Monday, December 29, 2008

A Visit to Stones River

Saturday we went to Murfreesboro, Tennessee for the 146th anniversary of the Battle of Stones River. It took place December 31, 1862- January 2, 1863. First we went to the visitor’s center where there were two reenactors in character talking about their points of view. One of them was a union officer and the other was a southern civilian.
Next we went to the “Slaughter Pen” where the union was positioned in “nature’s fort,” (natural formations of limestone) but it was hard for them to get out. There was a confederate soldier talking there and a union soldier. They had different points of view about what happened at the Slaughter Pen. Also the union reenactors were firing from their positions in the Slaughter Pen.
After the Slaughter Pen, we went to the Cotton Field where the confederates came out of the woods and faced union artillery in the distance. At this stop on the tour one confederate and one union reenactor were talking about that part of the battle. The confederates were driven back here by lots of artillery fire.
Then we went back to where we began, but it was changed. They signaled two union soldiers to come out of the woods. They did some demonstrations of the cannons and guns. After that we went to a monument erected soon after the battle--one of the first Civil War monuments--and I liked that the best. I liked the old, old stones and the weathered writing.
Dude Boy

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Agustus Gloop

As part of our science lesson on States of Matter, Dudeboy got to make and play with some “Mystery Substance,” or Non-Newtonian Fluid, or Oobleck. Great stuff. To make the gloop, combine 2 cups of cornstarch with 1 cup of water in a bowl. Mix until smooth. Then play with it. We had seen this stuff in action before on MythBusters. As they state on their website, “this mixture of cornstarch and water acts like a liquid. But hit the surface just so and the cornstarch particles bunch together, creating a temporary solid.” Of course we made it on a much smaller scale.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Few Pix

Here are a few photos to share with you. First is a photo from the T-Giving festivities at Ann's restaurant. And there are a couple of photos taken from our backyard tonight. These photos are untouched. You don't see skies like that every night.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Dude Boy just finished Fall Super Saturday (a program for students between 1st and 7th grades put on by WKU). The class he participated in was called Claymania! Here are a couple of photos showing the fruits of his efforts. He made some pots using the methods of coil, slab and pinch. He made a mobile . . . Dude Boy had the great idea to base the mobile on shield designs. And he made a mask (parents were able to help shape the mask somewhat, but he did everything else). They did an amazing amount of art in 4 short days.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Lay on, MacDuff!

Here are a few pictures of Dudeboy at his Cub Scout flour bomb war. Dudeboy's scottish lineage really came out as he really attacked with reckless abandon. In one sequence he hit one boy with a bodyshot and then turned to flourbomb another boy with a headshot.
Lay on, MacDuff!

Against all odds.

Young hellions group photo.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Hallowe'en 2

Here are a few pictures from the Halloween extravaganza at Mane and Pa's house Saturday night. I need to get Dudeboy to tell you about the ghost we saw at the cemetery!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

October Trips

Part 1: Mill Springs and Big South Fork
Merkin and I went to Mill Springs on my fall break. It was an early Civil War battle, won by the Union. The visitor’s center is new and there’s a museum in it. Kids could try on Union or Confederate uniforms. And we found General Thomas (the Rock of Chickamauga) in his headquarters (he was a statue in a museum display). We also saw some rebel soldiers, so we snapped some pictures. Then at the end of the exhibit, there were old muskets. One was found under a ledge a couple years before I was born, and it was in good shape!
The base of the Zollie Tree ( where they laid the body of the Confederate General Zollicoffer after he died) with flowers twined around it was also in the museum. We went on a very long hike and saw a monument in the place Zollicoffer died. They planted a seedling of the Zollie Tree where the old one was and now there’s a new Zollie Tree.
We then went to Keith’s cabin and hiked around the Big South Fork I really liked Keith’s hammock. At the Big South Fork, I met Tom DesJean who is the park’s archaeologist.

Part II: Trip to Louisville
At Louisville we went to the Speed Museum to see the special exhibit “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” which had furniture, paintings, and other artifacts of early American life. It had famous paintings by John Trunball, Thomas Eakins, and Winslow Homer. There was one neat cabinet that had keys on every drawer. We stayed at the Brown Hotel because Dr. J was having a conference there.
The next day we went to the Louisville Science Center and saw their special exhibit called “Too Small to See“ on nanotechnology. Then we went close-by to the Frazier International History Museum where I saw two reenactors fighting with two-handed swords. We saw their special exhibit on the Civil War called “Liberty on the Border.” That night, Dr. J and I went to the Muhammad Ali Center. It had lots of films about Ali’s life.

Part III: Old Mulkey Meeting House and Daniel Boone.
Monday we saw Scott New, performing as Daniel Boone, give a talk about coming to Kentucky. We saw him at Old Mulkey Meeting House State Historic Site where my ancestor and Daniel Boone’s sister, Hannah, is buried. Scott New is the same guy we saw at Virginia’s Wilderness Road State Park.
October has been action-packed and fun-packed.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Ann's Old Mill Restaurant

Dude Boy and I were finally able to visit Ann's Old Mill Restaurant today for lunch. I wanted to post a few photos for all of you who have not been able to make it down there yet. Ann is really in her element. Ann and Scott's hard work has really paid off . . . the place looks great.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Ft. Boonesborough and Old Fort Harrod

A blog entry in three parts.

