Friday, May 31, 2013

WDM, IA - Ring Around the Rosie

This is a story about how ditsy I am. If you have some cockamamie idea that I’ve always got my act together, then, don’t read this blog entry. It will only knock me down off of the pedestal. On the other hand, if you know that I am ditsy, this will merely give you more ammunition for your beliefs. It’s a lose-lose situation for me.

I have 2 diamond rings: one is a diamond from my grandfather and the other is my mother’s diamond ring and engagement rings fused together. Many years ago, before my mother died and was still in the nursing home with Alzheimer's, Gary and I cleaned out her home prior to selling it. One of our goals was to find her wedding rings which seemed to have disappeared. Now, with Alzheimer's, she might have put these rings anywhere, in the trash, buried with a tulip bulb in her garden or down the garbage disposal. Who knows. We never found them. Several years late I got a call at work from a local Fort Dodge jeweler that they had a package of my mother’s rings that they had fused together, put on a desk and then lost. Whew, what a relief. I picked them up and began wearing them.

So, I’ve been wearing these two diamond rings for many years. 2 years ago, I decided that maybe I shouldn’t wear these two rings while we were hiking, took them off, put them in a plastic baggie and put them in our RV wardrobe under some other things to conceal them. That was in spring of 2011. In fall of 2011, before we started our winter travels, I decided that there seemed to be no point in bringing the rings since I wasn’t going to wear them anyway, so I left them at home in my closet. Spring of 2012 I arrived home, found the rings, tried them on but it was a hot day and the rings were going on tightly, I knew I wouldn’t take them on our next winter sojourn so I decided to ‘hide’ them in the house.

This spring, we were pretty discombobulated since we were rotating between staying in Fort Dodge at Gary’s father’s home and staying in West Des Moines at our own home. Sometimes I didn’t know whether my old sweat shirt was in FD or WDM or whether we need to shop for milk in WDM or in FD. I was confused and certainly not thinking about the rings.

Finally we were in West Des Moines for good and could get our lives back into order. I looked for the rings but - couldn’t find them NOR remember where I had ‘hidden’ them for safety. I looked all over, I emptied every drawer, I looked in an old jewelry drawer I had, I even looked under my chest of drawers, I checked every pocket I had in all the clothes in my closet. Nada, nothing, I couldn’t find them. I even took to looking at every thing in the house to see if it would jog a memory. 3 months I spent looking and thinking and kicking myself for losing my mother’s wedding rings. Gary (after I reluctantly told him) told me that we would find them when we began to empty our home. He had confidence, I had my doubts.

Yesterday I decided that our home silverware was nicer than our RV silverware and was exchanging them. I took the silverware tray out of the drawer where we had it in our kitchen to clean it and VOILA - there was a plastic baggie with two gold rings in it. Now, why in the world would I put them in the kitchen, under the silverware tray? Who, in their right mind would do that? And there, is the clue - I am not always in my right mind. Yes, I am ditsy. Next time I’ll write my ‘hiding’ place down. Next time I’ll tell Gary so there will be two to remember. And, there will be a next time since i do not want to wear these rings out hiking in the desert.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

WDM, IA - What's in Your Fridge?


Here’s an ordinary white double door refrigerator just like any other white double door refrigerator. It sits in our kitchen.

Here’s our refrigerator with the door open. What in the world are we keeping in here?
        A large beer cooler? In our refrigerator? Guess again.

        A large fish well from a boat? Nope, one last try.

        Gary’s Darth Vader costume from last Halloween? Nah, he went as a pirate.

Well, it’s a brake. A brake? Huh?

It’s the supplemental brake we use on the Jeep. When we drive down the highway, and especially when we drive in the mountains, we want to make sure that the Jeep also has a brake and we’re not relying on the RV brake alone to stop all 35,000 lbs. Before we roll down the road, while Gary hitches the Jeep up to the RV, I install the supplemental brake into the Jeep. There are many RV’s who do not have this supplemental brake but many do. Gary and I want to be as safe as possible rolling on down the road and we install our brake every time we hitch up. We noticed several years ago as we were traveling that it wouldn’t start up when the temperatures got below 40 degrees. In this situation, we put it in the Jeep, drive for a while and then try it again. Not safe and we’re not happy campers.

Today, Gary called the factory to explain this and the tech told Gary to start it up. Of course it worked. Don’t things always work when the tech is on the line? And, in our experience, it really only fails when it’s cold. So Gary’s brilliant idea was to make the brake cold and the refrigerator is the best place to do this. Here we are, making our brake cold enough to fail. We left it there over night and Gary hitched it up to run in the morning.

