Thursday, April 24, 2008

My other office

I have a little office on site at the Veterans Home, but on most days from mid-January through the end of April you can find me here:

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:

Friday, April 18, 2008

End of week three

And it feels good. Despite the rain and wind that has ensued, progress has been made on the new house. This week, the floor for the basement was poured. You can see the bump-out for DD's room and the main entry as well as the egress window in the basement for a (someday) fourth bedroom. You can also see the stairwell from the garage to the basement - - this will be poured concrete stairs for DH to have access to his workshop in the basement. This is a "secondary" stairs. The main stairway will be in the center of the house. To be continued...

These Days

The weather here has been a bit unpredictable - snow one day, 76 degrees the next, wind, then cold and rainy. DD insists on wearing capris and I insist on her wearing a jacket; I guess this is what they call "compromise."

Monday, April 07, 2008

Photos from the road

Took a couple pix on the way back from Emmetsburg. The first one is along Hwy 18 outside Cylinder, Iowa. This is a straight-out-of-the-camera shot. The morning light was perfect.
And this is Hwy 69 near Clarion, which is the northern tip of a large stretch of wind turbines (in the distance) that harvest the wind. Quite a different crop than this old tractor is used to.

And this one is reminiscent of what the old pioneer trail may have looked like (though I realize wagon wheels aren't as wide).

Whenever I take a trip, I'm always "seeing" great photos but not wanting to take the time to stop and capture it. This time, I'm glad I did.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Visit to NW Iowa

I just got back from a work-related trip to Emmetsburg and Sheldon. I stayed both nights at the Queen Marie B&B and this was my room:

This photo honestly doesn't do the room justice, though. Paul and Peggy, owners of the Queen Marie were very pleasant and professional and spoiled me with their superb hospitality.

On the way to Sheldon, I stopped by Spencer to see some old friends. A beautiful small town with a well-kept Main Street and neat shops. Props to the Mayor!

Wish I had more time to stop by Sugar Creek on my way home - - I was thinking of you, Kelli!

Can't wait to see the fam tonight.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

A birthday, a cat, cake, and a cow(boy)

I had a wonderful birthday weekend. Now that I'm 35, I officially have to "round up." The extended celebration began on Friday, when DH brought Sam home. Sam is a little lover, but very lazy (he wouldn't even turn around or get up to lick this plate):
On Saturday, we went out for dinner and then to the Waterloo Blackhawks hockey game with friends and the kids. It was DD's first hockey game (we've created a monster). I got my first ipod - - after a little trepidation, I got it up and running and downloaded the "Once" soundtrack (good stuff!). After church on Sunday, my mom took DD and I out to the 4H omelet breakfast. DH and DD made a carrot cake for me on Sunday afternoon.
This is my little brother (11 years younger than me) - - okay he's not so little in that he towers over me now. He's truly a "cow-boy". He's fallen off his horse, literally and figuratively, many times but continues to perservere. He cusses a little, picks himself up, dusts himself off, and starts again. He recently returned to the area and, although I was hesitant at first, I'm so glad he's back. Our relationship hasn't been the best, but I think we've finally turned a corner. By the way, he's single ;)
"I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 13Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:12-14, NIV)

After the omelet breakfast, we went out to my mom's house. Little bro brought up a new calf to show DD - - it was a twin! Although DD was a little overdressed for the cow yard, she got right in there.