Good News Day

Neighbor Bob makes hay

Neighbor Bob makes hay

Yesterday was a very good day for us.  It was one of those days that you check mark on the wall calendar.  (Or do you do that?)

I always look forward to neighbor Bob cutting our lower [used to be] lawn for hay.  It saves me a couple hours and a gallon of diesel each week of the mowing season.  It will feed his beef cattle.  It’s a very good deal for both of us.

On the way out the drive, I stopped at the mailbox.  I handed the contents to Sylvia.  She opened one envelope.  It was from our mortgage company.  Inside was a small check for “overages on mortgage payoff.”  That was terrific news!

Then we drove to the orthopedist’s office.  There, they took X-rays of Sylvia’s wrist.  The images showed good progress.  We won’t have to go back unless she has problems.  Also, she does not have to continue with the therapy sessions, something to which she has been looking forward.

It think we’ll sleep well again tonight.  #feeling good

Miscellanea

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Has anyone seen my office mate?  She hasn’t been around for several day, and I miss her.  She’s always quiet as she goes about her work.

Why are 98% of the items that arrive in my e-mail inbox nothing but spam?

Why do people care which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Is it true that the only unanswerable question is the one that is not asked?

Not Your Typical Monday

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Yesterday (Monday), Sylvia returned home after a week with her dad.  She had a therapy scheduled for shortly after lunch.  A storm front was approaching this area, and Sylvia was concerned.  As she was leaving, I reported that the radar loop showed the rain moving rapidly to the East.  She would get in her car in the garage, and the worst of the rain would have moved through by the time she reached the therapist’s office.  It worked that way.

After Sylvia left, I came into the office to check out the news online before putting together a blog post.  That post was never written.

Over the scanner, county central dispatch tasked a unit to check out the Portland Goodwill store.  They had a report of the roof being down and there were people trapped inside.

I went to the family room so I could monitor central dispatch and see TV reports.  The building had collapsed and the mother and her two young sons were rescued by a cop and an off-duty fireman.

Soon the TV was reporting a touchdown of a possible tornado.  There was extensive damage done in town.  Over the next nine hours, reports continued to arrive at the TV station and to appear online.

In an e-mail exchange, our daughter-in-law, Barbara, reported that she had left Portland an hour before the storm hit.  Her older sister had taken their parents to her home.  That was good.  The parents live a short way behind the Goodwill store.

Two weeks earlier, Barbara’s parents had joined with others to celebrate the 175th anniversary of First Baptist Church.  The tornado (it was later identified as an EF-1) had taken off the roof and done severe structural damage to the beautiful and historic landmark.  The building is a complete loss.

Photo: Lansing State Journal

Photo: Lansing State Journal

The United Methodist church (just across the street) was also badly damaged.  It may have to go as well.

The Congregation church, a couple doors down the street, had just replaced their building’s roof.  The tornado got that too.

One house lost its roof and the couple who were inside said they had to grab onto a chair and a doorknob to keep from being sucked up into the storm.  How’s that for scary?

Videos and still pix show an army of volunteers that came out to assist neighbors and town in the cleanup.  Many area fire departments and rescue units responded to lend assistance.  It is encouraging to see that kind of unity in the face of adversity.

Shortly before lunch today, I heard the report came through that Grand River Avenue (the main street) was once again open for traffic.

Today, life returns to normal for most of us.  Nobody was seriously injured.  Only a few minor cuts and bruises were reported.

More info here: WZZM13

Remembering

On this Memorial Day [observed] our thoughts are on those who served our country.  We also salute those who are serving today.  Deep heartfelt thanks and God’s blessings to you and to yours.

Barbara and me with our Dad, who was home on leave.

Barbara and me with our Dad, who was home on leave.

Two of Dad’s brothers and two of Mom’s brothers also served in WWII.

I looked for a picture of our younger son, who retired from the US Air Force after 22 years of active duty.  I was unable to find one.  I suspect that he doesn’t mind.

Later today, Sylvia returns after a week with her dad.  Perhaps she can help me find what I’ve been looking for.

Unrelated Trivia

I’m harvesting asparagus twice a day now.  Yes, it grows that fast, and I want to get it at its peak.

