Monday, April 30, 2012

With Honor....

For Taphophile Tragic


Isaac N. Alexander
First Lieutenant, U.S. Army
Service # O-1175626
592nd Field Artillery Bn, 106th Infantry Division
Entered the Service from: Georgia
Died: 16-Dec-44
Buried at: Plot C Row 12 Grave 8

Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery

Henri-Chapelle, Belgium

Awards: Bronze Star, Purple Heart

While in Quaker Cemetery in my town of Camden, SC I found this small family plot, (the 3 markers one flat and 2 upright) and of course I noticed right away the 2 stones that were so similar side by I had to investigate..and this is what I read the flat stone is Thomas Loryea Alexander and his wife Ellen Boykin, may not be able to read he was a Brig Gen US Army.

Right beside them 
is their son born on Jun 14, 1920,
 Lt. Issac Newton Alexander's stone, and that led to me to the Henri Chappelle US Memorial as seen above and the burials of thousands of our fallen and the Lt. who died in the Battle of the Bulge in Ardennes sector.  It was the bloodiest battle of WWII.  The US Lost 89,000 men 19,000 Killed,  47,000 wounded and another 23,000 were captured!!
 Lt Alexander was in one of the assigned Artillery units, the 592nd, of the 106th Division, the "Golden Lions" an inexperienced unit out of Fort Jackson, SC he was part of the  HHB 155mm artillery guns units. His unit was overrun and eventually, though slowing the German advance down, they had to surrender...Mr Alexander was 24 yrs old when he gave his life in attempt to stop Hitler's advance into Europe.  His remains are buried in the Henri Chappelle US Memorial Cemetery, (anyone who is reading this from Blegium, I would love to see a photo of his marker)  THIS stone commemorats his life and service lays next to his what I have to imagine, grief stricken in my town Camden.

                                     He received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart

Legion of Merit

Bronze Star                                   Legion of Merit                                                    Purple Heart

TO the right of Issac Newton's memorial in Quaker Cem. is HIS TWIN BROTHER
Lt Col. Thomas Loryea Alexander Jr.  He received the Legion of Merit award, the Purple Heart ,the Army Commendation Medal and the Italian Medal of Valor
HE survived the war having been sent to  the North African Campaign
both born on June 14 1920
I have to imagine it was HE that erected the stones to his parents, and his fallen brother.
He passed away
March 19, 2006

One was taken right away and one lived to tell the story....


Monday, April 23, 2012


I am having some problems with the new interface of blogger...but Ill try this.

I have spent a lot of time in various cemeteries over the past yr and I have learned a lot about history from browsing the stones and going in search of the history behind the stones, the life lived...

I wish I had taken more time here at the Veterans Cemetery in Window Rock, AZ. 

I did notice all the stones are facing the same direction....and there are lots of flags since it is a veterans cemetery...but the strange thing about this cemetery is that it is in a sovereign nation, the Nation of the Navajo, and all buried within are Navajo Soldiers of the US forces!!

The Navajo tribe has given a lot of its native men and women to the cause of wars of the United States of America, including the work they did in WWII as code talkers....their language was not understood by any of the enemy or any of the allies for that matter, so they were able to keep troop movements from being traced by speaking their native language over the 2 way radios.  This memorial sits in Window Rock, the capital city of the Navajo Nation.

I was happy to be at the memorial just a few days prior to Memorial Day, the Navajo are very proud people and although back 1864  the Navajo people were forced to walk 300 miles to be incarcerated in a fort called Defiance, where they lived a harsh life as prisoners of Kit Carson who was ordered to make war on them... this is known as the LONG WALK...

