Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2020

We hope all enjoy it in your own way. Since we learned something today
about how the holiday got started and the woman behind the push to have it, we’ll share it. Sarah Hosepha Hale is said to be the ‘Godmother of Thanksgiving’.

Who you ask? Perhaps you know her nursery ryhme “Mary Had a Little
Lamb”. She was born in 1788 on a farm in New Hampshire and was home
schooled. While growing up there were no female teachers so when she
turned 18 she just started her own private school which she ran until
she met her husband and married in 1813.

Her husband died 9 years later leaving her to care for their 5
children. She opened a woman’s hat shop and later resumed teaching and
writing. 5 years after her husbands death she published her first
novel. Around this time John Blake of Boston read her novel and asked
her to work for him at the ‘American Ladies’ Magazine as the first woman
editor of a magazine in America.

During her time as editor she wrote hundreds of letters to governors,
ministers, newspaper editors, and U.S. presidents requesting that the
last Thursday in November be set aside to “offer to God our tribute of
joy and gratitude for the blessings of the year.”

Finally, in 1863, Abraham Lincoln got a letter during the Civil War
again asking to declare the last Thursday in November a National
Thanksgiving Day. He did so on October 3rd, 1863 and also ordered all
government offices in Washington closed for the day.

Sarah Josepha Hale enjoyed over a dozen Thanksgiving days before her
death in 1879 at the age of 90. In 1939 President Franklin Roosevelt
moved the holiday to the third Thursday in November after businesses
complained they wanted more shopping days between Thanksgiving and
Christmas.

People celebrated on the last Thursday of November anyway and when
FDR realized his mistake he moved the holiday back to the last Thursday
in November. And now we know.

Enjoy our Wednesday and Thanksgiving tomorrow. Now for some coffee.
Comments are always welcome.


Another decent day

September 25, 2020

Here on the east coast of Iowa the sky was full of clouds with
differing shapes and thickness yesterday. There was blue sky to be seen at certain times yet even with the clouds it was a bright day.

Been looking for the latest batch of feral kittens and as I
walked around the neighborhood I found them. They were behind the
old warehouse between the fence and back of the building.

What we call the ‘warehouse’ is actually part of an old barn that
burned down years ago and someone put a pitched roof over the
sandstone foundation. A local contractor used the building to store
his heavy equipment in so it was named the warehouse.

The barn actually goes back to the late 1800s and was part of a
small farm with the farm house across the alley from our place. The house is still there also. In the early 20th century the land was sub-divided and houses built. But I digress.

Here’s another shot of the orange kitten with her gray sibling
taking a nap in front of her. The kittens are still skittish so can
only get a few shots at a time.

Enjoy our Friday as we will now that we have the groceries put away.
Now for more coffee.
Comments are always welcome.


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
5.

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.


Here we go again

March 4, 2020

With politicians running for office claiming that the ‘climate
crisis’ is what they will tackle first if elected, let’s take a walk
down Memory Lane to look at how many times the government has cried wolf on the subject.

Remember in 1967 when we were told of a severe famine by 1975?

Or 1970 when the government warned us that urban citizens would have to wear gas masks by 1985?

In 1971 we were warned of a new Ice Age by 2020.

How about in 1974 when the alarm sounded about ozone depletion
would be a peril to life as we know it?

Or 1976 when scientists said the planet was cooling and famines were
imminent?

In 1980 acid rain was supposed to kill life in all lakes.

1988 was the year we were told of regional droughts in the 1990s,
AND that Washington, D.C. would see record high temperatures.

In 2000 we were warned that our children wouldn’t know what snow
was.

Then in 2002 we were warned of another famine in 10 years if we
didn’t stop eating fish, meat, and chicken.

In 2004 a warning that Britain would be the new Siberia by 2024.

The warning in 2005 claimed Manhattan would be underwater by 2015.

In 2008 Al Gore predicted the Arctic would be ice free by 2013.

Or one of my favorites, in 2014 we were warned there were only 500
days away from a ‘climate crisis’.

So excuse me if the latest climate crisis claims don’t get me in the
mood to pay more taxes so the government can ‘fix’ the problem. There is no problem. Instead of trying to scare us into paying more taxes for unjustified causes how about reducing governmental waste and passing term limits.

Enjoy our Wednesday and watch out for camels. Now for some coffee
and bacon.
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.


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.


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.


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.


Remember…

December 7, 2018

On this date 77 years ago Pearl Harbor was attacked and after
just 90 minutes 2,386 American servicemen died and 1,139 were
injured. Although few are left that were there that day we
cannot forget them.


While some were sleeping

September 28, 2018

We’re not going to comment on the current workings of our
lawmakers in Washington, D.C. Instead we wish to focus on an
event that took place during another administration. So let’s
see if we can make sense of something that makes no sense to us.

In September of 2013 the worlds largest hog farm and pork
processor in the world, Virginia based Smithfield Foods was
bought by Shuanghui International Holdings. Shuanghui is the
biggest meat processor in China. And the Obama administration
condoned the sale.

At the time concern about a Chinese company controlling a major
U.S. meat supplier was voiced and the administration downplayed
said concerns. If you haven’t heard of Smithfield perhaps you’ve
heard of Farmland, Armour, John Morrell, Kretschmar, Curly’s,
Carando, Cook’s, Margherita, Gwaltney or Healthy Ones.

The above mentioned firms are the brands Smithfield products
are sold as. The meat stays here and is processed here yet the
profits go to the Chinese company. Said foreign company now
controls nearly all the bacon, sausage, and ham sold in our
country and owns 25% of all pigs in America.

So here’s what bothers us. In 2005 the United States Gross
Domestic Product (GDP) was $13 trillion and was six times bigger
than China’s GDP that year. If we fast forward to 2017 our GDP is
only 1.6 times larger than China. At this rate China is expected
to beat our numbers by 2029.

And if we look at purchasing Power Parity (PPP), China is
already ahead of us as of 2015. For the last 140 years America
has had the biggest economy but that may not last much longer.
There is more to the story and we’ll finish it next week. This
is one segment of a growing problem for us and the future of our
country.

We’ll leave it at that and you can draw your own conclusions.
For now, enjoy our Friday as here on the east coast of Iowa it’s
going to get chilly tonight.
Comments are always welcome.