So far the Saturn sighting project has been shut out by cloudy skies.  Looks like I might get a chance later this week.

I Spy Asparagus

Yesterday, I posted about rhubarb.  It is one of two perennial vegetables that we grow in our garden.  The other is asparagus.

Doing well and ready to harvest

Doing well and ready to harvest

Our asparagus patch is producing well this year.  We’ve enjoyed several meals with it already and more coming soon.

Last evening, I steamed a big batch of it to go with beef and noodles.  My was it tasty!

This morning I did a couple of experiments with the unused portion of the harvest.  First, I cut off the butt ends and chopped those into short lengths.  These I washed, dried and put in the freezer.  Later, I’ll add more in the freezer bag.  These are destined to end up in soups.

The head ends, I cut to length, blanched and then cooled in ice water.  After drying they went onto a tray, which I placed in the freezer.  When they are individually frozen, I’ll place them in a freezer bag for storage.  (Should be good for up to seven months I’m told.)

As I wrote, these are experiments.  The cutting season only lasts six to eight weeks.  We may eat it over a longer period if these work.  Alternatively, drying and pickling are other options, but I’m not inclined to try either method.

I’ve found an interesting Website for Asparagus Lovers.  It has everything you’d like to know about this tasty perennial vegetable.

Please Pass the PI

This PI is round

This PI is round

It was September 2009 when our friend, Lin, wrote: “Is eating pie out of a cup acceptable? Irene had me busting at work this morning, eating leftover pie from yesterday’s birthday celebration out of a cup. Apparently we used all the plates at the party.”

We have all heard of cupcakes, but cup pie?  It didn’t take long for me to respond.

Would you eat a pie?
That’s what I’d like to know.

Yes, I’d eat a pie,
I would eat it in the snow.

I would eat it with a pup.
I would eat it in a cup.

I would eat it with a spoon.
I would eat it very soon.

I would eat it in the fall.
I would like it best of all.

So, my friend, please pass the pie.
It is the apple of my eye.

For what it’s worth, my favorite is Sylvia’s rhubarb pie.  Just ask Sharkbytes.

Like in the Movies

Picture from a different day

Picture from a different day

I looked up from the computer keyboard.  Out on the lawn a young doe was moving rapidly across the lawn.  She paused just before reaching the driveway.  I’ve noticed that all the deer, unless they are in panicked flight, stop at the driveway.  They pause and look all around before proceeding.  Do you suppose their mothers taught them to look both ways before crossing a road?  Hhmmm . . .

She continued her deliberate walk until she reached the neighbor’s fence.  There she stopped again.  Looked around as a bird landed on a fence post right in front of her.  That’s when the moment began.  A moment when I felt like this was a Bambi movie.

The bird looked at the deer.  The doe looked back.  This went on for some time.  I almost had the feeling that they were having a conversation.  What would they say?

Conversation over, the deer continued along the fence to the low spot.  The she bounded over it and continued on her cross-country way.

Sorry I did not have time to open blinds and get the camera.  I didn’t want to miss out on the movie.

The Wait Rewarded

Every day, I’ve been watching for the tulip buds to open.  Today, the first one did.

More color in the flower bed

More color in the flower bed

Isn’t that a nice contrast of hues?

Looking into the matter

Looking into the matter

The other tulips should open soon.  What a beautiful day!

Further [Flower] Developments

I enjoy watching our flowers come into blossom.  It seems there is always something in bloom.  There is beauty in everyday, and not just in the flower beds and out on the lawn and in the fields.  If you look you will find it.

Miniature Daffodils

Miniature Daffodils

At first glance, these look like the full-size version.  However they are only about 1.5 inches across.  That compares with the 4-inch daffodils, and makes these only one seventh the size (area).  I am fond of these little fellows.

This one was shy

This one was shy

All blossoms of this variety wanted to look at the ground.  I had to shoot up to get capture this image.  The orange gives a nice frilly touch.

Only a few of this type

Only a few of this type

White and yellow daffodil (no orange) is the least numerous of the many daffodils in our flower beds.  These seem to have a pleasant two-tone simplicity that I find appealing.

It won’t be long before we see tulips in blossom.  The buds are getting bigger each day.