Guess what - it worked perfectly in the morning. Of course, what did we expect? Oh, well, we’ll try again when we’re on the road with the RV.

Tomorrow we are heading on up to Eagan, a suburb of Minneapolis, to attend a funeral for one of Gary’s cousins, only 63 when he died of ALS. His father, Johnny, is still living at the age of 96. This is the second child of 4 that he’s survived.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

WDM, IA - Kahlua, Fran and Ollie

Gary and I have a lot to ‘get rid’ of. We will give away lots like clothing and linens. We will store lots for the home we’ll have next. And, I am trying my hand at selling some things. I sold a camera recently on Craig’s list and that went pretty well. So, I’m primed to try some more things. A long time ago, my mother gave me part of her collection of Blue Bubble Depression Glass. She is quite a collector and not only had her set of Blue Bubble but had a set for my father of Windsor Depression Glass. And, then she started a set for me. I think she just liked to buy things for cheap in antique shows.

I got so much from my mother and, though I’ve tried, I just can’t keep it all. In the end, I’d rather keep my mother’s wry sense of humor and her love of life than her Depression Glass.

Last fall, I tried to sell these pieces to a local collector but was told that Blue Bubble was too popular back in its day and now was not as collectible as rarer items. So, I offered to give it away but left for Arizona before we had made arrangements to do this. Now, it is ‘do or die’ time. I tried to contact the Club again but couldn’t get through their ‘junk’ sensors. (Thanks) But, there’s always Craig’s list. I took this picture, wrote my ad, uploaded it and wrapped the pieces back up in the 1985 Sunday Boston Globe newspaper. (Obviously, it’s been a long time since I’ve used these pieces since we left the southern New Hampshire area in 1985.

2 hours later, I got an e-mail from someone who’s interested in buying. She loves Depression Glass and her daughter is a ‘Glass-o-holic.’ She thinks she got a great deal since she probably would have paid more for these 77 pieces in flea markets. I think I lucked out because not only did I get paid for these but I got them to someone who will appreciate them as much as my mother. A win-win.
We’re also trying to use up some of the things we’ve got in the pantry - like the vodka. Huh, vodka in Nancy and Gary’s home? As you probably know, Gary and I are teetotalers and drink nothing more lethal than Crystal Lite. And, that’s when we really want to party. However, I can enjoy Kahlua and have a great recipe that I got from a friend many, many years ago. And, how many times have I made this recipe in these many many years? Twice. The last time I made it for us was back in 1996 when we lived in south Des Moines, right down the hill from Terrace Hill where the governor lives. I made it in December, put it on a ledge going down to the basement to age and, slowly but surely tippled through the year until I looked in October and - whoo-eee - the bottle was 1/2 empty. Oops, better not make that again.

The second time I made this was in December of 2005 when I still worked at Wells Fargo. I thought this might be a great gift for a few people and made a large batch - with a bit left over for myself.

When we travel, we take only what we will need in the RV for the months we’ll be gone and leave everything here. Now, we’re moving into the RV shortly and need to condense since we won’t be able to keep anything here in a local ‘home.’ I still had a 1/2 bottle of vodka. What to do? What to do? How about making a 1/2 batch of Kahlua? I had some Taster’s Choice coffee (which I had bought for the original Kahlua), bought some distilled water at the grocery and I was ready to cook away. I mixed the coffee and the distilled water, reached for my sugar and - oh, no. I have only 1/2 cups and need 1 1/2 cups. Hmm - Hey, I’ve got some brown sugar - how about using that? It’s sugar, right? What’s the harm? It’s only for us. And, I did. Pretty good. Now, I just need to let it age and I can tipple all this year.

IMG_0032-2013-05-28-14-57.JPGIt’s raining again. When the weathermen interrupt Dr.Phil for weather reports, you know it’s bad out there. There are three of them and they’re tag teaming through this. When one runs out of energy and needs a drink of water, another glides in to take over. Iowa had a drought going into this spring and that’s old news. Now it’s the flooding in the fields. Not only do we have flooding but we’ve got some flash flooding now. The rain is coming down in sheets and I can’t see the trees across the pond. The downspouts look like rivers and the sidewalks look like lakes. I’m expecting to see geese floating down the sidewalks soon.

We’ve also had some hail in our storms. Above is our deck with the lots of dime-sized hail.

Sunday, May 26, 2013


I’m going to be a bit peevish today and, if you don’t want to listen to a complaint, don’t read this blog.

