Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lime's the hue and miguet the scent

Snowball bush front of house next to red bayberry shrub
Gorgeous lime green abounds all around outside already from the balmy March and early spring.  Several people have asked me what I did  to our snowball bush this year because of its brilliant lime cascade.  Honestly I can take no credit for Mother Nature's magnificence.  This year the trouble free bush has outdone itself reaching to the eaves this early and covered in lime hue blooms; all that happens is after blooming Jerry whacks it back to half it's size or it would be over the roof and into the siding. It gets about two whack cuts a year.   The flowers are usually white but this year they have a wild Irish lime tinge that is spectacular and different from others in the neighborhood.  This shrub was planted by the previous owners,  is likely about 20 years old, prospering, and happily left alone it is glorious.
Close up of snow ball branch

It's Latin horticultural name is  Viburnum opulus 'Roseum' and is  known as a very adaptable plant, with a mature height of 10-12 ft., Viburnum is touted as perfect for hedges and screens bu this baby stands alone along the front, outside a guest bedroom window. This shrub gives  all the beauty and none of the fuss.  From  a gardener's catalogue: "You’ll enjoy large hydrangea-like blooms in early summer, sometimes reaching the size of a softball! As a large mounding shrub, Viburnum is ideal for that showy formal hedge or privacy screen. Space 8-10 ft. apart for a full compact screen. "

There you have it, early summer bloom  indeed this year here up north where things always bloom later than they did in California or certainly later than farther south, our snowball bush is ahead and headlong into early summer, despite a few nights of evenings cooling to light frosts.  These blooms are indeed softball size.  There is no scent, which makes them ideal for table arrangements where a floral smell sometimes conflicts with food aromas. 

I like to cut limbs for floral arrangements but  this year, the blooms are ahead of the iris and maybe two weeks past the prime of the lilacs with which it makes a spectacular show.   But we are preparing to depart in our motor home this week to Indiana first to visit friends and then on to PA to check on things for the estate and the house which still is on the market.  So I will not be enjoying snowball bouquets.  I remember that Aunt Marie had one of these bushes and when we visited later in the year it could be found in bloom in June and July and sometimes hers would give a second bloom with fewer flowers.  Our bush never blooms twice and after this full bouquet display it merits a rest and retreat to leaves for the remainder of its growing season. 

Lily of the valley
There is a scent that I absolutely adore in the air now in the back of the house as the Lily of the valley bed puts on it's show for the year.  This is the first flower I recall from childhood, they grew on the side of our front lawn bank where I grew up in Pennsylvania.  I would stick my head  deep down inside them and breathe in the scent as a toddler which horrified my grandmother who annually campaigned to remove them because she claimed they were poisonous.  But I cried and fussed so that she was ever watchful allowing me to smell most carefully but then promptly took me inside to thoroughly wash my face and hands and sometimes even changed my clothes.  I would sneak a favorite doll outside to that bank when I could intrigued by anything that was off limits to me at an early age.  As I got older, I could not believe this lovely smell could be harmful and was sure it was just an old Polish folklore.  That must have been when Mom swung into Lily of the Valley complete eradication and soon they bloomed no more on the banks of our lawn.  I thought that dreadful, but like so many things she said it was to "protect me"  more likely she  said, "it's for your own good."  Not much that was for my "own good" appealed to me as a child.  

Lily of the valley sprig with one of
our outdoor cherubs 
So I was surprised to see that "Convallaria majalis commonly known as the Lily of the Valley, is a poisonous woodland flowering plant native throughout the cool temperate Northern Hemisphere in Asia and Europe. A limited native population occurs in Eastern USA "  I guess my old grandma knew her poisons but I still adore these flowers, and have kept  a life long love of the scent.  So today after getting some extra smells in and admiring some sprigs which came inside into tiny bottles, I did carefully wash my hands and nose with lava soap just as if I had been in poison ivy.  How can something so gorgeous be so bad?  Isn't that just the  downside of Mother Nature, temptation is sweet but sweetness can be harmful.  

