Monthly Archives: March 2015


We seem to be running around a lot lately but I can’t tell you much of anything that we have done that was either interesting or productive.  I guess that’s just how things are nowadays.  As a reprieve from the apparent chaos in our lives, I thought I would take a few pics of the critters around our place…some of which I care for, some of which I do not.

My Chickens

Of course, the chickens are as crazy as always.  They are laying eggs but it is pretty haphazard.  I get at least one egg per day and sometimes 4.  I never get 2 green eggs a day as I should be though so either one of my Easter-eggers is not laying at all or they alternate pretty wildly.  I figure I’ll let Spring kick in a little farther before I worry too much about it.  Neither Easter-egger seems to be having any problems so I don’t think they are egg-bound or anything like that.  I figure it might be light or cold related.

My Chickens My Chickens

My favorite bird is Fezzik.  She’s a nut but super loyal to me.  She runs to me every day and demands to be petted, even if for half a minute.  The other birds, except Houdini, will tolerate petting, but Fezzik demands it.  The kids feel trepidation as they get cornered by her looking for a quick pet.  Maybe it’s good to keep them on their toes!

Bee poop
Bee poop

I looked in on the bees a few weeks ago when we had a really nice day.  Everyone had come out for a quick poop and stretch of the wings.  I’ll look in again in the next week or so and get a better sense of how this Spring and Summer will progress.  It was a super cold and slightly longer than usual Winter this year so this might be interesting.  I suppose the bears are out of hibernation now and still no evidence of one coming by to look at the hives makes me happy.  I know there are bears near my ridge so let’s hope they don’t like the electric fence!


I didn’t order any bees this year.  I had to many last year and it was more work than I wanted.  I plan to just focus on keeping these colonies healthy and hopefully productive.  I will definitely re-queen in the early Fall to ensure healthy stock going into next Fall.

Our new squirrel

We have a new guest around the house too.  We used to have a neighbor who collected cats.  By “collected” I mean bring home and turn loose in the neighborhood.  She didn’t care for them and get them fixed.  She has since moved away and the population thinned significantly.  Only two of the original 20 or so remain.  With only 2 outside cats wandering around, our squirrel and bird populations have finally started to recover.  I guess I like most creatures and have a live-and-let-live attitude about even the ones I don’t like.  But especially, I like to watch squirrels wander around doing squirrelly things.  I caught this guy munching a hickory nut watching me get ready to take a drive.  Two separate times he watched me.  The second time I got within 3 feet of him.  Maybe the nuts he was chewing was especially tasty.  For his sake, I hope he recognizes that although I am friendly, the remaining two cats might not be as pleasant!

Spring flowers
Also Spring!

Some old high school pics

I have had some family time lately and it has set me about reminiscing a little.  I generally don’t have the memory ability to get too sentimental but I discovered a few pics that brought back funny memories…

When I was in 11th grade (I think), My Spanish club took a trip to Cancun, Mexico …my first time on a commercial jet.  We had a wonderful and quirky Spanish teach named Marion Hull.  I suspect she was in her mid to late 60s when she came to our school.  She was probably one of the funnest teachers I ever had and we learned a lot to boot!  The year prior to the trip, we planned our adventure and started fund-raising like I had never done before.  She was such a determined leader and desperately wanted our group from small-town-Pennsylvania to get out and see even a bit of the world.  After much work, a group of 15 or so students headed to Mexico.  Below is one of the pictures that highlights the fashion that was apparently in style in the late 1980s…although it is possible that I was never in style…anyhow…

Me in Cancun Mexico
Me in Cancun Mexico

I found a huge stash of pics but most of them were junk…you know, before digital pics and all.  We had a lot of fun and somehow, Mrs. Hull returned us all home to the United States in one piece.  There are many stories to tell, but I am not sure I am ready for the world to know most of those.  A few that stand out though…we stayed in a hotel in the city rather than on the beach.  It wasn’t much but I think Mrs Hull knew it would be hard to justify an education trip to Cancun with beach-front accommodations.  Anyhow, near our hotel was a market where they sold Coke (no Pepsi) and various junk food.  I think I lived on dry Frosted Flakes.  In my memory, those were the best snack ever!  I know I bought several boxes just for myself.  It just hit the spot!

The other fun story that comes to mind is the music…my friend and roommate for the trip brought a tape player and one cassette.  It wasn’t a full cassette, but rather a single of the Guns-N-Roses’ song Patience.  It’s a great song once or twice…maybe even a hundred times.  Since music was so important to us as high schoolers, we had it on all of the time…after 10 billion plays, we all sort of got sick of that song!

Senior trip to Washington DC
Senior trip to Washington DC

I also found this picture of our senior class trip to Washington D.C.  You probably remember when panoramic photographs were a big deal and required a special camera.  The story goes that the photographer needed a runner – a guy to be in the photo when the camera started moving and at the end so he knew when to stop.  The runner literally ran from one side to the other while the camera panned.  I figure it was really just a gimmick but I am glad I have this picture anyhow.  I can’t believe how different I looked back in high school…can you find me?

Senior trip to Washington DC

Second from right in the back row…that’s me

From the waist up I look somewhat normal but then I look down at the short-shorts and black shoes…gee whiz what was I thinking?!

Anyhow, I am so glad I found these old pics and have had a lot of fun remembering the nonsense that went on during both of those trips.  I don’t keep in touch with most of my old friends, but I suppose a few may see this and get a few laughs!


He’d probably chuckle…

As I posted last week, my Uncle Bill with whom I was very close, passed.  He was not a young man, but his passing was still somewhat unexpected.  My aunt called the morning before he passed and told me the progression of things as they happened over night.  I immediately packed and headed for Erie, PA where he had been life-flighted.  In my home town where they also lived, there is no hospital.  The closest hospital is a half an hour away but is not really equipped for anything serious.

