A Golden Nugget

Once in a while life hands you a golden nugget. Last Sunday, Peg and I were at the Frankfort Farmer’s Market when the nugget appeared as a kid riding a pedal tractor down a painted track. We went right to it. The Will County Farm Bureau was there with a kiddie tractor-pull competition. They hitched a replica weight sled to a red Farmall pedal-car tractor, and joined fifty feet of 4×8 plywood sheets to make the track.  The big boys from the Farm Bureau did a great job of announcing the event. They rewarded each kid with a  ribbon and a prize to the winner. One thing I learned is that kids with short legs had an advantage. The tractor was a bit small for long-legged kids who couldn’t extend their legs into full stoke on the pedals.  Another thing became obvious, that is, the amount of weight placed on the sled makes a huge difference in the amount of effort required to pull it.

 

I watched the event to the end. Attending a local tractor-pull is on my bucket list of things to do. I’m not sure the kiddie pull qualifies as having seen one though. The kids did their best and I loved seeing them compete, it reminded me of all the days and events I ran for kids during the Boy Scout era of my life.

If you are not familiar with tractor pulling, here is a video of a highly modified tractor in a German big boys competition.

CINO, Conservative In Name Only

Today, I began my war against the terror organization known as Bull Thistle. As I patiently applied toxins to foliage with a brush to keep overspray from killing innocent victims, it finally occurred to me, gardens are naturally conservative. The natural law rules and plants are genetically programmed to win any affront to upset the balance. On the flip side, gardeners are the far left liberals. We constantly try to force our will upon Nature and its horticultural specimens to form a more perfect society. Gardeners are racist too. We chose to believe that some specimens are more desirable than others, and therefore, the undesirables are definitely open to annihilation.

When will we liberal gardeners learn that the order of Nature will persevere?  When will gardeners stop the foolishness of imposing their idea of what is beautiful and morally correct upon nature? Anyone who gardens knows that a beautiful society of plantdom has to be carefully controlled. Unwanted specimens are culled to keep the vision beautiful. If the maintenance slows or if it stops, the vision automatically reverts to the natural order of things. In some cases it reverts to something that is less than natural, because the gardener brought in specimens from outside his zone of influence to fill the lack of diversity. Many times the imports are without predators and thrive within the vision to overtake the locals.

So here I am, a boneheaded Conservative trying to impose my will upon the 2012 Monet Vision, in order to create a Utopian society of horticultural matter in an environment that repels my efforts to create heaven on earth.

“It’s a losin’ fight.” —–WIlliam Bendix as Riley in “The Life of Riley.”

The Life of Riley

The Life of Riley (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Dr. Orchid Revives a Patient

Miss Orchid 2012

Miss Orchid has done it again. After six months of abuse by her owner, she decided to grant him a gift by blooming. Thank God Grumpa Joe knows an orchid expert who helped him repot her and to rejuvenate her root system into fresh potting medium.

Dr. Orchid Expert diagnosed her with severe dehydration and recommended immediate surgery. He clipped some her most severely dried roots and hoped for the best. Upon returning from the orchid hospital, Grumpa Joe assumed a new attitude about this precious symbol of his deceased wife Barbara. He began to give it the kind of care she should have received all along.

Weekly half hour showers of tepid water in the kitchen sink followed by a drenching of water spiked with fertilizer  have been the routine since November. She began to bloom a week before Christmas, and continues to sprout new blossoms, and even a second spike from her main stem. Her solitary place of honor is on the glass table in the sun-room.

A Fragrant and Delicate Plumeria for You

To all my friends in the world, here is something beautiful to cheer you on this dreary winter day.

Connor’s Chair

I’m not in the habit of pleading for money on this BLOG, but a special need has come up. My Lions Club is currently involved with a fund raising project to aid a young man born with a list of  problems that have made his life very difficult. Have you ever heard of any of the following: arthrogryposis, prune belly syndrome, bilateral hydronephrosis, scoliosis and club feet? Of these five conditions I am only familiar with the last two. I had to do research on the others to find out what they are. After learning, I thank God that none of my kids or grandkids have any of these afflictions.

The young man’s name is Connor, he is eighteen years old and has led a life vastly different from the rest of us. Yet, somehow he continues to thrive. To me, that is a testament to a loving family. Connor graduated from Lincoln Way North High School last year even though he needed a special motorized wheelchair, and a computer to help him speak. Where there is a will, there is a way, and Connor found it.

So why is my Lions Club involved? Connor’s special chair has broken down and he is a man without mobility. The cost of repairs is great and the time between breakdowns is short. The Frankfort Lions are assisting a group organized to raise money to buy a new chair at  a cost of $38,000.00. The group is Have a Heart for Connor.

Here are some of the ways you can help:

1. Donate online through the Frankfort Lions Club website.

2. Attend the Summit Hill Talent Show on January 27, 2012. $5 to enter 7p.m.

Summit Hill Junior High School
7260 North Avenue
Frankfort, IL 60423
(815)469-4330 Phone

3. Bid in a silent auction at the show

4. Buy 50/50 tickets at the show

5. Buy a Pick Three raffle ticket and have a chance at one of twenty nine prizes of $50.00

Call Lion Denise to buy a $10.00 chance at 815-546-8745.

Connor participates in St. Baldrick's event at LWN to raise money for cancer.

The Gift (A serial, part 4)

THE GIFT (A serial, part 4)

Morty cut down the beautiful spruce, with the empty birds’ nest, and found the spot where the rabbit used to stay warm.

“Well, Mr. Rabbit,” he said, “come home with me. I’ll keep you warm.” The rabbit jumped out from under another tree and said,

“Will you take care of me the way Connie did?”

“Yes,” said Morty, “come with me.” Then the cardinal and the sparrow, and the chickadee all flew around his head.

“Will you take care of us too?”

“Sure!” said Morty, “come with me we are going to have a great time.”

Morty pulled Connie through the grove to where farmer Jim would find them. He began to wonder about how he would get the tree home on his scooter. Although Connie is a little tree he is as tall as Morty, and his branches spread out much wider than Morty. Just then, Farmer Jim came by with the wagon and picked them up. Farmer Jim told Morty not to worry because he would help tie the tree to his scooter.

In the shed, next to the barn, Farmer Jim placed Connie into his wrapping machine. The machine wrapped cord around the tree branches, pulling them tightly into the trunk. When the farmer finished wrapping him, Connie was much thinner than before.

Morty carried Connie to his scooter but could not figure out how to load him on the scooter. The trunk on the scooter was only big enough to hold a picnic lunch and some tools, so Connie could not ride in the trunk. Before Farmer Jim came out of the barn to help, Morty placed the tree against the side of the scooter. The side of the scooter was smooth, and nothing was sticking out to hold the rope. Next, Morty put him on the seat. He fit nicely lying along the top and hanging over the end of the scooter, but Morty would have to sit on top of him to drive.

Morty did not like that, so he tried holding Connie upright between his legs and arms as he sat on the scooter. This was even worse because he could not see with the tree in his face.

In the end, Farmer Jim tied the tree to the seat,

and Morty sat on it. The bunny jumped on and huddled by his feet, and the birds all perched on the branches. Connie hummed the tune to Happy Birthday as they took off.

To be continued , , , ,

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