Sunday, May 26, 2013

We've Got Twins!

Wayne's son Cam and his wife, Amy, have twins! They were born last week at Baptist Hospital in Nashville.  At the time of delivery, we were making our way along I-65 south from Cave City, Kentucky -- nursing our head colds and wondering how we'd manage to see the newborns without infecting them (or the new parents) with our misery.

Before we reached Nashville, this delivery room photo was posted on Facebook.

Cam posted on Facebook, "They were really in there!" 
And so with great social media fanfare, our grandchildren entered this world. There were dozens of Facebook "Comments" and "Likes"...  I couldn't believe how beautiful Amy is in a picture taken just moments after delivery.  And yes, there is a huge smile behind Cam's mask.

By noon, we had arrived in middle Tennessee, checked in at the campground and set up.

Being infectious in our state of semi-sickness, our role was diminished from being at the hospital --  to staying away from it. Our family task is to "dog sit" Cam and Amy's pup, Sophia.  It would be the first time we had met the little rescue poodle they got just one week before learning they were going to have babies. 

We collected little Sophia, who pees uncontrollably every time she gets excited. We cleaned the liquid off the floor before we left...

While at the house, we just had to take a peek into the nursery -- home to the grand babies in a few days.  With pre-baby company from out-of-town, a mattress had to be placed in the center of the babies' room causing a congested look for my picture... but it is still sweet and inviting.

Unable to resist seeing Cam, Amy and the newborns, we drove, with three dogs in tow, into Nashville for a quick visit. We kept our distance and covered our mouths. 

The babies, Barbara and Jude, are healthy and fine. The family hopes to leave the hospital within three days.  Our colds should be gone by then and get a chance to hold these little bundles, which we didn't do today.

And sure enough, on the afternoon of the third day, Cam loaded his family into the car to go home.
Leaving the hospital

We waited yet another two days to be sure we didn't spread our cold germs... then we just had to hold these babies!

Jude weighed 4 pounds, 15 ounces at birth

Barbara weighed 5 pounds, 1 ounce at birth.
Amy is an immediate natural at mothering. 
They are so tiny!
We visited for about two hours -- long enough for one cycle each of sleep, eat and diaper change.

The top photo was taken after sleep and diaper change -- just before feeding.  Cam might look awkward in this photo, but in reality, he was real comfortable holding, feeding and then burping Jude.

Wayne with his new best friend, Sophia and his new grandson, Jude.

Cam holds Barbara and I have Jude. Yes, I am very nervous.
Never having babies I'm not comfortable holding them.
The picture below doesn't do justice to the great family feeling in Cam and Amy's home.  Everybody is doing well.
Cam (holding Jude) and Amy (holding Barbara).
The pictures in this post were taken Saturday afternoon.  On Sunday morning, at a regular follow-up  with the pediatrician, little Barbara and Jude were readmitted to the hospital.  It seems they are not gaining weight as rapidly as they should.  They are all at the hospital as I complete this post.  I'll update it as developments occur. 

Please pray for them.

Update:  The grandbabies stayed at the hospital until Thursday afternoon when their weight and temperatures finally met their pediatrician's goal.  Maybe this will set them off on to good weight gain.  Cam and Amy are exhausted.  We'll get in a short visit late in the afternoon when we return Sophie and have supper with them.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Remembering Gus Grissom

We left Indiana to return to Tennessee, where Cam and Amy's twins will be born next week.

At Peru, Indiana, we stopped in for the afternoon to see the Gus Grissom Air Museum. You may remember Virgil Ivan "Gus" Grissom; he was killed on the launch pad at Cape Kennedy in January 1967 while testing the Apollo I rocket as the United States began it's effort to put a man on the moon.  A fire broke out in the command capsule cockpit and Grissom, along with Roger B. Chaffee and Edward White died there.

F-4C  II Phantom Cockpit
A very interesting and sad article about how Gus Grissom's widow was treated by NASA can be seen on   THIS LINK    to the Arlington National Cemetery website.

This is a disturbing piece about how little concern has been shown toward the family of a great American hero, Distinguished Flying Cross recipient and Korean War veteran.

There are lots of outdoor exhibits at the Gus Grissom Air Museum

Next, we stopped for a few days near Mammoth Cave National Park in Kentucky. Wayne is getting a head cold, it seems. While he nurses his cold, I will see the caves.  Wayne isn't a spelunker anyway.

