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Posts Tagged ‘Missouri’

I was doing my daily “let’s avoid accomplishing anything” by searching for new blogs to read.  This is purely in the name of research and to get me out of the rut of writing blogs and then deleting them, prior to publishing, as they are not funny.  I seem to be doing a lot of that lately.

Then, there is the Christmas stocking issue and the knitted Christmas gift that I could work on 24/7 from now till Christmas and probably still not have it done.    I am on my second yarn and my twentymillionth rip out on this thing.  So, my days go, dishes, feed animals, knit four rows, search the internet for Vegan no oil food and any other excuse I can use.

When I am searching blogs, I am mostly looking for ones that make me laugh and today, I was in stitches over a new blog I found.  Truckstop Oysters. How Bad Could They Be? | Blurt via Truckstop Oysters. How Bad Could They Be? | Blurt.

All I can tell you, is I think it’s a guy girl (she asserted her he just asserted his alpha female status over Angelina Jolie’s dolls, another funny post, and he lives in North Carolina and he is funny!   And, he can tell you just exactly how bad of an idea it is to have truckstops serve oysters. 

If you have ever traveled, then you probably have a state that is NOT your favorite.  My state is Missouri.  I have broken down every single time I cross Missouri, except the last time.  Perhaps I am making my peace with the state.  But, I am pretty sure it just felt like it owed me as one trip, I broke down three times.  Never buy a used motorhome. 

It isn’t just that though.  Missouri is the state that has nice restaurants who bring you a cup of hot water and a packet of cocoa when you order hot chocolate.   What is more upscale than bringing you hot water and packets of cocoa?  I now travel a long way out of my way to avoid Missouri.

Let me know if you hear where Truckstop Oysters is playing.  Sounds like a great band to me.

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Let’s talk Kansas.  After all, it is the Heartland of America.  And, there are times when I have wondered if we have much of a heart anymore.  But, we have Kansas.

 

Kansas was named after the Kansas River, which flows through it and which was named after the Kansa Tribe.  No one seems to know the original meaning of the name Kansa, but it is said to mean “people of the wind.”  Now, if that were true, then I think Wyoming would be named Kansas. Kansas just has a breeze compared to Wyoming. However, I have not been everywhere in Kansas.

 

Mostly, my time in Kansas was spent on I-70.  I would be traveling through from Indiana to California, and all points west, and would like to break up my drive.  I didn’t want all those cows, happily chomping grass on I-70, which I had named (the cows, not the road — okay, so I did name the road too but I don’t use those words here.)  but, I did not want those cows to get jealous of the peacefully grazing cows I had named on I-80 in Nebraska.  I mean, I spent hours and hours traversing Kansas, and Nebraska over a ten year period.

 

Now, replace each of those cows with hundreds of Bison and get a picture of what it was like pre-1800.  It must have been awesome.

 

During the 1854 settlement, free-slavers from New England and pro-slavers from Missouri rushed to take the state. It became Bleeding Kansas, until the abolitionists prevailed.  In 1861, Kansas entered the Union as a free state.

 

I have to say that the people of Kansas have always been friendly, helpful and polite to me, during my travels.  And, while I am sure that Missouri also has nice people, I have broken down more than five times in Missouri. That being but one of the reasons I’m glad the abolitionists won.

 

I have decided there is some weird electrical vibe under the ground of Missouri, causing me to break down. Well, my car actually, not me.  Although, by the fifth time I entered the state and my car broke down, I had a bit of a fit too.  Then, there was the time I sat numerous grand-children and daughters down to eat at a large restaurant in Missouri, to be served boiling hot mugs of water (not smart to set in front of a one year old, people) and packets of hot cocoa mix, (not cool in a restaurant bigger than – NO, I take that back, it’s not cool in any restaurant, it was reinforced in my brain that the people of Missouri may be a cocoa packet short of a full box.  And, that is not to judge a whole state of people on just five breakdowns and one restaurant, so please do not spam me with your ire.  Just treat me better the next time I’m in town.

