elm leaf home

Go to Elmwoodil.org

January 20, 2014

Unity Blog

Farmer Father

Death of Peter Rabbit

Angel of Death

Free in the Shire

Twomey Company

Individuals in Business

The American Dream


Smithshire IL

Smithshire fields Flooded

Smithshire IL Tillage

Gleaner Smithshire IL

Smithshire IL

Smithshire Harvest

Smithshire IL

Smithshire IL

Smithsire IL

Smithshire IL

Twomey Elevator

Santa Fe Rail Trestle

River Otter Gladstone IL

Smithshire Methodist

Mosher Moon

Hermit Cabin

hearth home

Shire Field

SLU Arch

Journey winter

just email: The Steve

Unity Blog

I am starting a new daily blog it is going to be a reflection on my 12 week gym challenge and my goal of finding cosmic spirit unity. So I will write about Christianity and religion, politics, news, history, sentimental fluff, in other words the thought fireflies flitting around in my mind. I haved named it the Unity Blog

This is something of a follow up on my year of fitness post. If you haven't read it, I'll link it, so you can hop over. My Year in Fitness: a work in process

Let's Begin ---- Jan 22 ---- Jan 27
Current Post   ---- Jan 31

February 1

Drove home from St. Louis raining until past Springfield as temperatures kept dropping to below freezing. Then the snow covered roads, but no more rain. Caution was the overriding description of the trip, glad to get home, decompress stay inside.

Feb 2

Ground Hog's day wrapped near Chinese New Year and a host of events trying to distract from the pinnacle of celebrations the Super Bowl. It is not that the game is always great for the NFL fan. Last night's game was only great for Seahawk fans. Others like me, who are Packer fans were into wait until next year mode. We the football fans would have liked to see a game where both teams dazzled at times, keeping victory within reach until the final second elapsed. It was not to be; starting with an unforced error, resulting in a safety, the Broncos offense could accomplish little throughout the game. I actually decided the game was over with the opening kick off of the second half. A fluky bounce lead to a return for a touchdown, putting the Seahawks up 29 to 0. When a good defensive team has that margin and the football magic is all on their side, it was just over. I started paying attention to the commercials. I must stand up for Chrysler and Dylan, it was a good commercial. People failed to see the complexities of the modern age it encompassed, possibly unintentionally. Playing off our jingoistic false images, to make it's case. Who are buying those American cars, real Americans as they define themselves. Yes, the next car I buy will be from Chrysler, although I really do love Mazdas. Chrysler makes cars in Illinois. Did you see the hoorah started by Coke with its touching romantic view of American diversity?

Kept Nancy Davis 's gym appointment on Sunday afternoon, then grocery store. We got home just in time for kick off. We heard the national anthem as we turned onto our block. If you didn't think that was a great performance you are an uncultured lout. Hey, football brings out our raucous natures. I got back on the gym train, had an avocado to turn to guacamole, didn't miss a play. Watched it all, until it no longer mattered. Why is Super Bowl day always the pinnacle event of the new year? We now enter the long dark season of no football, while others will try and light votives to false gods: basketball, baseball, I will not even allow discussions of soccer and figure skating. Life moves on with less meaning until August. I will use it as my time to get in shape for next season. OK, no one sees a football player in a 61 year old man, but it is my measuring stick. When I make gains, when it seems I could quit now, not finish my fitness goal, it is then I think back could you go out for Freshman football? Are you able to run the drills, do the two a days again, the answer is always no. I have far more sins to atone for, so I pick it up, drive a little longer. Sometimes it is our own delusions that bring us home, I can not peel back time, but I can remove the debilitating factors. I really need to get going if I can't be ready by August, I will have to wait until next year. I would really like to be back in the 190's by August; unfortunately it will require diet, the metabolism of a 15 year old is not coming back.

One last thought on the NFL, it is disappointing injuries determine so much of the fortunes of teams in the season. I am very concerned about concussions (thoughts from a couple years ago), I hope the great team sport can redefine itself. I think Green Bay may put it together for next year. The Seahawks, 49ers, and Saints were all close this year, maybe all four NFC teams would have won this year's Super Bowl.

