Lots of contrails today. On all sides of me. Probably the contrails are from  the planes patrolling around...not only the power plant...but the wind turbines. The turbines have to be watched, too, I guess. So I am privileged to have a private show of white streaks across the sky. They make me feel so special!

I was supposed to have a visitor today from a company that wants to dump concrete along my banks. He cancelled and we made another appointment for next week.

My "Dear Editor" submission about the fault lines around Byron Nuclear Power Plant is scheduled to be run tomorrow (Friday, February 12) in the Salk Valley Telegraph (formerly Dixon Telegraph).

Smitty(and son?)  and Chris made it out today! And such a beautiful, sunny day it is!

Yesterday as I shoveled out from our latest snow, I trudged out to the mailbox where a package dangled. I thought it was a book I ordered. I trudged back and started opening it when I realized Amazon would not have sent a book in a box labeled, "Wisconsin Cheese Factory."  Slowly it dawned on me it was a box of chocolates! Yes, raspberry-fudge chocolates in the shape of hearts, sent to me from "A. Knisan" with best wishes. "A. Knisan" is someone's way of saying its from Nissan (where I purchased my new Murano), but I am privy to the fact that this 3-tiered layer of chocolates really came from dear Michael (Dr. Witt, as I call him. He is a retired surgeon.) He knows my weakness - anything chocolate! I'm trying - mind you I say "trying" - to show some discipline...but raspberry and fudge together ...how can I resist?  Michael makes me feel special, too. Everyone is making me feel very special lately! How I love it!

My meeting with Floyd went well. He is so concerned over the loss of habitat for birds, plants and animals. He talked of the Golden Plover and the remnants of prairie up at a nearby cemetary. The he told me some other cemetary stories...

"South of Earlville on the Harding Blacktop past Precinct Cemetary was another cemetary. There is nothing there now. The guy that used to own it took all the tombstones home and made a sidewalk from it. They feed cattle on top of those people now."

"2 1/2 miles further south on Harding Blacktop, there was another cemetary there right behind an old school house. The school house is gone, of course, and so's the cemetary.

Anyway, 25 years ago or better, we were fishing along the creek, and there was a chip pile there. I found one of those tombstones there and I took it home. It's laying right over there. I didn't know what to do with it. So I brought it home and still have it.

Then you knew about the Civil War Vet, didn't you? There was a Civil War Vet buried alongside the road (just north of here) on the east side of the road across from Englehart's home. Englehart's had the vet's old house on their side of the road, but they had to tear it down to build a new one. Several years ago they (the county, I believe) were going to make the road wider...Guess what they did? They probably didn't move him, but they took the tombstone and buried it deeper.

I don't remember what his name was.

Another tombstone of a civil war veteran, this one is in the middle of a field near my brother's house. Along comes the modern farmer and can't farm around it. Did the same thing. Buried it and took the fence away - and back when I knew this stuff I wasn't smart enough to write their names down. They farm right over it now. Happened when I was high school - in the 1940's."

I was looking in the book Floyd loaned me and read the story of Major Dixon (who founded Dixon, IL). He is the grandfather or great-grandfather of my attorney, Henry, before Henry was elected State's Attorney. I read the story with interest. Taken from "The Illinois Farmer Book of Lee County, 1926." Here it is:

"A Dixon Anecdote"
In the years following the Black Hawk War John Dixon was often called Major Dixon and some humour attaches to the manner in which he achieved this distinguished title. He apparently was the man of the hour whenever anything needed to be done. When the army started after Black Hawks' legions John Dixon had the contract to supply the army with fresh beef. Those, bear in mind, were not the days of refrigerator and motor cars and so John Dixon gathered up his head of steers and drove them along the trail, following the army.

In the later period of the war  the army was pursuing hotly after Black Hawk, making forced marches and covering a great many miles every day. During this time Dixon with his head of steers was not able to keep up and somtimes he would come straggling in, driving them along through the woods, reaching camp perhaps at midnight. The first time this occurred the army was in camp in the hostile country and sentries were posted to keep guard. When one sentry heard the crackling and strange sounds of a herd approaching he called out "Halt! Who goes there?" and a click was heard as he cocked his gun for instant alarm. Dixon called out in response, "The Major of the Steer Battalion!"

The sentry called back, "Advance, Major of the Steer Battalion, and enter. Thus John Dixon became Major Dixon, and he was called by that title by his friends for a good many years."

Dave is here and we're starting to work on re-stringing the fishing rods. It's cold outside, and we're too lazy to walk through deep snow to cut in the woods.

It's fun being lazy sometimes. Especially on a snowy, white  day like this!

So, dear Reader, I hope I  don't repeat myself too many more times, but have another nice snowy day...(and Rascal Flatts, again)

"If it's cold outside, show the world the warmth of your smile!"


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