There are many legends associated with Lily of the valley according to Wikipedia:       "The flower is also known as Our Lady's tears or Mary's tears from Christian legends that it sprang from the weeping of the Virgin Mary during the crucifixion of Jesus. Other etiologies its coming into being from Eve's tears after she was driven with Adam from the Garden of Eden or from the blood shed by Saint Leonard of Noblac during his battles with a dragon.   The name "lily of the valley" is also used in some English translations of the Bible in King Solomon's Song of Songs 2:1.  It is a symbol of humility in religious painting. Lily of the valley is considered the sign of Christ's second coming. The power of men to envision a better world was also attributed to the lily of the valley.

In Germanic mythology lilies are associated with the virgin goddess of spring Ostara. The lily symbolizes life to Pagans and the blooming of lily of the valley flower heralds the feast of Ostara. The sweet fragrance and whiteness of the flowers symbolize the humility and purity of its patron goddess."

It is a toss up today whether my favorite floral scent is rose or lily of the valley.    Other names  include May lily, May bells, lily constancy, ladder-to-heaven, male lily, and muguet, which is French and which I recall Coty made a toilet water so named.  

We have iris beds in the back along the house and there is landscape barrier cloth over which hundreds of lava rock have been piled to prevent weeds from growing.  But I noticed a few lily of the valleys sprouted and that was all it took to get my subversionary tactics in full gear.   It has taken me these 7 years here in Minnesota to achieve the growth of this lily of the valley bed between the irises, by  opening holes in the landscape cloth all to Jerry's dismay.  He has objected almost the same way  my Grandma did when she caught me in the lilly of the valleys.  Only he objects because he wanted nothing growing there--and laments why did I have to get these "weeds" started.  Finally he acquiesced as he will do in most battles with me, so I enjoy the lovely scent of miguet wafting upward to me as soon as I step out the back garage door. 


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Uncle John's wallet

Aunt Jinx and Uncle John in 1974
In 2009 after Aunt Jinx died and we had her home to clear and sell, we found Uncle John's last wallet.  He died in 1994 but as I have mentioned before, my family were the original savers, recyclers and never tossed anything that "you just might need to use someday."  The wallet, a magnificent  tooled leather piece, was still usable, so no way would it be discarded.  What is perhaps more comical is that we merely had it shipped to MN in the drawer of the antique dresser where it resided.  Uncle John's wallet is still there today along with my Granpap Teofil's wallet and several others. that Jinx saved.  To the mix, I have added a few of my purse style wallets and check book holders that I no longer use but, well, true to my genes, "might want it someday." 

Wallets in the drawer
Surely, "maybe someone will need a wallet someday and these are all like new."  The way things are going, if  our government keeps taxing us and taking our money, maybe wallets will become the next rare collectibles, antiques.  I am almost at that point myself, regarding a wallet as an antique.  I  seldom carry cash, only a few dollars that fit neatly into a small what used to be a "coin purse" into which I can slip my driver's license and ATM/debit card.   I don"t like the purse size wallets that hold  checkbook and all the cards.  I do not carry a checkbook with me at all; who needs that when we have our debit card?  Who writes checks?  We write few now a days.  We do most of our bill paying direct on line and Jerry, still a man with cash, withdraws and spends his money while there is nothing I need that will not be bought with debit card.  When we travel I do tote that along, but it has become passe.  I don't even like to carry much of a purse and find around home less and less need to, so I have a very small shoulder sling, although I do own a wide collection of purses too.  But this is about wallets, and this one of Uncle John's.

Uncle John's last wallet
I can visualize people in  2112 sitting wherever their congregating places might be and discussing this, (if they are still talking then and not texting each other or sticking their fingers in the air and merely exchanging brain waves), "Wow, you have a wallet!  Let me see that!"  To which another would comment, "A wallet---what was that?  What did they do with such things?"  And the eldest in the group might say, "I have read that once men and women carried wallets in which they kept their money and credit cards.." "Money?"  and to all this exchange of wonder, my future descendants could say, "I got this from the estate of my great great Aunt Pat who said it belonged to her uncle who died in 1994, that makes this wallet at least 118 years old.  It is made of something they called leather and the men carried them in their pockets."   Concepts like wallets, money, and even credit cards will be ancient to them and maybe they will not even know what a pocket is.  After all if one has nothing to carry along but an implanted earbud plugged in why would clothing have pockets?  You can continue this conversation along in your imagination and perhaps I am on the breaking edge of a new short story.  But all this thought comes from Uncle John's Wallet.

