Archive for May 2014

Cheese Boards: Round 2   1 comment

Each of these boards is approximately 8-1/2″ x 11″ x 7/8″. They have non-slip rubber feet, and a slot hollowed out on each end for your fingers to slip into as you pick up the board.

All boards finished with mineral oil, and then a top coat of mineral oil & locally harvested beeswax.

I think I’ve run through my course of Cheese Boards for a while. I do think there are more cutting boards in my future, however!

(After I do the easel picture frames & mission candle holders that I’ve promised, of course!)

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Who Doesn’t Love Cheese & Crackers?

A Great Catch   Leave a comment

A great egret with a great catch at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge in New York. And don't forget what a great catch this is by the unnamed photographer! Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 5/20/14.

A great egret with a great catch at the Montezuma National Wildlife Refuge in New York. And don’t forget what a great catch this is by the unnamed photographer! Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 5/20/14.

Posted May 21, 2014 by henrymowry in Photography

Cutting Boards: The Third Round   4 comments

 

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Cutting Boards: The Next Step

I Had To Mention Cutting Boards

The Cutting Board

Virgin Islands National Park   2 comments

Virgin Islands NP 00Where Is It: 30 minutes from San Juan, Puerto Rico … or 2 hours, 45 minutes from Miami by air. You have travel to the Virgin Islands by air or boat.

The Birth: from Gorp.com:

By the end of the 19th century, St. John’s had less than 1,000 inhabitants. The United States purchased the islands in 1917, and by the 1930’s the seed of a tourism industry had sprouted. Word spread quickly of this “untouched” Caribbean paradise. In 1956, Rockefeller interests purchased land and transferred it to the Federal Government to be designated a national park. In 1962, boundaries were enlarged to include 5,650 acres of submerged lands.

It Happened Here: From NationalGeographic.com:

Fearful that the Germans might capture the islands during World War I, the United States bought St. John, St. Croix, St. Thomas, and about 50 smaller islands from Denmark for $25,000,000. … Today, though its boundary includes three-quarters of St. John, the national park owns only slightly more than half the island.

Size: 14,737 acres

# Visitors: 438,601 in 2013. Attendance peaked in March, and bottomed out in September/October.

Plants: From the Park’s website:

From the peaks of St. John’s steep mountains to beaches and mangrove shorelines to offshore seagrass beds and algal plains, Virgin Islands National Park protects an interesting and diverse variety of plant life.

Visitors can travel from moist forests to dry cactus scrubland in minutes, each landscape telling a different story of rainfall, human impact, and slow natural change. Most of the vegetation on St. John today is recovering secondary forest with native and nonnative species competing for space. Coastal mangroves and seagrass support marine ecosystems. These plants stabilize shorelines and provide critical habitat for fish and marine invertebrates.

Animals: From the Park’s website:

The only mammal native to St. John is the bat. Three of the six native species of bats are protected under the V.I. Endangered and Indigenous Species Act of 1990 (Act No. 5665) (Table 2). Some bat species are important pollinators of many floral species on the island as well as important seed dispersal agents for many species of fruit bearing trees and shrubs. Other species of bats consume vast quantities of insects, including mosquitoes.

Present day St. John does have many other species of animals that are not native to the island or even the tropics. These include: deer, goats, sheep, donkeys, cats, dogs, mongoose and pigs.

Fees: I don’t understand it, but here’s how the Park’s website explains their non-fee fees:

There is no charge for entrance into Virgin Islands National Park. However, a same-day user fee is collected at Trunk Bay. Children age 16 and under are admitted free; adults, $4….

Staying There: Campsites are available in Cinnamon Bay Campground. Accommodations include bare tent sites (26), sites with tent-covered platforms already set up (44), and cottages (40).

Contact Info:

1300 Cruz Bay Creek
St. John, VI 00830
 
(340) 776-6201, ext. 238

Current Issues: From Gorp.com:

Like most Caribbean islands, the natural world of St. John has undergone tremendous, sometimes overwhelming, changes. Forests were cleared over almost all of St. John for sugar plantations, farms, and houses in the 1700’s and 1800’s. Foreign trees and shrubs, brought over to provide food or medicines, invaded the native forests, and, by the early 1900’s, no sizable original stands were left. Animals, too, were introduced by man. Some, such as the weasel-like mongoose, which developed a taste for the eggs of ground-nesting birds and sea turtles, have had devastating effects.

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National Park Service: Virgin Islands National Park

 

Oh, Moon, Of Alabama Hills   Leave a comment

California has beauty that most people never see ... like this view of the moon over Mabius Arch in the Alabama Hills Recreation Area. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 5/15/14.

California has beauty that most people never see … like this view of the moon over Mobius Arch in the Alabama Hills Recreation Area. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 5/15/14.

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Millard Fillmore’s Bathtub: Moon And Mobius Arch…

YouTube: Lotte Lenya – O Moon Of Alabama

YouTube: David Bowie – Alabama Song

“This Media We Call Social Is Anything But…”   Leave a comment

If you are under 30, you must watch this.

If you can’t go a day without your phone, you should watch this.

If you want more from life, you need to watch this.

And just in case you’ve got a bit of a contrarian in you, then watch this as well.

Posted May 17, 2014 by henrymowry in Living Life, Media

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A Dreamy Coastline   3 comments

Acadia National Park. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 5/16/14.

Acadia National Park, Monument Cove.  Photo: Sheryl Loesch. Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 5/14/14.