Upon arrival, we opened the closet door to see the rod had broken and dumped our clothes into a great heap on the floor. Ugh.  Wayne wasn't up to taking on the challenge of this project so we closed the door and I washed a load of clothes to have something to wear the next day.  I looked around, in vain, to find someone to help me with the repair of the closet.  The following morning, I made my way to Lowes, bought a new rod and some wire shelving and repaired the closet, adding two nice long shelves below the hanging clothes for stacking casual clothes and shoes.  This should keep the weight on the hanging rod to a minimum. Frankly, I'm pretty pleased with my work.

In the afternoon, I felt my throat becoming scratchy. It worsened; by morning, I had a full-blown head cold too.  I didn't get to see Mammoth Cave.  It remains on my list of "must see" parks.

Finally on the day Cam and Amy's twins were due to be delivered, we felt well enough to take on the last leg of our journey to Nashville, Tennessee.  

I snapped one photo of the Louisville, Kentucky skyline that is worth sharing.
Turned out the grand babies were born before we even reached Louisville.  Oh well, there wasn't much we could have done to help anyway.  Facebook is wonderful but I'll never understand how we've come to the point of taking a smartphone into the hospital delivery room for instant pictures to share....

Friday, May 24, 2013

My Final Indiana Musings

The Indiana experience is winding down. We've enjoyed our visit to the Hoosier State. The farmland, open skies, deep green grasses and lovely people have made us appreciate our time here.

Indiana Factoids

As one might imagine, "Indiana" means "Land of the Indians" -- there are, however, fewer than 8,000 Native Americans living in the state today.  Strange.

Indiana's motto, "Cross Roads of America" is based on fact.  Indiana has more miles of Interstate highway per square mile than any other state. The motto dates to the early 1800s when river traffic, especially along the Ohio, was a major means of transportation. Today more major highways intersect in Indiana than in any other state.  I would have never guessed!

Old Older Mennonites remain steadfast in living "off the grid"
The "clop, clop, clop" of horse hoofs on the road has become a common sound to us.

Huge communities of Mennonite and Amish people live on the farmland of Northeastern Indiana. As a matter of fact, one of the largest Mennonite congregations in the country is in Bern, Indiana. 

Members who are part of the Old Order of Mennonites do not drive cars, use electricity, or go to public places of entertainment.  While most Mennonites do not live that way these days, a good many of them in this area still do.

A farm near Wakarusa.

Most businesses here have a plan for handling horse and buggy rigs.

The Amish Puppymill Connection

The most bothersome fact about the Amish for me is their prolific involvement in the production of puppies. They sell them on site, online and to pet stores (those stores that sell pets -- many do not) all over the country. I'm not opposed to puppies -- or selling puppies.  I am opposed to over breeding any animal. The animals in these puppy generating operations are often chained together to facilitate breeding. They are given too little food, not enough drinking water and no veterinary care. These are animals that never lay on a bed or see a toy. They are never talked to or held. They are not pets. They stand and sleep on wire until their toes split. Square pens that house them are often not large enough for to stand and most are literally bred to death without ever standing on the ground. Pens are stacked one on top of the other with urine and feces falling down through the wire drying onto the animals below. 

It is becoming a well known fact that the Amish are among the very worst offenders in operating huge puppymill production barns.  To know more click read the material in this link: .

Anyone who knows me, even a little bit, knows my passion, perhaps better called "my obsession" on the subject of over breeding. I urge every loving pet owner to become familiar with the puppymill industry and become active and loud in speaking out on it to others and to remember to friends who may be looking for pets.

The abundance of puppy production in Indiana, along with Ohio, Pennsylvania and many other states, casts a dark shadow on my enjoyment of the countryside here.  Every beautifully painted barn on every picturesque farm can house one of these chamber of horrors. It leaves a nasty taste in my mouth to speak of it.

I'm sorry to write on such a sad subject in such an otherwise light forum.  I do not intend to step on anyone's toes ... just your heart.

From here we'll travel south next week for the birth of twins in Wayne's family. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

L'Universite de Notre Dame du Lac

The afternoon of our visit to the Studebaker Museum in South Bend, Indiana we also toured the Notre Dame campus.