Somehing else was saved in his wallet that I have been waiting for the appropriate time to share here on the blog.  This is a newspaper clipping from what was the Daily Dispatch in my old hometown of New Kensington, PA in 1951.  Neither the gentleman nor the boy were identified.  I know it was none of my family because of the ages.  Uncle John may have known  the culprits or more likely he  found this amusing.  We laughed at this and thought of several things, first that the man is referred to as "elderly."  Really?  Hey that's not that old! And that would not have been so easily resolved today--the parents would have been litigious and so it would have gone.  But here is the 1951 newspaper clipping--say, that's another thing that is going the way of the wild goose, printed newspapers.  Many of us read online and no longer subscribe to home delivery.  We are hold outs here because Jerry likes the morning paper, sparse as it is, with his morning coffee, but I confess to going online and some days never touching the paper.  Nevertheless, here is what happened in 1951 in Arnold, PA. 

And all this is brought to you today courtesy of Uncle John's wallet in the antique dresser. 
Upper right drawer hold wallets
This dresser came from England and was owned by John's grandfather, the wealthy John R Irwin.  It is stunning and one of four huge heavy pieces to that bedroom set. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Flying Flight or Fright Sepia Saturday 121

American B-25J Mitchell
For today's Sepia Saturday sharing, I selected a photo taken on our February  trip to the south at the USS Alabama Hangar and  Museum  in the harbor at Mobile,  Alabama.  While the main attraction was the battleship USS Alabama and the submarine the USS Drum, there were many historic planes on display and in the hangar. There was even work in process going on in the hangar which I watched in fascination while Jerry braved the descent into the submarine; the ships were not my cup of tea nor glass of wine.

Work at the hangar, keeping Sepia alive today
The B-25J photo is recent but the subject is certainly for times of Sepia,  the American B-25J Mitchell a twin engine strike bomber used by the US Army in WWII.  There was a crew of 6 men.  This plane with it's striking full nose art is in the yard outside.  It must have been a frightful sight approaching targets and it was meant to be. 

The B-25 first gained fame as the bomber used in the 18 April 1942 Doolittle Raid, in which 16 B-25Bs led by Lieutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle attacked mainland Japan, four months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The mission gave a much-needed lift in spirits to the Americans, and alarmed the Japanese who had believed their home islands were inviolable by enemy troops. While the amount of actual damage done was relatively minor, it forced the Japanese to divert troops for the home defense for the remainder of the war Originally designed for the US Army Air Corps, the B-25 was known world-wide as the most devastatingly effective medium-range bomber of its time. By the end of the war, nearly 10,000 B-25s had been manufactured for use as bombers, naval anti-submarine patrols, Air Force reconnaissance platforms, air-to-ground attack/strafing asset and VIP transport. To date, it is the only military aircraft ever named for an individual.

Wikipedia and other websites  provide quite a bit of  information about this plane manufactured by North American Aviation. The B-25 was a safe and forgiving aircraft to fly. With an engine out, 60° banking turns into the dead engine were possible, and control could be easily maintained down to 145 mph (230 km/h). The tricycle landing gear made for excellent visibility while taxiing. The only significant complaint about the B-25 was the extremely high noise level produced by its engines; as a result, many pilots eventually suffered from various degrees of hearing loss.

Crew members and operators on the airshow circuit frequently comment that "the B-25 is the fastest way to turn aviation fuel directly into noise". The Mitchell was also an amazingly sturdy aircraft and could withstand tremendous punishment. One well-known B-25C of the 321st Bomb Group was nicknamed "Patches" because its crew chief painted all the aircraft's flak hole patches with high-visibility zinc chromate paint. By the end of the war, this aircraft had completed over 300 missions, was belly-landed six times and sported over 400 patched holes.  Was that the first flying quilt?

By the time a separate United States Air Force was established in 1947, most B-25s had been consigned to long-term storage. However, a select number continued in service through the late 1940s and 1950s in a variety of training, reconnaissance and support roles.
For a look at what others share this week, click this link to the Sepia Saturday site and enjoy all the flights.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Celebrate Easter

Along with "Here Come's Peter Cottontail"  which I must have first  heard by  by Gene Autry  that great Irving Berlin song, "Easter Parade" is my favorite seasonal melody for this time of the year.  If I am feeling  less than Easterly all I have to do is wind up my Easter music boxes  and hear the golden notes to bring back a smile. 

