Posts Tagged ‘Brown County’

There is a window next to my bed. A window that obviously needs to be washed, but I love to look at the stars out that window at night. Winter is best for that because there is also a tree outside my window and this is the brightness I woke up to this morning.

Golden tree outside my window

Fall is officially in Brown County. Come on out for a beautiful drive.


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Brown County decided to give the kids the day off , from school, for Martin Luther King, Jr., day.  Apparently, we have not used up our snow day allotment, so JCountry is sound asleep, where he prefers to be at 10 a.m.  He is one of those kids who does well on the two-hour delay days, but not so well when he has to catch a bus at 7:30 a.m.

Not to give away my age or anything, but I was a teen in the 60s.  I still have a copy of my letter from President Eisenhower in response to my complaint that it is just stupid that people hated other people because of the color of their skin and he needed to do something about it.  I’m sure I was very polite though, as children of the 50’s were always very polite.  Sometimes, overly polite, like Eddie Haskell polite.  And, if you don’t know who Eddie Haskell is, well, I guess you weren’t there. 

I attended a fairly large school, address Gary, Indiana, called Calumet High School.  I do not know what the facts or figures are, but it ranged from Doctor’s children to children who barely had a home.  It also had a good number of African Americans and Latinos.  This is unlike the school JCountry attends, which (I am guessing here) has less than five non-Anglos in attendance.

My lab partner was an African American girl and I will never forget the day I sat down at our lab table and looked over to see her, head on crossed arms, crying.  That was the first I knew that we were going to have riots.  She told me that some of the kids hated her because she was black.  I was appalled.  I mean, out of all the things in life that you have a choice of, the color of your skin is not one of them.  I comforted her, as best as someone who has not walked in her skin could.

At lunch, I was hit and yelled at by a black student, who I did not know.  By the time we went home on the bus, school was closed.  I think we had three days off to let things settle down and probably let the teacher’s regroup.

I have never understood how people can hold so much hate in their hearts as to hate another person for such a dumb reason.  Nor, how the same people who honor and revere someone like Michael Jordan, can turn around and hate everyone else whose skin is darker than theirs.  

This blog post does not circle back around to the opening.  It has no answers for the question.  I wish I did.  I have learned though, that you cannot change people’s minds much.  If they want to hate someone because they are black, they will.  If they want to hate their President, they will.  If they want to believe every stupid rumor they will.  I just wonder — what can make a person learn to think for themselves and not believe every stupid rumor they hear, no matter how illogical it is.

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The boys love working at the County Park, thank you Governor Daniels. And, I love the boys working at the Park also. They take lunches, they carpool with a neighbor and they come home at 5:00, eat dinner and go to bed. I like knowing where my boys are in the evening. “Being in town”, “Going to a friends” and then me asking what friend, what number and are his parents home does not happen. My boys are home, exhausted and sleeping; safe from stalkers

I say this because EMT has his own personal stalker. It seems to be a family tradition.

Gaffer has had at least two personal stalkers. There was the girl at Natrona County High School in Wyoming, who would run down the hall and jump on his back unexpectedly. She was waiting at every corner he turned. By the third week of school he had other students shaking his hand and saying, “Glad it is you, this year. I had my turn last year.” She literally stalked him all year, but it was the one in Brown County who scared us. We were warned, by a person who shall remain anonymous, that she seriously needed help. To this day, four years later, he has to periodically change his email address, because she finds it.

Now, EMT has his own personal stalker and she is even MORE scary. One day, he says to me, when he first met her, that he was glad I liked her because she was “going to be around a lot.” What neither he nor I realized, is she had every intention of moving in. A week and a half later, which was about five days after I realized she had not left and the third time she told him she was leaving the next morning, I took things in my own hands and told her to be sure and not forget her children’s toys when she left that day and sort of, “It’s been nice knowing you.” She was shocked and things went downhill.

She did move out and I was shocked at the amount of stuff she had brought over, and how she got it all in without me knowing. I swear she must have left the house barefoot and come back with three pair of shoes on. She tried the, “my mother kicked me out” gambit to arose my sympathy. And, I only felt slightly cruel and heartless, when I printed out the list of homeless shelters. Her mother has this girl’s three children, by the way, so there were no children on the street.