They were eventually released (1868) and granted the land which is now the largest Native American Reservation in the USA. IT encompasses parts of 3 states and covers about 26,000 square miles.  Its so amazing to me that a country that  tried to eradicate its native population would later depend on those same people to help them defeat another enemy that threatened to eradicate all of us!!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

One Ringy Dingy

Yesterday I had to purchase a new cell phone, Keith calls it a mobile I like that better, it sounds more like what it is....and now I own this model of mobile.  (photo from Bing) Nope I didnt get one of those touchy touch screens and I have to share this story...recall a few weeks back when I told you my sister and I came across a lost angler while we were hiking in the Chattahoochee National Forest? Well we found him hopelessly separated from his friends and scared to death....we helped him find his vehicle in the end but the funny thing was this:
I HAVE a very old Cell mobile phone..a motorola, flip top... it does nothing except make and receive calls and it will text.  Well the battery got to the point it will not hold a charge and I was told they dont make mobile phone batteries, just mobile phones, SO A new phone would have to be purchased...I was able to find what i imagine is the last flip top available now...although it has a lot more Bells n whistles like it has a camera....GREAT now i can pocket dial and take photos at the same time......I dont like the new flat screen touchy things...dont like the size of em, they're too sleek, slim and  awkward!  I pick one up and immediately it slides right out my hand while I juggle it and cause it go flying across the clumsy fingers need some Texture to hang onto..But I see everyone who is a mobile geek using these Star Trek reminiscent devices so I have a clue how to use it,  Ive seem the owners--- touch them, dragging imagery across the screen, and poking at it with the tips of their fingers.

....but  back to the lost hiker...well previous to us finding this poor guy in the woods wandering around lost, my sis and I made the drive up from her home about an hr away.  As we drove she told me she didnt have my mobile number saved in her she handed it to me and asked me to put my mobile number in her phone and save it...OKAY..
so I start touching the screen, and nothing happened...I touched, slid, swooped, and poked  my finger on the little icons on the screen and she starts to laugh LOUDLY...
"OH Its not a touch screen its the older model of Blackberry, you have to use the keypad." OHHHH ok I can do that its more like mine...just no flip top its smooth and brightly lit but has actual buttons to push SO eventually i get my number in there..and fumble it back to her drop it on the floor of the car, retrieve it and finally its done, now in the old days I could have written my number on a piece of paper in about 3 seconds flat.....not the probably 15 minutes it took me to insert my number into her BLackBerry..
WHEW... back to the lost angler turned hiker, the first thing he wanted to know is do we have our Cell  mobile phones on us, ....uhhhhhh    NO, why bother no reception up there in the woods...and he had left his in the truck, why bother to lug it to the Chattagoo River when he trekked down there with his fishing gear???

...when we finally hiked back to our car he wanted to try the mobile to see if he could call his buddies and have them tell him where the trucks were parked..but one BIG PROBLEM, he said,
"OH I have an iPHone, dont know how to use this Blackberry..LOL".... he is used to the touch screen....SO when I reached to get it back, fumbled it to the floor and finally retrieved it and handed it to my sister who knows how to operate it and while SHE drove on the curvey mtn road she would dial the number on the Cell mobile phone for him!! OMG, can we say PULL OVER?

... she asked for the buddies phone number...and GUESS what -----he didnt know it!! HE realized nowadays no one memorizes phone numbers we have them programmed in our mobiles and cordless home phones...SO he didnt know the number.  The only number he could recall was his step mom's phone numbers back in Georgia, (we are in SC) so my sister dialed and eventually as we drove to the top of the mtn he got some reception bars on the phone and the call went thru..

WELL since the step mom didnt recognize the name or number on the caller ID of her phone she didnt Answer the phone!! ( she probably had a T-Mobile or Sprint
...he had hopes that she had his friends number in her phone and he could get the number via her, call the friend, who could hopefully tell him which road their trucks were parked on...SO she didnt answer and he also tried step mom at her home phone and no answer there...
Meanwhile we gave up the whole idea of calling and just stated looking at road turn offs that may lead down to the river and thats how we eventually hit the right gravel road and found his truck and his friends trucks too...YEAH he was back...he got his mobile out, tried to call his friend to tell him he had been lost in the woods for the past 2 hrs and he was NOT down on the river bank where they possibly thought he was, but NO service on the phone..SO he said he would wait by the trucks,,,I suggested he blow the truck horn to get their attention.

