I honestly don’t know what town I’m in…we’re at a motel somewhere east of Indianapolis. We got up in Renfro Valley KY and went to the motel breakfast, very nice, lots of choices and lots of food. They had only sold out 12 rooms out of 50 that night. Every place we’ve been to south of the Ohio River you can get grits and biscuits with gravy. The previous night the motel was pretty well sold out because of a big tour bus. I decided to walk through the large campground to the east of the motel. There were several creeks, small and large going through and on the border of the campground. At one spot, there was a beaver dam that had raised the water level a good two feet. You could see the beaver’s home (I didn’t see a beaver) and you could see where they have been gnawing on the nearby small trees and bushes. Along the way, I saw blooming dandelions and another small purple wildflower. There were birds chirping and quite a variety of trees. The entire day was cloudy, not a minute of sunshine, and the wind was light. It was clear for much of the night, so we woke up to a fairly thick frost and a solid overcast. Temperatures warmed into the 40s. While I walked, Gayle went to the Renfro Valley shops that were around the music theater. Many of the shops were closed for the season and the rest were closing for the winter within the week. Many of the shop owners are senior citizens retired from their previous jobs. I talked to one man that retired 12 1/2 years ago…and said he lasted four months before he had to do something, so he opened his shop there in Renfro Valley.
They have a series of cabins and old cabins from Civil War times in the complex that they have assembled in a circle. You start at a small gift shop and I went there to see the cat. We usually come down I-75 and stop at Renfro Valley either coming or going twice a year. Punkin the cat was a stray that started hanging around the Renfro Valley Music Complex. They took the cat to a vet. to get it fixed up and adopted it. They’ve had the cat now for over 7 years. It can go inside or outside, but when the temperature is cooler than 55° outside, the cat will turn right around and come back inside. I go over to pet the cat (or the cat comes to see me) and it looks right at me. It’d stay next to me all day if I stayed there petting it. We bought some post cards, a t-shirt, a puzzle and a homemade wooden spoon. The lady (volunteer) at the shop must have been in her 80s. She makes the baskets and quilts sold in the shop. Many other homemade items where there…bird houses, soap, little girl dresses. They had local cookbooks and books about the history of the area. I met one of the performers from the show we saw the night before. They do 2 shows on Saturday (matinee and evening). He chatted about the importance of music and how a lot of people around there can play a musical instrument well, and some of them multiple instruments.
We drove down the highway a bit and decided to break for a bite to eat. We decided to go to Chick-fil-a. We’ve driven past a Chick-fil-a 100 times, but never stopped. This one was on the south edge of Lexington. We got there around 2:15 pm and the place was packed. I’d say there were 60 tables inside and 55 were in use. Outside there was not one, but two lanes for the drive through. I noted 12 cars waiting to order at Chick-fil-a and only one at the nearby McDonald’s. Gayle and I estimated that 2/3rds of the people who where in the restaurant were female, with an emphasis on mothers with little kids (every high chair was taken). There were also tables of senior citizens (again mostly women) and younger women (maybe in their 20s) mainly in groups of 3-5. The ordering of food was extremely efficient. They bring your order to your table and it was there in maybe 3 minutes…and it is all things chicken…a wide variety of chicken sandwiches, salads, soup…and not much beyond that. I got soup and it was very good.
We drove around Cincinnati on the west beltline expressway, passing a ski resort that had plenty of man-made snow and took a back road to Oldenburg, where there is a beautiful old Catholic church and school. There is an organic farm there called Michaela run by the Sisters of St. Francis. This is a large working farm, where it’s not unusual to find a nun doing typical farm chores. They have cows, chickens and grow many good things. There is a little unheated “store”, where you can purchase farm goods in season and other items like post cards and t-shirts. It’s all on the honor system. You just put your money in the bucket and take out your change. Today, we bought several dried herbs, squash and 3 different kinds of items. They have popcorn and lots of eggs (which we couldn’t get home). The first nun came to Oldenburg from Vienna, Austria in 1851 and since then the Sisters of St. Francis at Oldenburg have done much good work.
We’ll drive back to G.R. Sunday and I’ll be back on TV on Monday. I may stop at the NWS office in North Webster IN. It’ll be nice to see the cats and to come home and not see a foot of snow in the driveway. Least snowy Dec. 1-15ths in G.R.
CPC 8-14 day outlook says warm everywhere…now, look at the GFS model for Christmas Day PM, does that look like the CPC Forecast? The ENSO analog also starting to look chilly. GFS ensemble days 9-16.
I wrote before that this was coming (note, it’s the NY Times). Here’s the important passage: ” A year ago, the governors of the six New England states agreed to pursue a coordinated regional strategy, including more pipelines (for natural gas) and at least one major transmission line for hydropower. The plan called for electricity customers in all six states to subsidize the projects, on the theory that they would make up that money in lower utility bills. But in August, the Massachusetts Legislature rejected the plan, saying in part that cheap energy would flood the market and thwart attempts to advance wind and solar projects. That halted the whole effort.” Wait until the first day below zero with no sun and no wind and see what happens to the power grid. They have shut down coal and a big nuclear plant (in order to “save the planet”). They won’t budge global temperature by 1/1000ths of a degree…but they are building a power grid that is susceptible to failure due to unreliable energy sources and impoverishing thousands of people with these unnecessarily high utility bills.
Also…sunset at the Jefferson Memorial in Washington D.C…a Geminid meteor in the U.K…the lights of NYC…sunset at Weiss Lake AL…Casper, WY, had its 11th straight Dec. day of 50F or warmer on Saturday, breaking its record of 10 straight in Dec. 1939. Satellite pic. of the entire Earth on Saturday. HUGE volcanic explosion of Mt. Singabung in Indonesia.