Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Happy New Year

I hope everyone has a blessed and happy New Year. I am sure we will here. Looking forward to our trip to DC for Vanessa & Caleb's wedding. Got my hotel room and plane tickets reserved, and am getting excited.

Christmas was great, with one party yet to go. We met at Sue's Sunday night for a good supper and gift opening. Best part was seeing the grandkids, we don't see them often enough.

Cleaned out my closet where the Christmas items are kept. I found some Christmas wrap I didn't know I had plus ends of wallpaper and brown paper which I used to wrap mailing packages in. Since that isn't done anymore, I will donate the paper to either the library or school. The wallpaper is in the wastebasket, why did I save those small pieces? A lot of "stuff" went in the Goodwill box. Am I starting to sound like my mother?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Wanting a white Christmas

I want a white Christmas, not this dreary, rainy, foggy stuff. Christmas in Iowa should be white!

Christmas gifts bought, check.
Christmas gifts wrapped, check.

Now on to the big day! Church on Saturday night, our Sunday School program is always Christmas Eve. Church on Sunday morning, interested to see what Pastor Steve has for us on Christmas Day. Christmas night at Sue's for a good time with the kids.

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Project Can Do

Two weeks ago we went to Moline, via Rock Island, but that's another story. We visited the John Deere Pavilion to see Project Can Do. What an interesting and huge project. John Deere came up with the idea of building a combine out of stacked cans to promote the new S-Series combine. This is a life-size combine, built by volunteers completely of stacked cans of food. The combine was 16 feet tall, 80 feet long and 60 feet wide. There were more than 300,000 cans of food in the 170 ton sculpture. The food was bought by John Deere from Hy-Vee stores, and now all the food has been given to the River Bend Foodbank, which serves 12 counties in the Quad City area.

The combine looked like it was being driven into a corn field; with stalks of corn (made of cans, of course) going thru the 16 row head. On the floor were 3000 bags of popcorn, 5000 bags of beans and peas, 2000 bags of pinto beans and 800 bags of red kidney and black beans. Behind the combine were the tracks, made of the darker bean packages. There were lights on the combine made of yellow cans, the windows were silver cans (1500 cans LeSuere peas), black cans (9000 cans Chiliman Vegetarian) for the tires and of course the green combine (6000 cans of spinach) with the yellow details, simply awesome. What an amazing engineering display. If you are interested you can visit to see a picture.

Monday night was our Circle Christmas party at the 3-30 club where we enjoyed a prime rib/fried chicken dinner and later played Pictionary. Joy and I were on the committee (again) and I think everyone had a good time. The food was very good. Bill stayed home with his cold because I didn't want him getting close to Carma and having her get sick; she is taking chemo and surely wouldn't want his cold. So far I am staying well, spraying the Lysol right behind wherever he has been!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Card Club

Card club was here Saturday night. Everyone was anxious to play again as we hadn't met since September. They sure ate snacks, I was afraid I was going to run out. I had made a batch of Chex Mix and when that was gone opened a bag of another kind of snack mix plus used 2 bags of popcorn and M & Ms. We have a dessert at the end of the night which was Texas dessert from our old blue church cookbook. Everyone stayed to visit after eating dessert and it was 1:00 before I got to bed! Really late for me!

Sunday was the senior dinner sponsored by the Youth Fellowship at church. They had a wonderful meal, roast beef and ham, potatoes and gravy, corn and beans, different salads and a host of desserts. As I had to go early for choir, Bill brought Grandma to church; and since he "couldn't" stay for the Bingo after we ate, I took her home. We didn't win any prizes but had a good time and Grandma enjoyed her day.

Next year I will be heading up a committee to publish a new cookbook from our church. The profit will help with the repainting of our sanctuary. Anybody reading this can help by sending me their favorite recipes.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Almost December

Nov. 30 and it feels like winter! I don't mind the cold, just hope we can have good weather for the weekend. Saturday Lowden is having it's Christmas Kickoff at the Legion. They serve a free continental breakfast and there is a mini bazaar with venders and the Lowden library is having a cookie sale. Santa and Mrs Santa will be there too for the kids. It usually is a good money maker for the library. I finished my cookie donation yesterday; my thumbprint cookies turned out well--then I tried some "big molasses cookies", a new recipe I wanted to try. Only had 1/4 cup of molasses instead of the 1/2 cup called for so I subbed in white corn syrup. The cookies were supposed to be rolled in "coarse" sugar, of which I had none so used regular sugar. It all would have been alright, except Dan Sander came to put in Bill's new Ti-Vo and in the midst I forgot if I had added the spices. Just added more cinnamon, can't go wrong on that I thought. Then as I had my first pan in the oven--the recipe said 15-18 minutes at 400 degrees--Dan started my lesson on how to use the remote. I guess I didn't hear the timer go off and really burnt that pan full. It's a wonder we didn't smell it, that sugar burns easily! Did finish the batch of dough, but didn't bake them near as long as the recipe said. They didn't taste bad at all and am taking the good ones to the cookie sale.

Bill had had a lesson on using his new tv toy; so he could tape his soap opera. Only thing is he forgot how to do it and used a few naughty words trying to figure it out last night. Finally gave up. He has a new tv coming from F & B in Wheatland and might have to have Dan out again to set it up and give another lesson!

Hosting card club here Saturday night. Have to get ingrediants for the dessert this afternoon while I take Grandma to WalMart. Thursday afternoon we are going with Klahns to the John Deere Pavilion in Moline where they have a combine made of canned goods. After it is taken down the canned goods go to the food pantry. The picture in the paper looks pretty awesome, a full sized combine by the looks of it. Marilyn has a coupon for Texas Roadhouse so will go there for supper!

Friday, November 25, 2011

One month till Christmas

Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. My guests were Sue, Ben, Thelma, Jim, Betty, Jerry, Ron and his girlfriend Denise. Everyone was here by noon, left by 4:00. So many leftovers--I have to learn not to cook so much. Dishes put away, I still need to sweep the floor and then get started taking down Thanksgiving decorations and putting up some Christmas. I have card club here next Saturday. Need to think of a dessert to serve and put some prizes together.

Tomorrow the search committee members are taking a road trip to Fon Du Lac, WI to go to Pastor Stepp's ordination. Sue Boedeker Monson and I are going with Donna & Leroy Leupker. Need to be in Lowden by 7:00 tomorrow morning, ordination is at 1:00 and we probably won't get home till late evening. Then Sunday will be his first church service. Bill and I helped carry furniture etc into the house from the moving van this past Sunday afternoon. Many hands made the work go fast, but I'd say that was the easy part. Pastor Steve and Jean had to put everything away and figure out what they wanted in each room.

At Circle Monday night we trimmed and counted Campbells labels, Boxtops for Education and milk jug caps. It took awhile but we had over 2000 caps and that many Boxtops for Education plus 1000 or so Campbell labels. I took them all to the school Tuesday before I took mother to her chiro appt.

Bill has been busy working--either driving liquid fertilizer truck for Liqui-Grow or hauling lime for JJJ. He enjoys the work although he misses playing cards!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Parsonage cleaned and ready

Monday was a fun day at school. I was correcting 3rd grade math papers. One of the questions was those "hard for me" questions, like Dan followed Keith, Keith was 3rd etc etc. Then the question was what line were they standing in? One of the kids answered with "strait"! I just cracked up. What thinking that took! Some of the teachers didn't have much for me to do as last week was conferences and there was no school on Friday. I did get to have 1st graders read to me and had kindergarteners read number flash cards (from 1 to 25). Some of them couldn't get past the single digits and others just zipped thru.

Sunday afternoon Donna L., Janis K., Phyllis B., Connie M. and I washed windows and cleaned blinds at the parsonage. Pastor Stepp will be moving in this Sunday afternoon. The carpet has been cleaned; the kitchen cleaned top to bottom (the counters have been sprayed with a marble looking finish, looks wonderful--the same was done in the upstairs bathroom. Wes G. was still working on putting in a new floating floor in the downstairs bathroom, hall and fireplace room. I didn't realize until Sunday how many windows and closets are in that house. Every room has at least one very roomy closet! I hope the Stepps are happy with the house.

Time to plan Thanksgiving dinner. I don't know how many are coming. Jerry's wife, Betty is having some health problems and didn't know what they would be doing. Oh well, I'll fix a turkey and those who can come will.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Lowden city election

We had a lot of voters yesterday at the Lowden city election. Write-ins won the mayoral election and a seat on the city council. The four of us that work have done so for many years, we each have our jobs and we get along well. Yesterday brought us some things we had never run into before. Many same day registrations and a lot of address changes. All our registration is done on computer and with this we have issues as it takes more time to process a new registration than a regular voter especially when: a young lady comes in to vote, is not registered so we go through the whole process, she has to show us her drivers license which we find is expired and the computer said the license must be valid. You must show proof of idenitity with a pictures ID unless someone in the voting place knows you and can vouch for you. This was the case here, first time we had run into that. A young man came in to register; the computer said he had the same name as a felon. That made me uncomfortable as I had to tell him he couldn't register or vote if he was a felon. He said he had had a felony charge against him but it was dismissed and his voting rights were restored. Not what the computer said. I gave him phone numbers to check to make sure the state/county got the record correct. We had never run into that before either. It was a busy afternoon and we counted write-in votes for 30 minutes and I finally got home about 9:45 after taking all the equipment back to Tipton.

We had a white dog here yesterday, it wouldn't leave if we yelled at it to "go home" and it was very friendly. Ben and Zach were here and the dog "helped" them work on the stock car in the barn. I left for Lowden and Ben said the dog had left before he did, but when I got home last night the dog was sitting down by the barn waiting, I am sure, for Ben to let him in. When I went to bed the dog was sitting on the west side of the house. Don't know if he was dumped or just couldn't find his way home again. I haven't seen him at our neighbors, so hopefully he found a warm dry place to spend the night.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

One of the highlights of the week was going to the Nursing Home with the little ones from school. The teachers had asked that I come along as they weren't sure the kids would be heard. Wrong. The students sang very loudly, stood still and were so cute! No costumes this year, the thinking was the patients could see their faces and without masks they could be heard more clearly. The patients were smiling and clapping, so neat. Every class had made some construction paper pumpkins and each child handed one to a patient and the Nursing Home sent a box of candy and cookies for the kids. Only one problem--the bus driver forgot he was to take us and went to the field to work, only to be reminded and was about 20 minutes late picking us up at school! The substitute kindergarten teacher had her class standing at the door waiting to get picked up by the bus and had them doing a neat quiet activity, she would do a motion and they were to copy it. After ten minutes she was running out of things to do, but the kids were quiet and patient!

Chisel plowing has begun. Corn harvest was finished Saturday noon. One combine needs to be fixed--Ben and I had a little problem Friday night and now Larry needs a new unload auger and tube. He wasn't too mad!

Working at the library twice this week as Vicki has a new granddaughter in Chicago that she is visiting. Friday night is the fish fry. Tomorrow I take mother and Pearl and Bethel to the foot dr. How did I ever have time to work full time?

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Pastor Stepp

We have our new pastor! After 13 months of meetings, reading profiles, meetings and did I say meetings! We are so blessed to have found Pastor Stephen Stepp, a native of FonDuLac, WI., married with 4 grown children, just recently graduated from the Dubuque seminary. Formerly worked in the restaurant business in Wisconsin and even in Cedar Falls, IA. He will start the last Sunday in November; move into the parsonage the week before, be ordained at his home church in FonDuLac the day before starting at our church. We can hardly wait. We had to give Pastor Mark, our interim, 30 days notice, or Pastor Stepp could have started Monday as far as I'm concerned. He gave a great trial sermon. Even mother said she could hear him and thought he would be "fine". Our search committee sponsored a dessert reception Saturday afternoon after which we took Pastor Steve and his wife Jean to the 3-30 club for dinner. Sunday after church the search committee served a meal to the Stepps and the church council. Now we are ready to have one last meal (and party) together.

Caleb is home here for this week. He has been running the combine for the guys. The corn has to be trucked to Sunbury (because of some different gene in it or some such thing) so Caleb is combining, Ben is keeping the trucks full and Larry is driving the semi and Bill the straight trucks. I was told there were 48 rows left for today and they should be done combining. Just in time as the weather is changing back to fall/winter.

I was volunteered to go with the Pre-K and kindergarten classes on Halloween to the nursing home in Clarence to sing some songs. The music teacher and one of the teachers are unable to go so I was chosen! It should be fun and I'm looking forward to it. The kids are so adorable at that age.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Corn harvest

The guys started doing corn last week and I haven't had to help yet! The first fields they worked in had corn that was laid down, twisted and darn right hard to combine in that they couldn't see the rows ahead and had to only guess or try to look ahead and see a root system to help guide them down the rows. Larry has his fields at the hog farm, across the road from there done,the bin full at Grandma Elijah's and they started here yesterday. Only here, the rest of Grandma's and 112 acres at the Fisher place left to do. Larry said his dad must like the new combine; as he can't get him out of it! Ben has been good help; he is taking tests at the Kirkwood center in Tipton in conjuntion with his classes at DMAC early in the morning. I don't know when he has time to study, but hope it is going well for him.

At our Evening Circle meeting Monday night we put ribbons in our hymnals. We thought having ribbons to use as book marks would help. Do any of you use them at your church? Bonnie Kintzle and I worked together; did the first six wrong so had to re-do them. All the hymnals got finished in good time; but still didn't get home in time to watch Dancing With the Stars.

This weekend is our pastoral candidate weekend. Hope everyone votes yes and we have a new pastor starting the last Sunday in November. We are making desserts for the dessert reception Saturday evening; are taking Pastor Steve and Jean to the club for dinner after that; and are fixing a meal for Sunday noon to (Hopefully) celebrate Pastor Steve's acceptance. THEN soemtime later we are having one big bash (just our search committee) to celebrate being DONE!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Beans done!

We finished the bean harvest on Sunday. We finished ours on Saturday afternoon and then moved over to do Don Stolte's beans. He has been sick and we did his 107 acres with 3 combines, 2 semi's, 2 straight trucks, 2 dump carts and drivers in just six hours; some Saturday evening and then again Sunday. He brought sandwiches to the field for lunch and then had us over for beer and food after we got everything moved back home. Ben was pulling the grain platform home on the cart when he noticed the front tire on the cart was shredded! He pulled over to the side of the road; and when he came here with only the pickup we were very scared he had lost the cart with the expensive grain platform. We were glad it was just a flat tire! We pulled a tire off the other cart; changed the tire; and were good to go again. I was so glad I wasn't driving! The guys are doing some corn but it is slow going. The corn is down (from all the wind) and it is hard to see to keep the combine on the rows. Therefore, I haven't had to run the combine yet. There is a lot of ears dropping on the ground, either they have been blown off or when the combine hits the stalk the ears drop to the ground. Hopefully all the fields aren't as bad as the one they are in.

Friday night's Legion fish fry went very well. We fed over 220 people and thought that was good considering the weather was good and people were in the fields and the fact there was a football game.

Our search committee is busy making plans for the candidating weekend with Pastor Stepp. We will have a congregational dessert open house on Saturday (the 22nd) afternoon and after that the search committee will take Pastor and his wife to the country club for supper. Sunday after services we will have lunch with the Stepps and the church council. Can't wait for it to be all over!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Is it October?

Really, it is too warm outside for October! We have been combining beans for the past few days. It is really dusty in the fields and on the roads. Please be careful driving on the gravel roads! The beans are doing good; so far we have had only a couple break downs; and I don't have to start work till noon or so! All is well.

Tonight is Jay Weiland's visitation. He was only 47 and suffered two years with cancer. Although you could never see it in him; always upbeat and working. Jay was in Larry's class in school and a very hard worker. Lowden will miss him.

Our search committee has finished our work! We have a trial sermon Sunday set for October 23. We visited a neutral puplit in Ryan, Iowa; had a second interview and all of us on the search committee feel we have found the right person for our congregation. Hopefully they feel the same way and our new pastor will start with us for the first Sunday in Advent.

I finished typing the book from 1910. To find the bio on Christian Fehling go to; then to IAGENWEB Project; then click on county projects on the left side; click on Cedar. On the Cedar county page click on Histories of Cedar Co. From there go to Volume II Biographical and you will find an index, go to Fehling and there it is. There are other names familiar to Lowden and also one of Bill's ancestors, Edmund Elijah.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Caleb is back!

Caleb got back to NC yesterday. Hoorah! Ellen and Larry were out to greet him and to meet Vanessa's parents. I will learn more when they get back which I think is today or tomorrow. What a nice birthday present for Ellen.

We had a good weekend on our annual Wisconsin cruise with the old cars. We met in Anamosa and cruised northeast toward Viroqua where we spent the night. We visited Amish country and a threshing bee on Saturday; Sunday we drove through some awesome country where the leaves were turning colors. Very pretty. We saw Amish children walking to church dressed in their best; buggies pulled by horses with families going to church; and saw corn shocked in fields. This all on the way to Gays Mills where we stopped at Sunrise Orchard and then went into town to see their festival. We were to be in their parade, but since it was raining (almost all weekend) we opted out and came home. We stopped in Fennimore to get some cheese and Bill noticed some old tractors so we stopped to look at them; Bill talked to the guys while I bought some homemade kettle corn (which may be the reason my tooth hurts today). The windshield wipers on the Edsel turn on from the inside; but turn off only by getting under the hood. Sometimes we had to drive a long ways with the windshield wipers flapping on dry windshield.

Ben has one more race (I think I have said that before!) in Tipton on Sunday afternoon. He tried racing in Marshalltown Saturday night but got in a wreck and needed a new A-frame among other things. Good thing it is raining so he has time to work on the car.

Caitlin got to go to Sioux City to a hair show over the weekend. She said she learned a lot and enjoyed the trip.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Amana a bust

Due to the icky weather on Sunday, not many cars came for the charity cruise and show. Bill and Sue took the Edsel up as we were to work in the registration booth with others as they were expecting a lot of cars. I was told one person could have worked the both and not been busy. Anyway, Bill and Sue took the cruise and came home with chocolate, wine and peanuts. Sue got to go shopping with Lee and Deb.

I got to go with our search committee to hear a prospective pastor. We left Clarence at 8:00 and got home around 2:30. It rained part of the way there and all the way home; not a hard rain but wet nonetheless. I went to Tipton for some groceries after we got back. Then I tried making the salad I wanted to take to Circle Monday night. It was a cherry jello & cherry pie filling base, with cream cheese mixed with crushed pineapple top. Well--I couldn't get the cream cheese stuff to spread at all, and it only covered part of the top. So--Monday I made a carrot casserole to take instead. Yesterday I scooped the pineapple stuff off the top, put the jello into dessert dishes and put some cool whip on it for Ben, Larry, Bill & me for lunch. Was better that way anyway!

Went to Fox's pond for our Circle meeting Monday night. So very pretty there; the pond was as smooth as a mirror and the reflections at late afternoon beautiful. All but 1 member was there for a pot luck supper and bingo and a short business meeting for us women.

Amana a bust

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

School board election day

What a Tuesday! Because I had a dr. appt. in Cedar Rapids, my cohorts and I decided to set up for the school board election in Lowden at 8:00 a.m. In doing so we find ourselves short one cord, a very important cord, so I called the Auditor's office and they would get us one. My appt. in CR was at 10:00 so by 8:45 I left Lowden. All went well at the dr. office; got a blood test; mammogram; bone denisty; pap smear; flu shot and tetnus shot. Was back in Lowden by 12:05. Could have been there sooner; but somewhere between Clarence and Lowden the hazard lights went on in my car. I could NOT figure out how to turn them off or why they were on. I pulled over and read the book, but still couldn't find the button to push, by the radio it said, but there isn't really a "radio" on this screen. Oh well, I drive to Lowden with the hazards on. Pull up in front of city hall, meet the auditor who is just leaving. I ask about the cord--it was there all the time, just in a place where we didn't look (Of course). I tell her I can't turn off the hazard lights; by the time she comes to my car I find the dumb button and turn them off. I think she now KNOWS she hires really dumb people to work her elections!

We stay at the polls until 8:00--we have a total of 29 voters, including the 4 of us, so just 25 people bother to vote. This costs the school lots of money and no one cares enough to vote, but we had no competition so the incumbants win of course. We play a lot of cards and eat lots of snacks to pass the time. After 8 we clean up; modem in the results and load up my car so I can take all the stuff back to Tipton. Seemed like a long day!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Labor Day

I am going to write my blog a day earlier than usual, so that I can remember what we did yesterday. Not that I am old or anything!

Marilyn and Aldie came out around 11:00 and we drove down to Sunbury to see the new feed mill River Valley Coop has built. It is a huge, huge structure and now we see why we don't get patronage dividends anymore.

From there we drove down towards Davenport via Walcott. We drove past where Sue Boedeker Monson lives as I wanted to see how far she drives to come to all of our search committee meetings. (Long ways) On into Davenport to Applebee's for lunch. I think we left a perfectly good gift card there which I didn't realize until late last night. Hope the very nice waitress uses it as a very nice tip! From there we drove down town as Aldie wanted to see where a new grain elevator was but instead we took the Rock Island Arsenal bridge and into the Arsenal. Everyone in the car has to show an ID to get in! We stopped to watch a tug push it's barge thru the lock and dam. I talked to a young man (who looked at lot like Caleb) who was working the barge and he said he was on the barge for 2 months at a time and it was hard work he was doing. From there we sort of drove around on the island and then went to the cemetery, trying to find uncle Merle's plot. We found where the general area was but didn't see the actual grave. I hadn't been over there since his funeral. Very impressive with rows and rows and rows of grave stones.

Then on to see the American Pickers building in LeClaire. I had been there before but the rest hadn't. A lot of people were there visiting and some of the stuff we saw there we saw them "pick" on the tv show. We took the long way home "checking out the crops".

After getting home we played cards, roasted hot dogs on the grill, plus the potatoes Sherrie & Milan showed us how to make, played more cards and by 8:00 the Klahn's were gone. Fun day.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Class reunion

After 50 years our class was back together again. 11 of the 14 living graduates attended. One of those not attending has never attended a class reunion, one was in Alaska, and one who lives in Utah was unable to be here. The rest of us had a great time. One I wouldn't have recognized on the street; guess I hadn't seen him in 25 years. He drove by himself for 3 hours just to come and we were so glad. Our boat ride on the Mississippi was great, beautiful weather for standing outside looking at the scenery; the meal was very good. Diana hosted us in their suite (we were at the Hotel Julien in Dubuque) for a before and after dinner/boatride visiting time. A lot of talking and reminiscing was done. Most of us didn't have a car when we were in school, we actually rode the bus if we lived in the country, even in high school! Unheard of now. When we were in school the Lutheran church still had a parochial school and they joined us in our freshman year. That meant that not all of us spent 12 years together but a few of us did. All of us are still in good health, except for Leon who has had a heart attack and is battling cancer now. There was only 1 divorce in our whole group. Times sure change!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

School starts

Today is the first day of school at North Cedar. Emily has already started her schooling; I am so impressed Laura has time to do homeschooling! I am sure it all will go well. I start school, volunteering that is, on Monday.

Not much to report this week, two search committee meetings, last night and tonight. I need to fix part of the meal for tonight's meeting when I get home from volunteering at the library today. Bill has Legion membership dinner Friday night; this weekend is my class reunion--celebrating 50 years. Doesn't seem possible. We have 10 out of 14 classmates coming. We should have lots of time to get reacquainted.

Ben finished his racing at Tipton last Friday night--and not in a good way. The B-mods only completed 2 laps before the race was called due to too many yellow flags. Ben wasn't in any of the incidents, although he did get sent to the rear for supposedly not following the flag man's directions. He still finished 9th in points; not bad for a rookie year.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


This is the last week of racing at the Cedar County Raceway. The last few weeks haven't been good for Ben or his dad. Last week Ben won his heat; was leading the feature until a yellow flag, the clutch went out of his car and he was done. Dan had motor failures the past three weeks. We keep telling Ben that racing is expensive; but--- (I really think Grandpa likes it as well as Ben!) The car is sitting in the shop ready for the new clutch.

Have enjoyed the great weather his past week. No air conditioning needed. We could use some rain though. I watered my one tomato plant this morning and noticed something has been eating the tomatoes other than me. My cucumber plants died so only got a couple cucumbers. My gardening is better done at the farmers market.

Larry is farming full time again starting this week. He has been at work for the past couple of weeks. It just means I should make meals for lunch as he is usually here to eat. Makes me think about making good choices and think ahead (rather than at 11:00) so I can have lunch ready anytime between 11:30 and 12:30. He took a load of corn out of the bin here yesterday and put a new headliner in his tractor. So much happier than when he is working in town.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


We had a wonderful week at Branson, seeing so many different things. Four entirely different shows--the best to my mind was SIX. I even bought CD's which is something I never do. We also saw Noah, a great theater production and we got to sit in the Ark during the second part on the show; the Baldknobbers, which to my mind is a must see in Branson; and another show featuring a ventriloquist that used dogs as his "dummies". We visited Silver Dollar City on a very hot day, 112 some said. We went to Eureka Springs, Arkansas for a day, shopping in all the neat shops and saw some very dry farm ground. We spent a lot of time in our house, sitting on the porch swing and reading, having the guys cook for us on the grill, and chilling out if that was possible in all the heat!

Yesterday, Jan, Karen, Ann and I went to Lisbon and Mt. Vernon. Lisbon has a very nice little museum that we enjoyed. Mt. Vernon has a lot of little shops and antique stores to visit. Jan took us for a little ride around town so we could see all the unique homes, both old and new. It was a time to catch up on each other's lives, Jan with her new grandbabies; Ann with her trip to the west coast, Karen with her son's new job and new granddaughter. Fun day.

As for here--my lawn needs mowing again, even if I did just mow Sunday and Monday. It was too long and now looks like we could bale. I think if I get it mowed again tomorrow it will help. Today I am off to the library to see what Vicki has for me to do.

Ben raced in Independence Monday night and took Grandpa along to the pits. Not a good night but finished the feature even if in last place. The motor wasn't running right and Grandpa found the problem this morning. Hopefully Friday night will be a good night of racing for him.

Enjoy the nice cool day!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My new job

I took on another volunteer job this past week and it is fun. I am typing from a book called History of Cedar County. I type the pages and email them to a gal from Muscatine who is a volunteer for It is a web based place for geneology searches or just for fun; every county is in on this. In Cedar county you can search cemeteries, land owners etc. I am typing biographies and it is interesting because some of the names are familiar. The stories tell about pioneers coming to Iowa--I just typed one in which the ship he was coming to America on caught on fire; another where the ship was in a storm and the masts broke. Many people came to Iowa by way of Pennyslvania on horseback or in wagons. I don't think we realize how hard it was for people to really settle in Iowa. One man broke the prairie with oxen, not just his own land but for other people. Hard work? They lived in sod houses or log cabins. Some made lots of money (I think those in the book were the "rich" ones) by buying and selling land, some had purebred livestock. Almost all had at least 5 - 10 children but at least one would die at a young age.

If this interests you at all, check it out and read some of the biographies. The ones I have typed aren't on yet; but I just finished page 150 of over 800 pages so I have a way to go. Good job for this hot weather! Anything than do housework!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Hot & Steamy

The weather, that is! Still can't stand to be outside for more than a few minutes! It will get better!

News from Bill: he got hearing aids. Of course right now they are not in his ears. I don't know what to do, I am NOT going to remind him every day. The choice is his, hear or don't.

Worked at church serving a lunch to a committee having a day meeting there. We served maidrites, chips, 2 salads, jello and brownies. At least it was cool. Today I am at the library, another cool place. Tomorrow I am meeting Donna & Georgie at Lisbon to do final, final plans for the class reunion. Might have to go to CR and get a new outfit to wear to the wedding we have to go to Saturday night. Friday Bill has an appointment with the hearing aid people again and Friday night is the races.

The races are much more enjoyable knowing that Ben can really drive the car quite well for a first year rookie. He won his heat Friday night and Thursday night got 2nd in the feature. Fun stuff, but glad he is paying the bills!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mother Nature good to us

We lucked out with the weather earlier this week. The poor people in Vinton and surrouning areas have so much damage. Heard that Mike Wiedenhoff had damage at his new home. We took a drive north of here and a lot of corn is down; maybe will come back up but on Monday night looked terrible. Larry scouted his fields and didn't find any damage except for a small area here and we are very lucky. This morning I opened the house up again. What a nice dry cool breeze from the east! Better enjoy it when we can.

Friday night the races were fun, not too hot. Ben did a good job finishing 6th in his feature race. Cedar County fair starts today and they are having a special sprint car race tomorrow night with the B-mods racing also. I don't know if I can take 2 nights of racing in a row as the fair will have the regular Friday night races. Still makes me nervous!

Seeing Kathy & Dave Koch's daughters at the Horman reunion was great! Haven't seen them for a long time and now they are all grown up. The reunion was held at the park; very hot there, but we had a good time. I spent some time sitting outside visiting with Linda Horman, Linda Charlot, Ashley, Aunt Erna, Aunt Darlene and Aunt Irene. Patricia brought Uncle Elmer. He looked great. Linda C. said she was having the picnic at her house next year. Hope you all can come. She has a fabulous old house and they say her yard is beautiful.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Yesterday afternoon we went to the church for the visitation for Scott Dierks, who died of his injuries in an ATV accident. Visitation was held in the church instead of the funeral home because of the big expected crowd. We got there around 4:15, visitation started at 3:00 and 300 had been there already. Flowers, flowers and plants. So many. I bet at least 150. Why? He has 2 young sons and a young wife. Why wouldn't you just give a memorial? I know both families have plenty of money but still. Why so many plants and flowers and how does the family take care of all of them? I don't understand.

Took the Edsel in the 4th of July parade in Tipton. Lots of spectators lined the streets to watch. Of course, I never get to see the parade, just whatever is in front of us. Ron & Kathy's Charger had to leave the parade after a couple of blocks because of overheating and a pink Thunderbird pulled out too. I guess that extra fan Bill put on the Edsel is a good thing. Spent the evening at Bob and Donna's; sitting outside visiting (can you tell we are old people?), having supper and playing cards. Didn't even go to fireworks.

Last night we had search committee meeting again to see what we all thought of the 3 prospective pastors we interviewed. These were face-to-face interviews at our church. We are not all satisfied that one of them is "the one" yet. We don't want to settle, but we do want to get a pastor. Hard work.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Social

On Sunday after I got home from church, Bill announced there was a car show in Muscatine. We weren't going to enter the car in the show, we would just go for a little while and look at the cars. When will I remember that that means we will enter the car in the show and will be there a few hours? When we got to Arnolds, where the show was held, there was one place left to park in the parking lot, we got registered, had a free lunch, looked at the cars, sat in lawn chairs in the full sun (no shade there), and talked to people who had never seen an Edsel before, or who said my grandfather/dad/uncle had one. At 2:00 the show was over and we headed to the Muscatine Farm & Fleet Store. I got a new rug to put on the porch and Bill got some sanding disc things he wanted. We wanted to go to Delmar so we took the scenic route which took us through Davenport! Not exactly what we planned but interesting.

Sherrie's church was having a lawn social and it was so nice. They served many kinds of sandwiches, potato salad or chips, a very nice fruit cup (Ashley helped cut up the fruit) and a vast array of pies. The social was held between the church and parsonage on a shady lawn area. Very, very nice. For such a little church, they put on a good spread.

Friday night races didn't turn out the best for the Chapman gang. Ben spun out in the feature, had a car get stuck underneath his (she really had nowhere to go) and he has been working every night on getting his car ready to run again. Even Grandpa and Uncle Larry have been involved. Dan's car was in worse shape as he ran into a spun out car in front of him and then was rammed in the back. Better luck this Friday!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Another Tragedy

Another ATV accident in Cedar County, leaving Scott on life support with head injuries (as of this writing I do not know if he is still alive). Scott is 30, is married with 2 little kids. His parents lost their only daughter 15 years ago the day before Father's Day in a car accident. Then this happens the day after Father's Day. Their dad had said he hated Father's Day before this---. My friend Vicki's (the Lowden librarian) son was with Scott but walked away with just road rash.

On a better note, I washed a red shop rag with Bill's underwear yesterday and the underwear turned a beautiful pink. I really could't see him wearing pink socks so I used bleach and washed them again, hung them on the clothesline hoping the sun would shine and help bleach them. Any other ideas? They are still pink, just not the bright pretty color of pink they were.

Last night we had another interview with a prospective pastor. All but one of us on the search committee were impressed. Another meeting in a week to see what we want to do. Sue Boedeker Monson and I took the couple for their tour of Lowden and the church and parsonage. Luckily Sue took over the narrative and I didn't have to say much. Our committee is gets along so well, we will miss each other once we hire a pastor and we don't meet every week.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Wild flowers

I noticed on my walk yesterday that nearly all the wild roses in the road ditches are in bloom. What a pretty pale pink color they are. They do not last if you pick them so the best thing is just to admire their beauty in their wild state. Also, I noticed that bull thistles have the most pretty purple flower. A bad thing, because the flowers will turn to seed and we have enough thistles already! A lot of other flowers abound in the road ditches but I don't know their names.

Another unusual sight was Sunday while mowing the little place I like to mow along the road. A turtle came from the west side of the road, walking (pretty fast, really) towards me on the lawn mower. I backed up, the turtle changed course and came towards me again. He wasn't a really big turtle, maybe 6-7 inches long. I picked him up but he wanted down so I put him in the grass, hoping he won't come out and be squashed by a car on the road. Wished I had my camera or phone with me but of course didn't.

Tonight is our second face-to-face interview with a prospective pastor. Last week's interview went really well. Pray for our search committee's wisdom. This is a hard job!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Day trips

I got to go to 2 places yesterday. First I took Mother to her chiro appointment in Walcott. Not very interesting although I tried an experiment. Last week when I took her to WalMart for her pills, she said she wanted a cane as she could hardly walk from room to room. I DID NOT notice this to be a problem as she walked into the store and back without difficulty. So yesterday I parked down a few spaces so she had to walk a little farther into the dr. office. She did fine. I haven't heard again about wanting a cane. She walks very good for a 91 year old I think. What have you noticed?

Then in the afternoon I got to ride along with Bill to Monmouth to get tractor parts. We took the scenic route over gravels. Some pretty area up there, lots of hills. And to think that is the highlight of my day!

Saturday we took the Edsel to the Iowa Mennonite Sale at the Johnson County Fairgrounds. They have the best food there--by 10:00 I had eaten a piece of fresh homemade bread spread with homemade apple butter; an apple fritter and a piece of rhubarb pie with homemade ice cream! We sat in our lawn chairs by the car and talked to/listened to people discuss the car. Most liked the aqua interior. Then we made a quick trip to the new WalMart, said Hi to Caitlin who was working at Cost Cutters, got groceries, and started home. It was very hot in the car--finally convinced Bill to pull over and turn off the heater (something he has to do under the hood)! Sunday we went to Delmar to help Sherrie's church by eating at their food stand.

Today will be different; story hour starts for the summer at the library so I get to be there from 10:00 until afternoon story hour is over. At 5:00 I need to be at church for our first face-to-face interview with a prospective pastor. I need to grill chicken breasts before I go to town for our supper. Hopefully I have everything ready to go so I can get to the church on time!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Prayers for our Servicemen

I just read Vanessa's post about Caleb's friend being killed in Afghanastan. I got up early this morning and was laying on the couch with the tv on when I saw the newsclip about the Marines fighting and the episode of his friend being shot and calling in air reinforcement. It seems the houses they shelled were full of women and children who were being used as human shields. Now the US is in trouble for killing innocents. We need to get our servicemen back in the USA. In the meantime, please pray for all of our servicemen.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Even little ones stink

While pulling weeds on the west side of the house this afternoon I was startled to see 5 or so baby skunks right by the step for the door of the living room. A couple days ago a adult skunk was walking around on the lawn south of the house and Bill shot at it a few times (maybe 8 or 9) and we think hit it at least once and hopefully it died. Must have left the babies under or behind the cement step. Of course, Bill was gone hauling rock this afternoon when I saw the babies. Tony and Sherrie Sander were here working on the shed so Tony took the shovel and gave them a toss out into the lawn. They were only 6-7 inches long, but you know what? They can still spray stinky stuff! Bill got home then and shot the four of them that were out, but I could hear more still under the step. Just a few minutes ago we got 2 more. Hopefully that is all! Skunks do stink!!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Anyone else disappointed in the finale of Dancing with the Stars? I personally didn't want to see Christy win anything. Himes did a great job and deserved the trophy.

We went RACING in Newton Sunday. A great day. Nobody told me to wear my walking shoes, however. We did a lot of walking--from the parking lot, to the fan walk, back to the parking lot. There was water and mud there from the rain on Saturday but Sunday's weather was great, not too hot, sort of cloudy. We sat WAY up high on the bleachers, but hey, the tickets were free. A lot of people we knew were up there with us, all with free tickets from Green Valley. One more thing to take off my bucket list.

We missed the weather here on Sunday, there was wind and north around Olin/Stanwood there was 3 inch hail. Not like the poor people in Missouri so we will count our blessings once again.

Getting closer on finding a minister. Our search committee is having personal interviews in June. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Last Friday's race in Tipton was rained out. But the best racing news is that we get to go to Newton on Sunday for the John Deere sponsored race. Larry got 4 free tickets! It was on my bucket list to see at race at Newton so I am very happy. Now the weatherman says it could rain. We will wait and see. If those of you who have gone there have any advice about the track, etc., let me know.

I spent last Friday working at the library while Vicki was on vacation. She had some work for me to do in the morning; in the afternoon I looked at Cedar County/Lowden history books. It was very interesting. I made some copies of a few articles to share. Does anyone want a copy of an article about Christian Fehling, who would have been my Grandpa Fehling's dad? If so, let me know.

Yesterday was spent doing laundry and hanging everything on the clothes line and mowing yard. We had frost yesterday morning but it looks like the corn survived. All the corn and some beans are up. The contrast between the green waterways and the dark fields is very pretty seen from a distance. Be sure to take a drive in the country and enjoy Iowa's farmland.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Summer !!!

Did I miss spring? Yesterday was almost too hot. I took Grandma to her chiro appointment and had the air conditioner running. Mowed lawn without a jacket. Got my neck sunburnt. The new air conditioner in the house didn't work. Yep, summer must be here.

Spent Friday night at the Legion Fish Fry (where we fed over 300 people) instead of the races. Ben's car came back with a busted front side, bent rim etc., but it was not his fault. A car spun out in front of him and he had no place to go. So said his Grandpa Chip. We saw Chip at Dorothy Holtz's funeral Saturday morning. Saturday evening Rick and Deb took us to Monticello for dinner as pay for doing their cat chores while they were gone and to pay ahead for when they leave again this month. Deb is taking me for my first ever pedicure and manicure today. My nails and feet are so ugly, the clinician will probably have to hide her face to either laugh or throw up.

Bean planting going well, should be done in a day or two.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


We see a lot of wild turkeys around here, but Sunday I saw something I had never seen. On the hill to the southeast was a big black spot, Bill said a turkey; I said a deer (it was that big)! It indeed was a male turkey with his tail feathers fanned out. I had never seen this before and with the help of binoculars I could see him standing there in all his glory with 5 females around him. You know I don't like birds; but this was something to see.

Larry has been busy putting little sweatshirts on all the corn seed he has been planting. They started Monday morning and have been at it since. Bill and Ben are getting the fields ready for Larry. Should have the corn all planted either today or tomorrow, depending on equipment malfunctions etc. So far, so good.

Ben's first race Friday night was exciting and he did really well during the feature as he stayed behind the rest and just got the feel of the car and track. He did finish, not last, second to last, but not last and had no spin outs. The heat race on the other hand--well, he finally pulled off much to my relief. Ben said yesterday that he would like to find others to help him rent the track for practice, but to rent the track costs $500. Last night found Ben and Bill working on the car; the oil pan has a hole in it. We won't be able to go to the races this week as we have to work at the Legion Fish Fry, the last one of the season. All proceeds will go to the Honor Flight.

Prayers for Caleb and the 3/2, please. Life might have gotten more difficult for them since the death of Bin Laden. Hopefully no reprisals but all our servicemen need our thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Time to Plant Corn

It really is time to plant, but the weather isn't cooperating. I have mowed the lawn one time. I did the yard Sunday afternoon and now water is sitting where I mowed. It will get nice again; it always has and we've always gotten the crops in. It just seems like the time will never come and the weather will never get warm.

I had guests Sunday for lunch; Rick & Deb Sawyer, Larry, Ellen, Caitlin, Grandma Fehling and Sue and Ben. We had a great big meal and I only fixed the ham, potatoes, broccoli & corn casserole, a carrot casserole and rolls. Deb brought a green bean casserole, corn casserole and a strawberry whipped salad, Ellen brought her famous pea salad and Sue brought 4 pies (none of which she made herself!). Mother brought 2 bottles of wine she said she didn't want back, one of which was vinegary and I dumped down the drain. The other one we will drink. We played a few rousing games of Farkel which the women won!

Didn't go to school this week (Easter vacation for the school) and Vicki wasn't having story hour this month so I didn't go to the library. Last night was the night the Maragaret Dallas scholarship committee got together to pick the winners and North Cedar got 2 of the 4. There was only $2000 to divide among 35 applications. Three of us from North Cedar decide on whom we like from our school district, the other members read Tipton, Durant, Wilton and West Branch applications. A short, to-the-point meeting and we were done in less than 2 hours.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


We are home from our cruise to Bermuda. What a great time we had! New experiences for all of us. I really hadn't know where Bermuda was, or that it was a chain of islands, really, attached by bridges. The water is a beautiful shade of blue and as we saw on our excursion in the glass bottom boat, full of coral reefs (and even sunken ships!). Of interest on the island are houses with white roofs--they use the roofs to collect rain water as their main source of water. The water collected goes into a tank under the house and is used for everything. The houses are painted in pastel colors, they can be painted any color the owner wishes. Very big mansions there and some not so nice very old (think hundreds of years old) houses. We did a tour around the islands in a boat with a very knowledgeable man who told us many things about the island; a tour in the glass bottom boat; and a 5 hour tour on a bus. There are no straight roads in Bermuda, just narrow winding ones and they drive on the wrong side of the road! Steering wheels are on the wrong side of the vehicles. Only one car per household is allowed, so there are many motorcycles and scooters.

We came home to cold temperatures, the death of another 16 year old North Cedar student and the death of the mother of one of Larry's classmates.

Bill and I went to the races the night before we left and Ben's car won the heat race and the feature. Of course, we realized right away that Ben wasn't driving, Dan was. The races were cancelled last week--still looking forward to??? Ben's first night driving!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


A sad start for the month of April. We mourn the loss of a North Cedar student, just 17. We are praying for the recovery of his friend also in the accident. Maquoketa lost 2 young people in a car accident. We attended Leona Conrad's funeral yesterday. It was a nice service honoring Leona and celebrating her life.

Since the sun is shining this morning and the wind isn't blowing too hard, I hung out 2 loads of laundry. I love to see and hear the bed sheets flopping on the line. I think they will smell really good on the bed tonight.

Sunday was practice day at the Tipton race track. Ben and Bill went down to try to work some of the bugs out of the car--Ben has a lot to learn and the first race Friday night will be interesting! Ben took us and a friend along to Riverside for a race car show Saturday. I spent the day inside the casino (it was too cold outside)!

Friday night was the Legion fish fry. We served close to 300 people, ran out of fish, coleslaw, rolls, and baked potatoes so all I had to eat was a few almost cold french fries. One more fish fry the first Friday in May, all proceeds will go to the Honor Flight.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


Great, this morning I wake up with a cold sore on my upper lip where I usually get at least one a year. I hate the feeling of everyone looking right at my lip! Hope it goes away quickly. If anyone has a remedy, let me know!

The county came yesterday and took down all the trees along the road along our pasture to the west. I first noticed when I saw Bill dragging a big tree behind the tractor coming down the lane. I couldn't figure out where he got the tree from, it was a pine tree and we just don't have many trees. Finally, I saw the county truck and heard the chain saw. We have a BIG pile of trees now and it looks funny along the road. Where are the birds supposed to go now? Evidently the county wants to keep the road ditches clean and Bill offered to get rid of the trees for them.

I did a Laura yesterday, well just a tiny bit. I did clean out the storage room and now you can actually walk in there. I have a pile of stuff to be burnt and two big boxes of things to go to Goodwill. I gave Sue the old kitchen chair that mother left here those almost 50 years ago. It was a nice sturdy wooden chair and I hated to throw it away (maybe Sue will and I won't even know). I also still have the old baby basket we all used. Who wants it? It has been here forever and I really don't want to throw it away. If you want it, let me know.

We also took recycling down to transfer station south of Tipton yesterday; for us and Thelma. Thelma won't recycle her newspapers, instead lining the garage with them so some day Larry can burn them for her. She says she doesn't want the address label in the recycling! But we did take her cans and glass. In Cedar County the glass isn't recycled. I don't understand that.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Dreary Day

It's foggy and yucky out! Need sun! And then it is supposed to be cold again? I thought it was spring...

We had a fun time at Sherrie's Saturday night. Good to see Jason again. Too bad he had to drive home, Moline airport is not good to him. Hopefully the next time I want to fly I have better luck.

Good to hear that Vanessa is getting phone calls from Caleb. It sounds like they are both doing well. Now if he just receives the packages we've mailed.

We learned about Volunteer Services at Evening Circle Monday night. Elda gave a great presentation and they are trying to get money to pay for the van they ordered. The wheelchair lift in the van is about half the cost of the van.

Off to the library this morning, tomorrow a hair cut and then work at the funeral luncheon. Saturday night is our last card club night for the season.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Walking outside

Yesterday I took my longest walk of the year outside. It was so nice out. A coat was good but didn't have to wear a hood or anything on my head. Matt came last night with the semi to get a load of corn and they stood outside (it was even dark by then)and visited a long time. I don't know if Matt came to get corn or cookies. He came to the door and said "where is my bag of cookies?" so I got rid of the bag I had just put in freezer. Good thing I made two double batches of cookies yesterday morning! He even said his wife said he should get my recipe. Little does he know it is an old one from a Better Crocker cookbook that I've had since we got married.

Monday was a different day at school. They were doing testing except for Pre-K, K and 1st grade. I spent at least an hour cutting laminated objects for Pre-K, had kindergarten kids read to me, and had 1st graders count: by 1's to 100, and by 2's to 20, first starting with 2 and then with 3. Starting with 3 and using odd numbers is a hard concept. I corrected papers for 2nd grade and spent time helping the secretary with report cards. Report cards aren't ABCD&F anymore--and I didn't spend much time trying to figure how they were graded. I had to put plain white stickers on a part of the report card that was printed incorrectly and that took awhile. I could hear music and then found out a brass quartet was playing in the gym. I went in to listen and the four "old men" as the janitor told me, were playing and explaining their instruments. Very interesting and I enjoyed it very much.

Today I go to the library. Last week we weeded the video section, removing almost all of the adult VHS movies and some of the kids'. We don't have a lot of DVD's but will be getting more. Vicki found that there are only a few who take out VHS movies. I then arranged the video section, putting the children's movies on one side and the adults on the other. I'll see if it remained that way today!

Have a box for Caleb to mail this morning. Prayers for him and his unit please!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

NC wins 1st game at State

It rained and rained. From the time we left Wells Fargo Arena and all the way home. After watching our boys win big over Cascade we drove to a mall in Des Moines and shopped for an hour, ate supper and came home in the rain. I was thankful not to be driving in the rain in the dark. I got home about 8:30 after a fun day. A big North Cedar crowd was at the game, there was no school and I heard there would be no school on Thursday either. There were 2 busses of kids and 2 charter buses of adults. Go Knights!

Sunday was a full day. Choir sang at church so I had to be there at 9:00. After church we had search committee meeting until 1:30. Came home and got Bill and went back to town to play cards with Harlan and Florence. That was fun. They live in such a neat place and she has things so pretty. This was after card club on Saturday night when we didn't get home until 1:00. Monday was a busy day at school. I (not a math person) helped a 3rd grader with subtracting double digits because on the paper I corrected she had them all wrong. Hopefully she remembers what we practiced and will do better next time. Am off to the library this morning (in the rain I might add!).

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

North Cedar goes to state

North Cedar's boys basketball team plays at state tournament next Tuesday afternoon. I get to go too! A couple friends are going and asked me to go with. Should be fun and the team has a good chance of winning. Today Mt. Vernon girls team plays at state and hopefully I will get to listen to the game on the radio while taking mother to her chiro appointment in Walcott.

Yesterday after being at school a few hours (we had a late start because of the ice coated roads etc) I went to DeWitt to get my wedding ring back. I took it to the jewelry store on Valentine's Day because a stone had fallen out--the ring being brand new. No charge--I would have been very disappointed if there had been!

Prayers for Caleb please.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Making Quilt tops

I have been obsessed lately with sewing quilt squares. For years I did only paper pieced quilt squares, after watching some tutorials on different web sites I have found I can do some simple squares without paper piecing. In fact, I started and finished one small baby size quilt top yesterday. Of course that means nothing else is getting done around here! I did take down my snowmen and put up some Easter things. I guess that is why it snowed again.

We had Evening Circle last night. For the past few years we have made cherry pie tarts (in honor of President's Day) for our nursing home and older church members. Last night we made 24 cherry pies. Some of us work in the kitchen, the others make the tags we put on the bags the pies go in. They will be delivered today. A few of our members are really good crust makers--then there are those like me who think pie crust comes from the store!

When Circle was over we had to go out and scrape the ice from the windshields of our cars. The highway wasn't cleared either--thank goodness I only met one car because I couldn't tell where exactly the road was. Hopefully today will be better.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

February thaw

Most of the snow is gone, except for the biggest drifts. Now the yard looks absolutely ugly! Yard is muddy, roads aren't too bad.

Worked at Erwin Strackbein's funeral luncheon yesterday before and after working at the library. We had 11 kids come to story hour plus 2 babies. It was "T" is for turtle day. They made turtles, last week I painted the underside of paper soup bowls green and yesterday they mottled the "shell" with brown and black paint and added construction paper legs, head and tail. Most kids love to paint except those who don't like dirty hands! We fed nearly 75 people at the luncheon, they were eating when I got back to church so I washed dishes, just cups, glasses and silverware as we use paper plates now that we don't have a dishwasher. My hands sure got clean!

We need everyone's prayers and good wishes for Caleb as he leaves for Afghanastan next week. Larry, Ellen & Caitlin are flying out to spend some time with him before he leaves. Vanessa is there with him now. Wish him well and keep him in your prayers.

Sunday afternoon was spent with Donna Schroeder & Georgie (Kroemer) Greiner working on how to make a booklet for our 50th class reunion and what to put in it. Georgie is doing the proofing for me as I type the pages. We finished the evening by going to Happy Joe's for pizza. Georgie & Nick still have sheep and Nick was lambing so it was a short evening. Good to see them again.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Quilt square making

I've been in a quilt square making mood since we had the blizzard. I watched a tutorial on the computer and thought "I can make that" and I have enough squares made now for a pretty good sized quilt. Now the hard part is putting them together. I finished the Christmas wall hanging and need to get it quilted--I'll take it to someone who machine quilts. The new fabric shop in Tipton will be doing machine quilting after the 1st of March. The new quilt I am working on is not paper pieced which was a big step out of my comfort zone. Some of the squares are not perfectly square but I'll see how it goes together!

Saturday night was the Legion's beef supper, always a big night with a lot of preparation for Bill to help with. I helped with carry-outs and we fixed up 164 carry-outs including 25 home deliveries (one for Grandma). It was a fun night and hopefully they made some money.

Can't wait to see what Vicki has for the little ones to do for Valentine's Day this morning. No one got to the library last week for story hour because of the storm so this week should be fun and there should be lots and lots of books for me to shelve today. School was fun and busy Monday--the teachers's (I learned about plural and singular possessives in 4th grade this week) schedules were all skewed because of missing 2 days and a late start and an early dismissal. Listening to kindergarden students read to me is always fun--they learn so much so early!

Our search committee at church has received 8 ministerial profiles already and we have a meeting tomorrow night. It will be interesting to see if we agree on whether we want to pursue any of them.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

They said we were going to have a Blizzard

And we did! The snow drift between my front door and the picnic table must be at least 10 feet tall. All the east windows are covered in snow. I have lived here all my life and can't remember when the bathroom window was completely full of snow between the window and screen. Since the wind is from the west this morning I have closed the shades and curtains on the west side of the house (oh how I miss my big trees) and the house is like a dungeon with the east windows full of snow! Bill is out with the snowblower on the tractor now--do you think he wants to go to town to play cards?

Card club was held here Saturday night. It was Ann's birthday also so we sang to her as she blew out a candle on the birthday cupcake Sue Deerberg brought for her. She was also lucky in cards and won a prize. It was a fun night. Sunday we ate spaghetti at the Lowden Lion's dinner at the Amvet's Hall. Monday I went to school and had a busy day doing everything from matching little pictures to beginning 1st letters to cutting laminated "waves" to having 1st graders read their vocabulary words to me. Always interesting is sitting in the teachers lounge during lunch.

Jenny & Josh Horman are expecting their first baby in July. That will make 3 grandchildren for Randy and Sandra. Jenny is a teacher at school and was eating pickles for lunch!

Hope everybody is safe and warm.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Classic Cruisers meet

We went to our first Classic Cruisers dinner Saturday night with Rick & Deb. It was at the Moose Hall in Iowa City. We were there early, had to wait an hour to eat--but we were the first table to go through the line! They served baked chicken, roast beef, corn, mashed potatoes & gravy, squash and an array of breads. After they picked up our dirty dishes they brought dishes of ice cream and a cookie for dessert. The program was a lady from Limeville, which is south of Des Moines on the Missouri border. She sang old country songs, told stories and played the spoons. I can't remember her name, I think Sadie, who said she had opened for Tanya Tucker at one time. She probably was a really good entertainer in her time--she still had a good voice. Rick won a door prize so all in all it was a good night.

At school Monday I did a variety of things from counting out sets of 100 Fruit Loops to put in bags so the Pre-K can make Fruit Loop necklaces for 100th day which is tomorrow. Then the kindergarden teacher made me think how to divide a length of 18 inch paper into 10 spaces by making 9 lines on the paper. Now that was difficult. Finally she said they don't all have to be even (or straight) which they weren't. They were going to use that for 100th day also. I corrected tests and helped 1st graders make corrections on their papers (that half hour always goes so fast and I never get enough done). Today I volunteer at the library and then we are going to Davenport to pick up the chair I ordered way before Christmas. Finally.

Yesterday the plastic lid for my crock pot broke. Does anyone know where I can buy just the lid?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bedroom painted!

The bedroom got painted Saturday. Mike called about 7:30 and said he was coming to paint. I ran upstairs and got the woodwork washed again and the walls dusted down. How dirty could they be in the month that they had last been worked on? Anyway, the painting is done and although it smells a little (from the woodwork paint I think) it looks nice. Now new curtains? The ones I have seem to get shorter each time I wash them. Bill says I can't get carpeting until the snow is gone, but I think I should get the rooms measured and the carpet ordered anyway. Carpet store in Lowden is only open Saturday mornings and Thursday nights. I better get going on that. Maybe someday it will all be done. At least we can put our clothes in the closet now.

We didn't have school yesterday, but not because of the weather. It was a planned day off. We didn't have Circle last night because of the weather however. When Jan called before noon it was really snowing and my south windows were full of ice. We decided just to cancel the meeting. I suppose by 7:00 p.m. we could have had the meeting; but a bunch of old ladies don't need to be out on nights like last night.

Rick and Deb came for lunch Sunday and stayed to play games. They taught us a new card came and we taught them Farkle, Sequence and Aggravation. We had a good time, why don't we do that more often?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Friday night was the Legion's fish fry in Lowden. I volunteered to help serve and Bill was delegated to serve the 2nd's of the "all you can eat" fish. The crowd was bigger than it had ever been. The gas ran out that fired the fryers. People came through the line with applesauce, coleslaw and potatoes and NO fish. People sitting at the tables were (mostly patiently) waiting for their 2nds. Bill was sweating--the temperature in the kitchen was at least 30 degrees higher than elsewhere. I couldn't remember where I got the empty tarter sauce dish to replace it with a full one. After the fryers got going again everything worked great, the fish was really good as was the coleslaw. Waitress--I'm not!

Yesterday morning I got to work on my waitressing skills again as we worked the funeral luncheon for Dorothy Gade. Florence, Donna, Phyllis, Marlene Fox and I served only about 35 people. Had lots of food (about 5 cakes!) and I didn't have to remember anything; just carry trays and keep coffee cups full. More my speed.

Monday I helped at school which I just love. Well, the working with the kids part. I don't much care for tracing things for the pre-K to cut and use in their projects. I did some filing for kindergarden, stapled papers together for the reading teacher, stapled and taped Polar Express train parts on the hall walls, corrected math papers, checked spelling papers, worked with 1st graders on reading and helped a 3rd grader finish his project on Indians. Busy day and for the most part I don't think I forgot anything.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Finally a ring again

A few things were accomplished lately. I got my new ring back from the jewelers and wore it for the first time last night. We finished our church profile at the search committee meeting last night. Thanks to Aaron Horman and Sue Boedeker Monson who did some awesome writing (as I am related to both of them I wonder why I don't have that talent!). My Christmas decorations are down and put away (almost). The floors finally got vacumned and I started a new quilt.

Took Mother to her chiro appointment yesterday. She wanted me to take her to Lowden Plumbing and Heating when we got back to town and she proceeded to go in and ask Donnie (Tillie) why they hadn't been up to fix her furnace, if her furnace blew up she was going to move in with him! Seriously! Maybe they would be good for each other. It was so funny to see his face when she said that.

Wonderful to see Caleb and Vanessa again. Vanessa went back home yesterday and Caleb leaves Saturday. He is anxious to go to Afghanastan. He told about what the living conditions would be while there when out on a mission--digging a hole big enough for 8; eating C-rations and no bathing. Won't the enemy be able to smell them?