WE Left...back at home an hr after our arrival my sister got a call on her mobile phone...IT was the step mom back in GA....when she got home and saw the same strange number show up on her caller ID that had tried to call her Mobile Phone..she got worried and called back to see who and what was going on...we told her that her step son had been lost in the woods and we had found him and let him try to call for his friends number, with my sisters phone, but got no anwer...She said she did see the call come in but chose not to answer!!

SO It is in the digital age, we are so well connected BUT NOT...we all had phones, and each was a different technology that the others couldnt use and were unfamiliar with... none of the phones had service when we needed it and when finally the very technology that no one wants to be without got service for the call to go through--- the person who we called and could have assisted with help used the very same technology---- to ignore the call..SO with the technology, and money for buying the motorola, the blackberry, the iphone and the monthly bills associated with the phones,,,,,,THEY... were not worth Jack when we really needed them to work... and we all know Jack!!

SO thats the story and now I have a new phone its an LG-its very sleek and Ive dropped it already a couple of times, and I've programmed in the numbers of all my family and friends and I just hope when the time comes that I actually NEED the dang thing it will WORK and hopefully by then I will have learned how to use it...

Over the weekend my same sister came down to visit me..we went antiquing and had lunch...a we browsed the shelves and stalls of old antiquated stuff I overheard a youngster ask her grandmother 'what is that" and the grandmother replied, "thats a rotary phone." the grand daugher asked "does it text?" And all Grandmother did was laugh quite loud, "NOPE" she said you have to put your finger in those little holes and dail this

WOW we've come a long way wonder whats next?
oh gotta go my phone is yeah its on Speaker PHONE ~~~~~yahoo!! It tells me the number calling, Let me see If Im gonna answer or NOT, OH NO WAY dont know who the heck that is...hope it wasnt YOU!! hahaha


Tuesday, April 17, 2012


Today is the first day Ive felt good in 10 days...the cold has been keeping me from sleeping well...and with all the other stuff going on, its been wearing me down.  So when life gives you lemons what do you do? Take Pictures!! What else?

and I didnt have the tripod, so this short vid is kinda shakey, but you may get a kick outta it anyways..

The high pitched whistle at the end is the Great Crested , they have that disticnt Police Whistle call....
So these small creatures made my day so much brighter...hope the same happens for you!!


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Whats New Around the Homestead

Yesterday was Friday 13th? Glad I didnt know that all day, I thought it was just any ole Friday...I am safely at home tucked into my chair and chilaxing after a hard week....and here it is already the weekend...

Last weekend on Saturday I worked on a project that I had been wanting to get done for a while.  Making some changes in the yard and the area where I used to keep a larger pool with fountain I decided to create a Water Garden, It needs more work and I may re-do it because Ive since learned its better to put the plants in submerged pots....Instead of how I did it, but putting the soil directly in the bottom of the pool...but here it is,

Sorry it's blurry, LOOK who found the water...a Yellow Billed Cuckoo,, the pool needs more plants and the squirrels have eaten the ones I put in to start with.... NO surprise there...

Anyways I wanted to add another water feature to the yard so I bought this pot....already had the pump and the bamboo, I have several laying around...I WANT more, I love bamboo.. 
SO I cut the bamboo into a couple of pieces, ran the tubing inside and then to the pump and filled the pot with pebbles and water...and added a whimsical dragon fly and WA-LA!!

AND a different angle....

IT makes a JOLLY sound in the yard..

Other things happening in the yard are some seeds sprouting

and some cheerful color is here and there on the ground...

                                  Hope your trough if FULL...have a great weekend!!

(pssstttt......IM waiting to hearback  from the bank to see if they're gonna loan me the money to buy our family homestead that has been in the family 40 yrs  from my soon to be X, to keep it from being sold out from under PLEASE if you have any pull with the Gods, or the Universe....send some good thoughts my way----all the little critters here in DixxeLand appreciate it!)


Sunday, April 8, 2012

Its a Dogs Life

So it is that I find myself completely devoid of family this Easter, IM not complaning mind you, just saying! But Im not totally alone, I'm in the company of Miss Flossie Longhair, and Miss Annie Boo faithful companions, AND for Easter we have decided to have a  Milkbone Hunt instead of an EGG hunt since I dont do eggs!
They think its a great idea so they put on their Easter bandanas and we get ready...
OK I hide the bonz while ya'll count to 20, got it?