Here it is the 17th day of our home being on sale and we’ve had:

        1 Open House

        6 actual showings

        0 second showings

        0 offers

Now, I’ll admit that I’d be more comfortable is we had a signed offer. But, I”m not really worried. I know that homes often take time to sell and, since ours is a 2-story townhome with a lower level, making it actually 3 levels, it will take more time to sell. Every one is looking for a ranch. But, that’s what we were looking for when we first looked at it 7 years ago:

This is what the real estate told us:

        The bad news is that it has 2 flights of stairs.

        The good news is that it has 2 flights of stairs.

Yep, drop that fitness club membership where you go to use the stair stepper, you’ve got 2 stairsteppers right here in your own home. Of course, I realize that many people need to have a ranch and couldn’t walk up the steps in this home. But, I appreciate (note that I didn’t say ‘I love’ nor did I say ‘I enjoy’) having 2 flights of stairs so that I can get some stair stepping right here.

On the other hand, we have heard these lines 6 several times - almost one for each showing:

        This is a gorgeous home

        I love the view over the pond

        Great neighborhood

        Those mature trees are marvelous

BUT. . .

And, then comes the line:


Well, then, why are you looking at this home - is what I’d like to say, after the 6th one. After the first and second one, I smiled, but now hearing that line is getting a bit old, since I’ve had to clean up and get out. I would imagine that real estate agents might also think that they have wasted their time and want to show only ranches. But there really aren’t as many ranches as 2 story town homes.

Oh, well, that’s my rant for the day.

Monday, May 20, 2013

WDM, IA - Locked Out

I know what’s wrong, and if I could find it, I’d fix it.

There we were, at 5:00, we did our 4 mile walk while we had a showing and now it’s time for dinner. Gary inserts the key into the dead bolt lock and - Oh, horsefeathers, the real estate agent locked BOTH locks when she left. Now what?

Yep, that’s what happened to Gary and me. We took our daily walk yesterday while we had a showing. Thought that was a good use of our time. Ya just can’t go to the library every day, the librarians are beginning to save our seats for us.

We have two locks on our doors: a dead bolt and a regular lock in the door handle. And, these use different keys. Thus our key rings have 3 keys: 2 for the house and one for the car. However, we seldom lock the regular door handle key. When we go walking, we don’t want to carry a whole key chain so we carry only the dead bolt key. I’m sure you can see where this story is heading, the clues are pretty obvious.

We locked the dead bolt and went walking while the real estate agent showed the house. When we got back, sure enough, the agent had locked BOTH locks and we were up the creek without a paddle or - on the stoop without a key.

We were trying to come up with another solution:

        how about the neighbors who have a key to our house? Nope, they moved in October and we haven’t exchanged keys with our new neighbors yet.

LockedOut%252526WaitingforRescue-1-2013-05-20-20-26.jpg        how about that key we hide in the fake rock? Nope, that key must be under all the new rock we’ve just dumped around some bushes

        how about: what’s the smallest window we have in the house? Sure wouldn’t want to have to break one of our new picture windows? Just what we want to do when we’re selling - break a window.

HEY - what about that realtor key box on our front stoop? Sure enough, 2 keys right in there. Hallelujah. We’re saved.

Oh, but, we can’t get into that box. So, we call our real estate agent who is - in the shower. She then sends her husband who has the magic laser beam, aims it at the sensor and, opens the box up to get out the keys. Luckily they live only 2 miles away.


But, the locked out story doesn’t end there. We got a call in the evening from the couple who just bought Gary’s father’s house. Well, we really didn’t get the call since we were out at dinner with some friends. Then, after dinner, when we were on our way home about 9:00, we realized we had gotten a call, checked the voice mail and the new owners had called us to tell us they were locked out and to ask if Gary knew any secret way to get in.

It seems that the guy who installed their new radon mitigation system had locked the screen door when he had left. Oops. We called back, even though it was about 9:00 now but we wanted to respond. Well, they were inside and had gotten in when Nate, one of the owners had jiggled the door harder than his wife had. Looks like the door was not locked but just stuck.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

WDM, IA - Shopping and Moral Decisions

Errands were on the line-up for the day. We began at Schuling Hitch where we had gotten not only the hitch for the RV but also the brake system for the Jeep. We have a secondary brake in our Jeep for added safety.There are those who drive motorhomes through the mountains without a secondary brake in their towed vehicle. Imagine coming down from Wolf Pass through the curves as you plummet tot he valley and you need to stop fast. Lots scarier than we want to travel. Nope, we’re going to travel with a secondary brake. We would like to put a different brake in our Jeep but they did not carry that particular product.

