Monday, August 31, 2009

Bee On Yonder Thistle

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……..Taken about an hour ago when I walked down to the mailbox to pick up today’s snail-mail. Seems like Bee would have to be out of her mind to hang around on a prickly old thistle. Instinct and nature prompt the darnedest behavior.


Sunday Sunflower

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Sue sells sunflower seeds by the sunny seashore……..

Not really!  This sunflower blossom was nodding lazily in the morning limelight as I rushed into the house to get ready for church yesterday.  Why is it there always seems to be an insect or two on flower subjects?  That’s nature’s way, I guess.

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Wow, what a mass of seeds scrunched together in there!  Certainly, God continually outdoes Himself with His creative powers in nature!

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Sunday, August 30, 2009

Parking Reminders

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This post is pretty pointless…..chalk it up to insomnia. In case you’ve never been lucky enough to visit the ramps at the Minneapolis/St.Paul airport or The Mall of America……here’s how you remember where you parked.  Forgetful person that I am, I took pictures to refer back to in order to find the way back to my vehicle.  Was fresh out of bread crumbs to leave along the way.  Its a wonder I remembered that I’d taken the pictures…..

Above……at the airport I parked on the 5th level, in the Blue Goose area, apparently.  Below……at the Mega-Mall I ended up in Guitarville, Tennessee, on the 6th level, near the number 4 post.  Got that?  Had a little bit of trouble finding my way back to this spot, actually, and did make use of the photo in the camera.  Those big parking ramps can be kind of confusing.

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To reach the upper levels and come back down to earth, you go round and round the spiral driveways…….a dizzying experience.

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Good night.


Something For Sunday

IMG_4460 (4)  Last evening I was perusing the “Good Pictures” file.  That’s what I call it, anyway; a place to store photos that really catch my eye for some reason or other.  This sunset scene is from over a year ago.  I recall walking around the corner of the shed one evening and seeing the orange glow on the wood siding and immediately dashing to the house to get the camera.


Hey, I hope you have a really enjoyable Sunday!  Peaceful…...relaxing……tranquil……serene……(checking the thesaurus for more words that mean “peaceful”)……restful…..quiet…..unruffled……untroubled.  Hopefully, you get the idea.

The next word on the thesaurus page was “peacemaker”.  Believe it or not, when I was a kid, I thought it would be really cool to be a peacemaker.  Not that I had any idea what it meant, but it sounded good.  Blessed are the peacemakers.  Diplomat……mediator……reconciler……referee……umpire.  Goodness, do we often view umpires and referees as peacemakers?  Enforcers of rules is more like it.  Most likely, rules are needed for peace to happen, so maybe its all the same thing in the end, peacemaking and refereeing and such.


Back to the original thought:  Have a great Sunday!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Stepping Stone Thoughts


A stepping stone in the flower garden……..

Converted to the negative look……..


Friday, August 28, 2009

Sunflower Butterflies


Finally, around mid-morning today the clouds moved offstage to make way for sunshine!  I headed out for a walk to take advantage of the golden rays.  Found some gold, too…..prairie sunflower gold, topped by butterflies!  What could be better?!

IMG_5916 I think this flower is a Prairie Sunflower, though am not sure.  It also seems to fit the description of something called “Rosin Weed”.

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Hope you’re having a great afternoon!


Feelin’ Shadowy

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Feelin’ Webby

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Here’s a photo I found in the photo file. Just some random scene captured last fall…….I don’t even remember taking the picture, but its kind of cool, I think.


Limestone Shots

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The weather was cloudy and drizzly yesterday…….the perfect chance to look through some of my photo files.

OctO8031 (2) I’m always intrigued by old limestone buildings, with their rugged textures and colors etched over with a myriad of shadows. It was about high noon when these photos were taken.

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Thursday, August 27, 2009

SkyWatch Friday

08 21_0222 Welcome to this week’s SkyWatch.

Obviously, this next shot was taken on the same evening as the first one. That sunset scene was absolutely gorgeous…….one to definitely send me running for the camera.

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Thanks for stopping by! Please visit to find the other SkyWatch links for this week. Thanks much to the dedicated SW team of Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy, and Louise.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Leaf Hoppers

16th016 I must have hopped right off my rocker to stoop to taking pictures of these pesky bugs.  They are called leaf hoppers, I believe. They munch on alfalfa, hopping from leaf to leaf, eating up nutrients which were intended for cows.

16th012 What I’d like you to notice---particularly in the first photo---is that the leaf hoppers have GREEN eyes!  (Click on the photo to enlarge it a bit.)  Haha…..they look like aliens from outer space!


