Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Father’s Day Week-end

Chuck with sons Brent and Eric(Jan) I got to spend a special day Sunday with my dad & mom, my husband, my brother, sister-in-law and two of my three sons and their families on Father’s Day.  We had wanted to have a picnic but with a 90% chance of rain we moved inside to the party room at my parent’s apartment facility, the Swan House. We had a good time having everyone together; shared some great stories, Ryan played guitar for us and we made plans to be together again for our niece Susan’s wedding in August.

Brent and Donna's clematis Tuesday Chuck and I had another fun day as we headed over east to visit a Boomer friend.  We stopped at Brent and Donnas' house first, though, and got to join their family at lunch time; wonderful meal and a wonderful welcome on very short notice.  We had just found out that a Boomer friend, Patsy Cook, was at Little Wall Lake north of Ames and we wanted to catch her before she moved on. It was sure good seeing her and sharing travel stories. Patsy, you look great!  Happy Travels! We were also glad to visit Little Wall Lake as it is a very nice county park and close to the kids and grandkids in Ames.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Sun, Rain, Heat and life in the Corn Belt

DTN stormtracker westhermap (Jan)A popular response when one complains about the rain or heat here in the Midwest is, “It will make the corn grow”. The top two factors of raising a bountiful corn crop are 1. getting enough moisture and 2. not getting too much moisture. With the rainfall in the past 2 weeks we’re definitely veering towards #2. Flooding and water standing in fields in Iowa has become a big concern.

The National Weather Service's five-day precipitation forecast shows a bull's-eye over Iowa.  Meteorologists predict a chance of rain every day through Tuesday in Des Moines, and with the ground already saturated, they say this could lead to more flooding. Large areas of the state are expected to get 3 inches of rain over the next five days, said Harry Hillaker, the state climatologist. Some areas near the center of the state could get 4 inches or more. The statewide average for rainfall in the first 16 days this month was 5.65 inches, Dad and Louie enjoying accordian music in the lounge in their wheelchairsmore than double the normal rate. Normal precipitation for the state in the entire month of June is 4.64 inches, and the state has already topped that, with a rainy period still to come. Stay tuned!

On a more personal front, we’ve been spending time down at the farm, at Yellowsmoke Park and at Swan Lake. Days consist of visiting with my parents and tending to their needs. My mom is back at the Swan House after 2.5 weeks in the hospital and her leg is mending nicely.  Dad continues to struggle with heart and kidney problems but still manages to get to meals in the dining room plus exercise class and other activities on his Hoveround.

Chuck & I have been blessed with good friends who we have been with at Yellowsmoke and Swan Lake.

hollowed out log fire Our friend Jim built this fun camp fire using a hollowed out log,  Thanks to our friend Edna for capturing this night time photo. Jan and JerriJan and Jerri sitting out one evening between rains. Photo by our friend Mary
 Jim, Tom, Lynn and ChuckJim, Tom, Lynn and Chuck waiting for the pork chops on the grill; another of Mary’s excellent photos  
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Enjoying the campfire with the Odendahls,
Phillips and

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Life changes in a heart beat

(Jan) We were at Yellowsmoke Park near Denison when we got the call at 6:45 A.M.  My Mom had fallen and broken her leg just inches from her hip so we headed out to the hospital in Carroll.  My brother Glen and I were with mom while Chuck went over to the Swan House to be with dad. Mom had surgery by 11:15; Dr. Delaney aligned the break and put a rod in her femur.  After a tough first week, her progress is markedly better and dad is doing okay, too. We take him up to the hospital to visit every other day which takes lots of energy but he’s happy he can still manage. Today my sister Linda and niece and nephew Janae and Tom are coming to visit.  busy campground; looking toward the lakelooking toward Swan Lake

Chuck and I relocated our MH to Swan Lake State Park just 2 miles from the hospital.  Since we arrived the Wednesday before Memorial Day we felt very fortunate to get a space in this Park which was crowded to overflowing on the week-end. It’s a pretty place with an excellent walking path around the lake. We had rainy weather on Sunday night but by Monday the weather was sunny and the campground was largely deserted and very peaceful.  

soybeanscorn fieldIt has rained several times this past week and area farmers are happy that their crops are getting watered; almost all crops in the midwest U.S. rely on rainfall and are not irrigated.  These healthy soybean and corn fields are adjacent to Swan Lake.  The residue you see between the rows from last year’s crop helps build healthy soil and holds the moisture in the field.

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