one proud Mama!

That's All For Today!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Chicory Defined....

It's been a busy day...  scratched off a couple more things on my "to do" list.  Caught up with my son this evening.  His phone quit working...  really something how much we all depend on our phones these days.  Still working on getting some kind of agenda for the weekend...  daughter from NY will be in Friday evening...  here for the weekend.  Looks like we might actually have a "Wallace Family Reunion" before the weekend is over.  Weather looks good....  it will be great if that works out.

No photos...  did take some bird pictures today... goldfinch... males starting to get their winter feathers.  I walked with a friend on the bike path this morning... I found a $10 bill laying in plain sight on the asphalt.  When Bill picked me up I gave it to him and he gave me a $5 to give to my friend (I never carry my purse with me)....  I believe in splitting the booty ;-)

Last post I had a photo of chicory.  I had to google it to see if that pretty blue flower and the stuff that (especially in the South) they grind up for coffee were one and the same.  Yep...  looks like that' so.  The following is from Wikapedia....



The chicory plant is Cichorium intybus, is a hardy perennial with purplish-blue flowers that open and close at the exact same time each day. Chicory is common in North American and in Europe. Although chicory leaves are used in food (they are often known as endive, frisée, escarole or radicchio), chicory's roots are the parts used to make 'chicory.'

Each chicory plant has a single, long, thick root (known as a 'tap root'). Chicory root is roasted before it is brewed, but it can also be boiled and eaten like a vegetable.

For more on the chicory plant, see this chicory definition from About.com Herb Gardens.

Chicory's History

Chicory is one of the oldest recorded types of plants. Chicory is native to Northern Africa, Western Asia and Europe, and its cultivation is thought to have originated in Egypt in ancient times. Later, chicory was grown by Medieval monks in Europe (at which time commonly added to coffee by the Dutch). It was brought to North America in the 1700s and has been a popular coffee substitute or an ingredient in coffee in France since around 1800.

More recently, chicory consumption has been associated with embargoes and cost cutting. Across history, there have been many substitutes for coffee when coffee was unavailable, including roasted acorns, yams and a variety of local grains, but chicory tends to be the preferred coffee substitute, and in some circles it is even used when coffee is available and cheap.

One historical and cultural example of chicory's use as a coffee substitute is found in New Orleans. Due in part to its influences from French culture, New Orleans was a major consumer of coffee prior to the Civil War. Then, in 1840, coffee importation to the New Orleans harbor was blocked. Taking a cue from their French roots, locals began to use chicory as a coffee substitute. Today, chicory remains a popular coffee replacement or coffee flavoring in New Orleans, and 'New Orleans Coffee' typically refers to chicory coffee. New Orleans coffee vendors often blend their coffee with up to 30 percent chicory root.

For cost-cutting reasons, and perhaps for safety reasons, chicory is also used as a coffee substitute in many U.S. prisons.

I have an appt tomorrow to get my eyes checked...  but then, after spotting that ten spot maybe I'm doing okay.  

That's All For Today!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A Quiet Day Up On Bishfarm....

I've written in the past how our farm got its name....  and even though we no longer raise goats, guineas, chickens...  or even put in a garden...  it's still Bishfarm to me.

When we have our annual visits "home", Bill still gets out his trusty John Deere...
Today he used the bucket to knock off the top of the hump down the driveway.  He  has plans to put in a separate electric meter for our motorhome use when we're here.  Right now we plug into the renters electric and give them a nice check when we leave.  Bill will dig a trench (see the backhoe on the rear of the tractor?) and lay a conduit to string an electric wire from the meter box to our rig.  Future plans...  no completion date planned.

Poison Ivy has emerged in various spots since we left nearly 13 years ago...  there's some herbicide on the market that does get rid of it.  We were an organic farm back then...  it's just not practical these days to maintain those standards with our current lifestyle.  Oh well...  we can still support the organic mode by buying our fruits and veggies when possible.

I put out 2 bird feeders....

Have had several "takers" so far.  This Tufted titmouse is one.
Chickadees, Goldfinch and White-breasted Nuthatch are others.  Non seed eaters I've seen are the Eastern Phoebe and the Cedar Waxwings.  I've seen (and heard) the Bluejays and Cardinals, but haven't seen either at the feeders yet.

