Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Adventures in Kansas; March

For our March adventure, we decided to go to one of the 8 wonders of Kansas!

The Hutchinson Underground Salt Museum is unique. Although there are some similar salt mine museums in Europe, there are none in the Americas. And there are just 15 active salt mines in the United States.

Before going down 650 feet, we had to put on hard hats and also sling around our shoulders these mine emergency breathing devices - just in case. They have never had to use them in all the years the mine has been in operation, but the government knows that we need protecting...

We rode down on this rickety, clankety elevator in the dark because that is the way the miners do it.

Mike Rowe, from the show "Dirty Jobs" on the Discovery Channel did an episode here at the salt mines. This was the car he drove around in.

The train ride opened a couple of weeks ago.

This is from the olden days of mining. CSC stands for Carey Salt Company.

Part of the ceiling gave way (a long time ago - not while we were there, although that would have been exciting!). Below you can see a place that it is beginning to sag. They do monitor it and we never were in any danger.

Al's brother, Sid.
Sid the cartoon character accompanied UV&S sales materials for years. Sid stands for "security in depth".

Because of the temperature of the mines & the low humidity, being miles from any ocean where hurricanes can do damage, not being near any earthquake zone, and being underground where tornadoes can't destroy, low chance of fires, the salt mines are a great place to store documents and treasured things. Many companies and medical centers store their records here for safety.

Millions of reels of movie films are stored securely here.

We took the tram ride.

There are frequent stops to point out formations, exhibits and abandoned equipment. Since everything brought into the mine is left there (No sense going to the time or expense of bringing it back up), the mine is a bit of a time capsule. There was even trash from the 1940's! Not sure why they didn't take it out.

At one point, Gayle's camera dropped off her lap. Luckily the tram was making one of its stops and she quickly jumped off to retrieve it and no one knew that it happened! The tram ride is mostly in the dark and the driver shines lights at what we need to see. At one point he turned off the tram light to show us how pitch black it is underground.

At one stop, everyone could get out to get a little salt chunk as a souvenir.

A fun March adventure to remember.

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When we got home, we got a little visit from this cute guy!

He wanted to show me his new hair cut!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Basement, etc.

This past week did you see the SuperMoon? The name SuperMoon was coined by astrologer Richard Nolle in 1979, defined as: ...a new or full moon which occurs with the Moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit (perigee). In short, Earth, Moon and Sun are all in a line, with Moon in its nearest approach to Earth.

I guess it appeared 14% bigger than usual and this phenomenon occurs only once every 18 years or so.

Here is a picture I found on-line, taken in Indonesia. Wow!

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It is officially spring now. And all the birds are twitterpated (term from "Bambi"). We have had this male cardinal beating himself against our study window for the past 3 days. I googled why a bird would do this and one source said "It is mating season and the cardinal sees his reflection in the window and is trying to chase the 'other male bird' away from his girl."

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We are continuing to work in our basement. Recently I put up these pictures in the game room.

Al has off work today so we are working on tiling the guest bathroom in the basement.

We lay the pattern of the tile on the floor.

It is going to look so nice!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Samaritan's Purse for Japan

Angie Schmidt, a really wonderful lady from our church, was having a bake sale downtown Newton. She said "The boys have been praying for the people of Japan. Their hearts and minds are trying to comprehend not having shelter, food & basic necessities." So they were having this sale to raise money for Samaritian's Purse. They were selling cookies, brownies and lemonade.

Unfortunately, they had TSUNAMI winds downtown so things were blowing all over the place! They were braving it out though!

Angie: "Ben drew my profile picture (for Facebook) last night. It is hard to read but he came up with things by himself. Around the outer edge are human needs (food, clothing, shelter) but in the middle he wrote the people in Japan needed "love", "hope", and "God." WOW! So profound for a 7 year old...It still blows me away."

Cookies that depict the flag of Japan.

If you missed this sale, it isn't too late! Contact Angie and she will bake you some cookies for a donation!!