Saturday, February 25, 2012

2012 February 25

Predawn to first light this morning.
Plus a short video from yesterday after the snowfall.

Friday, February 24, 2012

2012 February 24

Nice fresh snow to replace that last tiny bit that the rain washed away yesterday!
Snow is so fresh that only two rabbits and one vehicle have made tracks in it.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

2012 February 23

The day began gray and completely overcast.  Now it is raining.  The snow that we had received a while back had melted down except in deep shadows of where it had been scooped and piled.  I’m thinking this rain my take the rest of it. 
And now for the rest of the story. …  The forecast is for this rain to switch over to a rain/snow mix and then to snow later today and tonight.  The predicted total is between two to five inches.
            Ella went in for a follow up eye exam today.  It was February 13th that she had the first cataract removed.  The second one is scheduled for March 5th.  They are also implanting plastic lenses so she may not need glasses except possibly to read.  The exam was good so the second surgery is on track.
            We left the house at about one fifteen to go to Wolfe Eye Clinic and it was just starting to change over to snow.  It is five now and it is snowing large wet flakes.  However, nothing is sticking to the wet ground.

MMMMM Lemon Creme Cake topped with French Vanilla Ice Cream and drizzled with chocolate and strawberry syrups!
Busy and L--O--N--G day yesterday.  Wednesdays are usually busy but this was Ash Wednesday which added an extra event.
We were up well before dawn and I snapped a couple pictures on our way to the grandson's where we were babysitting.

The sky was starting to become lighter (though not as light as this photo makes it appear) by the time we got to his townhouse.  It was still about a half an hour before sunrise.
We actually arrived before Nathan had left for work. Since this was his birthday, we got to wish him a Happy Birthday in person.  Normally he has just left when we arrive.  And NO the girls aren't left alone.  On Mondays and Tuesdays their mother  doesn't drop them off at his place until around seven thirty.  And besides, Beth is there getting ready for school and work.
Wednesdays are special because Charlotte's school has late starts on Wednesdays.  That means we get to spend more time with her before school.
Wednesdays are also the mornings when our Men's Bible Study meets at eight thirty.  We had a surprise there yesterday also, our friend Bob had some sort of attack/seizure/spell.  We were sitting around the table watching a lesson on DVD when he started laying his head on the table.  Most of us thought that he was just bored with the speaker (British and monotoned).  But then he kind of flopped his head back in the chair and started to stand up.  A couple of the guys got a hold of him and kept him from falling.  He was only partial coherent and his pulse was thready.  We quickly called 911.
I also called our church prayer chain.  One of the guys tried calling Bob's wife, Julie but was unable to reach her.  They did get a hold of one of her friends who said that they would try calling her work and emailing her.
I went outside to wait for the ambulance and direct them to the correct door.  They arrived within just a very few minutes.  The paramedics examined him and asked him some questions then loaded him on a gurney and moved him to the ambulance.  They worked on him while still sitting in the parking lot for five to ten minutes then took off for the hospital.
Later Julie posted on FaceBook that they kept him overnight and were going to do an EKG in the morning.  There was talk of fitting him with a defibrillator or pacemaker.
After that excitement, I went back to Nathan's.  By this time Ella had taken Charlotte to school and was just keeping an eye on Lorelia, who does not have preschool on Wednesdays.
Her Aunt Audrie came after work at about noon to take over watching her.
From there Ella and I stopped at Village Inn for lunch with pie.
We then went to our church where we are helping with the middle school kids in our after school program.  The program is over a five and is followed by a community supper.  Normally we would go home after the supper.  This, however, was Ash Wednesday and there was a service at seven.  So we stayed.
One of our friends, Carl, who often helps with the after school program was running the dishwasher after the meal.  I heard him tell someone that he was going to need to leave before it got dark because he had ridden his bicycle and didn't want to be on the streets after dark.  He lives about four or five miles from the church.
I asked if he wanted to stay for the service and let Ella and I take him and his bike home afterward.  He was delighted.
Over the last several years we have partnered with another United Methodist Church in the area and shared services on Ash Wednesday, Maundy
 Thursday and Good Friday.  This was our year to host the Ash Wednesday service.  So we got a chance to visit briefly with some of our friends from that congregation before leaving to take Carl home.
Rudolf, our truck was extremely low on gasoline.  With the price having reached nearly $3.50 a gallon for the ethanol blend (cheapest), I thought it was worth going slightly out of our way to stop at Sam's Club for gas and get our club discount.
We were just pulling into Sam's when we received a call from our friend, Lyn, to ask if we were going to go to Village Inn for pie.
Of course we would go for more pie.  So we told here that we'd meet her there.
All in all, it was about eleven when we returned home.
Kramer the cat quickly pointed out that she was low on food and out of water.  I apologized and remedied that situation before climbing into bed.

And then I awoke at four o'clock this morning and was unable to sleep.  So, I've written this extremely long post.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

2012 February 21

A Typical Day

“The time is five forty-five, the temperature is twenty-seven with a predicted high of forty-five,” thus saith the talking alarm.  I was awake but not quick enough to miss hearing the high pitched beeps that follow the spoken alarm.  I swing my legs off the bed and pull myself to a seated position.  Grabbing the smart phone I fumble to tap the little icon that disables the alarm.  Unfortunately when picking the phone from the shelf, my thumb chose the ‘snooze’ without regard to my wants.
In the mean time, Ella is having her battle with her alarm which is now playing a tune sung by clucking chickens.  (and NO! it isn't as funny as it sounds like it should be!)
The next task to accomplish is perhaps the most difficult physical activity of my day, putting on my socks.  I no longer have the flexibility to either bend my back or comfortably bend my legs, so now my feet remain just slightly out of reach.  Over the years I have developed a system where I lay back on the bed and bring one leg up in a half lotus position.  (Opps! Missed and hit the snooze button again!) Once I have my leg on the bed, I force myself back to a seated position.  From here I can start the sock over foot.  Once I’ve repeated the process with the other foot, I can continue to get dressed.
Now, dressed and toilet functions cared for, I start breakfast.  Coffee comes first, of course.  Two slices of oat nut bread are dropped down in the toaster. (Yes! Finally!  Canceled the alarm!)  Two slices of thick cut maple cured bacon are microwaved to nice and crisp.
By now Ella is up and dressed so it is time to prepare two eggs over easy.  Once seated, we hold hands and say a blessing on the food and the day, then we pray for our family and friends.  We eat and take our morning meds, which is almost a second meal.  Soon it is time to leave.
Traffic is light on the interstate as we make our way into the city around six-fifteen.  Other than tractor/trailers full of livestock and a few people who should have been at work at six we are nearly alone until we get to our exit in Des Moines.  
We don’t actually go INTO Des Moines and instead head north to Ankeny and our grandson’s townhouse.  We’re on our way to babysit with the great granddaughters.  
We enjoy them so much!  Since the great granddaughters are in the same age group as our younger seven grandkids, we can imagine that they are all doing similar things. Sort of grandkids by proxy.
Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays we watch at  least the youngest of the greats until about noon.  Wednesdays we go from Ankeny to Des Moines where we help with our church's after school program.  The program ends at five with a family meal that includes the kids as well as their parents who come to pick them up.

Monday, February 20, 2012

2012 February 20

We spent the morning babysitting with both of the great granddaughters.

2012 February 19

I  preached this morning at our home church, Union Park UMC.  No one threw rotten fruit, so I guess it went okay. (grin)  If you are curious, you can watch my practice video here.  It's about twenty minutes long.