Friday, November 30, 2007

Izaac and I attempt to be creative!

We went to the Hamilton County (IA) Extension office in Webster City last evening for a class on "making a wreath" with a few other handbell-choir players from church. It was actually fun, and Izaac was really good, but I just don't have that 'creative' thing in my brain.

Thanks to my neighbor, Vicki Hill (in real life and in this picture) for helping me to finish the wreath and make the gorgeous bow. I'll hang it later and take a picture when I get the pine cones attached.

Iowa is under a winter storm notice for tomorrow all day--the whole state! I was considering attending Samantha's Mary Kay party in Des Moines but have pretty much decided against it.

Uncle Charlie supposed to be going home this morning if everything progressed as predicted yesterday. He's doing quite well for what he's been through according to the doctors. later now...

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Train man with a train...

This picture was taken by another train guy in April of this year. We recently got a cd of pictures from him.

Observations of the ironic nature:
I went to the Ames mall last week, and several stores have changed and it was very interesting==the bookstore was replaced by a video/computer game store, and the cd music store has been replaced by a new and used exercise equipment store. This new exercise equipment store just happens to be next door to the only cookie counter in the mall, which made me laugh (so I hope no one else was watching).
Another observation is one I made driving home on a Sunday evening from Des Moines behind a fairly large SUV. It had a video screen large enough that I could make out the movie from my car while we were stopped, but the problem was I seemed to keep looking at the screen after I was driving again. Has anyone else been distracted by the entertainment in the vehicle in front of them? Maybe it's just me.... later now..

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Poor Uncle Charlie!!

Uncle Charlie has been complaining about a pain (sometimes so sharp he can't lay down or even sit down) off and on for a month or so, and today he had an ultrasound (finally, he's had other tests, but mostly inconclusive) and it showed a gall stone plugging the duct, and for long enough that it was gangrene--yuk.

So my mom went and got him and drove him to the emergency room at Methodist and he got out of surgery (didn't even get wheeled to the prep surgery room until 7:45pm) about 9pm. The doctor said it was as big as an orange and icky, and they could get it out without a large incision, but apparently he couldn't believe U. Charlie was still walking around with that thing in him. The doctor told mom U. Charlie must be one tough bird!! I'm sure U. Charlie will appreciate that.

I think it's interesting that I guessed gall bladder when he told me his symptoms, and he's been to three different doctors with this pain trying to get them to believe him. Yikes. He'll be in a couple of days recuperating and getting antibiotics.

That's a picture of U. Charlie with Izaac on Sunday, October 29th at my mom's.

Happy Anniversary to my mom and dad in Des Moines

This is the Chicago skyline from the steps of the Field Museum. The Hilton is on the far left.

We are the proud owners of a new hot water heater today. It took a couple of hours to get the old one out and the new one hooked up and then another hour to get the water hot, but it's working!!!

Alex still looking for a job, and may step up his efforts now that Christmas is coming. Samantha still working at school and now Sears again during their busy season.

Monday, November 26, 2007

This is an attempt to show the gorgeous sunsets we can see from our house. (Picture taken by the train man one evening last week.) This view is looking southwest from our driveway past the neighbor's house.
The hot water heater died today. I had hot water this morning, but this afternoon, lukewarm and then cold. I called our very dependable plumber (that's not a joke, he really is good) and he just called back. He asked if there was a puddle underneath. He was here last month because water was leaking right at the connection from the heater, and he mentioned there was lime and rust build-up there and we were probably not even getting the correct pressure due to the clogging in the line.
He also said that water heaters usually have a life expectancy of about 7 years, and that one said 1999. I think he knew it was destined to fail soon. ouch. He won't be here until mid-morning tomorrow with a new one, so no showering tonight! oh well. Hope the cats don't mind...

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Since I took this picture 10 minutes ago, it has really started to SNOW (as opposed to the flurries we were supposed to be experiencing up north here...). The field across from us is really white.
The cats really hate this weather because it puts a damper on chasing things (like each other) around the yard. They don't mind cold, just the precipitation.
I'm baking rolls for tomorrow's dinner in Des Moines (and some extra to sample). I'll update with a picture later if the snow gets to be really measurable!
Click on this link for a picture of a cat who knows how to 'do' Thanksgiving!