Part 1: Boonesborough
Last Saturday we went to Fort Boonesborough State Park because there was a reenactment of the Siege of 1778. They have a reconstruction of the fort. It isn’t at the actual location where the original was, but it looks pretty good where it is. I met someone who told me about gun cleaning and making spoons out of horns. First you take any horn, then you wet it. Soak it for a while, and it will be very soft. Cut it into a spoon shape. Put two spoons together over the cutout. When it dries, take it apart and you have a spoon made of horn. I bought a comb made out of horn. Inside the Fort we met a blacksmith. Then we explored, and I saw different cabins and rooms. There was a display in each one.
The reenactment started with everyone playing outside the fort. Someone ran up and shouted, “Indians!” and ran in the fort, and everyone followed her. The frontiersmen got their guns and went to their posts. Then the Indian chief Blackfish called for Daniel Boone. They talked and talked. Then Daniel Boone and the other settlers talked, and they didn’t want to surrender. The settlers thought they had a peace treaty, but when they shook hands, the Indians tried to grab them. Luckily they all ran inside the fort. After that started, the siege began. They used a small wooden cannon just like Squire Boone had made. Some Indians and frontiersmen were overweight, and the battle wasn’t really realistic. Here is a quote from Merkin: “The Indians didn’t need to wear loin cloths because their fopas would have covered up everything.” During the retreat one of the Indians got shot and his blue underwear showed. And the last one to retreat mooned the fort.
Later on we returned for a night battle. This was not based on actual happenings. They called it a “generic night battle.” They were all out playing, and a man said there were Indians in the area, and then everyone ran in except the man who warned them got shut out and so did a woman. The Indians came and scalped them. (No one actually got scalped at Boonesborough.) At night I could see the orange blare of the shots. That was very, very neat.

Part 2: Camping Out
We got some fire wood and matches. The first pack of matches didn’t work. So we tried the second pack: it worked. We got the campfire blazing. When it looked like there was no more wood, I got some leaves and the fire went blazing.

Part 3: Harrodsburg
Sunday morning I burned my finger on a hot rock that was in the campfire ashes. Then we went to Harrodsburg to Old Fort Harrod StatePark.
Old Fort Harrod used to stand where the parking lot is for the reconstructed fort. The only person demonstrating was a blacksmith. They had some goats in the center of Fort Harrod. The buildings that they had reconstructed were quite accurate of the time period: They were completely wooden. George Rogers Clark had a headquarters in the fort. (Earlier, if you remember, I went to Vincennes where George Rogers Clark took over British territory for the United States.) The weekend was weird and fun.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Civil War and more Civil War

This entry is about two separate “fun-day” trips.

On September 13th, Merkin and I went to the Hart County Civil War Days. First we walked around the arts and crafts fair, where we met Robert E. Lee. I really don’t know why he was at Munfordville. He wasn’t even at the original Battle of Munfordville. We then saw Davis and Lincoln debate. It is funny because they never really met. Next, we went to the re-enactment of the Battle of Munfordville, aka Battle for the Bridge. First off, there was this narrator named Rebel Rick. He talked through the whole thing. And when the battle began, he said “Here comes a cavalry charge!” and it was only one man on a horse. The re-enactment ended for the day without a winner. Rebel Rick said “Come tomorrow to see who wins,” but we had had enough of Rebel Rick.
This past Friday, we went to Lexington to tour the Hunt-Morgan House. Both John Hunt Morgan and Thomas Hunt Morgan lived there. Thomas was John’s nephew. He was the first geneticist to win the Nobel Prize. John Hunt Morgan was called the Thunderbolt of the Confederacy. There is a neat story about Morgan and this house. There was a Union encampment around the house. One day he rode up to the big front doors and the servants opened them. He rode into the house on his horse, kissed his mother and then rode out the back door. We also saw the John C. Breckinridge Memorial and the Morgan Memorial on the town square. John Hunt Morgan rode a mare named Black Bess. The person who made the statue thought a General that great should be riding a stallion instead, so he put testicles on the horse. And for pranks, teenagers and UK students would paint the balls blue and white. We then went to the Lexington National Cemetery, where we saw the graves of Morgan, Basil Duke and Breckinridge. On the way to Tracy’s we stopped in Frankfort to see Daniel Boone’s grave. Check back next week . . . I am heading to Fort Boonesborough!

Friday, September 12, 2008

A Walk Through the Gap

This is the forth and last entry for our trip to the tri-state area.

Monday we went to Harrogate, Tennessee to see the Abraham Lincoln Library and Museum located on the campus of Lincoln Memorial University. It is one of the largest Lincoln collections in the country. There are hundreds of civil war items. I especially liked the dioramas. I got to put on yankee and rebel uniforms. There was a tree from the battlefield of Chattanooga that had been shot several times and the tree grew around the lodged cannon balls and shrapnel. There was a life casting of Lincoln’s face and hands. I got an Abe beard and a top-hat. You should go there! Next we went to Cumberland Gap National Historic Park. We hiked through the gap and on part of the original Wilderness Road. Some of the trail looked like it did when Boone went through there. We then drove up to the Pinnacle Overlook. You could see for hundreds of miles. There are a couple of civil war batteries up there. This is where men from both sides waited for a battle that never came. This trip wore me out, but it was worth it.