Yes finally, Redskins change the name.


When someone asks me to call them by a certain name it is just wrong to insist on calling them by another.

Feb 3-4

Trying to keep on schedule, in and around our frequent winter snow squalls, is difficult and challenging. Nancy has done a full body workout today using our new snow blower, an inexpensive electric powered one, she found on Amazon. The type of item her Amazon Prime account seems to encourage her to buy. Amazon is great for the reviews, and she researched those. She has used it today as I have handled my aluminum grain scoop (14); it is my favorite snow removal device. It is unlikely you remember the coming of the aluminum scoop as a labor saving device; if you do, then you are old. I got out this morning, did a little scooping while assessing the snow event we received last night, and fed the birds. I was pleased to discover the winds were not so strong; it was a rather pleasant morning with seven inches of new snow. Seven inches in some places and twenty four to thirty in others. I am a right handed scooper, as with about everything I do, a real draw back in my pathetic basketball efforts. I tried to remember the story of my great grandfather and itinerate laborer Levi Salisbury, who spent several winters clearing bottom land of native trees with axes. They rested by switching sides of the tree, to swing with the other hand. I did switch to left handed scooping so as to balance out my back. I immediately thanked God; I wasn't living in Edgar and Levi's time. Not untypically for young adults, my sons were less than prepared for January's first big snow, neither had a scoop. Erik braved the minus 15 and walked to a nearby hardware store. I was exceptionally proud of Erik. He bought an aluminum grain scoop. When he told me this, I knew some of my corn cob U experience had soaked in. Alex in St Louis used a garbage can as a shovel.

Erik Laura

Erik Davis with Laura Stewart

I have nicknamed our new snowblower the "Arkansas Snowplow" This was Smithshire's sarcastic term for less than adequate efforts to prepare for snow removal. What is an Arkansas snow plow? It is how you attack snow removal in the South. Arkansas captures so much mythic imagery of Southern culture in general. First you don't really have snow plows, you don't have chains on the equipment you do have, and nothing is equipped to adequately salt and cinder roads. All the salt has been barged up to places like Illinois; you make a show of doing something saying "it ain't supposed to do this down here." After piddling around scattering a little sand, slipping and scrapping for a day or two, it will be warm again and it will all melt. The Arkansas snowplow is to put on a good show and wait for better weather. Our new snow blower works reasonably well. The snow shoot turns easily enough, but a poorly designed rod meant as a turning crank has failed already. It also has limits of how long it will run before it overheats and shuts off.

This afternoon Nancy said we should go back and finish clearing more of the drive. She insisted we needed to do this, even if it caused our peaceably sleeping fur ball to have to be disturbed. Helping her didn't include me or the cat staying in the recliner. She said Alex was coming home this week end. Erik would be here as well, we would need more space in the driveway. This is a major difference between mothers and fathers, Nancy thinks we should prepare for our boys being home. My thoughts are if Erik and Alex are both going to be home, they would be great help cleaning out the driveway. We were not going to follow the father's path, so it became something of a John Henry contest, between our Arkansas snow plow and my grain scoop. In this case the John Henry of snow scooping could win without dying with a scoop in my hand. It heats up and needs a break more often than I do.

Although the snow blower works it was not meant for the above my knees snow. I am short legged, but I am not a dwarf. I could handle the deep dry snow very efficiently, even where it was deepest. Nancy is now out finishing a shallow area after her machine has cooled down. I am back in the recliner, but fur ball is indignantly sitting on the floor with her back to me. She has given up on someone who can not appreciate her need for the perfect nap.

Snow Blower -- Scoop

The Arkansas Snow Plough vs. the John Henry of the scoop shovel.

Back to Unity Blog

Top HatReturn to Illinois Observer Index Illinois Observer

Forgottonia is a place where you can endlessly wander the lonely roads, and never once miss the fast lane. The name Forgottonia captures an image of a region, off the beaten path, which is very true of Western Illinois.

Steve Davis | Create Your Badge