Saturday, May 26, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend...the older I get, the more it seems to mean to me.  I'm not referring to the BBQing and getting together with family and friends.  No, just remembering those no longer with us--family, friends, and those who served this country.

As a kid I used to hate going to the cemetery up in Leavenworth (Lansing technically).  Most of Mom's family there were folks I had never met...until I got a bit older, and then some I knew were buried there--my aunt, my uncle, my cousin.  And as I grew older, I began to go up on my own.  I wouldn't take flowers--peonies are pretty but I hate the ants the draw.  Instead I would grab some fries at the McD near by, and head over to Muncie.  Mount Muncie cemetery butts up against part of the Leavenworth VA and military cemetery there.  I'd wander over to the family plot, eat my fries and say "hi" to the dead folks, and enjoy the shade and beauty of the place.  Sometimes I'd wander the grounds, looking at the oldest stones.  There are some interesting ones there--follow the link and you can read about them.

Eventually I would wander over to the military cemetery, and ponder what it all means.  If you've never been to a military cemetery, you should go some time, and look, and think.  Not every one there died in combat, but ALL served in some fashion. (And yes, I consider those spouses buried with their servicemember to have served in their own way too.)  Did you know that the graves of those servicemen who received the Medal of Honor are all marked with a small plaque?  You can wander around, looking for those particular gravesites, and read a small summary of their actions.

Leavenworth National Cemetery

Tomorrow, my husband and my son will go to DFW National Cemetery, with the Scouts, and they will participate in setting flags on all the graves.  I am really happy and proud that our CubScouts will be doing this.

Turns out my husband was ill last night and was not able to attend.  So I went with our son instead.  Here are a few pictures from our efforts to honor those at rest in DFW National.

This year, my mom went up to Muncie, and got some fries, when she went to visit the graves.  She did it, because I couldn't be there myself, living 9hrs away as I do...  Then she went off to the local cemetery, where her husband, my Dad, is buried.  For Dad, she took red roses.  He always liked roses.  Me?  I won't be up there until this fall, but then, maybe I will go visit Dad, and have a french fry sandwich*!  He'd have laughed at that, and probably wanted one too.

Have a happy, and thoughtful Memorial Day Weekend everybody.  I'll be grilling Sunday and Monday, but I won't forget the WHY of this holiday.

* Take an order of fries, 2 slices white bread and some A-1 steak sauce.  Put the fries between the slices of bread, and add some A-1, and salt if you need it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Wildflowers or Texas Ditchweeds?

This Mother's Day Weekend, found us out at a Cub Scout family campout.  The camp was on Possum Kingdom Lake, at Camp Constantin.  I'd never been out to Possum Kingdom, but folks 'round here always told me it was pretty.  I now believe them, having seen the abrupt ridgelines (sadly many burned to the bare rock last year in the area's devastating wildfires), and the gorgeous rock cliffs on the lakeshore.  Reminded me of paddling in the Apostle Islands...  I really hadn't missed my Dagger Apostle kayak, until this weekend!

Our oldest, aka Monkey1, requested I photograph all the flowers she picked, so with my phone, I complied with her wish.  And I have to admit, some of them were so pretty, I just started taking pictures for myself.  Unfortunately, they're all ditchweeds...yeah, noxious weeds most of them, and those that aren't, are often undesireable plants, like cacti.  Most of what I have pictures of, I can't personally identify--so if you know for certain, feel free to post in the comments.

#1 I think this is a variant of thistle.

#2 A Daisy/Sunflower

#3 No idea on this, but the delicate little flower clusters on the ground vine were beautiful.

#4 The leaves on this look almost sage blue and not all bushes had the berries.

#5 Prickly pear cactus flowers.

I am also posting a link to this for Leontien to enjoy.  Hope y'all like our Texas Ditchweeds!

Saturday, May 5, 2012


Today was the first CCRBENT social ride.  CC is for Collin County, and RBENT is the Recumbent Bike Enthusiasts of North Texas. RBENT is the "parent" group that we all belong to.  The ride was a chance for some area recumbent riders to get together, have a pleasant ride, and then go eat!

The plan was for a 16mi jaunt out in the county, and bagel sandwiches to follow.  So at 9am we met up in the grocery store lot.  10 folks showed--Jayg, ActionLad, Testersbc & his wife TerriA59, me, TonyW, JimFPU, Jim's friend Betty, Ken and Denman.  The recumbents outnumberd the trikes by only 1, and Jim's friend was on her DF bike.  It was a great turnout for a first-time social ride.  Our goal is to schedule a ride like this once a month.

 ActionLad had his big video camera, and shot a lot of nice action scenes.  Boy, he is REALLY FAST on his Catrike 700!  I shot some video too, with the GoPro, but have not edited it yet or put it up on our Youtube channel.   If I got some good shots, I will post them later here.  ActionLad's Youtube channel is "Palm Victory" so you might check there first, for better videos!

Bikewise, it was an interesting assortment.  Bacchetta Ti-Aero, Bacchetta Giro 26, Rans Stratus, Rans Xstream, Cannondale DF, Cattrike 700, Speed & Expedition, Terra Trike, and a Musashi.

This was officially a No Drop ride, so we rode at an easy pace, and if folks got ahead, they waited for others to regroup.  It worked well, despite my being the only one on the ride who knew where we were going!  OOPS!  I didn't think to print out a map for folks--though I had posted the RidewithGPS file on the forum thread where we set up the ride. 

We rode the loop counterclockwise, which was nice for the folks who were tired, as the pretty section is slightly downhill that way, and has a wonderful tree-tunnel over the road.  The shade was welcome too, as it was a bit hot and sunny.  We also encountered a lot of downed trees and limbs across the roads that had not been cleared from last night's storm.  Apparently it blew a lot harder just north of the Monkeyhouse than I realized.  At one point the road was almost totally blocked.  Cars had to squeeze by in the ditch.

I had a great time--I don't get to ride with other folks very often, unless it is a paid ride, and even then, there are not a lot of recumbents at the pay rides.  So this marks the largest recumbent group I have ridden with.  We had no trouble with traffic that I know of, and it seemed like the ride was a popular idea.  So my goal is to try to have a ride like this once a month.  Since winter is typically mild here, we ought to be able to ride year-round without much difficulty.