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Category Archives: Word on the Street


The Word on the Street: Don’t be afraid of our Ghost. He’s Holy.

Prayers going up for a happy, safe and unhaunted Halloween.


Remember, in the spring, I encouraged my fellow Indiana bloggers to Watch out for Weirdos!

Drum roll, please.

I am delighted to announce that the Clay County tree I submitted to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Weird Tree Search was chosen to appear in the DNR’s online publication, “Invasion of the Weird Trees 2012.”

In an email last week Sam Carman, Education Director and Aficionado of Weird Trees, IDNR-Division of Forestry, Indianapolis wrote:

Just a quick note to let you know that it’s now official.  If anyone has ever accused you of having an eye for the weird … well, they were right!  A tree that you submitted for our Weird Tree Search was selected as the weirdest in its county by our panel of experts.  Indiana’s District Foresters served as the judges, and believe me, these guys and gals know “weird” when they see it.

Congratulations on having your tree selected.  While having your photo selected doesn’t come with any prizes, awards, or ticker tape parades (unless your community wants to organize one for you), it does mean that your photo appears in our on-line publication, “Invasion of the Weird Trees 2012.”

To view this publication and see my Clay County tree (Page 6) along with all of the other freaks of nature, here is the direct web link:

www.in.gov/dnr/forestry/files/fo-InvasionWeirdTrees.pdf

It is a very large file, so it may take a minute or two to download.

Enjoy viewing the “Invasion,” Carman wrote.  “This publication is updated every 4 years, so the next update will be in 2016, although submissions are accepted anytime.  So get out there in the woods, have your camera handy, and keep watching for the weird!”


Today is the traditional Memorial Day, first observed in 1868. The first Indianapolis 500 took place on May 30, 1911. And my dad took his first breath on May 30 in 1932.

In 1968, when Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act moving the national Memorial Day observance to the last Monday in May, the long holiday weekend and “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing” played host to our most celebrated family tradition! Grandma’s fried chicken, croquet, and double the cake and ice cream because my dad’s brother was born on May 31st.

I took this photo after Mom and I decorated Dad’s grave in Croy’s Creek Cemetery that overlooks the Putnam/Clay county line road. My dad’s mom was a member of  Croy’s Creek Church and many of my ancestors are buried in the church’s cemetery.

Mom and I also visited Clearview Cemetery to honor my stepdad, a World War II Navy veteran. This sculpture is about the height of a lectern and overlooks State Road 340 (a former alignment of U.S. Highway 40 – “The Road that Built a Nation” – now designated the Historic National Road) just west of  Brazil in Clay County.

In memory of “The World’s Greatest Dad,” my stepfather and other national heroes before and after him, I dedicate this post to them and share with you the Word of hope that Jesus taught us to pray:


I tried my best to solve the mystery behind Otter Creek Cemetery in time to post for Memorial Day. The signage indicates that a long time has passed since someone was buried on this Brazil, Indiana, stretch of country road. I climbed the embankment to find no headstones, no visible sign that someone’s loved ones were buried there.

I talked to a woman at the Clay County Historical Society and I Googled … no immediate information about the cemetery, let alone an explanation as to why there are no grave markers on this grassy knoll. Were the graves moved, and if so, when and why? Is it an old family plot and the markers disappeared generations ago? Was it a county cemetery for the poor and downtrodden?

The two American flags indicate that someone out there knows that at least two brave souls were laid to rest there … who were they …  in what war did they serve?

I hope the historians and genealogists find answers to my questions and more … because this is definitely one mystery that needs to be solved.

It would be the honorable thing to do!


Sheila T Illustrated finally hit the 100 mark!

After 6 months, I am thrilled to welcome my 100th reader to my blog. (Although I now follow almost twice that.)

Before I proceed with this post, I want to thank each and every one of my readers … you know who you are … for all your comments, advice, tutorials, compliments and validation!

To mark this milestone in the life of my blog, I’d like to give Extra! Extra! recognition today to my 100th reader: Golappan on WordPress at ClickdPic.

Golappan is from India, presently working in Dubai. He has only been blogging since March and already has half the all-time views it took me 6 months to achieve. I don’t know how many followers he has, but I encourage my other 99 WordPress and 5 comment readers to check out his blog – in particular, an excellent slideshow on his grandmother’s village.

I share here his Gravatar and About statement: “I was not at all interested in creating blogs & sharing my thoughts, lazy in such things. But i was inspired & admired by a lovely & cute couple about blogging. I am not a professional photographer, don’t wanna be professional either. Interested in photography, but don’t know a single word about it. But clicked many pics by using a regular cyber shot camera & mobile cameras. Just love clicking through a common man’s eyes on what he likes.”