Our daughter and son-in-law (live about 90 miles north of NYC) are coming this weekend.  I'm trying to arrange a get-together for them, us, my brother and sister (who both live here) and their families (who live in various Ohio towns) for this weekend.  Our phone service out here is the pits....  even with the amplifier it can be a challenge.  My son's phone died while I was talking to him...  all in all, it's quite an endeavor to try to get about 20-25 people together on such short notice.  No matter...  whatever happens will be great.

So... it's a quiet day...  kind of feel like I could be in Lake Wobegon....  heck...  many of the personalities here could rival those Minnosotan folks!  

Oh... wait a minute...

The Chicorys blooming!  You don't find this wildflower (weed to many of you) in the west, so I look forward to seeing it when I'm in Ohio.  If I remember, I'll try to find some Queen Anne's Lace and showcase that tomorrow.....  that and chicory are, to me, the epitome of summer wildflowers in Ohio.

That's All for Today!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Gettin' in the Groove...


What the Heck?
(Michelle... scroll right past this)

We're back on the farm...  kind of what's left of it.  
We're in "our" spot...  backed right up to the edge of the woods.  
Bill's been busy...  using Round Up on the poison ivy that's decided it has squatters rights since last time we were here. Filling in potholes in the driveway....  figuring out what's missing since the last time we were here.  (more of that later)

And....  speaking of "in the groove" and "squatters rights"
Looks like a milk snake...  kinda skinny....  maybe a foot long, but still managed to make its way up part way through the siding on the barn/house.  We knew it wasn't poisonous (look at that long, pointy tail... and the head isn't "arrowhead" shaped")...  so we found a 5 gallon bucket... kind of diverted it into that, and Bill carried the bucket (with snake inside) off to a place it would be better appreciated.

What can I say?  Hey... I could tell you the story of the 6' black snake that was in our stair well...  but... nope...  many of you don't want to know about that.  
Truth is, even though I had a hard time with a bite from a poisonous copperhead many years ago, I really like snakes and give them a lot of credit for keeping other nasty critters at bay.

We woke up this morning to a lot of carrying on in the shrubs outside our rig.  
A whole flock of cedar waxwings were after whatever berries those are about 6' from us.  Bill had thought they were spicebush...  or maybe service berry...  but upon closer scrutiny (no spicy smell), neither of us really know what they are.  I'll HAVE to find out soon.

I put out a couple of bird feeders...  have already had quite a few chickadees and titmice, but because I'm in Ohio and the cardinal is the State Bird...
This will have to be the "poster child" of today.

That apple tree it's perched on is one of Bill's plantings from many years ago.  As you can tell, it has suffered from some kind of blight this summer.  (the tree, not the bird)
That's what happens when the "stewards" of the land aren't here to oversee.

Hey... I got lucky today!
Stopped by the eye doctors to (hopefully) get an appt...  the receptionist kindly told me that she had an opening right after Thanksgiving.
What! We'll be long gone by then.
She looked again to see if she had any cancellations.  Can you believe!  This Thursday at 10:15 I have an appt to get my eyes checked!  WOW!  
I knew it was my lucky day... I found a dime in the parking lot of the laundromat where I did our laundry this morning...  THEN I found a parking space near the downtown area within a block of the Aveda salon where I buy shampoo.  I mean folks, what else could a woman ask for?

Got an e-mail from my daughter...  she and Glenn will drive from New York Friday... be here all weekend.  I am SO looking forward to seeing them.  I can't remember the last time I saw both my kids together at the same time....  way too many years!  My son lives here.....  my daughter lives in NY....  I'm thrilled!

Okay... yeah... we're gettin' in the groove....
Back home...  back on the Ridge....  back to being Mom and Grandma and .... (for those of you who've followed me for a while)...  Mrs. Bish.

That's All For Today!





Sunday, September 22, 2013

Autumn Begins... Fall Equinox

Today is a day of balance...  equal daylight... equal night.  Kind of fitting for our first day back "home"...
We were here last September and when we left we'd made arrangements for our rental manager to have a concrete pad poured for our motorhome.  Bill put in a septic line/dump station 13 years ago when we first made plans to travel.  We come back to Ohio at least once a year and each time Bill has had to use some boards to make us level.  This time he backed right in...  after making sure that the overhead branches weren't going to take off any of our antennas.
 Here we are...  balanced on our new landing pad.