Before we got rid of her, fingers crossed, for good, she had actually drugged EMT one night, we didn’t figure that out until too late to do a blood test to prove it. We were just preparing a protection order when we found out she had left the state as she is wanted by the police. They won’t tell us why, but we hope she stays out of state.

I do think that maybe they should put “Welcome to Brown County, home of the stalkers” on the Tourism Brochures. Maybe we can rename the high school girl’s teams, the “The Stalkers.”

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The holidays are almost over, for me at last.  As Zup pointed out, I am a holiday nut.  Gaffer flies off in a few hours.  The tree comes down next week and I need to find a new banner; for real.  It is bitter cold here this week, two hour time delays for school and power outages are the norm.


The other night, while the guys were playing cards, the power started flickering.  On, off —- on, off —- Then it was going on and off so rapidly, I got a headache from it.  And, you wouldn’t believe it, but then, it didn’t come back on.  Shock!  Shock!  In Brown County, Indiana, we would have a power outage.  Actually, the odd thing is we did not have one last month.  Unfortunately, this one lasted eight hours and the furnace ran all day trying to catch back up.  Man, this house is leaky.


Last night I went to hear JRock sing and play at Muddy Boots cafe.  His guitar/voice teacher has taken him under his ring and JRock does a set now with the teacher.  He sings lot’s of Johnny Cash and Hank Williams.  I think it is about time to rename JRock.  So, I guess he will be JCountry from now on.  


He is really comfortable on the stage and his guitar work is improving.  His voice has always been really good and they are harmonizing well too.  Of course, his teacher has been at this for forty years and has many awards


We’re watching  Jeff Dunham’s Christmas special DVD before they leave for the airport, in between watching Obama’s train trip.  When I was young, I wrote a letter to President Eisenhower, with a plea to help this country accept all people as equal.  I’m a pasty white woman but I’m proud as can be to finally see this step in the country’s history. 


So, the house goes back to normal this week.  The tree and decorations come down and I make way for my Harry Potter trunk and goodies, on the shelf.  My Gryffindor scarf progresses, and my piles of year end papers clutter the floor. 


I had a lot of time to knit on it these past two weeks; first in the hospital and then in the Rehab center with mom.  She’s home now.  The Rehab center was wonderful for her as she ate right and got all her medications.  I know it is a boring place to be but she was well taken care of. 


And, maybe I can find a bit more humor out there.  Oh, how I love going through stacks of papers!!!

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Since the President has approved fourteen more Indiana counties for federal assistance, I thought this might be a good time for an update.  The counties approved are Adams, Brown, clay, Daviess, Dearborn, Greene, Henry, Jackson, Jennings, Knox, Owen, Rush, Shelby and Sullivan.

Brown County is no longer under a boil water order. I phoned the Water Utility yesterday. They had just received their latest test results and we are all clear. With six people in the house over 18, that is a huge relief. I was washing and rinsing dishes with bleach water and trying to keep up with the miniature ants who have invaded our home. Seems the rain has really driven them above ground and into our home. I have also found a new use for Bleach water, but I imagine I hear their little ant selves screaming as it touches them. 

It is amazing all the affects a flood can have.  Southern Indiana Hospitals have lost 600 units of blood, it is estimated. So, Columbus is having a blood drive. They are holding it at the City Hall, 123 Washington. It started Friday and runs from 9a.m. to 4 p.m. today, Saturday, June 14, 2008.

The Columbus Regional hospital is shut down. They are paying employees for a two week period while they, the hospital, works to clean the mud and muck out of the basement. Jim Bickel, CEO of the hospital will conduct a press conference at 2 p.m. today to cover the steps needed for re-opening the facility.

Road closings for Columbus are at the bottom of this post.

In Brown County,  the Health Department is offering free Tetanus shots.  They are waiting on assessments from outside their department that will evaluate structural components of homes before they can declare a home as habitable.

