Seen worse

January 31, 2019

Picture from the Iowa Historical Society

Since we are supposed to be over 40 degrees warmer tomorrow and
even warmer for a few days after that I thought one more mention
of winter of 1936 is in order. Some called it the “telephone
wire winter” due to a newspaper article by Jim Pollack that said
Lloyd Keller walked from Clarksville to his job at a college in
Cedar Falls with drifts so tall he touched telephone wires.

For a 36 day stretch that spanned January and February the
average temperature was -2.4 degrees. There was so much snow the
plows couldn’t move it, trains couldn’t push it out-of-the-way
to operate, businesses closed, and ice on the Iowa river near
Rock Falls was 42 inches thick.

About half of all wildlife died, livestock doubled their feed
intake along with drinking more water, farmers couldn’t get
their milk and eggs to market. mail wasn’t delivered, and there
was a coal shortage.

All during the Great Depression. This all happened after a hot
summer in 1936 and before a hot summer in 1937.

We have handled a short cold spell and above average snowfall
this go-round but feel it safe to say we’ve seen worse. And
people will do what has been done in the past and knuckle down
to get it done. Just please don’t pray for warmer weather as God
has a sense of humor and I don’t want a string of 100 degree
summer days coming up.

Enjoy our Thursday and keep warm if you’re still getting bit
by the Polar Vortex. Now I’m having more coffee while I make a
big omelet to keep up my strength.
Comments are always welcome.

Here we go again

January 30, 2019

It seems the older I get the more I get confused. Had someone
ask me yesterday if wind chills were this cold when I was a wee
lad. The younger person who asked that question looked confused
when I stated we didn’t have wind chills when I was growing up.

Back then if it was -20, it was -20. The weather report may
have mentioned wind, or lack of, but it was still -20. Fast
forward to todays weather speak and it looks like this-

It is now -19 with west winds from 10 to 15 mph with gusts to
25 mph and wind chills to -51. Tonights low will be -27 with
west winds from 5 to 10 mph with wind chills to -45. Huh? I’ve
been out a few times this morning and it felt like it was -19.

If it is -19 and windy I put on an extra layer, go out and do
what has to be done, and get back inside. And yes I know about
frostbite. The backside of one ear is still purple from the
experience. I didn’t like it then and am not looking for a

Putting up with colder weather in the winter is a small price
to pay for our beautiful summer days here in Iowa. And spring
will be here before we know it. Of course I’ve also seen snow
here in April so who know what spring will bring.

So our coffee pot is working overtime, there is no danger of
our water pipes freezing, and ourselves and this 109 year old
house will survive the cold spell just fine. Besides, the high
Sunday is supposed to be 40. I am going to look into getting
heat into my office though.

So enjoy our Wednesday and keep warm. Now I need more coffee
and to check the heater on the water pipes.
Comments are always welcome.

Beautiful day

January 29, 2019

Between running to get some things done a stop at Dads place
made for a beautiful day. Sure, it’s below zero and will be
until Friday, but the sky is sky is blue and the critters are

I came home see a flock of about 26 European starlings dive-
bombing the dish we put the cat food in. They flew away as I got
closer and I threw some bird seed on top of the snow figuring
the problem was solved.

When I looked out a little later the pesky birds were back in
the cat food. Usually this isn’t a problem as the feral cats are
around eating. They must be hunkered down somewhere until the
cold goes away.

Meanwhile, over at Dads, mention of the winter of 1936 came up
again as was the summer of 1937. The winter of ’36 was brutal
here in Iowa with cold temperatures and a lot of snow while the
summer of 1937 was the hottest on record.

Dad always mentions how they had to work the horses at night
because working them in the heat of the day would kill them. And
we talked of the wood burning stove in the farmhouse which got
cleaned and stopped being used in the spring whether it was cold
out or not.

We even talked about how good the well water tasted on a hot
day after a day of being in the fields. Tonight the wind chills
are supposed to be around -45 and colder than that on Wednesday
and Thursday. But walking down memory lane as we did warmed us
in a way that nothing else could.

Enjoy our Tuesday as it’ll be a cold here. Now after a slice of
leftover pizza we’re have some cheese and potato soup.
Comments are always welcome.

Trying times

January 28, 2019

Yesterday I went out to move more of the white fluffy love from
above that wasn’t moved before and when finished I went back out
to look to the skies.

