Early nickle tour

July 2, 2020

Well it’s a beautiful, albeit hot, day here on the east coast of
Iowa and it looks like it will stay that way through the weekend.
With the 4th of July coming up Saturday we hear the nightly song of
those who set off fireworks.

Some of these fireworks aren’t bad while others sound like something
fired from a cannon and even shake the ground. But soon these will
be a thing of the past and forgotten until New Year’s Eve. And even
though the city sponsored fireworks has been cancelled we should
have some pictures of some near our place.

Independence Day is an annual celebration commemorating the
Declaration of Independence even though the declaration was signed
on July 2, 1776, it was not declared until July 4, 1776.

Usually the holiday is celebrated with fireworks, parades, barbecues,
carnivals, fairs, concerts, baseball games, and family reunions; we
feel 2020 may look slightly different. Many events are cancelled yet
we’ll still celebrate.

In 1777, 13 gunshots were fired in salute, once in the morning and
once again as night fell.

In 1779, July 4 fell on a Sunday so was celebrated on Monday, July

In 1870, Congress made Independence Day an unpaid federal holiday,
and in 1938 Congress changed it to a paid federal holiday.

And that ends the nickle tour of our Independence Day. Enjoy our
Thursday as that means the weekend is only a dream away. Now for
more coffee and leftover pizza.
Comments are always welcome.

Just to clarify…

May 23, 2020

Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor those who died in the
service to our country. It is not correct to tell a veteran “Happy
Memorial Day”. We veterans have our own day and we hope everyone
remembers those who gave their all on their day.

Memorial Day is also the unofficial start of summer here in our
country. We hope the National cemeteries are filled with flags on
the day we mourn the fallen.

Once called Decoration Day, the observance began being called
Memorial Day in the late 1800s. After World War I the name Memorial
Day was more common. And in May, 1968, Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, which moved 4 holidays from their traditional dates to a specified Monday.

Memorial Day was moved from May 30th to the last Monday in May. It
became a federal holiday in 1971. And that is our nickel tour of
this remembrance day. We can never forget that freedom isn’t free.

Tomorrow we’ll have a snicker that might be considered funny by
some, or at least a few. We try.
Comments are always welcome.

Late update

December 28, 2019

173 years ago today Iowa became a state. Iowa sits between the
Mississippi River to the east and the Missouri River and Big Sioux
River to the west. The largest city, Des Moines, is also the State
Capital. And it is said the state got its name from the Ioway people
who were one of the many Native American tribes that lived here.

Iowa has a population of 3,156,145. Crops cover 60% of the state,
grasslands cover 30%, forests cover 7%, and urban areas and water
cover 1% each. Over a 30 year span the state averages 47 tornados a
year. And we call it home.

Today on the east coast of Iowa we are having a wet day. Didn’t see
any sun but the rain has been on and off. We’re told when all is
said and done we will get about an inch of rain by 8 am tomorrow.

So the feral cats aren’t out running around and the birds have
been quiet. Read earlier in the Farmer’s Almanac that his winter
will be a polar coaster. Didn’t know what that meant then but have
since be given an idea.

The daily highs have been up and down like a yo-yo and both rain
and snow are in the extended forecast. Guess it’s time to get some
gas for the snow blower. After all, January is just around the corner
and will bring a new year with it.

Enjoy the rest of our Saturday. Now for some coffee and pizza.
Comments are always welcome.

Something different

December 13, 2019

Since I couldn’t decide between two posts today I picked one and
looked at the other. The winner is a little winter and Christmas
folklore. Some you may know but we hope some you don’t.

We’ll start with winter lore:

If snow begins at mid of day, expect a foot of it to lay.

When snow melts off the roof, the next storm will be rain. When
snow blows off, reckon on snow.

Heavy frosts are generally followed by fine, clear weather.

When snow falls in the mud, it remains all winter.

Now the Christmas lore:

Green Christmas, white Easter.

If ice will bear a man before Christmas, it will not bear a mouse

A windy christmas is a sign of a good year to come.

If at Christmas ice hangs on the willow, clover may cut at Easter.

When Christmas Eve is clear, our Lord will give us an abundance of
wine and corn.

And on a different note, something found out about a certain
Christmas tree ornament. I hadn’t heard of the Christmas pickle or
known anything about it until today. I know, I’ve lived a sheltered

The tradition of putting a gerkin shaped ornament on the tree with
the others is said to date back to the 19th century here in the
U.S. of A. Folklore has it that the first person to find said
Christmas pickle got to open the first present or good fortune in
the following year.

Some say the idea originated in a Civil War prison camp when a
prisoner asked a guard for pickle as he was starving. The guard
gave the prisoner the pickle and saved his life. When he returned
to his family after the war he began a tradition of hiding a pickle
on their Christmas tree every year.