Next we journeyed over to the storage area where we keep our RV and, sure enough, it was still there. We reached into one of the basement compartments to turn on the electricity - oops, that was in the Simba, our last RV, the Journey electric key is up front. We’ve only driven the Journey for 3 months and have forgotten a bit about it and its quirks.

Next we headed over to Griffs, where we have a reservation for June 1 - July 31, where we can stay after we sell our home. We found our spot B10, checked out the commons rooms and met the owner. Finally we made it to Bass Pro. Now, what are two non-hunters, non-fishers doing at Bass Pro Shops? Good question. Actually, they have a nice selection of nylon shirts that are great for hiking. I bought 2 several years ago and have worn one of them every time we went hiking. They have side vents for cool breezes, the sleeves can be rolled up and buttoned, they have a bigger collar so we can turn it up to protect our necks from the sun and they are a breeze to clean. Perfect fishing shirts and thus perfect hiking shirts.

Here is where it gets dicey. I picked one up and it said ‘Made in Bangladesh.’ Ouch. I really don’t like to buy anything made in China (though our home is full of such things) because I really think that China is a real rival. Meanwhile, using that way of thinking, I wouldn’t mind buying something made in Bangladesh because they are not our rivals and their people need jobs desperately. If I could help them by buying something made there, why not? Well, now I know why not.

I always thought buying clothing was a financial decision and a style decision. I never thought it was a moral decision. Something so simple as buying a shirt is now fraught with difficulty. In the end I bought 3 shirts from Vietnam against whom we fought a long war in which more than 60,000 Americans died. Hmmm.

Meanwhile we attended a graduation for Samanatha, our niece who just finished up at Cedar Falls with a double major in business and art. Cathy and Tom and Gary and I drove over to Cedar Falls for the big day. Here’s the family afterwards. What a good looking family if I do say so myself. That’s Cathy and Tom on the left. Then Dawn, Gary’s sister with her husband, Tom, on the far right. Their two kids, Adam, who graduates from high school in June and Sam are in the middle.

Friday, May 10, 2013

WDM, IA - Showtime

And, now we’re ready for showing our home. Of course our home has been for sale for about a week now but we’re finally done with most of the little things we wanted to get done. We have one or two left to do but no potential buyer looking at the house would notice these. We even tested the Jacuzzi and the fireplaces to make sure they all work. Since we’ve never used the fireplace and it starts by using a key slot that is in the floor, here’s Gary studying the instructions.

1stFireplaceUseBeforeWeSell-1-2013-05-10-20-56.jpgNow is the interminable wait for the acceptable offer. Meanwhile, you all know the drill, we have to keep it clean and neat.

The last time we sold a house, we signed the paperwork in the evening about 8:00, the young salesman put his sign out shortly thereafter and we got an acceptable offer about 10:00 the next day. WOW. We didn’t have to spend weeks getting ready, we didn’t have to ‘stage’ it nor did we have to live like monks trying to keep the interior pristine.

I thought about buying a rotisserie chicken the other day. Nope, then the house would smell like a grocery store.

IMG_0024-2013-05-10-20-56.JPGWe do small laundries in the evening so the clothes have time to dry overnight.

We tested the Jacuzzi and the fireplace to make sure they work. Here’s Gary readng

Those dishes we can’t stow in the dishwasher, we wash, dry and put away right after the meal.

We vacuum often. I even borrowed a steam cleaner from my bother to do some of our carpeting.
We dust often.

Our blinds are raised perfectly and evenly.

I piled our laundry baskets under some hanging clothes in the closet so no one can see the undies there.

We only get out a few things to work on in the evenings since we have to put it all away at a moment’s notice.

You’ve all done these things and they get old really, really fast but, that’s the drill. This is how one sells a home and we’ve all been through it.

It’s SHOWTIME ! ! !

Cue the sunshine.

Cue the goslings.
Cue the lilacs.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

WDM, IA - Making a Home a House

We’ve spent the last week getting our home ready for sale and turning it into a house. You live in a home, you have your possessions displayed around it, your personal and family pictures are hanging on the walls, the book you’re currently reading is out on the table, your paperwork is near the computer ready for you to pick it up again, your quilting blocks are piled near your new quilting machine ready for you to begin sewing and a home looks as if someone actually lives in it. It is a home to living breathing people.