In the snow laden clouds I spied a hawk circling around for
something to eat. The hawk was probably 200 yards away and a
ways up. So I did what any other half-crazy skinny oldfart would
do on a cold day and zoomed in.

It was a magnificent creature and I watched in awe at the
graceful predator searching for the next meal. The white sky
made this creature stand out even more than on a clear day. Not
sure what the neighbors thought and didn’t care.

Doesn’t everybody go outside and look up to the sky when they
finish shoveling snow to see what’s there? It was up to about
-3 degrees so weather wasn’t a deterrent. I even tried to get a
picture of mama cat but she wouldn’t move far enough away from
me so I could focus.

It seems mama cat doesn’t realize I’m a dog person at heart. So
after taking the pictures and playing with the cat for a while I
decided my fingers were trying to tell me it was time to go
inside, and I did as I’ve had frostbite before.

Some days when you think you’re having a trying day things like
this happen and change your way of thinking. I know the smile
on my face is still here this morning. Enjoy our Monday as I go
out to remove the white fluffy love from above we received last
night. But first I’m having some coffee with my bacon.
Comments are always welcome.

Sunday snicker

January 27, 2019

A Rabbi and a Priest are driving one day and, by a freak accident, have a head-on collision with tremendous force. Both cars are totally demolished, but amazingly, neither of the clerics has a scratch on him.

After they crawl out of their cars, the rabbi sees the priest’s collar and says, “So you’re a priest. I’m a rabbi.
Just look at our cars.
There is nothing left, yet we are here, unhurt.
This must be a sign from God!”

Pointing to the sky, he continues, “God must have meant that we should meet and share our lives in peace and friendship for the rest of our days on earth.”

The priest replies, “I agree with you completely.
This must surely be a sign from God!”

The rabbi is looking at his car and exclaims, “And look at this!
Here’s another miracle!

My car is completely demolished, but this bottle of Mogen David wine did not break.
Surely, God wants us to drink this wine and to celebrate our good fortune.”
The priest nods in agreement.

The rabbi hands the bottle to the priest, who drinks half the bottle and hands the bottle back to the rabbi.
The rabbi takes the bottle and immediately puts the cap on, then hands it back to the priest.

The priest, baffled, asks, “Aren’t you having any, Rabbi?”
The rabbi replies, “Nah… I think I’ll wait for the police.”

Feeling cheated

January 26, 2019

Listening to those who tell us what they think the weather will
be I was assured we would get 2 inches of snow yesterday and we
got a dusting. I feel cheated. Where’s my snow? These same
people I listen to on TV just said we’d get 2 inches today but
now I’m leery.

There was some good news though. I found the electric heater
that was put away last spring and now have it in the office on
the off-chance I get cold. The low overnight was only -17 and I
have a sweatshirt so it hasn’t been needed yet. Yet I think by
the first part of next week it will be on.

With talk of the wind chills actually hitting -50 a heater
would probably be a good option. Either that or take some of the
furniture out and call it a dance hall instead of an office. I
think I’ll just plug-in the heater.

Today we have a circus at the old Mark and the Rod and Custom
Show at the QCCA Expo Center. We aren’t going to make either
event as I just got thawed out from running an errand and don’t
feel like getting bundled up again.

I’m saving my energy for the snow coming Sunday night into
Monday. If we get 3-4 inches I’ll be busy shoveling. I find it
ironic that one channel claims they tell us what the weather is
going to be like in our neighborhood. They just can’t tell us

Finally I have come up with my version of the no carbs or
sugar challenge. Had a bunch of bacon, eggs, and toast for my
breakfast and washed it down with coffee between doughnut holes.
It’s working for me.

Enjoy our Saturday as I’m sure we will.
Comments are always welcome.

Random thoughts

January 25, 2019

Yes the post is late again and for a good reason. Here on the
east coast of Iowa the outside thermometer topped 0 degrees and
I was enjoying the heat wave. After we finished our weekly
running it was time to enjoy the white fluffy love from above
once again in the warmer climate.

This time it does look to be a dryer snow which should make for
easier removal from the driveway and alley. While out I noticed
the birds where having a get together in a nearby tree but
didn’t want to track up the kitchen to get to my camera.

And I still don’t have heat run into my office. When it’s nice
out, summer time, I just don’t think about it. After all it has
4 walls that keep the weather out and being a bit cooler than
the rest of the house is invigorating. Perhaps I should look
into it since we’re supposed to have colder weather for a while.