I unboxed some of my bunny collection  to display in the living room this past week.  I felt more Easterly after their appearance.  There is one from Steve and one from a young boy, Mikey who lived near us in Newcastle.  There are several from my departed best friend, Roberta, some funny plasitc wind ups with goofy faces.  Each bunny has a memory attached and I think this is why I like to take them out  and touch them.  I admit I do not  need these things to bring memories but they are seasonal dear reminders and so I will keep them.  True to bunnies, the collection has multiplied necessitating a slightly larger box in which to put them back to sleep after next week.  There are two porcelain rabbits acquired on our trip south last fall at a thrift store, I can't pass those up without looking  and one pinkish ceramic bunny picked up at a tag sale, someone made it and someone was tossing it so I added it to my bunnies.    In the box I discovered an autumnal elfin guy  complete with horn of plenty and  pumpkins; I don"t know how he got  in with the rabbits because he belongs in the separate box for fall.  Did those "wascally wabbits lure him?"    Did I allow him to remain in place from one fall until after an Easter when I would have boxed up the bunnies?  Minor unsolved mystery.

You might wonder what I mean by feeling Easterly but all you need do is hum along with  those songs.  It's the rhythm and the light spring in the music that uplifts an attitude.  Spring  arrived early this year bringing warm sunshine and  blooms that stimulate gladness in the soul.  It's the magical promise of Easter, the assurance that raises our spirits. I was blessed to be raised in faith and to know  the Easter story which is the triumph out of the darkest of times, redemption for the ages.  My maternal Grandmother, Rose, saved the Easter card to the right that her sister Francie  had sent her in the early 1960's after my grandfather had died.  The year following his death I remember my grandma saying as Easter approached, "we always have something to celebrate because it's Easter again."    I think of her wisdom, a push toward the sunshine like the spring flowers. 

I wish that happy feeling for everyone out there in blog land.  The Joys of Easter,  Happy Day!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Spring, deserted garden and our neighborhood

Flowering crab apple across the street
It has been the earliest spring here  in the north, no snow in February and a balmy March.  The flowering showy tree to the left is the view we see out our front living room window.  Isn't it like a painting?  So beautiful.  But the dark contrasts are the breaking hearts in the house behind it; sadly, my neighbors are in the midst of a impending grief, keeping the watch, in a dim situation, as their beautiful 26 year old daughter fights  for her life.  Elizabeth has stage IV terminal lung cancer, diagnosed in September a month after her marriage; she never smoked was healthy and boom!  That hand of fate deals the death card.  No one knows what to say or do and they look at me and another neighbor, because we have lost adult children, us a son and they a daughter and so that  makes us experts, officers if you will in this gruesome club into which none of us ever sought membership.  The father, Steve,  is being stalwart, reasonable as one can be under the death watch; he  is an ER Nurse highly regarded in the area and active Army after being  in the reserves; while Monica, the mother is barely functional.  Steve can talk but Monica cannot.  She already has that look in her eyes that Mary and I know.  Their lives will never be the same.  I think we have done remarkably and I take that from a lifetime of faith, but I know that there are times when a tingle of a memory tries still to snatch our spirits, to rattle us.  We did the best we could, we were not able to save an adult and neither were Mary and Randy, nor will Steve and Monica.   So we talk, quietly at times and listen when others talk around and around.  These are times that silence is comforting.  There is nothing to say but to listen and pray with and for them.  To point out the beauty of spring around us amidst the impending.

There's a new bug for my rose garden there to the right, isn't she sweet.  It's her job to twirl her wings madly in the breeze and watch over the leafing rose bushes, which are way ahead this year making me  early to remove the mulch and trim the winter deadwood.  And yet last night we had a short time of freeze.  People worry and ask if I am not concerned and will I be covering my bushes at night.  Yes and no.  I figure I did not tell these bushes to bud out so early  they know they live in Minnesota, and they chose to leaf out so they will have to live with the consequences of their actions--just like people ought to do.  I call  2012, the year of tough love for the roses in this garden.  They can take it or they will have wasted their time.  I am not one to pander to weaklings.

