Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Jambo from the Heart of Africa!!

That's right - from the Heart of Africa.

The past several days have been incredibly busy for SWMBO and I. From a quick trip to Africa to a couple of family reunions, to finding our house colors in south east Kansas.

Where shall we begin - Africa?

Africa it is....

And here we are - the train depot.

Actually it's a train depot that's been converted into a Museum. Not just a museum, but the #1 museum in Kansas! It is also one of THE best safari museums in the world.

Okay - so I'm cheating; we didn't really go to Africa but the museum was so good it's as if we could have been there.

The museum is the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum in Chanute Kansas.

If you are ever in the Chanute KS area you NEED to make time to see this place.

Their collection of ceremonial African masks is perhaps one of the best in the nation and I have seen a few so trust me on this one.

And here is Martin and Osa Johnson themselves.

Cool picture isn't it?

I would love to have a similar one of SWMBO and I taken - with Grover in the background of course.

This is one of a pair of Giraffes that are in the foyer of the museum. They are carved from wood.

This lion skin rug is made from the pelt of one of the lions Osa actually killed.

Part of her job was to protect her husband from the animals while he took photos or filmed (this was before telephoto lenses). She was a crack shot and would have to take down an occasional animal that charged them.

These are headdresses from one of the East African tribes.

To give an idea of just how big these are, that's SWMBO standing next to them for scale.

Another interesting thing is how they were kept upright on the head. There is a mouth piece in the part that covers the face. The wearer clamps down on this with his teeth to keep it upright.

These are some Maasai (Masai) shields and weapons.

I've always been fascinated with the Maasai people as well as the Zulu.

As a kid I use to pretend I was on safari in the lands of the Maasai and Zulu, to name just a couple tribes. Usually I was looking for Dr. Livingstone.

Here's another shot of some Maasai items. I really wish this picture had turned out better so you could see the funny looking oval thing.

This is what that oval thing is - a traditional Maasai warriors feathered headdress.

I was fortunate enough to snag an authentic Maasai ceremonial spear before we left. That puppy will look nice on the wall! Now if I could only get a shield to go with it.

After our time 'in Africa' we headed to SWMBO's ancestral stomping grounds - Iola Kansas.

We went for a couple of family reunions. Had one on Saturday and another one on Sunday.

Even though the reunions were fun the main event was the house we found!!

The house was found by accident and is almost identical to our place. There are some differences, but there's enough similarity that our houses could be related.

Best part - WE LOVED THE COLORS!!!!

So, after driving around the block three times we decided to stop and talk to the owner. He was out in his yard each time we drove past; I was beginning to get the idea he thought we were stalking him.

While talking, he gave us permission to snap a few pictures. Below are just a few.

If you wrapped the porch on around, and removed the second floor bay, this would be our house.

What do you think of the colors?

They look more tan in the photos, but they are actually more green.

The owners painted the house three years ago, however, they still had the paint names and color numbers. Talk about luck. It's as if we were meant to see this house.

A view of the front. There is a bay like ours.

Note the balcony as well as roof pediment - cool eh?

Did you notice the porch, and balcony ceilings? They're sky blue.

We would like to have a pediment above our front door some day and are actually planning a similar balcony for the back porch.

A closer view of the colors.

As you can see, several of the windows are different than ours but most are the same.

A better view of the balcony and pediment.

Don't you just like that blue?!

Now take a close look at this picture - the fish scale specifically.

This is the first house we have found with the exact same style, and pattern, of fish scale that ours has. The only difference is that the fish scale ends at the top of the window.

I'm sure there are other houses out there with the same style and pattern but we have not seen one in person yet.

When we told the relatives about the house some of them, those who have seen our place, wanted to drive by and see the colors too. They all agreed that the colors would look great on our house.

Okay - let's get back to our house.

After our short time away I got busy scraping again - when the rain and heat would let me that is. BTW - yesterday was the first official day of our first heat wave of the season here in Kansas.

The east side...

The south side...

And a panoramic view.

You've heard of 'Painted Ladies'? Well, ours is a 'Naked Lady'.

For the fun of it, here are a couple pictures showing my vantage points.

This one is from the south side looking south east.

Not a lot of space between the back end of the platform and the roof edge, about three feet; and it's steep.

It's so steep that I had to wedge the shop vac in some cable to make sure it didn't roll over the edge while moving the platforms. It did anyway. Luckily the thing hit the grass and not the side walk.

Today it tried doing it again but this time it was on the platform and I stopped it in time.

Sandra - this next view is for you!!

This is how close I had to get to the edge to scrape.

I don't mind heights, but I would prefer some sort of railing when this close to the edge.

Tomorrow I'm going to set up some extra safety devices. The next step in scraping will require ladders on those platforms. You know how I hat ladders, and at that height to boot! I'll keep you informed on what measures we take.

Here's a better view of the original colors. Too bad a color photo doesn't exist of the house before being painted white.

It's kind of hard to see, but if you look at the bottom edges of some of the fish scale you can see the original color - deep emerald green.

The color doesn't come out as well as seeing it in person, but it's there.

I will leave you with this final picture.

Can you tell what it is?

Take a close look.

Any idea?


It's a bullet.

That's right - a bullet!!

It's about the size of a 9mm round. I found it embedded on the east side near the northern most window. This window is in the room the previous owner used as a study. We now use it as our library. Makes one wonder if someone was out to get the guy.

Anyway, that's about it for now.

Till next time...

Larry ~


Anonymous said...

Dang, that's where that bullet went!! hehehe

I think I can live with those colors! That is cool about finding that house with colors you like!

Neighbor M

Sandy said...

Wow! What great pictures. That house is the twin of yours. Thanks for the picture on the edge. It will be awhile before my stomach is back where it belongs! LOL

I think your house would look great in emerald green. Sure beats the brown!

Loved the giraffe. That museum looks pretty cool.