We're only about 100' from our "old" home.  This is the home we built many years ago.
 Not your ordinary house...
The very bottom (bank barn) is where the goats stalls were and at the very front (right) was the milking room and "certified" kitchen.  In Ohio, you have to be inspected by the Dept of Agriculture when you sell (in our case) goat cheese.  The middle level was where we kept critter feed and hay, as well as Bill's workshop.  There is also a greenhouse on the other side.  The top level is where we lived.  Again, not your run of the mill type house...  it was one big room, with ceiling to floor windows on 2 sides.  

Another view of the house...  taken from the lower edge of the goat pasture, at the edge of the woods.
 Now the goat's area is either mowed, garden, or back to the wild.  The renter in the old farm house which you can't see from here, has been putting in vegetable gardens in the past few years.  It's great to have a renter who loves the land as we did.
The top level (living area) is rented...  has been ever since we started traveling.  We've been fortunate to have a very good rental manager who finds us good tenants.  The middle level is now our storage area, and the bottom level houses Bill's tractors and other equipment.  We both know it's getting time to make some decisions about all the "stuff" we have in storage.

A few months ago, DizzyDick posted about trumpet vine.  The photo below shows my arbor, with the "porch" swing...  that's trumpet vine that is growing on the trellis.  That bright green leaf is some kind of volunteer thing that needs cut down.  The upper right photo is of the mimosa tree that Bill planted for me about 15 years ago.  The house I lived in as a teenager had a beautiful mimosa tree in the front yard.  (we drove by yesterday and the tree is long gone)...  it was my Dad's pride and joy.  I love my tree...  someday I might be here when it blooms.
The lower right is the view of the arbor swing from the back.  That's horseradish growing so profusely at its base. 
The swing arbor has a story of its own.  I was in Lowe's many years ago and came home... told Bill I wanted to buy one of those arbor-like swing areas.  Within a week he had built this... and it's SO much nicer than what Lowe's was selling.  We bought 6 trumpet vine plants...  took years to produce the shade we wanted.  But... look at it now! 

While we haven't lived here for nearly 13 years, I'll readily admit that it is "home" to me.  So far we've maintained a balance between life on the road and my love of our farm.

The balance is still good...
I feel like we have the best of both worlds.

That's All For Today!


Saturday, September 21, 2013

Off the Road... Day 7

And so, on the 7th day, he rested from all the driving.... he has driven the motorhome 1,819 miles, many of those through rain and other adverse conditions....
Rain, Fog, Heavy Traffic, Road Construction.....  

Oh, but I should back up a little.  This morning, we woke up in our lovely Wal-Mart parking lot...
Yeah... it's raining, but look...
We're the only folks in the whole parking lot.  Totally alone.  I don't think this Wal-Mart opened until 8am.  We were out of there by then, so I'm not sure.

We only had about 100 miles until "home" again...  of course I'm antsy...  get me across the Ohio River (on the Ohio side) and I'm like a horse heading to the barn.  

I start looking for familiar landmarks...
What you can barely see is a manikin-like figure sitting on that fence.  He waves at everyone driving by.  For years we've waved back.  Today was no different.  Except I almost missed seeing him and got a lousy photo.  Oh well... there's always the next time.

One thing I've never seen along the Appalachian Highway before...
Amish Horse and Buggies
These 3 were driving along the berm.  There are a lot of Amish and Mennonite communities throughout Ohio, but I have no idea where these 3 were coming from nor where they were going.  At least they were well off the highway.  I'm not sure what the speed limit is on Rt 32...  most likely 60 or 65 as it's a 4-lane road with minimal side roads.  But we always give wide berth to any "non traditional" mode of transportation.

I couldn't resist showing this sign...
Hey... I'm from SE Ohio...  it's hilly, the foothills of the Appalachians...  some heavy rains can cause all kinds of havoc with the roads.  Gravel Washer?  Why Not?  Right up there with "Gully Washer".

We got into Athens early enough to head to the Farmer's Market before going home.
Rain doesn't deter either the shoppers or the buyers....
The only deterrent today because the rain was that our raingear kind of prevented us from seeing the other shoppers....  folks were in a hurry...  not quite the usual social gathering it usually is.  We still saw a few folks we know...  and bought a loaf of artichoke/leek bread, some lovely tomatoes, a few eggplant, a bag of Melrose apples, 5 jars of salsa from our favorite salsa maker, a bunch of basil, 2 one inch thick pork chops from Rich Blazier, and I'm sure some stuff I've already put away.

