Summertime

After a wet cold spring , we were all kinda wondering if summer would ever get here.

It did. This week.

And not just the weather! (Which is really hot and humid…)

We had our first guests of the season – 2 of my sisters, one soon-to-be-niece-in-law, one niece and her bff. (best friend forever)DSC_0218

Can you say shopping?! At a thrift store of course!

Pedro wasn’t here – he spent the week house sitting for a friend, leaving Buddy as the lone male in a house full of girls while Jan was at work.

So of course the the electric fence charger got knocked down in the mud, the entire fence was down, all the cows got out, and the water tank sprang a leak.

Oh – and we had a baby calf!

belted galloway calf

We miss you Pedro. Come home. Now.

We planted two more rows of sweet corn, two more rows of green beans, and lots of herbs. Still no weeding though. Maybe next week…

And we enlarged my flower bed!

DSC_0224

Okay – so it may not be the flower garden of my dreams – it is twice as big as last year!

Baby steps are still progress. 🙂

Don’t you think the wire fence adds to the charm and beauty of the scene?! Not. But it is a necessary evil to keep the silly chickens and cats out until the flowers get established.

Speaking of cats – we also had our first litter of kitties for the season. Still haven’t found them though.

And to top it all off – we’re packing for our annual family camping trip.

There’s just something about sleeping bags and Hershey bars and bug spray that says “Hello – it’s summer!”

Oh – and did I mention that it’s hot and humid?

 

It Must be Spring…

It Must be SpringIt must be spring in the Midwest.

One day we’re hanging laundry outside in short sleeves with the windows open.

The daffodils are poking out of the ground and the rhubarb is up.

The next day there’s that nasty white stuff in the forecast.

You know the stuff I mean – it starts with an s and rhymes with “at least we won’t have to mow!”

It’s the word that brings great excitement and celebration in the fall – but feels like a slap in the face at the end of March.

I really can’t complain though – our neighbors to the north have had it much, much worse. One friend in Minnesota said she has never been so excited to see dead grass because it meant the snow was finally gone.

She spoke to soon – they had another 7 inches overnight.

The only good thing about a spring snow is that it won’t last long.

The flowers know it – they’re blooming anyway.

The robins know it – they keep building their nests.

Even Wal-Mart knows it – they have their swimsuits and flip flops on display!

I guess we all know how very fickle March can be!

Today the furnace is running – but soon the windows will be open again.

We’ll be able to pack the winter coats and stocking caps away and the kids will be digging out their t-shirts and sunscreen!

Meanwhile, we’ll just brush the snow off the Easter Bunny and be thankful that April is only a week away!

Photo by Anne Burgess

Well, Maybe Not

Snow

Okay, I lied.

It wasn’t intentional. I told you all that spring had finally arrived in the country.

Then it snowed. Again. And again.

Truthfully, it felt like spring had arrived for several days. I took walks with no jacket. We hung laundry on the line. I listened to the birds singing.

Then a cold front came through. The wind picked up. The temperature dropped and winter returned.

Then it snowed – again.

Family living further north had even more snow – up to 2 feet!

We laid aside the spring jackets and short sleeves as we pulled out the parkas and the ski gloves, again.

It reminds me of this Robert Frost poem…

The sun was warm but the wind was chill.
You know how it is with an April day
When the sun is out and the wind is still,
You’re one month on in the middle of May.
But if you so much as dare to speak,
A cloud comes over the sunlit arch,
A wind comes off a frozen peak,
And you’re two months back in the middle of March.

Robert Frost (1874–1963)
Two Tramps in Mud Time (1936)

(Photo by wahp1)

Iowa Floods of 2008

Farm land floodingThe situation is almost unbelievable here in Iowa. Continual rains, storms every other night with wicked winds, tornadoes, and massive rainfall.

We’ve seen lots of flooding in farm fields, which then runs off to the creeks, which run to small rivers, which run into the major rivers which are now flooding; the Cedar River, the Iowa River, the Raccoon River and the Granddaddy of them all, the Des Moines River.

My parents live on a hill overlooking the West Fork of the Cedar River. They’ve seen flooding all over the county. Here’s an excerpt from my mom’s recent e-mail:

Flooding“Monday…The water was highest that we had ever seen. It was over Hwy 3 between the bridge and Dumont and then at the main corner into Dumont. Was not down until Tues PM. Water was also over the blacktop at the bridge on the way to Kesley. Bristow was closed in with water and the Butler County Sheriff was advising that no one should travel in the county.

We were “high & dry” except for the “Dungeon Suite” (the basement bedroom) which had several moats running to the drain.

When we stepped out the door on Monday we could hear the water rushing. It sounded like rapids on a river
or like the sound we heard when we were walking towards Niagra Falls!!

Right now, Greene’s main street is under water, Waverly is flooded, Clarksville is flooded, New Hartford & Shell Rock are flooded and Cedar Falls is under water in the area of the ice house museum. A RR bridge was knocked down and hit a high way bridge in Waterloo. Mason City’s water treatment plant was down and it will be until Thursday before there will be drinking water…

Thanking the Lord for the “Prairie Hill” and for His promise to give strength to endure in all…”

The water is starting to go down around them for now, and it’s all heading downstream causing flooding everywhere it flows.

An added perspective, every year we tube down the West Fork just down from Mom and Dad’s. The last few years it was so shallow that we had to walk most of it, there wasn’t enough to float a tube!

The Des Moines River was so low last July 4th that at our annual camp-out near Fort Dodge several of us actually walked right across the river!

All of Iowa had more rain last night, including the deadly tornado near Little Sioux. There’s no where for the water to go anymore.