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Remembering Summer – the Iowa State Fair

September 2, 2014


It has been awhile since I have posted… It has been a difficult stretch.  Back in winter I found out I had prostate cancer.  Then shortly after that  my mother-in-law fell and broke her hip.  She was 90 and a healthy woman.  But, two surgeries took a heavy toll on her.  She passed in May.  That gave me a few weeks to help get the estate in order and the house ready to sell.  She lived 90 miles away so it took time to go back and forth.  Anyway, I had 4 weeks to get things done because I had my cancer surgery in early June.  Since then, I have been in recovery mode.  With so much going on, my mind has not been on the blog.  Now I am back.

I will begin by remembering summer and some of the beautiful things in life.  First on the list – going to the Iowa State Fair in mid-August.


I will start with a few photos of animals.  The Iowa State Fair has great throngs of people making their way through buildings filled with animals.


The Fair has everything… cows, sheep, horses, pigs, chickens, rabbits, llamas and more.  I will only show a small part of what I took in that day.  Hopefully, these photos bring back memories for you.  Maybe you have been to a fair and enjoyed a day of wandering through the buildings looking at animals and eating all crazy foods on a stick.  I’m not sure which is more popular – the animals or the eating.  But, I bet if there was a poll, the food would win out.  Anyway, for now, enjoy the animals. :)





Dogs Like to Dress Up Too

December 18, 2013

The World’s Top 10 Best Images of Dogs in elf Costumes

Its that time of year…  Some are taking stock of the year – have they been naughty or nice?

Others see it as a great time to see the family – here come all those relatives that have moved all over the country.

Others see it as a wonderful time to remember the true traditions of Christmas – the birth of the Christ child, the three wise men and Christmas music.

Others look forward to all the football bowl games.

It is also a time for dressing up the pouch.  I thought I would share some really cute photos of dogs decked out for the holidays.  Click below to see some awesome dog photos… and enjoy a few laughs.

The World’s Top 10 Best Images of Dogs in elf Costumes.

Iowa – The Land of Legos

December 11, 2013


Illinois is the land of Lincoln and I propose that Iowa is the Land of Legos.  I know, I know… other states have Legos too.  But, I think the photo above proves my point beyond any doubt.  I took this photo at the place that is about as Iowa as any place on earth – the Iowa State Fair.

Maybe my Iowa Lego hype is overstated.  Actually, Legos are wildly popular and this is not limited to Iowa or even the United States.  Here are some surprising Lego facts.  (Thanks Alisa Weinstein!)

— Children spend 5 billion hours a year playing with LEGO sets (worldwide).

— Over 400 million people worldwide have played with LEGOs.

— Over 400 billion LEGO pieces have been produced since 1949.  That’s enough to reach from the Earth to the Moon ten times.

— Enough LEGO pieces are sold in one year to circle the world 5 times.

All our kids liked Legos and it appears the grandchildren also enjoy Legos.  That lead to some questions.

How many of you have built things with Legos?  How many have given Legos to their kids?


Have a Great Thanksgiving!

November 27, 2013


Happy Thanksgiving!!

Before we all gather around the table and eat, I thought I would share some background on the holiday.

Our Thanksgiving holiday has its roots in early Puritan history.  Prior to 1536 the Catholic world had 95 Church holidays in addition to the 52 Sundays where people were required to go to church.  Church reforms reduced the number church holidays but the some Puritans wished to completely eliminate all Church holidays, including Christmas and Easter.  Days of Fasting or Days of Thanksgiving were to replace the many church holidays – Fasting when there were disasters, droughts or threats to society and Thanksgiving feasts to celebrate victories.

The U.S. Thanksgiving holiday seems to have started in the 1620’s in Plymouth Colony.  Pilgrims and Puritans continued Days of Fasting or Days of Thanksgiving.  Over the years, the Thanksgiving tradition evolved into an annual harvest festival and it became a regular event in the 1660’s.  The politicians eventually got into the act and all U.S. Presidents have given Thanksgiving messages.


Fortunately, many of the best aspects of the Thanksgiving celebration have survived through the centuries.  Families get together and re-connect.  People reflect on their blessings and offer thanks.  And… they enjoy turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, cranberry, good breads, pies, cookies and a wide range of other goodies to numerous to mention.

(I know, these photos do not look like typical Thanksgiving meals… but I like the photos.)

I wish you happiness as you gather with your family.  Be Thankful.

The World’s Top 10 Best Works of Art Made With Pumpkins

October 29, 2013
tags: ,

Click on the link below for some fun pumpkin photos.

Octopus installation made of pumpkins

The World’s Top 10 Best Works of Art Made With Pumpkins.

The Zoo

August 29, 2013


Taking the grandkids to the zoo… what could be more fun?  Recently, we made big plans to visit the Des Moines Blank Park Zoo with our grandkids (and their parents).  They were excited, we were excited.  We put sunscreen on Julia and Liam.  I charged the camera battery.  The temperature was in the low 80s so we were happy to have the mild weather.  We were ready to go!


When we got to the first stop at the zoo I pulled out the camera, got the kids posed, and ……… nothing happened.  I turned the camera off then turned it back on.  Nothing happened.  No lights blinked.  It was dead.  I opened the camera – –  and there was the problem.  I forgot to put the recharged battery back into the camera.

You will need to take my word, we did have a GREAT time.  It was fun to feed the fish and baby goats.  Plus, I did enjoy watching the graceful giraffes and rugged rhinos.  Each year the zoo has expanded and made improvements so it is now an amazing place for the city of Des Moines.  Our time was perfect, even if I forgot the batteries.

passing by

August 16, 2013

Brad Clark:

I am sharing a wonderful poem and photo from another blog…

This comes from a Miamian who seems to come up with words that touch the soul.

Originally posted on Heartafire:

I was not meant to prose
the thickness of toil,
or suffer the madness
of time frames.

A vine climbing a wall in
good time seems appealing.
Pooling drops of rain
in a folded leaf,
embracing rays of sun.

Passers-by might find
wonder in me.
A Reflection of nature,
fragments of beauty.


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