Notre Dame History

On a cold afternoon in November 1842, a young French priest, Rev. Edward Sorin, along with seven other members of the Congregation of Holy Cross made an incredibly important decision to start a university on 524 acres of Indiana mission land near South Bend. The property was a gift from the Bishop of Vincennes.

The tulips were in full bloom and beautiful!
Father Sorin was responsible for naming the new school. On January 15, 1844, L'Universite de Notre Dame du Lac (The University of Our Lady of the Lake) was chartered.

The main building of the university was destroyed by fire in 1879.  Unwilling to be deterred, Father Sorin vowed to rebuild, saying, "I came here as a young man and dreamed of building a great university in honor of Our Lady. But I built it too small and she had to burn it to the ground to make the point. So tomorrow, as soon as the bricks cool, we will rebuild it, bigger and better than ever."

And it appears they did just that.  The campus is beautiful.
The grounds, landscaping and buildings all around the campus are beautiful and well kept.

Notre Dame's main building and it's gold dome is one of the most recognized university landmarks in the world.

This statue, in the main quad under the gold dome, is the likeness of Fr. Edward Sorin, University of Notre Dame founder.

"Touchdown Jesus"
The building in the photo above is the Basilica of the Sacred Heart, a 14-story Hesburgh Library. One side is adorned with a famous 132-feet-high mural depicting Christ the Teacher -- often referred to as "Touchdown Jesus"....

Notre Dame Stadium
Notre Dame has enjoyed more than it's share of fine and winning football coaches. Statues honoring them guard the gates of the stadium. 

Knute Rockne died in a 1931 plane crash in Kansas while traveling to participate in the production of the movie The Spirit of Notre Dame.

In South Bend, Knute Rockne lived on Wayne Street but we did not look for the house. He was buried in  Highland Cemetery in South Bend.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Studebaker Is My Car!

While in Northern Indiana this week, on a whim, we took a short drive to see the Studebaker Museum. 
For 114 years, beginning in 1852 and ending in 1966, the Studebaker family provided transportation to America. I wouldn't attempt to recreate the wildly remarkable story of the Studebaker's history here, but will provide this link to the Studebaker Museum's history page for anyone who's interested in knowing more.

I'm certainly no car aficionado but I know a nice display when I see one and this one is nice!

Beyond that, I will just post pictures, some with captions. 

Studebaker built covered wagons...
This one is a 1835 Conestoga built for the Studebaker family's travel from Pennsylvania to Ohio.

...and buckboards

...and sleighs...
They built hearses.
This model is from 1863.
It has a trap door in the bottom.  Yes, it really does!
And presidential carriages. This one was President McKinley's Phaeton.
Wonder if this provided the inspiration for Bob Tiffin to use the name on motorhome... 

President Grant's Landeau

This one was for President Lincoln.
He rode in this carriage to Ford's Theater the night of his assassination.
1911 Electric Coupe. Cost $1850
Top speed 21 mph!

1913 Model 25 Touring Sedan
1927 Erksine

Check the photo below too.

A compartment for golf clubs

1932 Studebaker President St Regis Brougham

1924 Light Six

Yep, Studebaker built race cars too.

Studebaker police cars....
1940 Champion Coupe

When was the last time you got to sit in a museum car? 
You can in this Bullet Nose Studebaker!
That's the Wayner looking cool always.

1934 Bendix (made by hand)

1953 Champion Starliner Hardtop 

Studebaker made fire trucks too. Here's a 1928 model.

1963 Zip Van delivering the US mail

Model for the Studebaker Avanti

This Studebaker Woody has an interesting history and very nearly didn't make it's way into the museum.

1958 Packard Hawk
Only 588 Packard Hawks were ever built

1949 Champion
Notice the rear opening door!

1961 Hawk (Flamingo is the exclusive color for this model and the convertible Lark)

1966 Cruiser. The very last Studebaker ever built.
It rolled off the Hamilton Ontario assembly line in March 1966.
The Studebaker Museum has three huge levels of display vehicles.  The picture below was taken on the lower level. Every display is perfect!  What a great way to spend an afternoon. 

The Studebaker history, the family and the entire vehicle display in South Bend, Indiana is absolutely fascinating -- even for one who isn't easily excitable over automobiles (like myself).

If you are of a certain age and ever owned, rode in or liked a car, you'll enjoy this museum, I'm sure.