There are two sets of pictures on this page:
* Outside and inside our house during the winter of 2010 and
* Outside during the summers of 2007 and 2010.
As I wrote on another page, if you're looking for things to steal, you won't
find much: we don't even own a TV or stereo; my firearms (except for
an always-handy pistol) are in a safe for which you'll want a blowtorch,
forklift, and truck to carry away; our "silverware" and most of our
dishes/pots-n-pans/clothes are from Goodwill or other thrift stores;
and anything else we own that might have any value has been engraved
for easy identification! Sorry, but that's just the way we live.
For some un-remembered reason (perhaps because the snow was so pretty?),
I took the first of these pictures and made this webpage for my sister in
Florida. This is a counter-clockwise tour mostly around the
outside of our house just outside Manhattan, Kansas, taken from
inside the main floor, where the left side of one picture is usually
the right side of the next, followed by some pictures of the basement where
we spend most of the winter (because it's warm) and a lot of the summer
(because it's cool!) and then followed by a few summer pictures taken
from outside the house.
Don't expect too much! These pictures were taken by an amateur (me)
using a $13 WalMart-special digital camera, so some of them are fuzzy or
a bit over-exposed from bright sunlight.
Frozen condensate on the solar collector on the south side of our
house, taken from the back porch and looking west-ish.
Stone shed from the back porch looking almost straight west.
A more-complete view of the garage (with the stone shed still in the way).
Garage apron showing last night's snow in the vehicle tracks which were
shoveled clean after last week's and last month's snows.
1947 Farmall-H tractor, with our former chicken shed (now used to store
"stuff") directly behind it and our former rabbit shed (storing still
more "stuff") a little to the left behind the chicken shed, looking
south almost directly into the sun.
Home-made two-wheel trailer holding four sections of a 28-foot 3-leg
tower someone gave me late last year (and which I later gave to someone
We planted those two big trees (and the two more in the front yard
you'll see later) in 1973 or 1974!
Electrically-heated bird water-er on the post with the
neighbor's lower pasture in the background.
Our neighbors' houses looking due east from the back porch,
with our main-floor bathroom window on the left.
Ground-feeding birds eating on the east sidewalk (the only sidewalk
I've cleared since last night's snow), with the same neighbors' houses
fuzzy in the distance.
Same neighbors' houses through the picture window I described in these
2013 winter pictures.
(Here is an earlier set of
2004 winter pictures.)
Taken through the front/north door (with oval window) looking northeast
toward "Burnett's alfalfa field", although the Burnetts have been dead
for many years and the alfalfa gave out at least 30 years ago!
My vertical antenna in our front/north yard, with the "garden shed"
near the entrance to our main garden. The Union Pacific
Railroad tracks are just on the other side of the taller trees you
can barely see beyond the cedar trees. Also note the squarish
shadow of our upper-deck handrail (picture below) which is directly
above the front/north porch you are looking through.
Looking northwest toward the main garden, with the base of my ham-radio
crankup tower in the middle of the window. The white blob is a
small/decorative windmill (FWIW, I found this windmill, flattened by
something rolling over it, alongside some road. I had to take
it apart, hammer it back into windmill shape, and re-build it before
I could erect it.) which rattles the ground and makes the moles in the
garden want to be somewhere else (it seems to work; we've had fewer mole
problems since I erected it). Our "real" windmill, which you'll
see later in a summer view, is just to the left/west of this picture.
Summertime pictures of the garden can be seen
Looking straight west, across Nancy's snow-covered flower garden and
asparagus and strawberry patch and my rhubarb patch. The path
leads to our blackberry/raspberry patch (gate is barely visible just
beyond the cedar trees on the right of the path) and to our
hoophouse (a greenhouse made of PVC pipe and recycled plastic) behind
the cedar trees on the left of the path; the south end of the hoophouse
is barely visible above the snow-covered woodpile).
Click here to "tour" the hoophouse.
North end of the garage, with the chimney leading from a two-barrel
stove I built several years ago.
The white structure between the garage and the stone shed hides a covered
The handrail I installed earlier this week, going up from the main
floor toward what we called the "dormitory" when Edith, Omner, and
Aaron all slept upstairs.
Although the above stairway also goes up, we're now going down to
Sorry about the glare, but this picture is looking out a pair
of "legal-size egress window" where Nancy keeps plants all winter.
The square opening is the same size as the window, and if we
needed to, we could "egress" (hence the name; the "legal-size" part
refers to a minimum size of about six square feet per sash which
makes it legal for us to sleep in the basement) in a hurry by
pushing those 2-3 bottom plants/pots to the floor, raising the sash,
and crawling out and up a ladder which you can't see but which is
permanently affixed to the outer wall of the window well.