We unhooked the car in town and headed home.  I got home in the Scion about 5 minutes before Bill arrived.  I checked out the overhanging branches along the lane leading into our place.  And saw that the concrete pad had been poured since we left last September.
Looks good to me.
(However, when Bill drove the rig on it, he's concerned a bit that it's not as level as he'd expected...  that's what happens when he's not here to oversee things)

Shortly after I got home, along came Bill.
I held back a few of the maple tree branches that were hanging over the driveway.  The white pine is still okay from the last pruning.

Finally, after 7 days on the road, we are at our destination.  I know....  it really isn't where we live, but, truth is...  it will always be home to me.

That's All For Today!

Friday, September 20, 2013

On the Road.... Day 6

Kentucky is a beautiful state.  It has some oddities...  the major highways are not interstates, but rather "parkways" named after prominent Kentuckians.  They are slowly changing that though, and renaming some of them.  Yes, there are interstates around Louisvlle and Lexington, as well as some north/south roads, but it will be better when they are more uniform with the other states... especially using the mile-marker system.

Along the highways, the scenery is gorgeous.  The rocks are really old and their composition is more shale or sandstone than granite.  The hardwood trees are starting to turn their fall colors.  I saw hickories, oaks, maples and many other species today.
Some views out the car window as we drove along.

It's been a long time since I've seen an Osage Orange tree...
Kind of a blurry picture, but the fruit (or seeds) of the osage orange are green, about the size of a grapefruit and look like those photos you see of a brain.  We saw lots of them along the roads today.

Of course Kentucky is known for its distilleries....
In the past we've taken tours of Maker's Mark and a few others, so today we didn't stop for any sightseeing.  Bill's paternal ancestors came to Kentucky around 1800, and his grandparents lived in Kentucky until 1915, so he's done a lot of genealogy research in various counties.  We've spent a lot of time in Kentucky in the past.

There was a fair amount of road construction...
Look at the upper right photo...  I think that woman wearing the pink hardhat is either making a fashion statement or letting everyone know she's female.  Kinda cute, huh?

When's the last time you saw a Drive-In-Theater?
Somewhere along the way we got off 4 lane roads onto 2 lane roads...  We came across this outdoor theater... still in operation.  How many kids did you hide in the trunk of your car back in the day?

Driving 2 lane roads took us through some small towns...
And city streets...
Doesn't this just look like Hometown USA?  American flag and all!  I love it!

Finally, at Maysville, Kentucky, we came to the Ohio River
The bridge across looks kind of narrow.  The Ohio River doesn't belong to Ohio at all... in fact, Ohio doesn't "officially" start until land on the other side.  I got a photo of the bridge...  and of the river (upper right)... but just then the camera battery died, so I didn't get a photo of the official "Welcome to Ohio" banner across the end of the bridge.  I did the next-best thing... got a picture of the first State Route sign I saw.

We drove 291 miles today.  Home is not quite 100 miles away.  We stopped here in West Union, Ohio to visit a friend that we knew over 30 years ago.  Rich was going to OU back then and he and Bill were friends.  Eventually Rich moved to Missoula, Montana...  we visited him twice there.  A couple years ago he moved back to his hometown.  Today, we had the pleasure of seeing him again and having dinner together.

Tomorrow morning we'll head out...  Day 7 will be the final day of this road trip.  We changed to the Eastern Time Zone today, so who knows what time we'll hit the road in the morning.  I love traveling, but will be happy to see my family again and stay in one place for a couple of weeks.  

That's all for Today!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

On the Road..... Day 5

I often write about staying overnight at Wal-Marts if we're just driving from Point A to Point B.  While I know this isn't for everyone, it works fine for us.  We are totally self-sufficient and could easily boondock for a week or more without needing anything.  Last night we stayed at a Wal-Mart...  and look at what we woke up to this morning...
I just cracked up laughing...  there were 21 (count 'em... twenty-one) 18 wheelers surrounding us.
Yeah, we heard a little noise last night, but I guess we slept through all the traffic that must have kept arriving as the night went on.  This must be a major resting place for those weary truckers...  not many places to stay between Little Rock and Memphis.  We look kind of dwarfed...  but, being there before any of the big rigs, we did have a nice comfy space at the end of the row.  Hilarious!

Speaking of cracking up...   I often prop my feet up on the dash, and around 10:00 this morning and I did just that...
Did a double take...  Rats!  I've got on shoes from 2 different pairs.  Now, I'm not sure whether y'all will think I'm cracking up from laughing or just plain cracking up...  but I hurried to change to a pair that looked the same.  At least I had on a right and a left shoe...  it REALLY would have been bad if I had on 2 that fit the same foot.  Hey... do you think this road trip is getting to me?