The highway department is clearing culverts and repairing bridges, as well as several roads that have been damaged. The Sheriff’s department has increased patrols in affected areas to deter potential looters. All residents are asked to keep an eye on dams in the county (not for looting, but for leaks) as they travel, and DNR representatives are currently in the county inspecting “high hazard dams.” And, there goes two more ants and I am in the front room.  It beats the hundreds in the kitchen.

This is the site for Nashville, Indiana’s Tornado & Flood Information Page Nashville Indiana Flood and Tornado Issues

And, last, is Martinsville.  Mom was under a severe storm warning again yesterday and a flood warning. The rain wasn’t as severe as expected, thank goodness. South Elementary School, homes in Fraker’s Trailer Court and Lavanian Trailer Court were under several feet of water six days ago. Today, the water has receeded and residents now face clean up.

There is a great story on the flooding from the perspective of one of the Williamsburg Colonial Apartments residents as they wake up, that morning, to pounding on their door and one inch of water changes to 3 inches in 10 minutes. Flood victims struggle to cope with stress is the link to the report in the Reporter-Times of Martinsville.  A few hours later, the water was chest high as a former bar bouncer carried children through the water to higher ground.  The apartments were eventually under five feet of water.

Recovery is beginning in Central Indiana, but it is a long road. Most homeowners do not have flood insurance and FEMA offers low cost interest loans. We are so lucky we did not lose our home. We have a mortgage, no flood insurance, and if our home had been lost, we do not have the income to take on a loan to rebuild, in addition to the mortgage. I’m thankful that, other than some water in the basement, and loss of carpets and a mattress, our main problem is the tiny ants who have taken up residence.

Roads closed in Bartholomew County (Columbus)  include:

500N east of Road 825E (Schaefer Lake dam)

900E between North & East Lake Shore Drives

620 N between 900E to 1000E

775E between Hope Corp. Limits and 800N

800N between State Road 9 and Road 670E

250W just south of Lowell Road

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I wanted to make sure that everyone knew that downtown Nashville is clear and dry. The shopping area never flooded, it was outlying pockets of low land that were hit. So, please do come out and support our artists and businesses.

I have not heard of any damage to Brown County State Park either. I did hear that there was some damage to Yellowwood Forest, but am not certain how much.

WISHTV 8 has a great links for road closures and damage in South Central Indiana.

WISH TV 8: Indianapolis News and Weather – Home

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We arrived home Sunday night, via a long and winding route. I am appalled at the lack of good information out there, in this technological age, about the extent of the damage. We did find road closings, however, but I understand the problem as it is in a constant state of flux and we had to find our own way around the damage.

We passed Camp Atterbury and a convoy of trucks loaded with soldiers and equipment for clearing brush and trees in neighboring towns from the tornado, of the week before. The Camp itself suffered more than $19 million in damage to fifty buildings and to infrastructure. This does not include the cost of multiple vehicles that were damaged.

Edinberg was heavily hit by the tornado. Blue plastic covered the roofs of home after home. Garage doors were bowed out and damaged. I am presuming this was some type of air pressure thing, or wind blowing in under the door and following the walls and ceiling to try to exit at the weakest point. The tree devastation was incredible. Properties were lined with downed and splintered hundred year old and younger trees.

We did not pass a lot of flood damage and breathed a sigh of relief when we drove down our driveway to see our house. Surrounded by so much flooding, we were very fortunate indeed to only have water damage to two son’s lower floor (walk out basement) rooms. We need to find a new bed for one boy and we did a ton of laundry and ripped up carpeting, which needed it anyway. Our dam stood but the thick logs that lined it, as the boys walk over it to the bus, were washed to the other side, and are in the gully, so it did go over the dam but did not destroy the dam.  I’m sure our neighbor at the other end of the gully is happy too.

Jackson Township is under a boil order until at least Friday. With six people in the house, that’s a real pain but certainly not the worst thing in the world.  

Near us is Trevlac, in Jackson Township, and it was under water as of Saturday. The fire department was saved, possibly by a railroad track that was built up above the level of the ground.  I believe the dam at Lake Lemon may be what flooded Trevlac.