The air-conditioner in the lower-right window (the only AC we have)
is the same one that was in our kids' "dormitory" before they left
in the late 80's.
Nancy's "craft" desk, with the above-pictured window in the background.
A view into our basement kitchen, which doesn't get a lot of use, but
we installed it during our last remodeling because
(1) Nancy had always wanted a gas range,
(2) we happened to buy one when we attended an auction
during the remodeling,
(3) we're too cheap to discard the perfectly-good electric range
(see the next picture), and
(4) when we get old and decrepit, maybe we can hire live-in
help who will use the basement as their apartment while
caring for us.
That thing that looks like a refrigerator is our freezer.
Here is the "old" electric range. The door you can now see
to the right of the freezer leads to a small room with a toilet and
Another pair of egress windows (we have three pairs and one single)
with some more plants and a nice place to sit and read.
To the right is one end of a futon we bought so we could sleep in the
basement during hot summer days (remember, there's an AC down here!-)
AND for guests on the rare occasion that someone visits us.
To the left, on a McCall Pattern Company four-drawer cabinet
(originally a "chest of drawers" before our kids left home) is Nancy's
Nancy working at "Her" Windows XP (then; now it runs Windows 8.1)
"Our" computer (see next picture) is barely visible behind her head.
"Our" main computer runs DOS and prints on the old HP one-function
printer (sitting on another McCall Company four-drawer cabinet) on
My electronic workbench. Sorry about the glare caused
by that double fluorescent-bulb fixture (my old eyes need LOTS of
illumination!-) at the top of the picture, but I took the picture
with it on and off, and this is the better image.
My desk and "ham shack". (Sorry about the glare again....)
Looking out the pair of egress windows next to my desk, you can see
one of the egress ladders I mentioned earlier (each window well has
a ladder). Although all of our window wells are covered by
a coarse grill strong enough to walk on, "critters" (cats, raccoons,
once a fawn, etc.) do fall in, and that snow-covered slanted board
is a critter-ladder so they can climb right back out if the fall
doesn't kill them. The shelf above this window is our
I probably shouldn't include this picture (it's kinda like airing
one's dirty laundry), but the closet beneath the stairs is crammed
with "Junque" (that's "high-class junk"): old electronic parts,
radios, several old computers and monitors, etc.
Here is "His" (my; formerly my sister's old) computer, which runs Windoze
XP (then; now it runs Windows Vista). (Incidentally, in all of our
bathrooms we also have "His" and "Her" toilet-paper rolls, but that's another
story.) From right to left is the closet into which we just peeked and
a seven-drawer McCall cabinet which holds more electronic "Junque".
Above my computer's monitor is the reading nook seen earlier. Directly
behind my computer is one of two tables around which my Concealed-Carry
students and I sit when I convert the basement into a classroom.
The following are pictures taken outside during the summer:
Looking south from the south/rear porch; the next three pictures were
taken while standing in this parking circle.
Lumber-storage shed on stone shed; house on right, garage on left.
South end of house; shiny stuff to left and above rear porch is a
passive solar collector which warms the second floor.
Neighbor's pasture looking east-south-east from rear porch.
Not sure just why I took this picture, but looking west; Nancy has
flower gardens above and below the retaining wall.
North/front porch and upper deck (enter from our bedroom); windmill
is just to the right out of the pictute.
Aeromotor windmill; front porch and upper deck are barely visible to
the left; tree on right side of picture is just a stump in the next
picture, so these pictures were not all made the same year!
Flower bed (my cheapie camera really isn't performing well here.
The stump wasour only damage from the tornado
that hit other parts of Manhattan pretty hard.
Fern-leaf peonies; a somewhat-rare flower that was in our front yard when
we bought the place and which we've worked hard to propagate and share
with others (Nancy trades for a pretty flower they have which
we don't have).
Close-up fern-leaf peonies.
Looking eastward across the fern-leaf peonies toward our nearest
100+ year-old Aeromoter windmill; redbud (?) tree on right, crabapple
tree on left, and pine tree in background.
And that's the end of this tour.
Five boxes preserve our freedoms: soap, ballot,
witness, jury, and cartridge. PhD EE - Barbershop Tenor - Amateur Radio Operator (WØPBV)
NRA "Lifer" & Rifle, Pistol, and Home-Firearm-Safety Instructor
This page was created in January 2010, added-to in November 2010,
and updated in December 2014.