There was a lot of road construction along I40 today...  
We drove I 40 over to Memphis, but then headed up I 55 (still in Arkansas) to Missouri, then over through a little corner of Tennessee, then into Kentucky.  Lots of construction, but the traffic was never at a standstill.  We've traveled this route off and on over the years and this time there seemed to be a lot more traffic than has been in the past.

We're always looking at the cargo those big trucks are carrying...
Our lunch break today...  Doesn't that load next to us look like HUGE spark plugs?  It's fun to try to figure out what various loads are for.  

When we head up I 55, we're actually travelling parallel to the Mississippi River.  That means a lot of farm land as that land is no doubt rich in nutrients.  Today the farmers were hard at it...  burning some kind of old crop.  The smoke was so thick that it actually limited visibility along the interstate.
Kind of reminded us of the sugar cane fields down in south Texas...  when they burn the cane, there are huge billows of black smoke.  Interesting...

Change of habitat again...  this time we're into something I'm more familiar with...
Goldenrod!
I think a lot of folks are allergic to this, but even so, I think it's a lovely "weed".  Years ago, when we kept bee hives, we had a pollen extractor on a couple of our hives.  As the bees would come back home, the pollen would drop into a holding area, to be "harvested" by Bill.  Eating pollen is supposed to be good for a person... only problem is, the darned stuff made my mouth itch really bad.  So much for my experiment with pollen from goldenrod.  I still think it's beautiful, though.

And...  the scourge of the south...
Kudzu
Looks kind of pretty if you don't know what it is and how it chokes out everything else.  This invasive plant has taken over many areas...  we saw a lot of it as we drove through Tennessee and into Kentucky.

We started out around 8am...  finished for the day around 3:30 or 4pm
335 miles today...  
Only a couple more days until we're back on the farm.
(Kind of misleading as there's no farm to go home to these days...  but, we think a new concrete pad has been put down since we were back in Ohio last.    Don't know for sure until we get there)

So...  happily parked in our Wal-Mart parking space for the night...  More tomorrow.

That's All For Today!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

On the Road.... Day 4

Woke up to another day that could be rainy...  
 Or maybe sunny....  or maybe both.  Not much traffic heading east....  often it felt like we had the whole road to ourselves.

Driving through Oklahoma we went through various Indian Nations...  Cherokee, Seminole, and other I can neither pronounce nor spell.  So many of the signs are not exactly "English".
What do you make of this one?
The fact that it was real close to a huge lake ...  probably the Arkansas River dammed and made into either a hydroelectric plant or maybe just a recreational area...  But...  there was truly a Lot of Water there! 

I won't bore you with a gazillion road photos...  they all pretty much look the same.....  Occasional shower so there'd be raindrops on the windshield...  or maybe an unusual 18 wheeler driving past... we love trying to figure out their cargo.
Finally...  into...
WooHoo!  Another state closer to Ohio!
Doesn't take much to get me excited after 3 days of straight roads with little variance in scenery.

Wait!  What did I just say?
 Hey!  The junipers and brushy stuff has given way to real, honest to goodness deciduous trees!
I start to see sycamores!  And lots of scrubby sumacs in their fall colors (okay, their leaves turn early, but they are always beautiful)....  and I saw some sweet gums...  some elms....  The trees are taller...  sturdier...  my kind of trees!  AND...  you can even see a hint of autumn in their leaves, even though we're still quite a way south.

Now, I wasn't making fun of that "Lotawatah" sign... I mean, folks can name their places... or their dogs or their kids...  anything they want to...  But...
 Come on now...  Toad Suck Park?  
Say, honey, lets take a picnic and have a romantic evening down at Toad Suck.  I'll even place some nice music on the CD player...  maybe "Jeramiah was a BullFrog" or something like that.  I have a nice bottle of Boone's Farm in the cooler.

Just outside of Little Rock, the rains came down...
 They didn't last long...  just for the 15 miles it took to skirt Little Rock.  Then they quit.
By the way, we were invited to stop by Carolyn's place...  and as much as I'd loved to, we both knew that if we're gonna make it to Ohio by the weekend, it just wouldn't work.  I'd love to meet Carolyn in person...  have a feeling we'd both say a lot more than we blog about.  No, that's not true... I think Carolyn says whatever's on her mind!  Love her blog!

