One of the greatest benefits of living here on the pond is watching baby ducks and geese grow into adults.  The grounds keepers try very hard to limit the goslings and so far this year I have only seen two clutches totaling 5 babies here at our pond. The ducks, however, so far are flourishing with a few clutches of 10+ ducklings. It is really fun to watch the hens lead the ducklings about the grounds and pond.

Something is different this year. Neither the geese nor the ducks are taking their babies to the water. In past years, especially the ducks seemed to lose almost all their babies either from the turtles in the pond or other land based critters; raccoons, foxes, or coyotes. I have seen 2 goslings on the water and I watched a hen take her 2 ducklings across the pond to the other side safely.

I have watched several of the hens take their brood down to water’s edge and let them play in the shallow water but never more than 6-12 inches from solid land. It seems that they have perhaps learned to avoid the perils of the pond. Can it be that the duck hens remember from past years losing almost all their babies on the pond?

Whatever the reason I am enjoying watching the little fellows grow as momma leads them from one source of food to another. I do have to admit that we do leave some bird feed under the feeders  which brings them close up for observation.

I hope that if you live here on the reservation you can watch the babies grow also!

Thanks for listening,

Richard Isley

The crotchety old man


Edited and approved by Linda

American Pickers

May 14, 2018 — Leave a comment

There are so many “reality” shows on TV anymore that they seem to be over produced to the point of ridiculousness. All, it seems are scripted to the point of “really are you shitting me” stupid. There are a couple that even though scripted are enjoyable to watch. Deadliest Catch is at the top of the list With American Pickers right behind; Mike Wolf and Frank Fritz.

I love the pure adventure of the crab catchers because there is no way I would have ever tried to do what they do even when I was young and fearless. Those guys make big bucks for 60to90 days’ work on the boat but they earn every penny of it: working on a deck that is bucking like a wild horse, with wind and water blowing in your face and down your neck, rogue waves trying to wash you off the boat, and cold like you cannot imagine. And if this is not enough to turn you off then 24 to 36 hours of it with only brief food and pee breaks. The catch must be caught. Temper flair and it seems the deck hands have never heard of the boss rules. Rule # 1; the boss (captain) is always right and Rule # 2; if the boss (Captain) is wrong see rule # 1!

So back to the pickers, I have always enjoyed looking at old things. I bought my first antiques when I was 12 at a household auction on W. Jefferson St. here in Franklin and I still have them; a pressed glass cracker jar and about a dozen sterling silver spoons.  John Friederorf was the auctioneer and he held up a hand full of black nasty looking spoons and asked for a bid. I think I bought them for a dollar or two. After I got them in my hands I worked the tarnish off the back of one or two spoons and they were both Sterling. Later I found that they were all Sterling worth a lot more than I gave for them. I still have them and I’m sure they still need to be polished.

I have always been intrigued by old things. I wanted to know what they did and how they worked. During my younger years I went to lots of farm and house hold auctions and accumulated lots of old tools and things no longer used. Kept these for a longtime but when we moved here to the reservation they went to the sale place. We still have some old things around the house, myself included, and I hope the kids will someday learn to appreciate them and maybe find a place for them.

Back to Mike and Frank, I am amazed at the finds they discover on their program and wonder how they set them up with the recording crew and make it look like they just drive up and “hello” we are here.  Their producers and film crew make each episode look so natural and unscripted and I guess that’s why I watch so much of the show, even reruns. I just read an article on F/B that said that a lot of work goes into each episode, even planting some of the thing they appear to find. But, anyway, I continue to watch just to see things I’ve never seen before or at least not for a long time.

To end this rambling I will tell a personal story about a real antique I was involved with. My Colorado son-in-law is an engineer and has lots of wonderful tools that he uses to make things around the house. I think it was the last time I was there that he asked me about monkey wrenches. I, to the best of my ability explained what they looked like and what they were used for. The pre-runner of the crescent wrench we use today. What I call my Kentucky socket set.

Sometime after we returned home I began wondering if I had really explained to Rich, son-in-law, the proper description of a monkey wrench.  I finally convinced the boss we needed to go to the antique mall at Edinburg to find a small monkey wrench to send to Rich. So, off we went and after about an hour I found a very well preserved and functioning small monkey wrench, only $7.00 and about 2 pounds, a real bargain. The next day I took the wrench to the UPS store with a note to Rich explaining why I was sending the gift. I had UPS pack the wrench and note to insure proper handling of the wrench, $20.00 I think.