Not sure why the link is not showing here, but I will work on it. Otherwise, you can type in: ****CLick on the paperclip if you see one, and it takes you to Daisy! later now....

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Birthday Joe Markey in Des Moines

Happy Birthday Joseph--who turns that magical 18 today. We had a birthday party in Des Moines on Sunday for him and ate tenderloins, malts and fries.
At six months, Izaac is trying to imitate things--like noises. He started making this noise, but when I turned on the video camera (about 3 different times) he quit. It was really cute although his mother didn't think so on Sunday.
Visited Dr. Kobrossy today--full morning with the CT scan and blood drawn, then the doctor visit. My blood pressure is great (116 over 64) and the bloodwork looked normal (even better on some numbers he said) and the scan has not changed-so I don't have to go back for 3 or 4 months for the same routine until mid-September next year, and if it continues as before, the doctor visits will be farther apart--YEAH!!
Met Alex in Ankeny to grocery shop for him and gave him some shoes for a job interview he has Wednesday. It's will Childserve in Des Moines area.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Ann Smalley in Apple Valley, MN!!

(Izaac taking over blogging today.) It was very bright in the Prairie room this morning, but I was so cute Aunt WoWo had to take my picture anyway. Remember, you can click on the picture to see my face better, and then you have to click on the 'back arrow' to return to this page.

Uncle Johnny made cookies this morning but I didn't get any because my tummy is still a little bubbly. I sure did want to taste one though. But I'm fine on formula for now and mostly happy except when I get a tummy pain.
I like playing with Alex's old Duplo blocks. I can't seem to connect them, but I can sure tear them apart if Aunt WoWo builds something. Alex's baby quilts are nice to play on and with, too! later now....nap time.

Friday, November 16, 2007

This is the winner from yesterday.

I think this is definitely the winning picture of the day from yesterday. He was really good, but his tummy must have been a little upset from the rotavirus vaccine they gave him the day before. That's a new one since my kids got vaccines. He just didn't have much appetite.

He did eat some pieces of steamed carrots and green beans off my Healthy Choice dinner without making faces (which he does when you give him the squished baby varieties). I wonder if it's the consistency of the mashed ones he doesn't like (like his Great-grandmother and mashed potatoes)?

Gheeez-we're boring! I just re-read the blog. oh well. COLD here this morning, with flurries in the air on Wednesday late afternoon, and forecasted for today, too. Next week they say snow for Thanksgiving--ouch. later now...

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Izaac at Camp!

Izaac is back at camp for a few days due to his regular afternoon sitters, Aunt Michelle and Grandma Shirley (while mom, Amanda is working) ended up with conflicting schedules this week.

Uncle Johnny took this picture last night with the new camera, and it turned out great.

Izaac and I went to visit Dr. Kobrossy while he was doing his rotation in Webster City today. They all thought he was very cute and LOVED his blue eyes. He had fallen asleep in the warm, sunny car on the way up. He was smiley and polite, but unusually quiet. Dr. K said he is still using me as an example of the person most nauseated with a germ cell tumor!! yuk. I will be seeing him next week. yuk again.

He's been pretty good today considering he got his 6-month shots yesterday morning.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

I'd rather sit here....

This is Noel in the box that came with my Christmas present (I picked it out and ordered it, and mom paid for it....we both like presents like that!). The container filled with their 'running' toys (from one end of the Prairie room through the hall, the kitchen and then the living room...) is close by, but none of them seem overly anxious to exercise this week (like me!).

Sunday afternoon was warm with no breeze, so I worked outside all afternoon, putting the deck garden pots away and filling the holes in the yard the tires of the garden tractor get lost in when I run over them. I even mowed the 'near 40' and the west. There were some leaves to chop up, too, but they are the most plentiful in the west patch in front of the lineup of pines for a windbreak.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

The view from my front window!!

I got a new camera yesterday because I couldn't stand not having one to use so constantly as I did the other digital camera. It's an HP 547, and I like it so far.
This picture was taken from the front of our house to the field, and it turned out pretty well for the distance I think.

New entertainment...