I hope you have a pleasant day today.  Certainly, I will try to.  A grocery run might be on the agenda.


Friday, August 21, 2009

SkyWatch #58

08 20_0124 Welcome, SkyWatchers! SW is over one year old now…….it seems to have staying power. Skies and clouds simply hold endless fascination for us, don’t they!

These are a few shots taken yesterday. We were treated to an interlude of sunshine and amazing cloud formations in the midst of a rainy afternoon.

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By the time I reached my own driveway, a rainbow was casting its magical glow……

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Thanks so much for stopping by! Please visit the official SkyWatch site to find a myriad of links to beautiful skies from around the world!


(I tip my hat to the dedicated SkyWatch team of Klaus, Sandy, Ivar, Wren, Fishing Guy, and Louise! Many thanks!)


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Top ‘O The Toad To Ye!


A toad kept me company in the calf building this morning. Winsome he was, despite his warty appearance. Looks aren’t everything, you know.

Lately, we’ve heard the overhead dronings and buzzings of that special species of bug known as cropdusterus.

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Gray Kitty headed east with her new family yesterday.

18th087 They decided to pamper her good and proper from the get-go. What a cute kitty food dish!


Something NEVER seen before on our farm…….a kitty on a leash! To avoid losing her at a hotel or rest-stop, the new owners fitted Kitty with a tiny harness. I rummaged through our house clutter (ahem) to find a roller-blade shoestring to serve as the leash.

18th037 My house is quite…, very……cluttered, but I can usually find what is needed. Not always, but usually. Kind of like in that old TV game show, “Let’s Make A Deal”. Remember how at the end of the show Monty Hall would ask the audience for random items and women would frantically search their purses to find it……in order to win a prize.


Have a toad-toppin’ day!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunflower & Sweet Corn


(My Live Writer gave me fits today, so I had to reload this post’s photos.)

The assortment of annual flowers included a sunflower! Now in full bloom, it waves and nods bright wishes to anyone who passes by!

Even to kitties, though I doubt they notice. I needed to to catch some shots of the gray one today…..she’s headed to the East Coast tomorrow to her new home! Boohoo!

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Colorful Scrapping


My apologies if you land at this post thinking its subject is scrapbooking. Sorry, I’m just not that sort of “scrapper”. These photos are from my trip to the junk/scrap yard with Husband the other day. Aren’t these heaps of scrap metal just the coolest thing!! A mountain of rust:

Aug13038 Next, behold “The Claw”, resting on the ground awaiting its clutching, lifting, swinging, and dropping duties:


It reminds me of one my favorite scenes from the movie Toy Story 2:

Hmm…..I can almost hear these piece of scrap metal voicing similar sentiments about their “Claw”!


“Ho-hum”, says The Claw. “Time to scoop up a clunker or two.”

Aug13068 The Claw deposits the trashed vehicles into a food-processor-like machine which noisily grinds them up. The resulting granules move up a conveyor belt and then flutter down onto a pile. Hard to imagine……those particles were once a car or truck.


Oh, wow… is a huge magnet unloading scrap metal from railroad cars:

Aug13073 This next photo is blurry, but it was the best one I could manage of the magnet being its magnetic self:


Next we see designer pieces that were once our rotary-hoe, used in the fields to cultivate young corn and soybeans. I told Husband he should have kept them to weld together into a farm-art sculpture of some sort. He wasn’t too keen on that idea.

Aug13049 Sitting right next to our pickup was a crunched-up Buick Skylark with a nameplate that looked photo-worthy. The colors are edited, of course.

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That's all from the scrap yard! Have a great day!


(P.S. - Today is the birthday of Stanley Milgram (b. 1933) who introduced the concept of

"The Small World", which later evolved into

"The Six Degrees of Separation". Fascinating stuff!)


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Canned Messages

We had a substitute pastor this morning and his sermon was…..well…..too long and rather annoying. Right from the get-go he launched into criticisms of “American society” and how rampant immorality is here and how we all need to turn from our wicked ways. As if immorality has never before existed. And, that word “wicked” just stops everybody in their tracks, doesn’t it. Shuts everybody right up. Not that we the congregation were talking out loud there in church, but you know what I mean, hopefully.

The word “evil” does the same thing. Certain types of people like to use that word…..its like swinging a big club around the room. Everyone gasps and backs off, ducking. Big surprise, Sarah Palin used that word the other day in reference to the health care reform bill. Way to go, Sarah.