About a week later we get a call from daughter Lisa with a question about the package Rich had received from me.  The package came all sealed up with tape and a note that seemed to describe something that was supposed to be inside. The monkey wrench was MIA and after calling UPS they put out an APB to track the route the wrench took but to no avail. To this date the monkey wrench is still missing, mainly because no one at UPS knew what a monkey wrench looked like so it has never been found. I can only imagine that somewhere  this old thing is lying around with people having  no idea what it is but only that it makes a real good door stop.


Thanks for listening

Richard Isley

The Crotchety Old Man


Edited and approved by Linda.

The following is a post from F/B by a cousin. It tells of the heeling of listening. Sorry about the long post but this is the shortened version: I’ve had a tough time leaving our kids for a week to come to FL for many reasons. I know in my heart they are in great hands with both Grandmas! Feeling selfish even though it’s not a vacation for Joe and I but a time to work while thankfully getting to visit family we don’t see nearly enough. On our 6:30a.m flight this morning I was reminded to not sweat the small stuff. The lady who sat next to me was a mess bc flying makes her a nervous wreck. She proceeds to tell me she’s only flying for one reason and one reason only. Her Dad is in Hospice and has only been given a week to live. She had no idea he was so sick prior to two days ago. That was about the end of our conversation until I notice her sobbing as I look over and see her scrolling through pictures of her Dad, a well decorated Veteran. We talked the rest of the hour and 40 min flight. She’s a strong very successful woman who was raised by a single hairdresser Mom. Her story of forgiving her Dad for things in the past and just wanting to give him the best in his final days was heart wrenching. The possible legal fight she had facing her when she landed in FL to give him just that seemed to be her biggest struggle and she had no idea where to begin. He hadn’t been alert enough to even talk but a wonderful nurse held the phone to his ear so her and her family could talk to him. She was told by the nurse the next day he was alert enough to be able talk and was asking for his family and all he wanted was them to take him home. She thanked me for listening to her and calming her nerves on the flight and apologized for the double Bloody Mary at 6:30a.m she needed to take the edge off. No judgement here. As we parted ways I told her to take care and I hoped all worked out the best possible way and that I’d be praying for her and her family. I pray that when she arrived he was alert enough to know he was surrounded by his loving family. Sometimes it’s not about having the right words to say but just about lending an ear.

Thank you Brooke for allowing me to share; We all need to remember that sometimes just providing a shoulder and an ear is the best medicine.

Thanks for listening

Richard Isley

Crotchety Old Man

Let’s go Krogering!

April 30, 2018 — 1 Comment

The advertising jingle “Let’s go Krogering!” was played over and over when I was much younger. I still hear the jingle when we start planning a trip to the store and a “happy way to shop”.  So, after our weekend company left for their home and the house became very quiet after the 2 year old who is learning how to talk and was practicing on both grandparents was gone. We began talking about supper and it was soon apparent we needed a few items from our 2nd favorite store, Krogers!

Needless to say neither of us had energy enough to go Krogering. And then the light bulb went off in my feeble brain; let’s go Krogering on line and pick it up tomorrow. They make it sound so simple and easy that us old folks should be able to use it. I went online to the Kroger site and followed the directions to sign up for their shopping service. A reminder, the 1st 3 orders are free and after that they are only $4.99 each. Now, I don’t think that is too much if it saves you 1 to 2 hours spent looking around that huge store.

I got us signed up and proceed to place our order. WOW a list comes up with our previous purchases and we begin shopping. I know there are many more things to learn about this shopping list but for now it worked very well. We only had 10 items on the order and when we picked it up the next day they were all there. A young lady and young man brought the order out and while the man loaded the order in the car the young lady gave us several hints to make the process easier. So to say the least we are very happy with our new adventure. I am not going to recommend the on line shopping for $150.00 to $200.00 Kroger list but for small orders it makes a lot of sense. I think it will be lots of fun to go Krogering setting here at the desk.