20!! Ready or NOT here WE COME...

IM certain there is one under this bush....

Aye ya ya, this whole thing is making me DIZZY...lets check over here...



YO... GIRLS, Look what the Easter Bunny left for you, and for me a ....
Grapefruit? Better be a pink one...




Saturday, April 7, 2012

Focus on this...

or almost into focus....

Guess who has a cold...HOW'd you know? Oh well at least its Saturday and I can sneeze at will and cough and blow my snoz without grossing people out.  I HAD planned to do so much  today and IF these  meds will kick IN and do what the BOX claims they do I should be out running sprints in a few minutes...but while I wait..Ill wrap up the last weeks nature notes... I have tons to say on other fronts, but trust me you wouldnt want to hear most of that!!

LAST night we almost had FROST. I KNOW scared the bejesus outta me...all my plants were out and at risk! Ive enjoyed FINALLY getting a couple of tulips to bloom...I put them in pots this yr and that was a good idea-- I bet Ive spent 10s of dollars on bulbs that never come up..

and here is the welcoming committee when I arrive home from work each day, I always swing by and get the mail before heading down the drive..and this guy was NOT too sure he wanted me to get it...look at that daring stare he is giving me....someone is always watching every move you make!!!

HE finally did move on and let me open the box....and  a flock of Cedar waxwings dipped into the yard to comsume the berries on the cedar tree!! Here they are picking up the ones that hit the ground..

Ive seem some large flocks of turkey, but this one was all alone...

Last weekend I had my friend over to celebrate her birthday and we went to Goodale Park and had  a nice walk around 2 geese seemed to be partnered they are taking a stroll at the edge of the pond.....they blend in pretty well!!  

AND need some help from the readers...I looked at my small butterfly field guide and online, and I cant zero in on this first I thought Black Swallowtail, then I thought female Eastern Tiger Swallow, but that orange line on the base of the hindwing---is keeping me from making a postive ID..what do you think?

WE def saw a pair of northern parula's in the trees got a good look too, but that was when I decided to leave the camera in the car as we hiked the backside of the lake... IN a case like that I was repsonsible for recalling 2 marking ID's and she was repsonsible for 2 and between the 2 of us and our 4 clues when we got back to the bird book, it was the White eye markings that nailed it-as the Northern Parula.

Here's a parting shot of another waxwing who waited in the pine tree for his turn at the cedar, they went into hiding when I came over to try for close ups..

Hope you all have a fun weekend whatever you are doing  Im planning a Doggie Biscut hunt with the girls since Im alone this Easter...I think they would like that!! Here is Annie as she demonstrates the stop, drop and roll in the field, ENJOY your weekend.



Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Kindred Spirits

Something different for Taphophile this week comes from a trip I made  a couple of years ago to... 
Best Friends Animal Sanctuary outside Kanab Utah. 
You may have seen it on a tv show called Dog Town.

 Angel's Rest is the burial ground for the animals who pass away while at Best Friends...this gate at the cemetery entrance was made and donated by a caring animal lover.  This shot was taken through the window of the tour van...later we back for a closer look and had our lunch in a gazebo on the grounds.

Just finishing up lunch...

Ive never heard so many windchimes, its a beautiful serenade as you walk the paths to pay your respects to the animals that are buried here...
each grave is marked with a name and date...

The entire cemetery is completely Zen in nature and design.  Its simple, elegant, and a wonderful place to meditate, reflect, and absorb good energy--- which is fantastic, with all the "positive spirits" that have been released here you are completely at peace.  There is no evil in the heart of an animal...only pure sweet natural love and energy.

 Angel's Rest is quite large, and in fact its filled to capactiy...a new cemetery has been started in another spot nearby...THIS is a place I wouldn't mind being buried myself!!

and now a short video of the grounds.

Best Friends depends completely on donations to stay afloat so if you want to help out, volunteer, donate,  or ADOPT a PET, its a worthy cause I can vouch for them...they make a Difference!! They have all sorts of animals from Horses, dogs, cats, birds to pigs!