Asiatic Lily ready to bloom

Last fall we moved bulbs from the flower bed out front to our herb and flower garden in the back. This is one of those transplanted bulbs. Won’t be long now!

The magnificent Saguaro cactus of the Sonoran Desert

The Sonoran Desert in Arizona is one of our favorite locations to visit. There is just something about the giant saguaro cactus and the other incredible plants and animals of this environment.


IMG_3777The Saguaro National Park is unique in that it is actually in two different parts: The Tucson Mountain District and the Rincon Mountain District. One section is west of Tucson, the other is east of town. First designated as a National Monument in 1933, the monument was officially made a National Park in 1994.

Sher and I went to the Rincon Mountain District one afternoon when we were checking out some antique and art stores on the far est side of Tucson. We stopped at the Visitor Center to pick up some information brochures and a map of the park. We did not have to pay the entrance fee because we have the America the Beautiful Senior Pass.

Fish hook barrel cactus Fish hook barrel cactus

The beauty of the desert The beauty of the desert

The scenic loop drive is an 8 mile one way paved road that winds through a portion of the huge park. This will…

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E.L. Kennedy covered bridges

This was the last covered bridge built in Rush County

A look at the Burr-Arch truss system

Opening with overhang looks on the river

150 feet long, one lane wide and a 10 ton load limit

E. L. Kennedy and Sons bridge builders are part of the three generations of Kennedy Bridge builders in Indiana. Emmett came out of retirement after the great flood of 1913, which wiped out many covered bridges in central Indiana. He and his two sons Karl and Charles R. built the 150 foot long Norris Ford bridge over the Flat Rock River in Rush County.

There are not near as many of these bridges left as there were even 30 years ago. Those that are left should be saved. They are an important part of our history.

Historic Convent in Oldenburg Indiana

Remembering our trip to a historic convent in southeast Indiana


On our recent RV day trip Sher and I spent a most enjoyable time viewing an Indiana treasure: The Immaculate Conception Convent, which is the Motherhouse of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis.  The Sisters of St. Francis continue to serve the people of Indiana. Learn details at their Website Here including the fascinating history of the Order.

Motherhouse, right and church, left. Parking lot is for the Holy Family Catholic Church, out of view on left

Chapel and portion of the cemetery for Sisters

Beautiful Shrine overlooks the cemetery grounds

Not only is there beautiful architecture on the campus but peaceful cemeteries, shrines, a school and a  farm. Oldenburg is known as “The City of Spires” due to the many church spires visible on the skyline of this quaint Indiana town.

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Two years later

Taken on June 20, 2020

Taken on June 25, 2021

Taken on May 26, 2022

This Black Cherry was one we got free from the Conservation Service and Indiana DNR. The first picture was taken on June 20, 2020 shortly after being planted. The sapling was then in a cage for protection, and the top visible rung on the cage is less than 2 feet high. The second picture was taken on June 25, 2021. Then the tree was a little over 6 feet tall. The tree has reached a little over 12 feet in height now. It’s amazing how quickly this Black Cherry has grown.

Unique White Bronze cemetery monuments

When you come across a blueish colored grave monument you can’t help but wonder how it has maintained its lettering and clarity of the dates. No, it is not a later replacement, it is the original zinc metal grave marker. Manufactured by the Bridgeport, CT. Bronze Company, these long lasting  but somewhat fragile monuments were custom made from 1876 until 1914.

When you tap on the surface of these monuments you can immediately tell it is metal. The seams where the individual pieces are joined are also obvious.  Each piece was cast in Bridgeport and then shipped to the cemetery for installation. Customers dealt with sales reps armed with multiple catalogues with unlimited possibilities for choice of monuments.

Name/dates of deceased and panel with “Shaking Hands”










The zinc-tin alloy used in the castings did not rust and resisted the growth of mold or algae. Each monument was custom ordered, so all are one of a kind. The designs included panels that were screwed in and could even be changed at a later date, if desired.  These were perfect for symbols like the shaking hands, sheaves of wheat or personal messages in addition to the name and dates of the deceased.

A smaller monument

Name/date still legible after nearly 140 years









The material of these was advertised as White Bronze. White Bronze doesn’t exist. These are made with a zinc-tin alloy. The company, however, felt that White Bronze is a much classier and sophisticated name than zinc. They also claimed (of course!) that their monuments would outlast any stone monument. In a way that was true, however these zinc beauties were susceptible to breakage from, for example, falling trees. In addition, very tall monuments could suffer over time from settlement of part of the bases.

This panel would have been custom ordered for the monument

The next time you are enjoying a relaxing walk through a cemetery or graveyard keep an eye out for different looking monuments. Go have a look, it just might be a one of a kind White Bronze monument that was cast in Bridgeport, Connecticut between 1876 and 1914.