Saturday, January 30, 2010

It's not Halloween!

Yes, if the picture looks like it came from the 80's, it did. 8/30/80 to be exact! Our wedding date. We were supposed to take our wedding pictures to church for a project our pastor is doing for the Valentine's Day Dinner.

So I dug these out and scanned looks like Halloween now!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

More train and ice pictures from last week.

A crew repairing the rail near Beaver (Iowa, which is near Boone).

This crew is chipping away at ice on the arms of a safety signal near Ralston. They installed a portable generator to operate the arms (because power was out in this neighborhood for days).

Below is a 'ditcher', which is a snow-plow placed in front of an engine.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Neighbors with tractors!

Our neighbor (Denny) came yesterday (Tuesday) to scrape some of the snow that had drifted back onto the driveway. It helped, I'm sure, but there's so much ice under it, that it's hard to get rid of just the snow. The small branches and sticks that are stuck in the ice don't help, either. I tried to snow-blow near the mailbox, but gave up and called the post office to tell them I'll just come and retrieve it myself!

Below is a 17-second video of Queen (left) and Gracie (on fence) sniffing around while it snowed AGAIN this morning (Wednesday)!!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sunday (Before the blizzard) and Monday (During)

The top picture is 'our' red-tailed hawk in the tree really close to the house Sunday afternoon. It was still bright and sunny in the morning (a nice change from the last week!), but got dreary fairly early in the afternoon.

The hawk is in the upper right-hand corner of this picture in the tree.

The picture below is from Monday morning, when we were only supposed to get a 'dusting' to start with, then the estimate was for about 2 inches of snow--then 2 to 4 inches of snow--and we have at least 4 inches of new snow on the ground, and the wind has gusted past 40 mph today (and is still gusting this evening).

This weather shut down traffic on Interstate 35 today, which is the main north-south freeway from Minneapolis to Kansas City. There was a 30-40 car pile-up on two different highways this afternoon in Iowa, and visibility was down to zero! There are a couple of good videos on the Des Moines television station, kcci. Click here to go to their website.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The 'war zone' in Carroll, Iowa, thanks to the ice!

Thanks to my daughter, Samantha, who lives in Carroll now, and toured the other day with her camera. She brought the pictures to our house yesterday (when we had a little birthday party for Alex). I will try and upload them on the 'flickr site' this afternoon, and you can click on the link in the right-hand column of this blog.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Train wreck in Columbus, NE last night...

Click on this link to see the article in the "Columbus Telegram" and pictures of the actual wreckage. One person was slightly injured, and he was the bulldozer driver, who was attempting to re-rail another train car that had de-railed in the train yard earlier in the day (on another line, but too close to the 'main line' apparently).

(This is just a picture John took a couple weeks just past the Missouri River bridge, heading east.)

(This is a picture of the Missouri River from the same train trip as above.)

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Happy Birthday Alex (24 on the 20th)!

Alex is planning on coming home for a party this Saturday (weather permitting!). It seems all events in Iowa are held with the caveat "weather permitting"!

So, if the weather cooperates in southern Minnesota and north-central Iowa on Saturday, Alex and Allison will venture out (with their dog, Oliver) and we'll have his favorite food, scalloped potatoes with ham and his dad's homemade french and cheesy breads!

This is a picture of the Loess Hills near Missouri Valley in western Iowa. (Taken by train-guy, John, who was on a train parked nearby a week ago.)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cold, dreary and foggy. January in Iowa!

This is a sample of how the mornings have looked this past week (including this morning). The weather people call it 'frozen frost' on the trees, and we've had fog advisories out frequently this week.

When I was driving to Des Moines today, I discovered that people actually slow down for fog! I now think fog should be a mandatory requirement with snowy and icy driving conditions, and maybe drivers would SLOW DOWN!!!

All these pictures were taken from inside looking out, so the windows might have added a little 'fuzz', but the crystals frozen on the trees is really a spectacular site.

When the sun came out yesterday morning, it looked like a movie looking west (I should have had a picture of that), because the sky was still pretty gloomy in the background, but the ice formations on the trees were sparkling.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gracie and the wool comforter

I've been trying to put a new cover on a wool batt for my bed. These pictures were taken AFTER I had quit trying to tie the last few strings through the quilt! Gracie just kept entertaining herself for several minutes.

(Gracie speaking) Okay, mom. I'll stop playing with your strings and you can finish.

(Gracie speaking) See? I'll just lay here very calmly while you throw some strings around me. (yeah, right Gracie!)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pheasant at the feeder!

John took these pictures yesterday afternoon when this hungry pheasant braved the patio fence to have a taste of the bird seed in the feeders. He's also not the fattest pheasant we've seen this past week.

This isn't the first pheasant we've had at the feeders in the last couple of weeks, but they are fairly skittish, and take off when I reach for a camera.

Pheasant (hunting) season is over (thank goodness), but the pheasants have always strayed into the edges of our yard under the cover of the pine trees (even before there was a prairie around us and they were hunted there).

Puff, my orange cat, who went to the 'bridge' in 2003, LOVED to chase the pheasants around the yard, just to hear them cluck (loudly) and watch them take off flying to get away from him! I'm not sure what he'd have done if he caught one (he didn't as far as I could tell), and I think the shear joy for him was the chase!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A view from the (train) Engine!

Climbing the hill to the Arcadia (Iowa) elevator.

Looks like the tundra and that's the town of Scranton (Iowa) in the distance.

West of Jefferson (Iowa again), heading west and meeting another train (stacker).

Parked, west of Jefferson, by a picturesque drift!

Same place as above, west of Jefferson (Iowa), parked and looking west.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Local paper features our Vet!

I didn't copy the picture from there, but if you want to check out Dr. Stribe, his picture and article, click here.
It's an article about protecting pets in this cold weather (which we seem to be having a little bit too much of lately--and it's only January!!).

More SNOW!!

"Before the blizzard." This is Georgy, Gracie and Lucy on the steps while Bogey decides he has enough nerve to walk over to the bird feeders.

This is Lucy trying to tell me how badly she wants out to chase the bunnies that have come during the blizzard to eat bird seed on the snow (she did get out briefly but decided she didn't like snowflakes falling on her).

This is Bogey chillaxin' after the blizzard. Why waste a sunny afternoon in the cold when you can nap in the sunshine?

Monday, January 4, 2010

Animal lovers are the best people!

I've just come from our Veterinarian's office and had to leave the 'garage' cat, (or orange boy as we have called him sometimes) who had a temperature of 105! I know some of the 'cat' bloggers believe their doctors are the BEST.
I am in that category because we have some really nice, compassionate, guys that are ALSO the best when it comes to taking care of our pets (past and present--cats and Chia, our dog, that came with our house!).
(That's Bogart in the picture, and he's perfectly fine. I just wanted a cat picture for this blog.)

When I left the vet's office there were 3 adults bringing in their ailing dog (how many adults go with a child to their doctor's appointments??). Before that, a guy had brought in his older dog (one of 3 in the house, he said), and said his wife feeds some cats in their house, some outside, and then travels to an abandoned house to feed 3 others every day. He said he didn't mind, and I told him that my hubby was sweet about me doing things for other animals, too (fortunately for me!).

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Izaac kept busy in the kitchen while I was elsewhere

John left his little camera home (I had left mine in Des Moines) so I could take pictures if 'something cute happened' with Izaac while he was here at Camp. So, when I headed for a quick shower Saturday morning, Izaac quietly headed for the camera, which was on the kitchen table.

He took about 20 pictures, 6 of them pretty much identical to this one.

John likes the 'composition' of this one. I would have liked it if I would have
cleaned the table off better!

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