I purchased this cat playset last spring and was trying to save it for the first snowy day when the 'furry kids' would be whining at me to go outside. Since I was gone during the day a couple days this week, I decided they deserved a new toy, and put it together with some struggling.

Bogie seemed excited with it, and after I was done, he raced through it and then came back to sit a bit and tipped it over just by leaning on the side (on the second level). I put it back up, and he got on the second level and tipped it, too. It doesn't seem to bother him, but he didn't pay much attention to it today. oh well. (Bogie weighs in around 17-18 lbs. but the box did not have a weight limit!)

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Shopping--again! Thursday, November 8th

This picture is of Patrick and Hannah after the wedding when some of the guys lifted them both in the air on the chairs and danced around... (my camera is on the blink, so no new pics)
Went shopping again yesterday with Kim and her mom, starting out in Perry at a few stops.
We then ended up in Winterset (birthplace of John Wayne, and I've been through his house and souvenir shop--that was fun, too) in their downtown 'square'. We visited several shops before going into Fons and Porter's (Love of Quilting) quilt store. For those of you not familiar with these two women, they got together more than 25 years ago and are on public television with their own show, teaching quilting techniques and giving examples and hints. They are on the internet, too, but I haven't actually checked that out yet.
We didn't see either lady in there, and then continued around the square to Ben Franklin--and low and behold==there was Marianne Fons in the fabric section, sorting out a counted cross-stitch pattern for a sampler. Apparently she had done this years ago, but didn't remember EVERY detail, so Kim's mom and I were giving this very knowledgeable quilter advice on how many strands of thread to use and NOT to wash the cross-stitch fabric! Interesting, and a great story to tell!
To see the Fons and Porter website, click on this link:

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A trip to Sac City and Lake View

This is a picture of the cousins (except Patrick) who were in Chicago in August for Patrick's wedding. Claire, Samantha, Michael and Maria are in front, then there's Will, Katherine, Ann, John Dominick and the Trainman (Tag) showing from behind that first row. Still regretting we didn't get a picture of the "antiques" (the next generation up). If anyone got a picture of that crowd together, I'd love to have a copy.
Trainman arrived home at 6am, and we went to Sac City to visit and help with some 'technical difficulties'. We had a great lunch and chatted non-stop (of course!!). Trainman made peanut-butter mini-chocolate chip cookies when we got home. They were warm and yummy. later now...

Friday, November 2, 2007

It's Friday! It's nice outside, too...

Courtesy of Samantha's camera, we have a picture of Izaac's first Halloween. Apparently I overfilled the front of the suit (it was a little wimpy after 20 years) and Izaac couldn't move his arms very well so he didn't like it much. oh well. Maybe next year.
The hunters have been using our west yard as a parking lot already this fall which irritates me. It's not a show yard for Earl May or Scott's turf builder, but that's really no excuse for them to use it as a parking lot!!
Allergies kept me from working in it for more than 8 years! This is the first year in a LONG time I've been able to be outside as much as I want, and it was hard work, but enjoyable at the same time. I even mowed several times (most of the time) and there's BUNCHES more work to be done, but I did make a dent (I thought, at least) on the thistles and some of the creepy vines. Next year, I'll tackle it even more! It was warmer today than yesterday, so I probably should have mowed the front yard one last time. I was going to mow the west, but the hunters pretty much mashed it down and put some really interesting patterns in it with their tires. later now.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thursday, November 1st--Happy Birthday Margaret!

I can't believe it's been a week since I've updated this. Izaac went back to Des Moines last Friday.
This is Uncle Charlie (Izaac's Great-great Uncle) holding Izaac last Sunday at his Great-grandma's house for Michelle's birthday party.
I just got home from a junk-shopping spree my friend, Kim, and her mom and I went on today. I bought a couple of things, some earrings, a couple of books and a couple Christmas presents. It was sunny and cold, but we did fine and had lunch in Story City at the "Bistro" sandwich and soup place (great sandwich and bread).
Uncle Johnny stayed home and baked bread and made Cincinnati Chili and covered some windows in plastic for the coming season. Yesterday he and I went to Ankeny and met Samantha for lunch so she could buy herself a new cell phone. oh boy!! I actually got two magazines read while riding. later now...

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