Lady Bug whirl a gig with Bon Chance
We are thankful for the beauty of spring each year, the renewal even with the  work it brings, outside pruning, clipping, hauling  carloads up and down the hill.  Good exercise in the fresh air, but then  resultant acheyness for a day or two the protest of muscles not used enough over the winter.  Doses of Advil are a good thing and allow us to go on the next day without too much grumbling. 

April showers bring May flowers is an old child's poem but what brought the March and April blooms this year?  Not showers and certainly not the snow.

Lilac bush between our houses
The house next door sets vacant like my Uncle Carl's home in PA.  Both Frank and Dorothy are dead and their adult children do not appear to be in any rush to clear it out or  list the home for sale.  We will have new neighbors someday.  But for now, I am left to smell the wonderful scent of lilacs without Dorothy's chatter warning me to not take them inside.  When we moved here I asked her if she minded if I cut bouquets from the bushes on my side, the lilacs are between our houses.  Not at all, but she could not understand my  bringing those flowers inside, "..they have bugs.  You will not like that. " You know she was right,  she knew these MN lilacs were to be enjoyed outside, unlike my later blooming Miss Kim bush or the ones we had in CA.  She was quite the gardener, an old farm gal really.  And at the last when I saw her in the nursing home when she was so wasted away and hardly knew herself let alone anyone else, I knew it would be mercy if she could pass on; Dorothy who loved her old fashioned and would raise a glass in  toast, a drink to the garden and who was opinionated and certain, died at 90 a month ago. Frank died two years ago so the place is empty. 

I will be unlikely to ever dig around here without remembering them and especially her.  She was just my kind of woman.  Crusty and testy at times, and really one of a kind.  We have two front door to our home, built that way by the original owners.  Dorothy would never use the big front door, she preferred the garage door that comes into the kitchen but it our garage was closed she would come to the small front door that enters into a hallway and then the kitchen.  I can still her say that she wished Frank had built such an  entry to their home, because when people come in the front door it just tracks in everything.  When she was failing before she went into a care facility she locked herself out of the house, she was out in the yard.  Fortunately we were home so she came right over and announced her dilemma.  It took some time to reach one of her sons, it was quitting time and they were en route.  Dorothy was very stirred up and I suggested we have a glass of wine while we waited...that helped  calm her down but when the one son arrived she chewed his ears for delaying.  We laugh about the strong lady and her activities.  It was so sad to watch her fail  first using a walker and then into the facilities and as I said, the last, well it was not the Dorothy we knew.

Dorothy's hoe at her garden
 I did not set out to memorialize Dorothy today but I did snap some photos of her deserted garden.  It is poignant because she kept everything so neat and now, well it is askew is the best I can say.

She oversaw Frank at his assigned tasks there to be sure everything was done just so.  Her particularness reminded me of my Aunt Jinx.  After Frank died, she took hoe in hand  against the wishes and admonition of her family.  The photo to the right is what I snapped today.  It tells a tale of desertion and neglect, when the  primary person is gone and no one else cares.

Dorothy's deserted garden
 We never found her stumbling or falling down out there as happened all too often to my Uncle Carl before he went into assisted living.  I suspect she would not be happy today to see her garden abandoned to becoming the mess that it is.  If she has any  power from the beyond I know her family's ears are burning,  "get over there and  fix my garden"  She grew tomatoes and gave them away which we appreciated; Frank did not like them but Dorothy could not imagine not growing tomatoes anymore than she could imagine weeds in a garden.   RIP Dorothy lady of our hood!  As her eldest son Gary said at the funeral, "no peace for Dad now in the hereafter...the boss has arrived."

Bleeding heart
I close with the last blooming photos of today, the first bloom is peaking through on the bleeding heart bush in my back flower garden.  It just started.  This is never in abundant bloom until  late May...showing just how far ahead of things we are this year. 

Finally my tulips.  When we ived in Newcastle, CA I could not grow tulips but had nearly every other bulb.  We had an abundance of gophers and moles there who would dine on the  tulip bulbs considering them a delicacy. Everytime I planted some Jerry would say, "feeding the gophers?"  I tried all sorts of remedies,  chicken wire, adding moth bulbs, and to no  avail.  I never saw a tulip come up in spring.  So I was very excited to have a tulip bed in Minnesota.  Today I caught some of them swaying to the breeze. 

