Friday, August 22, 2008
Unfortunately, Mike Kilen (DM Register writer) didn't list all of the other wonderful small farm blogs (on my "Favorite Links" list to the right). There are so many great things happening with farming in Iowa with diversity in the types of crops and livestock and the fact that faith and family values play a big role in these small farms.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Lots of play in the yard. DH is the biggest kid of all.
The tire swing was a BIG hit.
I would highly recommend Farmhouse B&B for a nice retreat.
Monday, July 21, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Still getting lots of funky weather. These pics were taken July 9th - - scary, huh?
After the rain, this is what I came home to:We're so close to finishing up. We plan to move in this weekend, but there's lots of details to settle yet. NEVER AGAIN!
Monday, June 23, 2008
Update on Salem UMC, home of Walk to Emmaus, here. I am just sick about it.
Monday, June 16, 2008
You'll notice that Tucker the dog got his summer haircut. He's so much happier! And then DD found the ace bandages and occupied herself for an hour or so wrapping herself up. Like I said, lots of free time.
Out of Iowa's 99 counties, 83 have been declared "disaster areas."
Sixteen storm-related deaths since the tornado of May 25, including one in Linn County, six in Parkersburg, two in New Hartford, one in Hamilton County, one in Wright County, one in Palo Alto County, and four Boy Scouts in Monona County.
STATE RESOURCES DEPLOYED:
More than 2500 Iowa National Guard
200 Iowa State Patrol
1,000 Iowa Department of Transportation Employees
Sandbags: More than 4.8 million
Gallons of water distributed: 180,930
Photos of downtown Cedar Rapids:
And this is another photo of downtown Cedar Rapids. Salem United Methodist Church is behind the Dairy Queen. Salem UMC is the home of the Cedar Rapids Emmaus Community. I had planned to sponsor two people this coming weekend. Needless to say, the event has been postponed.
This is an excerpt from an article in the CR Gazette:
"A church is more than a building, flooded congregations reflect
By Cindy Hadish
CEDAR RAPIDS — The Rev. Linda Hansen Bibb used water from her dehumidifier to baptize 1-year-old Keaton Schooley on Sunday morning.The baptism and church service took place at Lovely Lane United Methodist Church after floodwaters swamped Bibb's church, Salem United Methodist Church at 225 First Ave. SW."New life is what our city needs to think about," Bibb said. "So having our baptism as scheduled was one of the best things we could do."Bibb used the dehumidifier water to help conserve Cedar Rapids' dangerously low water supply."For us, all of God's water is holy. All of his creation is holy, so there was no need for me to have special water," Bibb added. "Having it from a dehumidifier or from the roof in the form of rain wouldn't make any difference. For us, it's a symbol of his blessing."Katon's father, Brian Schooley, said the change was just fine with him."She used the resources she had to make the moment special for us," he said.He said it was important for him and his wife, Lesley, to be at church Sunday, where Bibb's message was that the church is just brick and stones. The congregation, he said, is a family, and everybody in it is safe..."
Not only were cities affected, but all low-lying areas near the river valleys - - can you even begin to imagine:
[all photos courtesy of the Cedar Rapids Gazette]
When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot,
Thou hast taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
~ "It is Well With My Soul" Horatio Spafford
Thursday, May 29, 2008
As many of you have heard, an F5 tornado (more pics here) ripped through Parkersburg, Iowa (30 miles north of our home) and destroyed 350 homes in a town with a population of 2,000. We saw reports of the storm almost immediately after it hit from the Channel 13 helicopter. It was stunning to see the immense destruction, the loss of life (5 in Parkersburg, 2 in New Hartford), and the grieving of the community's residents. Then, something amazing happened... Teenagers came out in droves to help their friends, family, and neighbors. Surrounding communities gathered in prayer and then met to determine how they could help. Inspirational stories of hope and determination flooded the local papers and tv stations.
On Monday, I had the honor of organizing the Memorial Day Program at the Iowa Veterans Home. About 200 people crowded into the event space for a brief program, singing, and saluting. Then, we marched down to the Veterans Cemetery on the grounds where a resident laid the memorial wreath, participants placed pine boughs on the some of the 2,500 graves, and Taps was played. It was during Taps that this resident bowed his head in memory of his fallen comrades. The whole experience was so moving.