You are all probably wondering if Krogers is my 2nd favorite store what is number 1. I have often described my most favorite store as my 2nd home.  You see we have so many prescriptions to pick up that the folks on the drive though at Walgreen’s greet us on a first name basis. It seems like we are there more than at home.

Thank for listening

Richard Isley

The Crotchety Old Man


Edited and approved by Linda

His Name was Apache

April 17, 2018 — 1 Comment

He was white, not albino, just white, about 4 years old when we first met, dumber than a box of rocks and hated water. Oh, if you haven’t guessed, Apache was a horse and he came with a beautiful black saddle and blanket. He was a gift from someone my dad knew because every boy on a farm, no matter how small the farm, needs a horse. Apache was not too sure footed, almost clumsy and he stumbled several times as I learned to ride him. But I persevered and we became quite a pair.

It was in the fall of my freshman year and school had started and I had set my sights on a pretty neighbor girl who lived up the road and rode the school bus I rode. I finally got up enough nerve to set by her on the bus and believe it or not talked to her on the twice a day bus rides. So one evening after I had done my chores I took Apache for a ride up the road to see, show off, my horse to the young lady. After spending several minutes of awkward silence interrupted by a few small bits of small talk I left for home and, like all young boys I took off in a cloud of dust and a Hi Ho Silver and down the road I went. I know now that I was going too fast when I turned onto my road and waved at the neighbor boys playing basketball in the Edmonton’s drive way when Apache slipped and we fell.

I would guess that Apache weighed about 800 pounds and I knew enough in that split second that I did not want him landing on me. I bailed and we both hit the pavement and started sliding at about the same time but a bit apart. Finally we stopped and I remember sitting up on the road and watched my horse struggle to get up and I hollered at my neighbor Fred to get the horse because he was starting to walk home. Blood was running down Apache’s right front leg and shoulder and his muscles were twitching like they do when in pain. I basically crawled off the road into the ditch.

About this time I started surveying the damage to myself. Other than some blood and ripped jeans I could not see much damage but I hurt. At that moment Mrs. Edmonton arrived and said two things simultaneously; are you hurt? And your arm is broke! And I said, “No it isn’t. I can make a fist.”  At that moment I took a good look at my arm and decided she was right. My arm was broke and it really hurt then. Mrs. Edmonston then she said she had called my mom and they were on their way. While waiting for my folks to arrive I will introduce the cast so far: Mrs.  Edmonston married to Commodore Edmonton and were the parents of classmate Ron, and Fred Roesner who lived next door to us and had a younger brother who played with my brother all the time. And now the most important part which you will learn more about later, one of my chores after school was to feed 500 caged laying hens and gather the eggs and in doing that chore my shoes were covered in, if the president can say it so can I, chicken shit and I had not changed shoes before starting this adventure.

The folks arrived and after the “normal” mother oh my God and a bucket full of tears it was decided to take me to Dr. Brown, about a half mile away and get his advice. Dr. Brown who was not only a good doctor but also a friend of the family looked at my now really hurting arm and said I’m going to give him a pain shot and you take him to Methodist Hospital. When he returned he gave me an injection and said he had talked to a Dr. Crawford, the best bone Dr. in Indy and he would be waiting on us.

My dad was a good driver but he drove fast and had a few receipts from various police departments to verify that but on this night he was a race driver and the race was on! I know we have all been in situations where we had to hurry up and wait and hurry up and wait but we were in a takeoff with the tires screaming and stopping with the tires screaming and wait, on the light to change.  I don’t know how many stoplights there were between Greenwood and 16th street and Capital Ave. but we hit each one red and that caused extreme pain in my left arm. I was smart enough at 13 to know better than to tell my dad how to drive or perhaps not to drive because I had another major problem confronting me, Mother.

Mom had decided to clean the chicken shit off my shoes and she only had her little tiny hankie. Maybe she had two hankies but I don’t believe they survived the trip. Every time dad would stop for a light mom was almost down on the floor board wiping on my shoes until the light changed to green and the momentum of the takeoff would throw her into my broken arm and I would moan in pain and she would tell my dad not to drive so fast and then another red light. Ouch! Now you may ask how she could get on the floorboard with me in the front seat with them. The car was a 1957 Desoto made by Chrysler primarily for the taxi business. Not sure why dad bought the Desoto but it was a huge car inside. If there was ever a comedy of errors this was it, after arriving at the hospital and checking in they took me for an X-Ray and then we waited for the doctor. And we waited for the doctor for about an hour and a half.