Well, our home now has none of those things:

        we’ve put lots of our possessions away so the place looks much neater. In fact we're living our of a china cabinet in the dining room working and eating on the dining room table. We are now living in a spaces just a tad bigger than our RV

        we’ve taken down all our personal and family pictures and put up pictures of vases and sail boats, ones you could see in anyone’s house

        my current book is in a basket under my nightstand and I’ve got to retrieve it when I want to read

        we’ve put all our paperwork away in boxes (somewhere where I can’t find anything now)

        I don’t quilt but if I did, I’d have it all stored in plastic boxes piled neatly for storage

It doesn’t look as if actual living breathing people live here but it does look as if anyone could. And, that’s the goal: so that anyone who comes for a showing can imagine their possessions, their family pictures, their books, their paperwork and their hobbies spread around. We’ve successfully turned it from our home into anyone’s house.

And, believe you me, we are tired. We are tired of cleaning houses for sale, we are tired of fixing houses for sale, we are tired of packing things up for moving, we are tired of, well, we’re just a bit pooped.

But, hey, on the other hand, we’ve sold one home and are ready to sell ours. Here’s the website for our home:

Our real estate agent takes great pictures. In fact, I think that’s such a neat looking home that I’m going to call her for a showing.

We’ve been going pretty fast and furiously since the end of January and now we can take it more slowly. Obviously we need to take care of all our ‘stuff’ and find a place for it, whether sale or storage or donation or into the RV for travel. But we can take a bit of time with that - we haven't sold nor closed yet. We know a local storage facility and have a good idea of what we’re going to keep and what we’re going to store so we’re ready to move.

We just need to buy the plastic containers and make arrangements.

And, big news, today, we made a reservation in a local campground for June and July so we will have somewhere to go when we sell. A comforting thought. 

Yesterday, over breakfast at Baker’s Square, we looked up campgrounds in the Des Moines area and found one called Griff’s with good reviews. I called and was told that they had one space that was opening up soon and that they didn’t expect many others. Oops. Their website says that they are mostly for long-term campers and I guess that’s so.

Today, Cathy, Gary’s sister came over to pick up some tools from Lug’s home that we had been storing here and, of course, stayed for a cup of coffee on the deck. I mentioned a local campground off the beaten path, described where it was and she asked if it was Griff’s. It seems as if she and her husband, Tom, were looking at an RV there recently. She told us that most of the people there were full-timers who wintered in the south but came back to Iowa in the summer to be near family. She told us the place was beautiful, clean and well maintained. Sounds like what we are looking for and I called back to make my reservation. I didn’t want to miss that last spot that they had. And, we got it. We move in June 1 which we might do, whether the house is sold or not. Certainly would be easier to keep our stuff handy. 

So, when our home sells, we have a place to go. Whew. After the spring and summer that we will have had by then, it will be nice to just chill out in a nice local campground.

Besides packing we also have to decide what state we are going to be residents of, where we will vote, where we will pay taxes, where we will get our mail and I think it will be Texas. There is a very large camping association there with a spiffy mail service and lots of campgrounds that they own where we can stay when we are on the road. It will be lots easier to get to Texas each year to renew our licenses than to get to South Dakota, another popular state. When I worked for Wells Fargo one of my responsibilities was to review investment trades for all the clients in central Iowa and their appropriateness for that client. In the process I noted their address and I kept seeing an address in Livingston, TX. Now that I an an RV’er, I know that that is the town where this mail service is and now we will also be calling Livingston, Texas home too. I never thought I’d be a Texan.

Things are moving right along.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

WDM, IA - Spackling, Filling and Caulking, Oh, My! or Nancy Learns A Lesson

And we continue on with our house repairs. Today I ran the gamut from spackling some old nail holes in the dry wall that we found when we removed all of the personal pictures for staging the house to filling in some nail holes in some wood to caulking where Gary is adding some trim to a patio door. Let’s see, which one of these handyman chores do I enjoy the most? Is it two-step spackling where you have to make it as smooth as possible and then sand to finish it off? Or is it filling holes in wood and then wiping it all smooth with a wet cloth? Or is it grouting where you first have to remove old caulk then have to carefully pull the trigger to force the grout into the gap you’re trying to fill and then release it before you over fill the gap. Then, with your finger, you run down the caulk you just filled to get rid of all the excess, which ends up goopy all over your hand.