Johnson, Morgan and Brown Counties all experienced severe flooding and have been declared in a state of emergency.

Houses in Helmsburg were flooding and being evacuated. 

A dam in the Beech Tree area was breaking. I don’t know how that turned out.

Emergency evacuations south of Sweetwater Trail went all the way to Nashville.  Jackson Township Fire Department, where one son is a volunteer fireman, was evacuated due to high water coming into the station.

Johnson Memorial Hospital in Franklin had water to the first floor and cars were submerged up to their windshields in the county government parking lot. 

Dams failed in the Prince’s Lakes area, threatening the town of Nineveh. (30 miles south of Indianapolis)

There were evacuations in the Lake Lemon area. (10 miles ne of Bloomington)

Dams near Gold Point were close to collapse.

Near Martinsville, which is where my mom lives, there were motorboat and helicopter rescues as hundreds of people in Martinsville and Paragon were evacuated.  Last night my mother was told to prepare for evacuation but the last I heard is that the water had not reached the buildings generator so they were safe. As of Saturday, all the major roadways in the southern part of Morgan County were closed.  At one point power was shut down to the city, for safety. Water at the Martinsville Industrial Park, on Saturday, was armpit-deep. Auto Dealerships and businesses were flooded out. KMart had a minimum of eight inches of water in their store.

The worse is now over for Martinsville, we hope, and has left 400 to 500 homes damaged with hundreds of residents in shelters or staying with relatives or friends. Trash trucks and rescue crews are now working to clean debris and remove damaged possessions. Artesian Square and the Martinsville Plaza are two of the hardest-hit areas. Three auto dealers, a grade school, lumber yard and Dairy Queen, two motels and other restaurants are also badly damaged. Residents returned home on the south side of Martinsville to salvage what they could.

Mooresville did get some damage also, but I have not read how much.

Nashville did have some evacuations.  One of which was Creekstone Apartments, where more than three feet of water flooded the complex. People were stranded at the Salt Creek Golf Retreat, on State Road 46. A hovercraft retrieved them and took them to safety. Power was out in a lot of areas and Brown County has been declared a disaster area.  As of Saturday, all roads were passable, with extreme caution for cleanup crews.  

I’ve gathered news from several sources, as well as word of mouth. Hope this helps those wondering about this area.  A list of newspapers for Indiana is at:   Indiana Newspapers – Indiana Newspaper List


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7.2 lbs of Earthquake warningWish TV, out of Indianapolis, had a blog going for people to write in and tell how they experienced the quake. I guess some of the geologists were even interested in it for diagnostic reasons but one of them took exception to them relating, on the air, stories of animals who got upset before the quake. His reason was that they were just fostering a stupid myth and that animals can’t predict quakes.

First, heck yeah, I felt the quake. We’re in Brown County and the house shook pretty good in two waves at 5:38am. (Hey, you look at your watch when those things are over.) Then, once today we had a smaller shake around 11:15, when one of the many aftershock’s hit. The boys in the downstairs bedroom didn’t wake up. I woke up just prior to the quake.

To back up a bit, we have possession of my mother’s chihuahua. For two or three days before this morning, the darn dog has had to go out ever ten minutes. I was beginning to worry she had an infection or something. It was almost like she didn’t want to be in the house and it wasn’t because we had gorgeous weather. Which we did! Then about ten hours before the quake she started panting and shaking. That is a sure sign she is scared of something.

I have Valerian to give her and did so to calm her down as her heart is enlarged. She was really acting wierd. She even begged me to follow her and then led me into the bathroom. She sat down between the wall and the stool and just looked at me, like she wasn’t going to move. It’s the only room without lots of windows but she couldn’t tell me if that was why or not. She usually sleeps on my bed but not by my head. Last night she slept up by my head; almost on top of it. I am not sure, but I think maybe she woke me up shivering.

Since we didn’t have any damage or injury, I can admit that I rather enjoyed the feel of the quake it. It was as if a giant had the house in his hand and shook it back and forth. (Okay, I admit it. I hate roller-coasters but like natural stuff like this.) It did the shaking for maybe twenty to thirty seconds, then stopped and then started again for another short period. All the time, I’m wondering if this is going to get worse and at what point I should get up and move away from the huge windows that my bed is next to.

