Saturday, July 11, 2009

Day 13 - 15 Welcome to MO

July 9, 10 and 11 were spent visiting with family friends in Missouri. Kathy and Larry are friends of my mom from when she and my dad lived in Kansas. After my dad passed away Mom decided that she would join them in a move to Georgia. So she went house shopping and found a nice one. Then she got lucky and found a good job. Now they have moved to Missouri and Mom is in Georgia, but they are still great friends. We have sort of adopted them into our family. Billy likes spending time with Larry talking about cows and other farming stuff and Kathy is such a great person we love hanging around.
After leaving my sister's house we drove down and arrived in the early evening. You would think that being out in the country no one would be able to sneak up on you, but Kathy was jamming to some tunes and got a big surprise.

HI! She was just recovering from the 4th of July weekend when all of her kids were in for the holiday. Then we showed up. HI!

On our way there we were following TomTom and the road numbers were not matching at all. We found out later that none of the GPS systems or even things like Google maps don't have the right numbering out here. I think it has been wrong for a long time, the county hasn't updated whatever data base needs updating. What we ended up doing was guessing at where the house was and telling TomTom to take us there. We guessed correctly, but since we were really on some country roads, sometimes they aren't fit for cars to drive down. This picture is taken after we turned around, the road beyond was more grass than gravel and we chose to "go around the block" to see if there was a better route.

The funny thing to us is - some roads might not be car friendly, none of them out here are paved, and sometimes they are little more than dirt, but they all have road signs and the houses are numbered. Tourists might get lost with their GPS systems, but 911 can find you. Maybe - hope they aren't using GPS too!
That evening we went out for ice cream at the local dairy bar. There is a Sonic on the other side of town, but when you want ice cream even the dogs know where to go.
This is Buster Brown and he Really likes his ice cream!

That night there was a pretty big storm that went through the area. One crack of thunder and lightening woke me up and when I looked out the window I saw what looked like fire at a house up the road.
It was pretty dark out and the house was about a half mile away. So I got my camera out and zoomed waaay in to see. The camera pulled a lot of light in making it look a lot brighter than it was, but I still couldn't see too well. Billy couldn't make it out either - and then the power went out for the whole area and so did the fire on the neighbor's house. Solved that problem, but what was it? Found out later they had put red, white, and blue rope lights up for their son who is in the military. The color of the plastic on the lights faded away in the sunny days to an orange. Mystery solved.

Friday, the 10th was spent very quietly. There was some farm business that needed to be taken care of in town so the guys went and handled that. I stayed at the house and worked on catching up on the blog. That night we went out to dinner and had a great steak and then slept like rocks. Very relaxing day in the country.

The next day was a bit more challenging. First there was evaluating the baby bird situation. The mother had taken up residence in a corner of the porch and had four "babies" in the nest when we arrived. Friday morning only two of them were left. They sure looked big enough to move out!

As we moved around that morning they settled in the nest to see what we were up to for the day.

The main event of the day was a big dead Maple tree stump that needed to get out of the yard. It was really blocking Kathy's view of the corn, so it had to go! Just an inside joke there... there is plenty of corn to see around the yard. The corn years leave a person with a sort of fenced in feeling. When there are beans planted around the house the view is not obstructed at all. So, moving the tree had little to do with seeing the corn. That didn't stop the guys from trying to pull it down though. First Billy tried... it didn't budge.

Then they hooked a truck up to it and pulled, but that didn't work. It wasn't as hollow or shallow rooted as they had hoped.
So, out came the chainsaw. First one side got cut.

Then the other side got cut.

Then they used the truck to pull on it again... and it didn't move. So then the chainsaw came back out again and the cuts got deeper.
Then they pulled on it with the truck again and this time it moved, a lot.
My hero. Remember that clean look. It will change.
A you can see the tree was pretty hollow, but it had some strength to it yet. And some good flower dirt at its core.
So then they started cutting it up into managable pieces.
This is the look of a happy homeowner who can now see a platform for more flowers. Oh and I don't know if you have noticed the corn in all of these pictures. It isn't even tall yet.
After the tree went down, Billy took a minute in the shade and poked the bird nest and scared them all away. Since the babies were gone he pulled the nest our and then went back to work.
While the tree slicing was going on, Kathy went and emptied her wheelbarrow of the weeds it had on board so that she could collect all of that good flower dirt.
She isn't afraid of the corn, just doesn't like how it blocks the view and like I said it isn't even tall yet. Not for Missouri corn anyway.
Back at the tree the slicing starts to get serious.
Until the whole thing is down, cut up, and on the trailer.
Surprisingly it only took about two and a half hours to get it all done.

And in the end we have this beautiful plant stand.

Remeber how clean and dry he was?
He and Larry got cleaned up and we went to town for some lunch with their oldest son who had come home to get some stuff and then got roped into helping with the next project, moving some chest freezers out of Grandpa's basement. Luckily there were more people over at that farm working when the guys arrived. They got it done and then came back to the house and got cleaned up again.
So that was Missouri. It might seem like Billy ends up doing a lot of work when we are out like this, but he really likes to help people with projects like this. My job is to stay out of the way. HA.

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