BINGO! You’re right - it’s none of the above. But, if I had to choose, I dislike caulking the most since I think the caulk gun is more for men. I want a small dainty, womanly kind of caulk gun. Maybe in pink. Caulking is definitely a man’s job. But, today Gary was busy with other things and it became my job. First I had to scrape our the old caulk with my trusty utility knife, then smooth over the surface so the caulk would hold and finally I was ready to spread the caulk. Now, imagine all of this while I am sitting in the shower. Yep, we were replacing some caulk that had been put along the bottom lip of the shower door before we bought the house. Now, of course, who puts caulk in a shower? The answer is very few people and probably only those with a problem. But, we are trying to sell a ‘pristine’ home and the caulk had some spots on it so I was sitting on the drain in the shower, hunched over, pulling the caulk out. Ha, got it and got it all smoothed out. Of course, it took about 2 hours.

With the caulking removal and the smoothing over done, I was ready for the caulking installation. Oh, boy, here’s the fun part where I get to shoot gobs of caulk into tiny spaces and wipe the rest off. When I finished with all 4 areas that I had caulked, I put duct tape around the caulk nozzle to keep it supple and usable and went downstairs to see how Big Gar was coming with the patio door. I laid down on the floor, cataloging the spots I had done and mentioned the bathroom.

        ‘And, oh yeah, I got the shower done too.’

        ‘The shower?’

        ‘Yeah, around the bottom where I had taken the old caulk out.’

        ‘Did you use the same caulk?’

        ‘Well, yeah, the white stuff.’

And here’s the lesson. There is a difference between the caulk you use to fill in cracks between dry wall and moulding and the caulk you use in a shower: one is waterproof and the other is water soluable. It’s always best to use waterproof in the showers and water soluable in other places. Aha. Now I know.

Guess who got to remove the just-installed caulk? Yeah, the same one who learned the valuable lesson: me. So I rushed back up to the shower to get it out before it set. As I was wiping it off, I got to test its water soluability and, sure enough, it wiped right off with (2 dangling prepositions) a wet rag and dissolved in water.

But, then we decided not to replace it the caulk. Showers are not supposed to need caulk and we’re going to see if this one really does.

Here’s the twofer: the second caulk lesson: I wanted to fill in a crack in some white caulk in the guest room shower and grabbed the ‘waterproof’ caulk on the counter. Ooh, I like this caulk, it’s silicon and clear. Oops, wrong waterproof caulk - I should have used the WHITE waterproof caulk not the CLEAR because using white caulk to fill in a crack in white caulk would cover the crack. Yep, my clear caulk filled in the crack but you can still see it through the clear caulk. Chalk another lesson up.

I actually hope i never have to use these lessons.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

WDM, IA - Iowa in May

PastedGraphic1-2013-05-4-21-53.jpgAs many of you know, May had hit with a thud here in Iowa and other states of the Midwest. Or, maybe that's with a slush. We have really had a long winter or a cold spring. I remember last year when we were in cold, foggy, rainy, windy San Francisco, we kept hearing about the great weather in Iowa, temps in the 80’s, t-shirts, sun, shorts, etc. And, here we are now in Iowa and it’s rainy, snowy, cold. Someone is going to get suspicious of us and kick us out pretty soon.

PastedGraphic-2013-05-4-21-53.jpgLast weekend, we were in shorts and t-shirts for the Drake relays 6K race. This weekend, we’re hunkering down with snow and bundled up in down jackets. Next weekend we’ll be back in shorts. We awoke on Friday, Gary opened the blinds and said, ‘snow.’ Did I believe him? Only when I opened the blinds in the bathroom and saw the very same thing on my side of the house. Then we got some pictures from Shirley, who lives in Fort Dodge, about 60 miles north of us. The pictures are beautiful but the story they tell is not. Obviously, you can tell from their boat that they will not be going fishing today, unless they favor ice fishing. Thank you, Shirley. We also heard that Fort Dodge got a snow day on Friday - in May.
Our snow down here in Des Moines was about 2”, much less than the 7” - 8” in Fort Dodge but it was just as unwelcome. And then it continued to snow for another 2 days at which time it turned into rain. Oh, good, slush. My brother in Fort Dodge said it was like shoveling water: heavy, slushy and difficult to throw into a pile.

IMG_4199-2013-05-4-21-53.jpgHere are some pictures from our home. We have a group of 6 egrets who stopped by our pond just in time for the snow. I’m imagining that they are glaring at their leader and hissing: ‘I thought you were taking us to Corpus Christi.’
Luckily I found some inside work getting ready to show our house officially. Here I am on my knees filling some nail holes before I paint over them.