The dog has shivered on and off today since then. She bugs me to stay away from the couch by the window and onto the one against a wall. Right now, she is sitting behind my back on the arm of the couch. I’m sorry, but this dog did know the quake was going to happen. And, next time she leads me into the bathroom, I’m not sleeping by the windows

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I am someone who has had incredible problems just responding to a blog. I am currently banging my head on a brick wall in figuring out how to “blog.” I’m sure there is a Blogging for Dummies book out there, but I refuse to buy it. I’ve been like that since I bought a KAYPRO, way back when, and for those who do not know what a Kaypro is: It is a computer in a metal suitcase with no memory. The memory was all on a 5 1/2″ floppy, but it had a great game called Wumpus. There were no visuals, all in your head and memory, Do you want to turn right, left or go center, then it tells you what happens, like it “smells a Wumpus” and you run into … kind of thing, and you make a decision. No fast action, just good for the memory.

As I get older, however, I find that I need to ask for help more often. and, I don’t like it. Thank goodness for Ben, the tech at Gold Rush Web Hosting, or my web page would never be up. I sit here putting things on my Blog page and taking them off that column on the right; scrolling other Blogs and wondering how they did this or that, and then going shoot, she has the same banner as I do. Like I thought no one else did????

 So, add to the list, of things to do, to replace this generic banner, which I like, with my own artwork, which is much more descriptive of who I am.  I hope I will get to that a bit quicker than I have gotten to redoing my web page. It was last updated so long ago that I don’t even remember when anymore.

 There is a reason for that. I can’t find just the right background.  Stop laughing. I’m serious. I love textures, I want certain textures in this 2D environment and I haven’t gotten it right. So, one day I finally say to myself, That’s enough you idiot. Just do it, you can always change it later. But there is a catch-22 in that sentence: “change it later.” That changing it is what I have been trying to do for over three years now. It will happen right after I have gone back and relearned how to punctuate.

 Is it my imagination or have the punctuation rules changed in the last decade or so?

 So, here I sit, conquering a new medium, blogging. Why? 1. It looks like fun. 2. I enjoy writing. 3. I’m told a writer needs a blog. 

I have been a writer most of my life. I have been an artist all my life. I have been an artist since I found it was much more interesting to draw parishioner’s portraits on the church bulletin, than to listen to the sermon.  Gosh mom, there’s where I went wrong.

I received my BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, in 1990.  I had painted commission portraits for about six years and wanted to become a better painter. By that I mean, I had the realism thing down, I wanted to grow. I was in a class with Gustin. He’s a wonderful teacher and he made me do an exercise where you have continually trade drawings around the room with other students. I was getting so darn mad, because I would just get into it and then he would switch (like musical chairs) that I started really painting; as in: putting my emotion into the work. It was good. Probably the best I have done. I was furious but happy.

By the end of the semester he tells me that he is putting me in an advanced class. I will be painting under the direction of two teachers; he is one and a woman, who goes by initials I choose not to remember, is the other. That was the worse semester of my life, with her as a teacher. She would harrangue me in class, ask to see my slides and then throw them down, do things like send me to the museum to study the color, which was the best time I had in her class. I had students ask me what was her problem with me.  She would dramatically flop herself down in a chair and say, “What am I going to do with you?” Her drama and her own paintings reminded me of the little crying woman on the tombstones of PBS’s Mystery tv program. I could see her laying over those tombstones, hand on brow, crying “ohhh” “ooohh.”

I ended up going from being a painter to a potter. I was so frustrated I went down in the basement to throw clay around. One look into the kiln room and I found out that I was a closet pyromaniac. I got a job cleaning the pottery lab, so that I could go in and breathe clay dust at 7am. I caught the 11pm South Shore back to Indiana every night.  I lived pottery. I now have a pottery studio in Brown County, Indiana where I can also paint whenever I want.

How long should a blog be? I think I may have reached the limit and my life will still be here tomorrow.

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