Dr. Crawford arrived and off we went to a pain free nap and awaken to a 10 # left arm and a much quieter ride home. I don’t know where or when they disappeared but my old chicken shoes were never seen again but I’m sure who ever emptied that trash can next day wondered what that terrible smell was.

When we got home mom was putting together something to eat when the neighbor Fred came over and told us he had put Apache in his barn and he thought the horse needed some attention to the scrapes on his right side. I found the bottle of “Black Diamond Liniment” and Fred and I went to check out Apache. He was scraped up pretty bad but we (Fred) cleaned up the wounds and then I applied the liniment to the wounds. The horse quivered all over from the pain of the liniment and he did so every day for the next week that I treated him. His wounds healed perfect with almost no visible scar.  The saddle was something else. The pavement removed a pretty good amount of leather that did not grow back. Later applying shoe polish helped the appearance somewhat.

My parents were sticklers for going to school, every day even if you have the three day measles, but that is another story for another day. I was allowed to stay home the next day only, I think, because the Dr. said I should rest and keep my arm up in the air. So I stayed in bed most of the day until dad came home from work and mom told him the chores had not been done and he would have to do them and she was holding supper till he got done.

I could hear him coming down the hall and he came into the bedroom and ask how I was and then related a family story I’d heard before; you have a cousin, Howard, who was born with one arm. His mother made him do everything for himself one handed and he was now the music teacher at
Franklin High School.  Now you have both arms one of which is broke but that is no reason you can’t do your chores tonight. I will help you because supper is waiting.

Several years later it came to me why my Dad made me go do the chores that night because I didn’t do anything. He had me set down and had me tell him what to do. He didn’t know what I did and so he learned and I learned a really good lesson about my Dad.

My horse, Apache, stayed around for a couple of years and then because of other interest I had we found him a new home.

Thanks for listening,
Richard Isley

The crotchety old man

Spring “O“ Spring where are you. The calendar says just a few more days but it’s cold even with the sun shining. I know spring is close because the Mallards are chasing the hens and the ganders are getting close to their life time mate or finding a replacement for one that was lost. Maybe new romance for the younger set. The pond is full of activity, even saw a turtle head breathing for the 1st time after months buried in the mud.

The geese and the ducks on most sunny days have been taking baths and sunning themselves on the far bank of the pond. So before too long the ducks will be paired up and make a nest and the geese will settle down and pick a hidden nesting site and the egg laying will begin. The goose lays 4or5 eggs and incubates them for 25-30 days. The goose sets on the eggs while the gander stands guard.  Ducks meanwhile lay up to 13 eggs and the female sets on the nest and the Drake leaves until fall when he will find a new mate.

Now for the sad part. All the duck eggs hatch within 24 hours and as soon as they are all dry momma takes them to water. Daddy has left and just mamma is taking care of the ducklings. Ducklings, as soon as they hatch and dry off can walk, swim, and forage for food. They have all hatched and mother duck takes them to the nearest water and in they go.  Because she is a single mother the ducklings follow her single file where ever she goes. And now for the hungry snapping turtles the long awaited feast begins.  It has been several months since the turtles have eaten and they go after the ducklings with a silent attack from below. One by one the ducklings disappear and unless the mother ducks takes them to the creek they will all become turtle food.  . It is sad to watch the ducklings disappear but that is Mother Nature. I have watched a mother take 7 or 8 ducklings onto the pond and the next morning she only had 3 left. But, you know turtle have to eat too.

For the geese it is a different scenario in that there are 3 to 6 goslings and they also can walk and swim and forage for themselves as soon as they leave the nest. Very few goslings become turtle food because they are being raised by 2 parents and when the goose goes into the water the goslings follow and the gander follows behind. You will see this parade in the water and on land all summer long. The geese really take care of their babies.

It won’t be long until the tulips and other spring flowers bloom and we will forget about the ducklings and begin to enjoy all the sights and smells of spring. Enjoy!

Thanks for listening

Richard Isley

The Crotchety Old Man

Edited and approved by Linda