Anyway…..sorry for that Palin digression. Back to this morning’s sermon. The pastor waved his arms around at our less-than-half-filled church sanctuary and proclaimed that the emptiness of the pews was due to our “apathy”. He stated that the church used to be filled on Sunday morning. That is correct, of course…..many decades ago, back when each 80 acre plot in the community was tended by a farm family with 6, 8, or 10 children. I thought to myself, “Guy, you are so out of touch.” Apathy or something like it plays a role, of course---people are very caught up in other activities nowadays. Its just the way it is. However, the major factor in declining attendance in rural areas is that there simply are less numbers of people living there to go to church. Was the pastor not aware of that? Had he become so caught up in his sermon that it somehow slipped his mind that he was preaching at a church situated amongst cornfields?

In my annoyance, I spent the rest of the sermon fiddling with my hymnal, reading hymn lyrics while pastor’s voice continued to drone in my ears. I decided I would quickly state my opinion to him as I shook his hand after the service. That’s just me…..I can’t keep my mouth shut sometimes. Smiling at him, I said, “Apathy may be part of it, Pastor, but just remember, there no longer are those big farm families around to fill the church.” He gave me a friendly smile and stated in an agreeing tone, “That’s right”! As I walked away from him, it dawned on me that his sermon rantings were simply a canned message; he probably preaches the same sermon at every church he substitutes at each Sunday. How ignorant could I be, really? And, why bother getting annoyed or upset over a canned message, right?!

It reminded me, too, that so much of what we hear from political leaders and leader wannabes and radio talk show mouths are canned messages. Lots of hot air…..blasted forth in hopes of gaining monetary profit or votes or whatever.


Saturday, August 8, 2009

Muggy Night Thoughts

On this very warm, humid evening, I'm sitting here on the porch, trying to take advantage of the southwesterly breeze sighing gently through the pine tree branches. Every now and then I can feel a faint hint of coolness. Free background music comes courtesy of the annual August cricket chorus. From a highway stop-sign corner a mile away, the occasional deep BRRR sound of vehicles driving over rumble strips comes wafting in on the breeze. That is followed by the revvings of acceleration, sometimes very loud......especially from motorcycles and semi-trucks. I'm not a biker, but a motorcycle ride surely would feel pleasant in this very muggy night air. Ah.....if only......
Lately, I've paid scant attention to the health care reform debate. At most, I peruse the letters to the editor each day in the newspaper and read the opinion columnists. Everyone silently bleats out their often narrow and misleading point of I might as well join in. I speak from the stand-point of a self-employed small business person, of course. Most of the ranting letters in the paper appear to be written by employees of large companies which provide insurance coverage for their workers The letter-writers seem convinced that health care reform will "re-form" their coverage into something they won't like, and actually it sounds like the letter-writers see no need for health-care reform in the first place.
I would beg to differ. I try not to think about health care for myself very often, mainly because I can't afford much of any. My husband and I do carry a family health insurance policy, but visits to the doctor are a last resort, due to astronomically-high deductibles. As self-employed people, we are stuck paying expensive and continually-rising health insurance premiums. It leaves us feeling helpless and angry.
Of course, it could be that we're better off not going to the doctor. I stole a couple of healthcare reform links from Sempringham's blog......this one is very eye-opening and shows how easily we can be misled and used by healthcare providers. The other link I stole is this one, to a column in The Washington Post. Stay broadly informed, folks, and don't be sucked in by the scare-mongering rantings and tactics of the healthcare reform nay-sayers. Reform is needed; healthcare costs need to be brought down; the strangle-hold of greedy insurance companies and health-care providers needs to be broken. Perhaps people with posh insurance coverage don't realize that, so when you listen to an opinion, look deeper to find out where the point of view originates from.

ISU Campus Wrap-up

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This post will wrap up the Iowa State campus tour with a hodge-podge of random shots. The first photo is of Beardshear Hall, followed next by the Parks Library.

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There was not enough time to hunt down the Grant Wood murals in the library. Maybe on my next visit......

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Its Cy-Ride! This bus service serves the city of Ames and the ISU campus.

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There was eyecatchingly graphic lighting in the Durham Center.

ISU Tour 018 Here's a cozy relic from the past……a former campus groundkeeper’s house:

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Perhaps a philosophy class would help in comprehending that thought.

ISU Tour 054 Cool artwork over a doorway:

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ISU wrestling highlights were showcased in the Lied Athletic Center. Wresting is a big, big sport in Iowa…..and at ISU. Past Olympic gold medalists include Dan Gable (from Waterloo, Iowa), Ben Peterson, Kevin Jackson, and Cael Sanderson.

ISU Tour 138 My son was gawking at Jack Trice Stadium as we left Ames. He hopes to attend a football game there this fall.

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The story of Jack Trice is quite amazing…..and sad. I’d say he deserved to have a stadium named after him.

Thanks for touring the Iowa State campus with us!