POSTED: May 29, 2008 DES MOINES — He spent his entire savings of $12.50 on the 35 mm Argus AF camera in 1939 and for four years documented life in the small Iowa town of Ridgeway. But it wasn’t until he was diagnosed with cancer more than 60 years later that Everett Kuntz actually printed the more than 2,000 snapshots — church picnics, his mother husking corn, soda fountain scenes from the town’s drugstore. Although Kuntz died in 2003 at age 82, the University of Iowa Press has published dozens of his photos in a book, ‘‘Sunday Afternoon on the Porch.’’ ‘‘People thought he was kind of funny,’’ said Kuntz’s wife Helen. ‘‘He took all those pictures and didn’t even have the money to print them.’’ After Kuntz bought the camera, he carried it with him everywhere, clicking away during town gatherings, lazy afternoons on a neighbor’s porch or even standing before a table piled high with his family’s Sunday dinner. He built a camera case using an old boot and a clasp from his mother’s purse, and he bought movie reel film in bulk. He rolled his own film and developed it in a closet on his parents’ farm. The 350 residents of Ridgeway took to calling him ‘‘Scoop.’’ ‘‘There are some (photos) in which he seems to have captured so much in one shot, maybe partly by accident,’’ said Jim Heynen, who wrote vignettes to accompany the photos in the book. ‘‘They remind people of what you might see in an old collection of family albums from the 1940s.’’ Heynen described pictures depicting ‘‘chiseled-looking prairie people’’ and a ‘‘community gathering spot along the creek with homemade ice cream.’’ Kuntz left Ridgeway after college, married Helen, had three children and worked as an electrical engineer in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. He took his photo collection with him — neatly packed in a box and still unprinted — and told no one about it. After being diagnosed with cancer, Kuntz pulled out the box and developed his photographs. His final months were spent looking over his collection and reminiscing about old times. ‘‘He was emotional,’’ said Kuntz’s son David. ‘‘You could see it in his eyes that it brought back memories.’’ One particular photograph seemed to interest Kuntz more than the others, his wife said. It showed his parents harvesting on their farm — his father carrying stalks of oats and his mother driving a team of horses. ‘‘He stared at that one for 20 minutes,’’ Helen Kuntz said. ‘‘In those last months, it all came alive for him.’’ His fondest memories of Ridgeway are captured on film. Like wading along the sandy Turkey River, or the day he walked past the railroad as workers laid down track with shovels and hammers. It’s a nostalgic collection Kuntz’s family cherishes. His wife has several photos on display at her home in the Twin Cities suburb of Mounds View, as does his son David at his law firm in St. Paul. ‘‘I kind of have tears,’’ Helen Kuntz said, pausing to compose herself. ‘‘It’s a fun tribute to him. ... It would have been such a blessing if he could have seen this book.’’ The photos represent more than her husband’s legacy. For Helen, it’s a reminder of the way America used to be — a lifestyle it should strive to rediscover. ‘‘The idea of family is reflected there,’’ she said. ‘‘Friends and the simple life.’’
Friday, May 16, 2008
Yesterday, the 21st Annual "Jerry's Barnyard" event took place in the courtyard. There were 15 different animals for residents, staff, and local school kids to enjoy.
My job also takes me to some less-than-desirable places, too. Last week Governor Culver signed legislation that provides funding for infrastructure improvements at our facility and also for the state's maximum security prison in Ft. Madison. So, my boss and I drove down for the bill signing in Ft. Madison and got a tour of the facility. This photo was taken by John Gaines of the Associated Press (we weren't allowed to take cameras in). We were standing in the area of the prison built in 1839 (solitary confinement) where the worst of the worst in our state judicial system sit in their cell for 23 hours a day. It was incredibly moving to see such young men (average age is 28) so lost and without a shred of hope or humanity. I stood on the other side of the glass and iron wall and could see their empty eyes. I will never forget that experience.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
We lost a dear friend last week. After nearly a year of health issues, Frances H passed away. I have never known a kinder, gentler, more genuine person. What a blessing it was to call her friend.
Earth lost an angel but heaven gained a saint.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
Dancing and jiving to "Bratz" movie soundtrack - - still had lots of energy:
Thursday, April 24, 2008
These photos were taken on the most gorgeous day we've seen this year. On Sunday, DH, DD and I went to Des Moines for breakfast at Gateway Market Cafe and browsed their fantastic selection of natural and organic foods. Then we went to Earth Day in the Junction, a fun event for the family with displays, information, shopping, and free oak seedlings (we got two of course). Then it was off to the Drake Relays Parade in a quaint part of Des Moines. Walked away with a ton of candy, beads, and a new appreciation for small town living. On the way home, we stopped by the Capitol and got some more great photos.
View from the west side of the Capitol looking towards downtown Des Moines:
Memorials on Capitol grounds with the new Supreme Court building in the background:
Close-up of the memorial:
New additions to the Columbus statue:Last, but not least, a shot of DD hamming it up: