Saturday, August 14, 2010

Aug 13 & 14

Aug 13

Heather and Mike arrived (finally). We had breakfast and visited for a while and then went to Starbucks for coffee. Then we took a drive. First we drove around the resort and we showed them the various activities available. Then we drove around Saylorville Lake. We spent some time at the spillway.

By then it was time for lunch. The split pea soup (that I’d put in the crock pot) wasn’t ready so we had the pulled ham sandwiches, corn on the cob and Muscatine melon. We spent a lot of time just visiting. Heather asked if we had questions for Mike. I said that I wasn’t prepared to interview him. I was less interested in the “facts” of his life than in what kind of person he was. We swam for a while and came back home and talked and ate the soup for supper. As it approached seven o’clock they needed to leave because Heather had a surprise for Mike: she had tickets to see a comedian at Hoyt Sherman Place. She had wanted to show him the theater because of the performances she had done there while in elementary school.

The weather was overcast all morning and started brief times of sprinkling around noon. It wasn’t until we were home for lunch that it actually rained. The rain was brief but it dropped the temperature a lot and brought up a nice breeze. After the rain the sky became mostly clear but stayed comfortable.

- - -

Aug 14

It is overcast / foggy this morning. Ella has gone to work (8-2) and I work from 3:30 to 10 this evening. I’ve got the dishes washed and will go to the store for bread, milk and eggs in a little bit. I want to spend some time reading the RV Travel newsletter before I go.

Friday, August 13, 2010

August 12 & 13

Here is what our marsh looks like when it isn't flooded and part of the lake.

August 12

Today Ella did laundry at the clubhouse while I worked around the North Pole. I took Christmas decorations (from Christmas in July) back over to storage. I picked up a few groceries for lunch tomorrow (corn on the cob and Muscatine melons). As I vacuumed I rearranged some of the furniture to make it a little neater looking. We are really excited about Heather and Mike coming to visit. This will be the first time that Heather has seen where we live. It is also the first time that we get to meet Mike.

- - -

Heather called last night to get directions. We were going through the Dairy Queen drive through when Heather called. I told her that I could give her the address for her GPS but she said she was driving (coming from her mother’s house) and that I could give it to Mike. I told her I was driving and Ella could give it to Mike. He couldn’t find anything to write with so they called back later after they got to Grandma Wilson’s apartment. Grandma is in rehab after suffering double pneumonia.

When she called, I gave Heather driving directions and Ella sent the address for the GPS by text to her iphone.

- - -

The weather report is for severe thunderstorms to our north (up stream) with heavy rain fall. So, even though they aren’t talking about storms here tonight, all that water will be passing through here and adding to the flooding already taking place.

- - -

August 13


And it is a lucky day because Heather and Mike will be here shortly. I have the turkey bacon cooked and the coffee made. I’m ready to start pancakes as soon as they call to say they’re awake.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

August 12 2010

Amazing!  No rain last night.  I've come to expect it - how sad is that?
On Facebook my niece, Aron, posted this photo of the street/stream in front of her house on the east side of Des Moines. 
My ex on the south side was with out power and so the sump pump didn't work and she has/had water in the lower level of the split level.

Heather had posted on Facebook that they had reached Oklahoma City (about 3 hours ago).  They should make it back to Iowa today.  After driving for umpteen hours they'll need to sleep and recover. 

Amber just called while I was writing this blog.  She was on the way to her new house to do some painting.  She is becoming stressed out by the construction delays.  They've given up their apartment lease at the end of this month and the house isn't ready (no toilet) to move into.  Fortunately they have friends in the area that will give them shelter when they become displaced.

The Iowa State Fair starts today.  I have no plans to go though.  The arthritis in my feet curtail doing much walking or standing. And besides that, we have some straighting up to do before Heather & Mike get here.  The 'greats' are like miniature indoor storms and it takes some cleaning after they leave!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Aug 11 2010


Another 3 ½ inches of rain and yes our lake flooded again.
Not far from here three car loads of kids were swept off the road by flood water and one of them drowned in a farm field.
The city of Ames to our north is flooding worse than in 1993. They are currently without city water. The interstate on both sides of Ames is shut down. I’m really getting tired of rain! Enough about the weather!
- - -
Today is Wednesday and you know what that means! That’s right, it’s Pie Rush Wednesday! Only we didn’t make it to Village Inn. We’ve had the “greats” all day and they left just as Great-grandma Ella was going to work. Maybe we can make it after Mrs. Claus gets off work.
- - -
Just a couple more days until Heather and Mike are here. I’ve got the ham bones cooked down to stock that I’ll use for the pea soup. I've cut some nice ham steaks from the ham and I'm going to slow cook the remainder in a crock pot and then shred it like pulled pork. I’ve also told them that I’ll fix pancakes and eggs for breakfast.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Aug 8, 9 & 10

Aug 8th
It is a little after 10p.m. and we're in the basement of the clubhouse.  Some of us are in the locker room and the exercise/laundry area.  Others are upstairs watching the radar on television.  The reason we are here is because there is a severe thunderstorm approaching..
Somehow this seems like the way to end this day.  It started off with us getting ready for church and discovering that the battery in the truck was dead.  Looking around, we noticed that some of our neighbors hadn't left for church yet.  We called Barbara and asked if we could ride with her to church.  At first she misunderstood and thought we wanted her to take us to our church.  We explained that we would like to go with her to her church.  We did.
After church we fixed and ate lunch (spaghetti with Italian sausage), I plugged the charger onto the battery and then had a little rest before we both went to work in the afternoon.  Ella got off at 8pm and I got off at 9pm.
Now here we sit waiting for the storm.  It has started with quite a lightening show.

Aug 9th
We were at the clubhouse until the storm stopped at 3a.m.  An amazing amount of lightening throughout the storm.  Our power flickered off a couple of times but didn't stay off.  Ankeny, Johnston, Clive and the northern part of Des Moines lost power for several hours.  We measured 4 1/2 inches of rain in our gauge.
Cutty's lake overflowed.  I've not seen the water back up this high before.  (seems like I just said that a couple of days ago.)
The water washed a section of our road away.  It lifted the asphalt (1 lane wide and about 60 feet long) and just slid it off the road and folded it like a blanket at the edge of the lake.
The truck started so we went for a drive to let it charge the battery.  We drove up and around Saylorville Lake and stopped at the Prairie Flower fee booth to visit with some friends who work their.  When we got back into the truck it hesitated before it actually started so we drove into Ankeny to O'Rielly's Auto Parts and bought a battery (another $100 that I hadn't counted on).  We also did a little grocery shopping and I had one of our 100# LP tanks filled (another $70).  It has turned out to be extremely hot and humid so we'll spend the rest of the day in air conditioning.

Aug 10
We had another storm in the early A.M. which dropped another 5" of rain.  We did not go to the clubhouse last night and, frankly, we slept through most of it.  We went our and shot some video of the lake which has flooded over again, of course.  Ella just read something on her Blackberry that (written before this mornings rain) said that we are 18" short of being the wettest Summer on record for Des Moines.  We've already beat the record for August.  Well here are the videos.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

August 7, 2010

My second Saturday of the week

This Saturday was even better than yesterday. I didn’t go anywhere or do anything all day long. I worked some more on the Dragon Moon story that I’m publishing on my other blog:

I fixed poached salmon for lunch before Ella went to work. I made a sauce of orange juice, sugar, cayenne pepper, diced green peppers and chives. I let it cook down to a medium sauce and spooned it over the fish before poaching. I also toasted some barley with baby carrot slices and then cooked it in chicken stock. Added some peeled cucumber spears with vanilla yogurt and dill to the plate and I think it turned out good enough to do again sometime.

I read my daughter Amber’s blog about cooking fish several times a month and it got me in the mood for salmon. She is writing about creating a cookbook for people with IBS. I find that amusing because she’s the only one of my four children who has never had much of an interest in cooking. (2 out of 4 are chefs) I wish her well on the project. I know how difficult it can be to adjust cooking to special needs. Since my heart attack and being diagnosed with pre-diabetes, I’ve been learning to cook with less (or better) fat, sugar and salt. I’ve also gotten back into the habit of eating more fresh fruits.

I grew up on a semi-rural acreage that had all kinds of things to graze on. We had: apples, pears, apricots, plums, cherries, mulberries, gooseberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, rhubarb and tomatoes still warm from the sun! No wonder I was such a skinny kid! I ate all the time but it was fresh off the tree or bush.