Thursday, July 30, 2009


(Photos take during a walk around the block in Greenville IL, July 30)
Someone told me that there must be a “Greenville” in every state. I don’t know about that. But I do know that Greenville Illinois is “green”, at least in the summertime.
I suppose I grew up with all these kinds of big trees around me in Kentucky, but I don’t remember noticing them as much as I do this summer in Greenville. The trees are large presences, standing guard at the street and towering over the houses.

The house next door is so shrouded in the shade from these trees that I think it must be cool inside all the time.

Just in the one block around our house there are so many trees, every one different. The really big ones are Elms (I think). There are a lot of them around, each with its own personality. This place must be a sight in the autumn when all the leaves fall.

Even the bark is fascinating and seems to have its own story to tell. Imagining the giant roots going way down into the ground is almost scary.

I think this “twin” is an oak. It feels mighty, indeed.

Every day I get at least one apple from this tree.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Aunt Louise's 95th Birthday

We were able to get to KY again this year for Aunt Louise's birthday. Isn't she lovely? I feel very fortunate to have been able to be there for her 94th and 95th celebrations. Harry had Mass in the living room the next morning ...

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Honeymoon Suite

In the house that we are renting there is an upstairs room. We rarely go up there, since it is on a separate air conditioning system, and we really have no need for the extra room. We don't even have access to the stairs going up there unless I go to the front foyer where the mail comes in through a slot in the door. It's not easy to describe the confoluted layout of the house. There's a door from the front porch that goes through a bathroom to the basement.

Jubilee is fascinated with this upstairs room. Whenever I open the door to the front hallway she makes a beeline up the stairs and there's no simple calling her down. She seems to think that this room was made for her!

I sure hope the landlord never sees this blog!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Illinois from the back of a bike

In order to retain my biker babe status, I joined John today for a road trip. Straight across Illinois on state road 140 there is corn, and more corn for Americans and their animals.

The photos are all taken from the back of the bike. At first I was a little wobbly, but I got confident as we rode along.

We made our way over to Alton. I was glad we didn’t have to stop in Fast Eddie’s again. It’s more of a local site than a real biker bar, anyway.

Instead, we did the river road up to Grafton. The road had been paved since we were here last Fall, all part of the American Recover and Reinvestment Act!

Mississippi River

We had a good lunch at a place called Piasa’s Pub - pulled pork sandwich, Asian cole slaw, chips - and looked around Grafton some.

The Piasa Pub in Grafton
And then we came back ...

Christmas Tree Farm

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Cahokia Mounds, part 2

We spent the better part of the afternoon exploring the Cahokia Mounds.

It reminds me, somewhat, of a golf course, with its perfectly kept expanses of grass. It’s hard to imagine 4000 people per square mile inhabiting this place - 250 people per square mile is the definition of an urban area.

Seeing St. Louis from the top of Monk’s Mound was cool.

The exhibit area is quite comprehensive and impressive.

The diet of the people who lived here consisted of corn, squash, pumpkin, a green leafy plant with black seeds (I can’t remember the name), sunflower seed, and the animals that they could hunt.

Evidently it was not an ideal situation since many of the people were malnourished and their bones show advanced arthritis and gum disease. They used the term, "urban stress".

As usual, I’m interested in the prairie grasses ...

Coming home we passed, again, the Federal Prison just outside of Greenville. I am always sad, seeing this place, and it looked especially grim today. Not the best photo because I took it from the car window and John wouldn't slow down because there was a cop behind us.

The Best Kept Secret in Greenville

Nobody there but me and my European dog. Where is everybody??!! John said today that this is the only town he had ever lived in that didn't have its own watering hole. Maybe we haven't found it yet?

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Weather!

It is an absolutely gorgeous day. Not at all like a summer day. It is cool! Less than 80 degrees, I think. Not humid at all. The A/C is off. When you’re outside, you just want to exult in it all, both your body and your soul recognize the wonder and specialness of the day.

It wasn’t like this at all when I arrived in Missouri this time last summer. Every day, all the way until October, was HOT. Very hot, like in the upper 90s. There was no break or relief. This summer, except for a week or so of very high temperatures in June, has been relatively cool. What an unexpected treat.