That will close my post for the day. 

Some of my swaying tulips

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

I've been, I've been everywhere...

That is my ear worm today--I can hear and sing along with the words, Johnny Cash made famous...."I've been everywhere, man.  I've been everywhere, man.  Crossed the desert's bare, man. I've breathed the mountain air, man.  Of travel I've had my share, man.  I've been everywhere.    I've been to:
Reno, Chicago, Fargo, Minnesota, Buffalo, Toronto, Winslow, Sarasota, Wichita, Tulsa, Ottawa, Oklahoma, Tampa ...." and on the song goes..  

I have  friends/acquaintances  who use Facebook as their blog posting very lengthy editorials, collections of hundreds of photos and  those who scour the internet copying trivia and sharing it as  their wisdom of the day; then there are those who feel compelled to document stages of their lives for all to see.  Too much information.   I find this behavior strange and a regular occurrence among a limited few within my age group who seem to need to get a life or perhaps just don't comprehend  the purpose of  social networking and brevity. So it goes, to each their own.  For a time I thought I'd migrate to twitter where at least brevity rules.  The positive side of this is that I spend less and less time on FB which can be a giant time waster and I do not even play those ubiquitous games.  I went to FB to stay in touch with a few keystokes daily and save individual emails.  It is great to use traveling and it streams seamlessly to my Blackberry.  Do people really need  instruction in how to use FB?  Has anyone else noticed this strange FB phenomena?  My  solution is to not read these things and no one is the wiser. 

Meantime, a little levity here where I share this comical meandering with my own observations including an addition of a most unfunny experience I had yesterday.

 Places I Have Been!

I have been in many places, but I've rarely been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can't go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone. Actually there used to be a chain of restaurants/bars in California named Cahoots.  A friend had a birthday gathering there but we were not able to attend and so passed our opportunity to be in Cahoots.  Likely proving the adage opportunity knocks but once because we never did go there.

I've also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there. Our 50th High School reunion is on the calendar for September.  I wonder how many of us will be in Cognito there. 

They say one cannot be in Visible, but I disagree.  I have been there a time or two or so it seems.  Occasionally while shopping when I cannot find a store clerk to give any assistance, such as happened at Walgreen's last week, I do believe I was invisible. 

I have, however, been in Sane. They don't have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work. I live close so it's a short drive.  I find that even the price of gas ever escalating does not deter folks who want to drive me there. 

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I'm not too much on physical activity anymore.

I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.

I've been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm.

Sometimes I'm in Capable, and I go there more often as I'm getting older.

One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! It really gets the adrenalin flowing and pumps up the heart! At my age I need all the stimuli I can get!

And, sometimes I think I am in Vincible but life shows me I am not.

People keep telling me I'm in Denial but I'm positive I've never been there before! Isn’t it a river in Egypt?

I have been in Volved many times and try to avoid it now as I find more time stealers than I have time.....well you saw my post last week on tempus.

I have been in Deepshit many times; the older I get, the easier it is to get there. I actually kind of enjoy it there. Except yesterday on French Island, town of Campbell which we all know as French Island area of La Crosse, WI. I was “awarded” my very first ever traffic citation for going over the speed limit of 25 mph; well driving 25 on that stretch of road gets you passed by serenaded by the impatient horn of other drivers and the finger wave as though there were am orchestra near to conduct.  While sitting there in my SUV on the balmy day, window rolled down as the officer went to his car computer to scan, download, and print my ticket, I could see I was an example for all the other drivers who immediately hit their brakes. This is revenue that the town needs and since I was guilty as charged, I will be paying my first ever traffic ticket under protest.   I remembered both my Uncle Carl and Aunt  Jinx who hated being tailgated when they  drove the speed  limit which no one pays attention to.  Uncle Carl would get his Polish stubborn on and go even slower just to "piss them off."  Today I see the effect of illiteracy on  the population--obviously no one can read because no one drives the posted  speed limits on any road in any part of the country.  Don"t even try to keep the posted speed on the interstates, you will be immediately in Sulted in many ways. 

So far, I haven't been in Continent; but my travel agent says I could be there someday too.