RJ's Corner

Living in a rural area of Indiana and surrounded by forests the sight of a turkey is a fairly common event. But recently a young herd (or whatever you call a group of turkeys) wandered across our back property. There were at least fifty of them.  Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the turkey the national bird. In hindsight it would have been much more appropriate than the one we ended up this. Turkeys are very much part of America…


uRV Stranded

The pic above is of Merv (uRV). He is my truck of almost 25 years that I have been repurposing into a micro-RV for travels around the Midwest in the coming years in my own version of “Travels with Charley”.  I have spent two years turning what was once a delivery truck for my past furniture business into a quite comfortable 5×8 foot living quarters. This spring I will start with the exterior design which will include advertising this blog and the travelogue over at InSearchOfAmerica.

In the mean time here sits uRV up to his wheels in the most recent snow storm. I know I shouldn’t complain as this is actually the first major snowfall to hit us this year. Last year at this time we had already had about 60 inches of snow. And then of course are my eastern neighbors.  If uRV were in Boston you wouldn’t see anything but a mound of snow.

Hopefully uRV will soon escape his snowbound condition and be ready to jump into action.

Not Your City Slicker Lawn…

Country Spring 006I guess it is officially Spring now as all the country yard flowers and in full bloom. Now I know all you city slickers out there call my flowers as shown here weeds but you got to get over that idea. ;)  God just didn’t intend that only one variety of his creation was to appear on your front yard.  But I do have to admit that my wife gets on me from time to time about how our lawn seems to have everything but grass growing on it.

Living in the country means putting up with all the critters that also live here. And those critters can be plants as well as animals.  I don’t spend a lot of my time, especially in the Spring months looking down at my yard. Instead I spend it looking out at all of God’s wonders around me. Click on any of the picture here to get a little bigger view.

The Big Thaw….

Things are finally starting to thaw out here in the Midwest. The temperature actually got into the 20s yesterday and is supposed to break freezing today. But there is still much ice to contend with. As a matter of fact we now have a new lawn ornament in our front yard as a result of the ice. Here is the story behind that.

Our neighbor from across the road knows that ice and I are a treacherous combination so she usually get our mail for us during these conditions. She is seventy-six years old but refuses to admit it. She is definitely of Hoosier pioneer stock. She attempted to deliver our mail today and managed to slip off our driveway almost into one of our hundred year old oak trees.  Given that she has seven grown kids living within a mile of here several were to her rescue almost immediately. But as seen from the photo below even a farm tractor could not clear her of the tree. They will wait a couple of days for more melt before trying again.

Winter In Indiana 001 (1)




This map shows just how far down this cold weather goes today.  We are at -14 right now with a wind chill of -40! Our neighbors across the road power went down yesterday and it is still out but ours was OK, thank the Lord. They moved in with family in town. The lady next to them also lost power; she will be our guest for the next few days until sanity returns..

These are the rare times when it is dangerous for us senior citizens to be living in the countryside. I hope all my other neighbors are safe this week…..

This kind of weather would make a snowbird out of almost all of us.  That is except for my wife, she ignores the hazards and clings to the beauty…

Winter In Indiana 001

Winter In Indiana 002

Today Winter Begins……

First Day of Winter 001

Given all the snow, ice, and sub-freezing temperatures lately it is hard to get my mind around today being the first day of winter!  Was all that really Fall??  I kind of think it has something to do with global warming screwing up all the atmospheric condition of the world. But, I am not a climatologist so what do I know?

I always have mixed feelings about living in a northern State and having to face some pretty severe weather conditions. I often dream of being somewhere where is it warm instead of freezing my ### off. But then again I read a couple of bloggers who live in Arizona and they lament about all the heat of summer keeping them indoors.  At least with winter in the north it is kind of beautiful as long as you don’t have to get out in it.  So maybe this is really where I belong.

But then the idea of being a “snow bird” is always enticing even if I can’t afford two places to live or my wife would never leave the snow she loves so much….

Still Clinging To My Hard Copy Magazines….

2013-12-12_09-12-42I guess I am of that rare breed who actually gets a weekly hard-copy magazine. That magazine is Time. Each weekly issue rests on my bedside stand and is read nightly until completed.

I think maybe Time is the only weekly magazine left with my political slant. There is just something about actually holding the info in my hands that still appeals to me. Now don’t get me wrong, 95% of what I read is probably digital. I have a Kindle Reader for most of my books now and part of my regular daily activity is spending about an hour at my computer browsing through news websites and my daily blog reads.  I very much reside in the digital world but that weekly paper magazine still has an infatuating appeal to me.

There used to be a phrase “High Tech, High Touch”. I don’t know if it is still popular today? What it means is that as we become more involved in  high technology we need a corresponding amount of things that we can touch and feel.  Let’s face it, the cyber-world is addictive but we all need more than that.  As we needed a mother’s touch as infants we still need some tactile reinforcement today.  Most often that comes from a  hug of another person.

2013-12-12_10-30-32There are other hard-copy magazines that I also enjoy. One of them is the Friends Journal which is subtitled Quaker Thought and Life Today. Much like their Amish brethren, Quaker life is much about simplicity so a high-touch physical magazine only seems natural to me for this venue. As some of you know I collect “Simplify” signs as a hobby. Including the one I recently got in Holland Michigan I have at least a dozen strewn throughout my study. I’m not sure if a high tech lifestyle is really compatible with a simplified life but I am trying to realize that combination.

Old School….


One of my neighbors is just an old-school type of guy. He continues to burn off the leaves around his house instead of composting them or using some other more environmentally friendly method of disposing them.  In many ways he continues to hang on to the ways of the past. He is radically conservative anti-Obama in a very Red State so he fits quite nicely in his environs; much more so than I do.  We seldom agree on things of a political nature. But…. despite our political, and often environmental, differences we continue to be good neighbors and pretty good friends.

We both have a very reverent place in our lives for our versions of God. We both recognize the humanity of man. I think my neighbor would give me the shirt off his back if I asked for it.  But he is an old-school type of guy. :)

An Inspiring Spring Day

Spring 2013 Front Yard


I have chosen the crabapple tree in the front yard as my inspiration theme for this Sunday. I just love watching things come back to life after a dormant cold season. The horses across the street are wintered someplace else. This was the first week they were back.

Oh the Snow….

Newest Banner Snow Plowing

Yeah that’s me a few days ago. We had a dusting of three inches of snow that I removed from our 150 foot circular driveway. This one I could handle with my trusty Craftsman tractor.


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