Sunday, May 24, 2009

Baby Update!

Here is baby kitty at 3 weeks...still no name, but I am working on it.... And here is baby (and with his brother) at 4 weeks.... They are growing by leaps and bounds and are soooo cute! They are finally getting a little better at walking, escaping their basket and are starting to play together...
video

Monday, May 04, 2009

Make It Snappy!

Mom and I went for a quad ride and found a turtle...a large snapping turtle.
It may look harmless, but it can definately hold its own...as evidenced by its bite and super strong neck muscles...
video

Research Projects

Around Easter, I headed home for a long weekend. That Friday night, I began coughing.....and coughing....and coughing. It became so bad that I was throwing up and couldn't breathe, and was STILL coughing. Mom and Dad drove me into the ER where I was given treatment so I could breathe. We were thinking it was an asthma attack and I was prescribed an inhaler. However, I was also tested for whooping cough. We thought this was ridiculous because I had been vaccinated for it, twice, but apparently there were several documented cases in the area and the doctors just wanted to check. I spent the next couple days at home, still coughing a little, but taking my inhaler. I returned to class on Monday and received a phone call from my doctor Monday night; She let me know that I actually did have whooping cough and needed to stay away from EVERYONE.

I was immediately placed on two weeks of antibiotics, as was everyone I had come into close contact with. I was also told to remain out of class for the next five days. I felt it was pointless to stay at school to sit in my apartment, so I headed home for the rest of the week. It was a good week to be off school; I didn't have any projects due, and finals were still a few weeks away. My time at home allowed me to catch up on some senior projects that had been neglected thus far, as well as relax and take some time for myself. I spent a lot of time outside; the weather was absolutely gorgeous that week, and I felt fine other than the rib cracking coughs.

During that week, I went on a walk with Mom and Dad down by the waterfall. I wore my rubber boots so I could go mucking around and not have to worry about it. I began walking up the waterfall and spotted a bottle. Many years ago, before garbage dumps were available, people would drive out into the country and throw out their trash. The waterfall is now in the middle of our family's land, but long ago, before the land was bought, the main county road ran past it. My brother, cousins and I have spent lots of time being "archaeologists," exploring this area. We have found everything you can imagine: shoe soles, spark plugs, marbles and bottles of every size and color. The draw of a treasure hunt is still strong, so I always enjoy seeing what we will find on our walks.

The bottle I found that day was different that ones I had seen before. It was clear and resembled an old, glass Coke bottle, but the top of this bottle read "Magnetic," and on the bottom, it was marked "Saginaw Registered."
Mom nor Dad had ever heard of the brand, and weren't sure what it was for. We kept the bottle so I could research it when I got home, and continued on our walk.

A little further down the stream that connects the waterfall to the river, I made another discovery. I found what I thought was a large turtle, which actually turned out to be the shell of a large turtle. The turtle was a large snapper, which had obviously recently died, judging from the smell. The shell was mostly empty, except for some mud and leaves and the dried remnants of the arms and legs. Mom was less than thrilled about the idea of taking it home, but I scooped it up with a stick and Dad and I made it our little project for the evening; we wanted to see if we could clean up the shell.

When we got back home, we used pliers and removed most of the remaining flesh from the shell. I couldn't believe how thick and fibrous the skin was, and the nails that remained looked vicious! We were able to clean the shell up pretty well with the pliers and by rinsing it, but the whole inner spine was still full of cartilage. To take care of this, Dad started a camp fire and set up a tripod over it with a large metal bowl hanging from the center. I placed the shell in the bowl, filled it with water and we let it boil for a while. We removed the shell and let it dry for the night. The next day, I worked on removing the rest of the hardened cartilage; surprisingly, it cleaned up pretty well.
I wasn't really sure what to do with it, but Dad suggested hanging it in the barn. It was a fun little project, and now he has a "conversation piece," as he calls it, for when his buddies come over to play poker.

I had left the bottle we found on our walk soak for a while to try and clean it up a bit. It came pretty clean, but some stains and chips were visible. I began researching online and could not find anything, even on Ebay. It took a couple hours and lots of connecting pages, but I finally think that I found where our bottle came from. Here is the information I found:
From the book History of Michigan, by Charles Moore....
"Albert William Tausend had a public school education graduating from the Arthur Hill high school. His first regular employment came at the age of eighteen, when he became tally boy and shipping clerk for the C. I. Sweet Lumber Company of Saginaw. This was followed by six months employment as an advertising solicitor, with the Weekly World, after which the Saginaw Manufacturing Company employed him as shipping clerk. He spent two and a half years with that company. Mr. Tausend then formed a connection with the Magnetic Spring Water Company of Saginaw, who were lessees for commercial purposes of the waters of the celebrated St. Louis Magnetic Mineral Springs, located at St. Louis, Michigan. That was in 1894, and in a few years he acquired a one-half interest in the business with Chas. A. Khuen as a co-partner, and since January, 1911, has been sole owner of this plant for the manufacture of high class carbonated and flavored beverages, and for the bottling and distribution of the St. Louis magnetic mineral water. The product is distributed throughout Michigan and adjacent states."

From this information, I looked further into the city of St. Louis and their mineral spring and found this information from the St. Louis Historical Society...

"In October, 1918, an attempt was made at taking over the business by a newly organized company, the Andrews Magnetic Springs Hotel Co. It was incorporated at $99,000 and was headed by Stanley A. Allen, an executive with the Republic Truck Company in Alma. Included in the plans of the new company were various improvements and considerable remodeling. Work was to begin in November. For reasons unknown, these plans fell through, and the hotel remained for sale. With no further prospective buyers, Mary Andrews finally closed the hotel. This action surprised St. Louis, and the hotel was not to stay closed very long. Even during the closure, the mineral water continued to be sold and shipped to a wide market. Perhaps the water proved most beneficial not to distant customers but to the citizens of Saginaw. Residents of the city had suffered with poor water for years. Neither neighborhood wells nor city water systems had solved the problem. Many Saginawians bought bottled drinking water, and one of the favored brands was Shay's Mineral Water. Bottled in Saginaw, this water came from the Magnetic Mineral Spring in St. Louis. An underground pipe ran from the basement of the hotel three and a half blocks to the railroad where it was connected to a tank car of 3,000 gallons capacity. A man at the depot was in charge of filling this car. He would telephone the hotel for the water to be turned on and off. He would seal the full car and send it off to Saginaw. It was not uncommon, even at the time of the hotel's closure, for nearly 40 tankcars a year to be sent to the bottling works in Saginaw."

After finding this information, I was on a bit of a research kick and remembered that several years ago I had found another interesting bottle. It was a large Bromine bottle from the Dow Chemical company. I began researching to see if I could date the bottle, or find any more information about it, but had no such luck. I would have thought that it would have been easy to find information with how large the company is, but I guess not. I will just have to save further research for when I have a few free hours.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

My Baby!!!!

Meet my baby!


This is my new kitten...no name yet, working on it though. She is only a week old and will be old enough to leave her mama just about the same time I move into my new apartment. I can't wait to bring her home!!!

More updates are coming, but it's finals week here at school, and as much as I don't want to, I have to do some serious studying. Dang senioritis....the end is so near!!!