Monthly Archives: July 2013

Happy 4th of July, y’all!

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Wow, this past week has been crazy!!

The Hubs has been put on 60 hour weeks at work, so the one day of the week he is home, this is what I see:

John Reynolds in the garden

I spent the last two days doing up crock pot meals.  Man, what a lot of work!  This time I had a lot of help and everyone kicked in and we all got it done.  But, it was so much more stressful with so many people involved even though, I wouldn’t have got it done by myself so I am very grateful.

All the family (except Justin) was here today and we had a nice meal at noon time and then over in the afternoon everyone left.  Even The Hubs.  He had to go back to work.  As a true testament to the fact that I am tired, I took not one picture today!  Shame on me!  What was I thinking??

My in-laws were here and I was very glad to have them for a visit.  The house always feels extra empty when it is so full and then Wham!  It’s empty.

In other news, there has been lots of mowing and weed-eating going on around here and I’m  hoping for some rain as everything is starting to wilt.  I don’t want another drought like last summer so please, Lord, bring us some rain.  I need things to stay green for my peace of mind.

Mowing the Compound

That’s a pretty good mow job, eh?

Thank you, thank you very much.

Oh, and please pay no attention to the solid bed of weeds where my once pretty flower bed was next to the house.  I just don’t have it in me to pick all those weeds, and almost all of my pretty pink azaleas bit the dust in last year’s drought.  So sad!

This is my child of the corn.  I would say Children of the Corn, but I only had one here for this totally random picture.  Justin doesn’t like to pose like Knucklehead does so here he is:

Knucklehead in the corn

And yes, he has my flip flops on.

Shhh!  Don’t tell him I told you.

And, he won’t be so happy when we have to start picking all the corn.

One thing about Mom with her Alzheimer’s.  Dad is her comfort zone, so where he goes she follows.

Follow the Leader

If they could find a way to drive the tractor and the mule at the same time and hold hands, I’m sure they would do it.

Feeding time around here looks like this:

Feeding Time

They have feed in feeders, but corn is their daily treat.  They love it.

This is frizzie.  She’s a busy body.

Frizzie

But she’s really cute.

Frizzie

As is my Joan Jett, who is definitely not a Joan.  More like a Johnny Jett.  He tried to crow the other day, and it was a very pathetic attempt.

Joan Jett

The babies that were born on my birthday, are getting so big.  Yay! What a great present!

So, I totally have to name one of them Junie.

The Babies

There are five babies, but they are fast and the most I could get in one picture was four of them, along with one of the Mama’s butt.

So, what’s up chicken butt?

Sorry, I just had to.

And the last bit of news from Around the Compound.

RIP Pat Benatar.

Unless you are on a field trip.

IMG_4335

If you have been taken, (stupid Chicken-hawk, or Coyote) Karma will avenge you!

We await your return.

Susie

Military Monday – Normandy France

Guest post by Larry Croon.  Larry Croon’s father,  Lt. Refert Croon served with my Uncle Son, Sam H. Ball, III during WWII.  I have posted about Uncle Son before here and here.

NORMANDY FRANCE

As the son of Lt. Refert Croon, I wish to share my recent visit to France, and recommend to those who have not yet visited the Normandy Beaches — attempt to do so.

View From Dog White, Omaha Beach, Normandy France

View From Dog White, Omaha Beach, Normandy France

One can not fully perceive the scale and scope of the Allied Invasion, without personally viewing the enormity of the geography engaged. The journey had special meaning for me, given the context below:

As a young Lieutenant, my father was a member of the 146th Engineer Combat Battalion, and, as a member of Gap Assault Team #1, which landed at 0633 on D-Day in the DOG WHITE Sector of Omaha Beach.

View From Dog White, Omaha Beach, Normandy France

View From Dog White, Omaha Beach, Normandy France – NOW

They were successful in clearing obstacles and blowing a hole in the seawall, despite heavy casualties, allowing American Forces to move forward up the bluff and counter heavily defended German positions in the area surrounding Vierville-Sur-Mer.

For their actions, the 146 ECB received the Presidential Unit Citation as well as the Distinguished Service Order of the British Empire.

Receiving Presidential Unit Citation

Receiving Presidential Unit Citation

Remarkably, my father went on to win Five Battle Stars from Normandy to Pilsen, Czechoslovakia, but said very little about what he had seen. He passed some time ago, before I could encourage him to return. Yet, I felt my father’s presence walking in his footsteps. The visit to Normandy afforded a lifetime memory for my wife and I.

Engineers Memorial Normandy France

 

Engineers Memorial Normandy France

I fear the the legacy of the “Greatest Generation” may be forgotten unless our younger citizens are reminded of the sacrifices of these Americans. I was surprised to discover the French have not forgotten, to include their young.

Military Cemetery Normandy France

Military Cemetery Normandy France

D-Day was no exception to the fact that military operations rarely unfold according to plans. Mistakes compounded and it was only the courage, physical stamina and creativity of American soldiers that enabled the ultimate success on Omaha Beach.

On the practical side, believe it best to station your Normandy visit in Bayeux, given its proximity to the critical D-Day locations and the American Military cemetery at Coleville-Sur-Mer. While there, take time to view both the Bayeux Tapestry and Cathedral. The locals will appreciate your attempt to speak some of the basic french phrases, but given the numbers of American visitors, it’s easy to conduct business in English with merchants and at restaurants.

Your journey will no doubt begin at Paris-Charles DeGaulle. Take a few days to acclimate and enjoy some of the major sights in one of the world’s most scenic cities. Prioritize the major tourist attractions you may wish to visit. Same for the Louvre, select the “biggies” you wish to see; otherwise, you could wander aimlessly for two weeks. The French drive on the right, with modern road systems outside Paris, yet maneuvering in Paris could be too much of a challenge with little parking and thousands of motorcycles, along with different rules of the road. A good option is to take the train to Normandy, a comfortable 2 hour ride. While in Normandy, I strongly recommend hiring a Professional French Tour Guide to tailor your visit in an efficient manner which will include transportation.

Oh yea, always carry rain gear.

Larry Dirks Croon
Clifton, Virginia

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