104 Years Old   Leave a comment

Glacier National Park was created 104 years ago this week, when President Howard Taft signed the enabling act that was passed by Congress. It's one of the most-attended Parks, and with vistas like this, no wonder!

Glacier National Park was created 104 years ago this week, when President Howard Taft signed the enabling act that was passed by Congress. It’s one of the most-attended Parks, and with vistas like this, no wonder! Tweeted by the US Department of the Interior, 5/13/14.

The Bandage   2 comments

Yes, that's a 4"x4" white bandage covering my head wound in our wedding pictures.

Yes, that’s a 4″x4″ white bandage covering my head wound in our wedding pictures.

Yesterday, I posted a picture of our wedding party, taken 36 years ago. A couple of people commented about the bandage on my forehead … and here is that story.

We were going to be married on Saturday, May 13th. Our wedding day also happened to be the day I would graduate from college … but I was skipping that ceremony because we had to get married we wanted to get married on the 13th. Velda was born on a 13th, our first date was on a 13th … we would be married on the 13th.

Our life had a plan from that day. We would leave Columbia, MO in a couple of weeks for Steamboat Springs, CO, where I had secured us jobs working at a summer camp. After that “honeymoon,” we would move to Valencia, CA where I would begin graduate school at the California Institute of the Arts. Velda would get a job as a nurse’s aide, and then go to nursing school.

Good plan.

I had never visited CalArts, so I was understandably anxious about the transition. There was a college fair in St Louis the weekend before our wedding with a CalArts representative in attendance, so I decided to go to the Fair, meet the CalArts rep, and see if I could learn anything to help prepare myself for grad school.

Two of our St Louis friends wanted to go home for the weekend, and I could even stay the night at Sue’s parent’s house. So, Sue, Elsa and I took off for St Louis. Eight days before our wedding. Velda even approved.

Seven days before our wedding, I went to the college fair. I’m sure I learned nothing of consequence. But, I was facing big life changes, and I had a weekend to kill. Me and 2 single ladies. What could go wrong?

Six days before our wedding, it was time to return to Columbia, MO. Sue’s Mom, being a good college Mom, gave Sue a bag of groceries to take back to her apartment in Columbia. The bag went into the hatchback of my new Volkswagen Rabbit, and we set off for home. It was a Sunday afternoon.

Perhaps 30 minutes later, I made one of the worst mistakes of my life. I drove around a tight corner too fast, veered onto the wrong side of the road, and had a head-on collision with a half ton Chevy pickup.

Both my VW Rabbit and the Chevy truck were totaled.

The other driver was fine. Luckily, we all had on our seat belts. Elsa, in the back seat, was fine. I went into the steering wheel (it was 1978, long before air bags), fracturing my sternum and lacerating my forehead. 7 stitches, as I recall. And yes, I had an ER nurse call Velda and tell her that I was in the hospital due to a car accident, six days before our wedding. I was that guy.

Sue had been in the front seat, and seemed to be fine. However, after the ambulance arrived, it was clear that Sue wasn’t OK. She had to go to the hospital. Remember that bag of groceries in the hatchback? We later figured out that Sue had been hit in the back of the head with a pound of frozen hamburger. She apparently suffered a concussion.

Her folks met her in the ER. Sue was now in bad shape. And that is when the apocryphal event happened. Sue had been changed into a hospital gown for her exam. When the ER doctor walked into the room, Sue looked at him, raised her gown over her head, and screamed, “You can’t buy me, you son of a bitch!”

The doctor decided to keep Sue in the hospital overnight for observation.

Why wouldn’t he? Sue’s a cutie. (And, yes, I love the easy puns.)

I thank God that Sue’s “concussion-like symptoms” were gone the next morning. She and I were both discharged from the hospital that day, and we were both at the wedding five days later.

I don’t know about Sue, but I’ve never felt safe around frozen hamburger since.

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I Married A City Girl

June 13, 1975

Posted May 14, 2014 by henrymowry in Living Life

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I Married A City Girl   3 comments

According to our photographer, I needed encouragement to get in the church door. From left, Bill Hartman, me, and Michael Finney.

According to our photographer, I needed encouragement to get in the church door. From left, Bill Hartman, me, and Michael Finney.

It was never a goal, believe me.

I knew I had some odd personality quirks. I felt like I needed to leave my small town to pursue my dreams, so I left my hometown (Graham, MO: population 213).

I thought I needed to find “the one” in a bigger place. After all, my laughable attempts at dating in high school hadn’t exactly been successful.

So I went to the biggest and best college I could imagine going to, the University of Missouri. And, in my first semester there, I met “the one.”

Even then, I didn’t discover that she was truly “the one” until several months later when I had worked up my courage and asked her out. We actually went on a date, and that was all it took. The match was made on our first date.

36 years ago today, I married a city girl.

History has proven that I made a good choice June 13, 1975 (our first date), and I believe it’s clear we both made a good choice on May 13, 1978.

Yes, we were that young. From left, Michael Heathcote (St Louis), Wild Bill Hartman (Barnard, MO), Michael Finney (Kansas City), me (Graham, MO), Mrs Mowry (Belleville, IL), her sister Linda (Belleville, IL), Ruth Kling (St Louis) and Christine Mackey (St Louis).

Yes, we were that young. From left, Michael Heathcote (St Louis), Wild Bill Hartman (Barnard, MO), Michael Finney (Kansas City), me (Graham, MO), Mrs Mowry (Belleville, IL), her sister Linda (Belleville, IL), Ruth Kling (St Louis) and Christine Mackey (St Louis).

 

 

Posted May 13, 2014 by henrymowry in Living Life

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