Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Turkey day pictures

Izaac, looking like a 'big' boy instead of a toddler (at 3 1/2 years old), except for the chocolate cookie on his face!

We took a picture of the 'cousins-who-were-there' on T-day....

From left: Allison (now--Mrs. Alex Walker), Alex, Ben (18), Joe (21), Samantha (minus Marty--who is in Afghanistan), and Michelle (21).

Saturday, November 27, 2010

More power needed, so they rewired it!

We're at the 'end of the line' for our electric service, and for years our lights have blinked when the old air conditioner kicked on. We didn't think that much of it at the time.

Since we've had the new heat/air exchanger to replace the furnace AND air conditioner, we've had some problems with it keeping us warm! (It hasn't even been that cold yet, so we were getting frustrated as was the heating guy!)

Yesterday afternoon, after the poor heat guy had been here (again) and we were waiting for the electrician, our power went completely out for no apparent reason.
So, we called the line guys, and they came and tried to replace the fuse, but it blew instantly, and then another blew, so they replaced the big transformer on the pole. We're guessing it's needed to be replaced for at least a couple of years, but nobody realized it. Thanks to the electrician(s) and the line guys (and John standing against the truck, too) for completing the work quickly in the cold! NOW WE HAVE HEAT!!! We think the lights are brighter in the house, too. weird......

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Transforming a church to Advent Season

It takes a gathering of people, a little fun, a little planning, and some cooperation, but the church looked like a welcoming, 'snowflaked' sanctuary.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Camp Stanhope kitties...

The weather is turning cooler in our neighborhood, and the kitties at this house don't like it. They believe the old adage "if you want change in the Iowa weather, wait ten minutes!". (So they will go out for 5 minutes, come back in, and whine to go back out in a few more minutes--believing the weather has changed!)

Gracie decided to explore the new shingles on the roof.

She whined a few minutes, but then came down on her own.

Bogie decided to wait by the newly-filled bird feeders to see if any birds would 'drop by'.

Lucy helped me pack the first box of goodies we sent to Marty (new son-in-law), who is now in Afghanistan with his National Guard outfit. (Yes, there's a clutter around her, but I'm working on it!)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

The "Des Moines" kitties...

This is Suzy, sibling of the orphans (George, Gracie & Lucy) at my house, at my mom's last Sunday--no, SHE"S not spoiled!!

I love those big, round eyes. (Suzy)

This is Shirl's new kitten, Bella. Bella and Suzy LOVE to play and roll around and chase, so Shirl takes her to mom's for Suzy's entertainment (and my dad's!).

Bella found Izaac's booster chair was a perfect fit for a short nap between play sessions with Suzy.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Izaac's pictures from Alex & Allison's wedding

I gave Izaac an instant camera for the wedding, but he wasn't quite as successful at this wedding as the first one (Samantha & Marty's). (I just got the film developed.)

I'm guessing someone talked him into taking a picture of Izaac!

Grandma Shirley must have wondered what he was taking pictures of.

Was Izaac wondering where the pictures are taken??? His nose and eyes...

This was the view for Izaac at the wedding. Maybe he should have stood on a chair?

This is a cute picture Izaac took of his mom, Amanda, after the wedding.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Scenery--fall in Iowa

Everything is brown after harvest and before it snows (it's raining 'cats and dogs' today and there is snow in the state, but not at our house at the moment), but these horses added a little color to this field.

This horse below almost looked like a unicorn from the road!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Yesterday in Ames--Trains....

Most people who read this already know my hubby is a train engineer. Trains are a normal, everyday thing to him. He knows other people are fascinated by the 'big toys for boys' (and they have a really bad name for some of the more obnoxious fans).

Yesterday when we were in Ames for a couple of errands we saw the 'weigh freight' delivering salt.

I was briefly fascinated because I don't see them go 'backwards' very often, and this one did.

So, I took a few pictures, and a couple of short videos for all the train fans reading this blog!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Scenery before and after shopping in Mason City!

Morning over Little Wall Lake near Jewell, Iowa.

I actually took these two (below) pictures while we were driving home from shopping. They didn't turn out too bad!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Trader Joe's opened closer to home!!

Friday, a Trader Joe's finally opened in Iowa in West Des Moines (about 75 miles one way from our house), and we had planned to get there by mid-morning. Some plans have a way of not working out. Here's the huge parking lot and inside it was just as crazy when we arrived LATE in the afternoon!

Since it was the first morning the temperature got below the 20 degree mark (since we've had the new furnace-thing), the brand new, expensive furnace did not work!!! So, we called the furnace man and he arrived fairly soon, but then spent the next two hours trying to figure out WHY the furnace did not work.

The furnace man had apparently done something wrong in the 'configuration' of the thermostat and the electric back-up heater (which only kicks on under 20 degrees).
We now have heat (and a few items from Trader Joe's)! Hopefully next time it won't be quite as crazy!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Beautiful sunsets...and Gracie being a bully.

There have been some really spectacular sunsets lately, and I tried to catch one the other evening. (You can click on any picture to make it bigger.)

These two pictures were only taken minutes apart, but this camera doesn't do the scenery justice. (My niece has borrowed my 'good' slr camera for her college photography class, and I think it would do a better job capturing the true colors of the sky.)

Here's Gracie pouncing on her twin brother, Georgy, for no apparent reason! It's a 19-second video.

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