Earlier we heard of a new fad challenge that one could eat no
carbs or sugar for 10 days. Not going to happen here. I agreed
with part of the diet as they explained it until they got the
part that said no potatoes or corn. I can’t eat a steak without
a baked potato and corn, it’s unAmerican.

The talking heads also stated that if you took this challenge
you would lose weight including a couple inches off your waist.
I’m 6 foot tall and weigh 154 pounds. I don’t need to lose
anything anywhere. And I’ll leave it there.

Enjoy our Friday as I have our little heat wave. Now I need
more coffee and a Snicker’s to get ready to shovel.
Comments are always welcome.

We made it

January 24, 2019

Yes, we got the alley open to traffic using only shovels as the
snow blower is still down. Cleaning a half block of alley is hard
work by itself in a wet, heavy snow but we sure don’t like to
hear the plow going by as it leaves a mess at the end of the
alley. Good think a neighbor helped.

Neighbors had some work to do also. A short break was in
order so that I could straighten out my back instead of looking
like an old salty redneck out on deck during a typhoon. Once we
finished the beauty of the white fluffy love from above was

From fences to trees everywhere you looked was splashed with
white. The sky was blue, but all else was at least dusted with
the love. There were even a few critters out taking in the
sight. Now things are going to change again.

Tonight we’re told to expect blizzard like conditions with
white outs and it’s not even supposed to snow. It’s a given that
when the temperature drops the winds are going to pick up. Snow
is in the extended forecast and once again we’re told that it
will be a light, fluffy snow.

We fell for that the first couple times but have since became
skeptic. Why not just say the snow is going to be so heavy and
wet we guarantee it will plug up your snow blowers and stick
to your shovels?

Enjoy our Thursday as that means the weekend is just a dream
away. Now for more coffee while I look at the snow out the
Comments are always welcome.

Squirrel weather

January 23, 2019

The forecasted rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow storm has
passed and we ended up with 7 inches of the white fluffy love
from above on top of a layer of ice. Why is that squirrel
weather you ask? Because during the snow I noticed more of the
bushy tailed critters out than I have in a long time. So we’ll
show a few.

This critter was atop a tall stump and just sitting there. At
the time ice could be seen dripping from the rails. He must have
been the lookout. At any rate he sat there the entire time I was

In a nearby stand of trees this critter has his mouth full and
looked to be enjoying the day . Not sure why he’s hugging the
tree as it wasn’t yet slick out.

The same squirrel ventured out on a branch so he could have his
lunch and get a better look at the camera. None of the squirrels
appear scared or cold but were going about their business.

Finally, this one seemed to have a good idea. The dip in the
snow was a windbreak and he was almost hidden by the surrounding
brush. He too was keeping a weary eye on movements around him.

Also saw a murder of crows in a nearby tree but the lighting
was off to get a decent picture. So when I finish this I’ll get
the gear on and try to clear a path to a big lump of white that
looks like it might be hiding the wifes car underneath.

Enjoy our Wednesday as the middle of the week is a good time to
get the driveways and walks shoveled. Now I have to have coffee
before going out to remove the snow.
Comments are always welcome.

Interesting times

January 22, 2019

You don’t have to have a sense of humor to live on the east
coast of Iowa, but it helps. Today we’re told we’re going to get
hit with rain, freezing rain, sleet, and snow and then the temps
will drop. Wind chills to -40 and a zombie apocalypse. Even the
birds are taking off.

Ok, not the zombies but it will make for interesting travel. It
just goes to show God does have a sense of humor too. Of course
the bitter cold will be going on right when we cruise to the store
to get groceries and pet supplies.

Those of us who have lived here long enough usually have enough
staples on hand that we wouldn’t have to venture out for a month,
but it gives us something to do in the early hours of a cold
day. And in this day and age one could find milk or bread at
hour in a pinch.

The last snowfall I had to shovel by hand as our snow blower
wouldn’t start. I haven’t been able to unfreeze the key since
the previous snow storm when the white fluffy love from above
was blowing sideways. I figured it will thaw out by April or
when I get tired of shoveling and bring our a torch.

One thing that never fails to happen in times like these is you
run into somebody who says they wish it was warmer. Noooooo. If
that gets said when summer does roll around we’ll have a bunch
of humid 100 degree days in a row. Think! God has a sense of
humor and a good memory.

So if your area is getting hit with something similar stay
safe. If not, quietly count your blessings. Enjoy our Tuesday
as enjoying it is better than the option. Now for some more
Comments are always welcome.