 

But, back to Kansas; it is the friendly state where I have eaten many a great meal. And, why not?  They are one of the most productive agricultural states after all and we should all thank them for that.  It has also been proven now that Kansas is NOT “flatter than a pancake.”  I have to trust science here but it is a very gradual slope upward from the east to west.

 

And, once, on my journey from West to east, late at night and with two parents sound asleep in the car, I saw a great 4th of July fireworks show in Kansas City, where I used to stop regularly to eat at a great restaurant that I can no longer remember the name of.

 

So, why, you ask, this tribute to Kansas?  And, it has only taken a full page to get to the reason, so shoot me.  Aren’t you glad to know all that about the most productive state that provides your food? 

 

 

You all know my love of my ClustrMap.  Well, Kansas was the first place I had a larger circle indicating that it could be 1 to 10 readers in that dot.  Not just all the scattered ones I had watched popping up.  And, Kansas has hit a second milestone for me.  It is the first dot to say it has “100-999” views.  And, I want to thank Kansas for that honor.

 

I will do my best to keep you happy and entertained.  I just have one request.  Could a few of you lurkers, drop a kind word, or even a not-so-kind word once in a while?  It can get a little lonely, sitting her with irritating little Chihuahua.

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There is a certain quiet determination in Martinsville. This was my first trip to Martinsville since the flooding. Mom needed groceries, blood work and had a doctor’s appointment. The news was not what she wanted to hear, she wanted surgery to fix her valves, but she is a survivor and will fight on.

 

When I entered, on the north side of town, everything looked pretty much the same; other than the car dealership whose sign which read something like, “We have always been open. No flood cars on our lot.”

 

The fairground is the first inkling you have of the destruction. Driving around the back of the hospital, the first thing you notice is one vast pile of people’s lives. They have set aside an area in the fairgrounds to serve as a temporary truck dump. There are also areas for people to pick up items they might need; clothing, kitchen things, etc. 

 

It is when you pass Main street and the area past down town, to the east, that you see the affects of the flooding. Kroger’s parking lot is cordoned off, but to the side sits an air-conditioned pharmacy trailer to refill your prescriptions. Thank you Kroger. Store shelving and coolers are in another marked area.

 

That part of town is a hive of activity. A line of debris laden trucks exits one residential street. At the corner, laborers take their break on the yard next to a hose that is pumping water out of the basement and down to the gutter. Every third yard seems to have a table with items on it with signs that either read “YARD SALE” or “FREE”. Items such as spare breadmakers await a new home.

 

Tears come to my eyes, and yes, I cry easily. It’s a family trait on my dad’s side. But, the mound in the front yard of another home peaks tall than the house roof. I think of the lifetime of memories this pile represents: family photos and home movies, first shoes, wedding certificates, an uncle’s casket war flag, a favored doll, a first plate and cup, grandma’s wedding dress, dad’s christening dress, plus all the necessities of daily life. I feel for the family and want to give them a hug. I wish I could help.

 

Thankfully, our middle son shuts his door when he leaves the house. The water mark in his room is five inches above ground, with a small amount of water seeping into the youngest boy’s room. We are looking for a new bed for middle son (he probably needed it anyway; he’s too tall for his bed and has a bad back). I don’t know what else he has thrown out. Furniture is drying.

 

Their rooms are back to normal, as they ever get. Days were spent scraping glue off the floor, from the carpeting, scraping linoleum and glue from under that. We had salvaged, from a friend’s house flip, padding and carpeting and they are now in use on the concrete flooring. One boy complains he wants heavier curtains to block the light. The other is off, yet again, with his friends. We have barely been touched. Our life is back to normal.

 

For us, it was just a reminder that while it may be tough here many days, and that $5.00 bill I gave the attendant yesterday only gave me a bit over a gallon of gas, we are safe. We have each other and a roof over our heads. My thoughts are with you, residents of Northern Ireland (which also had flooding), China, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, and Wisconsin (the links are from Wikipedia).

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