Uncle Bill

Anyhow, as I left WV, the weather was mostly ok, but I knew it was supposed to be bad as I traveled north.  Somewhere in the middle of PA, the weather turned from ok to total junk.  It started raining and then the rain froze.  I had a good cake of ice on my windshield and all over the car.  I knew I would not make it to Erie as the weather is always bad in Erie due to the lake effect snow they always get.  It had snowed 8-10 inches before the freezing rain so the situation was pretty bad.

Uncle Bill

I aborted the push north and headed to my hometown…where the weather was also terrible.  The roads were terribly icy and the snow was 2 or so feet deep…and now covered with ice.  My mom who was also in WV followed me in to their place.  We had to hit “the facilities” as soon as we got there.  Mom tried to turn on the lights but they didn’t come on.  I checked the breaker box and discovered water running through the panel.  That of course had tripped some of the breakers.  It also provided a serious hazard as far as I could tell.  Having jumped in the car in a hurry, I hadn’t packed adequate snow gear and my parents’ ladders were in WV…and besides, I am no expert on water in the breaker box.  My Mom called a local handyman who immediately came out and, with a torch, melted the ice dam off of the roof above the panel box.  The ice was at least 10 inches thick under a foot of snow.  It’s a wonder there weren’t worse problems.

Uncle Bill

As the repair man tried to leave, he got incredibly stuck in the deep snow which we hadn’t yet plowed off.  After digging and pushing for at least 30 minutes, he broke free.  He basically floored it kicking snow and slush all over me as I pushed him up onto some pine branches we had cut so he could get traction.  Not having winter gear, I was a complete mess…soaked to the bone.

Uncle Bill

We were exhausted from everything so ate quickly and went to bed.  The next morning, we headed to the hospital in Erie where we made it just in time to say our good-byes.  It was very difficult to say goodbye and even more painful to watch my Aunt as they were probably the most closely knit couple I know.

Uncle Bill

When we made it back to Tionesta, I followed the footsteps of the repairman from the night before.  I got my Subaru stuck up to the tops of the tires.  Luckily, my brother arrived later int he day with his Jeep.  With a little work, he was able to yank my car out of the snow.  I have always been pretty stupid with what I expect my Subaru to do and it has always excelled in stupid situations…deep snow/ice/slush was just too much for it I guess.  It was too much for about any car that didn’t have knobby tires I think!

Uncle Bill

We spent a few more days with my parents, brother and sister-in-law and my aunt reminiscing, talking, and drinking a few beers in my uncle’s honor.  It was a good time considering the situation.  The night before I was to return to WV, I returned my aunt to her house.  She walked in to find no heat.  It was still pretty cold…single digit temps at night so that wasn’t going to work for her.  She called a furnace company who would send a guy to help.  Like everything up there, the company was an hour and a half away.  His ETA was 1am.  I actually had a really good opportunity to spend time with just my aunt until he came.  We talked and remembered and talked some more.  It was good.  The repair guy came at 1 and by 2am had her patched through until he could get parts.  I returned to my parents’ home but still woke up at 7 am for my return trip to WV.  That sort of sucked.  I had a thermos and an insulated cup of coffee so I had plenty of “fuel” for the return trip.

Uncle Bill

Uncle Bill

You might be thinking that it seems like a lot went wrong on an already stressful and sad trip…you’d be right.  It wasn’t much fun in many ways.  In other ways, though, it was just the sort of craziness on which my Uncle thrived.  He was generally happy and laughed a lot…about everything.  Crap happened and he chuckled about it.  Good stuff happened and he chuckled about it.  While all of this stuff kept piling on,  I kept thinking about how he always responded to things in life that just happened.  In a way, it was the perfect way to mourn his passing.   I chuckled as things heaped on.  That’s how Uncle Bill would have handled it….

My Uncle Bill

William S. “Bill” Flick, age 81, of Tionesta, PA, died on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Erie, PA. He was born June 2, 1933, in Tionesta, son of the late Frank and Ruth (Seigworth) Flick.

William S Flick

Bill proudly served in the US Army in Panama before being honorably discharged in September 1955 after two years of service. He returned home where he was employed by Struthers Wells of Titusville, PA, sold insurance for United Republic, worked in Quality Control for Tionesta Sand & Gravel, and served Forest County as a Deputy Sheriff. He was a member and Past Master of Olive Lodge #557 F&AM of Tionesta, the Coudersport Consistory, and the Shriners.

He was Methodist by faith.

Bill enjoyed tournament bridge, hunting, fishing, and spending time with his family.

On June 30, 1962 in Coudersport, PA he married Laura Marie (Patterson) Flick, who survives. In addition to his wife he is survived by two brothers, Donald Flick and his wife Shirley of Beaver Falls, PA; Virgil Flick and his wife Jane of Tionesta; three sisters, Helen Sweet of New Castle, PA; Betty Bowen of Tionesta; and Doris Tucker, also of Tionesta. Additionally, he is survived by his beloved nephews Warren and Garth Patterson as well as several other nieces and nephews.

Friends will be received on Saturday, March 14, 2015 at the Tionesta United Methodist Church from 10 am until 11 am. A memorial service will be conducted at 11 with Associate Pastor Jeffrey Foor, officiating. Arrangements are under the direction of the Norman J. Wimer Funeral Home of Tionesta.

A Masonic memorial service will be held at 10 am on Saturday, March 14 at the church as well.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Wounded Warriors Project (P.O. Box 758517 Topeka, Kansas 66675), St Jude’s Children’s Hospital (501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105) or to the charity of one’s choice.