We are here in Lincoln, Nebraska for several reasons, not a one of which is the weather! We thought we’d had our Fudge Ripple movable home in cold before, but that was apparently just a “warm up” for this place… it was -1 F the other night! Now I know that’s not too big a deal if you live in Minnesota or someplace like that, but I’m really not sure why our schedule seems to be testing both us and our motorhome. The good news is that the motorhome has done very well. The heated tile floors give the furnace some rest time, and the fact that it’s very well insulated makes the whole thing work. We, however, really feel cold when outside! After my meeting next weekend, we hope to head south!!
Maybe in sympathy with the cold weather, the ice maker in our refrigerator decided to act up. I think some water froze in the little trough that pours into the cube making gadget (If this is too much technical language, I sincerely apologize). So the little ice cube making computer controller thing would periodically add water, looking to fill the cube making gadget, but instead it was pouring out across the bottom of the freezer. The freezer itself was doing it’s part very efficiently, and so we got a solid sheet of ice one inch thick under the freezer drawer. Friday night we pulled out the drawer, and couldn’t get it to close, which led not only to the discovery but the necessity of fixing it right then. The majority of the iceberg came out in just a few pieces, which I threw outside. (It’s been a week, and some of that ice is still out there on the lawn!) We used the hairdryer trick to thaw out other chunks of ice and eventually got it restored to normal. I got no pictures because it wasn’t really fun at the time…
The next day Cherryl was trying to get a bunch of frozen-together ice cubes from the ice cube bin, and it slipped, and went all over the floor. That very effectively broke them all apart. It was fun for me so I got a picture!
I bet you didn’t know I was a TV Repairman! Well, maybe just a perfectionist fusser.
We have a TV mounted on a “Televator”, which lowers it behind the couch when not needed and raises it when you want it. When it’s closed, all you see is a slightly raised area of the Corian type countertop, sort of like a lid. A while ago, I slipped while reaching something over the couch and jarred that “lid”. Since then, the TV has come up a little crooked, as in the photo below:
It has bothered me, not only because it’s lopsided, but because I was afraid I’d have to move the whole couch out and that looked difficult. But I finally got around to it, and did remove the couch to get at the panel underneath the TV. Since this is not a house, the couch is securely bolted to the floor. Once it was out of the way, I removed the panel and looked at the way the TV was mounted to the Televator. I could find nothing out of line. I finally wondered what would happen if I just twisted the TV. I did, and it leveled out just fine. SIGH. Taking the couch and panel apart were apparently just for fun. But now the TV is level…
What is special about the number 88? It was an Oldsmobile for many years… It is used in Ham Radio to mean Love or Hugs and Kisses… And was Cherryl’s mother’s birthday milestone this week. Joanne has been a big fan of Micky Mouse since he was created, so Mickey helped her celebrate. I guess when you are 88 you can pose or not as you choose.
Sunday we had a great afternoon at the Orchestra, which features our good friend Laurel. OK, it’s not really HER orchestra, but we like to think of it that way! A great program including Bizet’s Carmen, Rossini’s Thieving Magpie, and one of my all-time favorites, Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto #2. Wonderful!!
Nebraska State Capitol
The Trip Advisor website said the Lincoln Governor’s Mansion tours are available on Thursdays from one to four. So we thought that tour, and a tour though the State Capitol would be fun. Turns out you need reservations two weeks in advance to get inside the Mansion. So we moved on to the capitol building (Right across the street).
The first capitol was built in Lincoln in 1868. It was created with local limestone. It seemed only fitting: local, symbolic, inspirational, whatever. The only problem was that Nebraska’s limestone is very porous, and it started to dissolve soon after completion. Eleven years later, it was obvious they needed to replace it. The newer, more impressive building was completed in 1888. (More 88’s) However, it was not built too well either, and the foundation sank. So a third, much more impressive structure was erected, starting in 1922 and completed in 1932. Lest you scoff at taking 10 years to put together a building, listen to how and why they did it that way.
First is the requirement to stay out of debt. This was to be a “Pay as you go” building. (Can you believe it?) The plan looks to be a cross inside a square. They would build it in four phases, the first phase being the outer ring of the square. This was built right around the old building, allowing governmental work to continue during construction. When the outer ring was finished, offices were moved to their new quarters, and the old building in the center was torn down. The second phase saw the north, east and south legs of the cross built. Phase 3 was the creation of the tower. Rising 400 feet above the plains, and visible from 30 miles away, this was the tallest state capitol building, a source of Art Deco pride, for three years until Louisiana’s capitol was finished at 50 feet taller. Whatever, it is very impressive! Phase 4 finished out the west leg of the cross, and over the next 30 some years the interior was completed with highly symbolic paintings, mosaics and carvings. (Done as they could afford it!)
The Nebraska legislature meets in this room. It is the country’s only Unicameral – meaning it is not divided into two parties. Voters do not even see a candidate’s political affiliation on the ballot. They have worked with this system since 1937. Seems to be working out…
Doors to the old Senate quarters (Unused since the 1937 Unicameral system started) are very unique.
The judicial brach meets in this beautiful room. All though the room are symbols of Nebraska, equal opportunity and justice. They are very proud of the acoustics in this room, and credit the special sound absorbing stone of the walls and the elaborate walnut ceiling with creating this effect.
Chamber doors with ornate detailing…
Another nice set of doors leads to an elevator to the 14th floor. The elevators look like the 1920’s, but we were assured they were renewed just 8 years ago, so would safely convey us to the top of the tower.
Inside the dome at the top are more murals depicting important Nebraska values, like helping others, sharing, hard work, etc.
Everything on every wall throughout this capitol building seems to represent something. Most of it I don’t remember, but some things, like this chandelier, I never did hear. If you have any clue what this represents, please comment and let me know!
On the very top of the tower, perhaps with the chain from the chandelier hooked around his toes, is “The Sower”. He obviously represents agriculture, but also the “chief purpose in forming society, to sow nobler ideas of living”.
This is the Governor’s mansion, that we were not allowed inside…
And St Mary’s Catholic Church, across the street from the capitol, starkly contrasting in architectural form from the First Baptist Church on the corner.