That’s so crazy it may just be true. Enjoy our Friday. Now for some
more coffee and for some reason I’m hungry for a pickle.
Comments are always welcome.

Take a moment

December 7, 2019

78 years ago today we were attacked at Pearl Harbor and over 2,000
lost their lives. We must never forget.

The day

September 11, 2019

Eighteen years ago today we were attacked on our own soil and as a result 2,996 were killed and over 6,000 were injured. It was a day when America reacted as one and we banded together as a nation to offer comfort and aid to those who needed it.

The terrorist group al-Queda was behind the attacks and if they thought these attacks would leave us running scared, they were wrong. Most of us old enough to remember the event also remember where we were when we heard.

I was at a shop hanging a quarter panel on a ’54 Chevy when the news came through. Needless to say the shop didn’t get much done after the= news. We watched the tragedy unfold, the towers fall, and heard the stories of the heroism of first responders and those about to die.

The attack started at 8:46 am (EDT) and the second tower fell at 10:28 am (EDT) but the news coverage continued. Now we know that first responders who weren’t killed during the attack succome to terrible illnesses and are having issues still.

So we are going to have a moment of silence to show we haven’t forgot and will never forget. Enjoy our Wednesday even though it falls on the day of these terrible attacks now 18 years in the past. Now for some coffee.
Comments are always welcome.

You ever wonder about…

June 8, 2019

A lot of us grew up watching cartoons on Saturday morning and I’ve learned some interesting things about one of my personal favorites, Popeye. The character was created by Elzie Crisler Segar in 1928 in Chester, Illinois. He started out in the comic strip “Dice Island” in 1929 as a sailor for hire.

I did not know Popeye was based on a real person. Frank “Rocky” Fiegal was born in 1868 and was a local legend in his hometown of Chester, Illinois. He was a lot stronger than he looked, smoked a pipe, didn’t back down from a fight, had a squinty (or missing) right eye, and at times butchered the English language when he spoke.

If you watched Popeye you remember Olive Oyl. Her character was also based on a real person. Dora Paskel owned a general store in Chester, was tall and thin, dressed like the cartoon character, and her gravestone is engraved with the face of Olive Oyl.

Remember “I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today”? That’s right, J. Wellington Wimpy was based on J. William Schuchert who ran the local theater and at one time was Segars boss. He was not a cheap person but did have a love of hamburgers and round shape.

And I also didn’t know that the first “Popeye the Sailor” cartoon was part of the Betty Boop shorts. So now we know the real Popeye didn’t live on the island of Sweethaven, but in Illinois.

Enjoy our Saturday and try not to think about old cartoons. Now for some coffee and a cookie.
Comments are always welcome.

We must remember

June 6, 2019

Today is the 75th anniversary of D-Day, an operation that involved 150,000 soldiers and 195,700 naval personnel, that began the liberation of German occupied France. Allied casualties were over 10,000 with 4,414 confirmed dead.

And while I was watching the morning news one of the talking heads stated that our kids today believe we fought with the Germans against the Russians! I certainly hope that isn’t true.

Later in the program they profiled a Native American who became a combat nurse and served during that time and treated casualties of the invasion. Yet when she returned home there were no parades or fanfare, only signs in businesses in her home town that said ‘Indians and Dogs Not Allowed!’

We must remember and pass our knowledge on to our children and grand children so they remember after we’re gone. Today we are 75 years separated from D-Day and we don’t have many left who can say they were there. Sadly, in my lifetime there will be none.

And if you’re having a bad day think about the 18 year old boys who jumped off the LSTs and stormed the beach 75 years ago today. We owe them our freedom and respect so the least we can do is remember them.

Comments are always welcome.

Memorial day

May 27, 2019

Happy Valentine’s Day

February 14, 2019

This day is celebrated annually around the world yet is not a public
holiday in any country of the world. It originated as a Christian day
of feast to honor Saint Valentinus and is a cultural, religious
celebration of romance.

Stories include a written account of St. Valentine when the Romans
imprisoned him for performing weddings for soldiers and ministering to
Christians. Soldiers couldn’t marry in the Roman Empire and ministering
to Christians was persecuted. Legend claims that Saint Valentine
restored the sight to the blind daughter of his judge and he wrote her
a letter signed “Your Valentine” as a farewell.

Today the celebration has come to include cards, candy, flowers, and
jewelry. In 2010 an estimated 15 million e-Valentines were sent as we
are also well into the computer age.

It is said that the verse “Roses are red” can be traced back to
Edmund Spenser’s “The Faerie Queene”(1590)-

She bath’d with roses red, and violets blew.
And all the sweetest flowres, that in the forrest grew.

Before my time so I can’t swear all that is true but Happy Valentine’s
Day! Enjoy our Thursday as we will. Now I need some coffee to get my
strenght up for more shoveling.
Comments are always welcome.