We were heading to Lonoke, Arkansas...  (yeah, another Wal-Mart) and passed this place...
I could only wonder how much gun powder is kept here and how high the building would blow into the sky if it were to ignite.  
Hey... it's been a long day...  320 miles....  I get punchy after the 3rd or 4th day of straight roads with the same kind of scenery.  Cut me a break.  

That's All For Today!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

On the Road.... Day 3

We drove into the Central Time Zone yesterday.  I don't know about you, but even though time itself doesn't really make a whole lot of difference to me and Bill, we both have our internal clocks that tell us when to go to bed, when to get up and stuff like that.  So last night my mind just kept racing until after 10pm.  (Okay... this tells you that I usually go to bed around 9:30.... I never claimed I was a night owl).  

Staying in a Wal-Mart parking lot has its good points (close to the grocery, safe to walk around...) and a few bad points... (the parking lot "cleaners" start their machinery pretty darned early, 18 wheelers often run their diesel engines all hours... ) you get the picture.  One of my favorite times was when we woke up to all kinds of strange animal noises and found that a petting zoo had set up during the night...  but that's another story.

This morning we woke up to fog...
We didn't leave until 8:30, but even then visibility wasn't the best.
The sun burnt through the fog and the roads became clearer...
Not that the scenery was much to look at.
Let's face it, driving through some of these areas could put a person in a coma.
Bill does all the driving...  I manage the radio stations, bring out snacks now and then, and just because I'm me... I talk a lot.  Oh well...  Bill's used to me after all these years.

Texas has some unusual RoadSide Rests....
 Kind of plays on ones nerves when one realizes that the roadside rest is really a shelter...  from tornadoes.  Our friends Chris and Juan are waiting out a hurricane in Mexico as I write...  seeing this made me wonder how they are doing....

Much of I 40 is actually the old Route 66....  the "Mother Road"...
Some of the rest areas commemorate this historic highway.  
My brother and I rode with our cousin from Ohio to Arizona in 1957 and I KNOW we traveled much of this road.  I don't remember that much of it...  only that he had a convertible, and even though the top was up, this was in December and my brother and I froze our buns off in the back seat ....  the whole way!

Okay... finally through Texas...  On to...
Oh yes, I'd sooner be here than anywhere else today.
Bill & I have spent a lot of time in Oklahoma.  I've mentioned in the past that Bill does genealogy.  Well, his great-grandfather, John T Norton, participated in the Oklahoma Land Rush.  He obtained and homesteaded a section of land not too far from the Kansas/Oklahoma border.  That's where Bill's grandfather was born.  Bill actually belongs to the "Pioneers of Oklahoma" families association.  He qualifies for both that and as one of the first families of Kansas.  

Of course the Cherokee Nation is of this area.  Everyone's heard of Will Rogers, and most of us have heard of the Trail of Tears.

Along the highway now are those gaudy gift shops that sell overpriced souvenirs... probably made in China.  We stopped...
Not because I wanted to buy rattlesnake eggs or Indian artifacts, but because we have to stop and run the tow vehicle every 200 miles...  and it was time.

Well, we did walk inside...  and...  lo and behold!
A Smashed Penny Machine!
My big expenditure of the day...  $1.53 for 3 smashed pennies to add to my collection.  
I think I have 8 or 9 books of smashed pennies now, and really, it's a cheap souvenir, and one that I enjoy collecting.

On we drove....

Getting into Oklahoma City, you are reminded that one of the little outlying towns is the home of Country/Western singer, Garth Brooks.  
 Nope... didn't pull off.  No reason to....

Moving right along....
 We've done our sight-seeing of Oklahoma City in the past...  in fact, one of my childhood friends had just left the gov't building when it was bombed years ago.  

I saw this architectural bridge on the east side of the city... 
 Haven't googled it yet, but would like to know the significance of the design.

We kept on driving...  got about 20 miles east of Oklahoma City and stopped for the night at Shawnee, Oklahoma....  a Wal-Mart, of course.

And, if you really want to know, I've been doing some geocaching along the way...  don't want to forget how to use my GPS, you know....

Bill's in Wal-Mart as I write...  there's a Murphy gas station right next to us and he's filling up our Wal-Mart card so we can get 3c off a gallon when we fill up in the morning.

Hey... every cent counts, you know....

So Ends Day 3 -  290 miles today...  more tomorrow.

That's All For Today!