I was getting tired of my kids reminding me to update my blog, until I realised that the last entry I made was about the baby barn swallows....and they have long since left the nest and ventured out on their own. So, here is the short version of the events of the last 2 weeks (or so).
About a month ago I got a brilliant idea (as I often do). I decided that I needed to tear up the old brick sidewalk leading up to our house. The bricks had all settled and were not so much a sidewalk, as they were kind of a mini obstacle course of different heights of bricks...when it was dry...and a squishy, oozy mud track when it rained.
This was going to be great, I would pull up all the bricks, lay down some fresh sand, and put the bricks properly in place again.....As it turns out, I really hadn't thought this process through (as I often don't), and upon pulling up the bricks and standing back to gain perspective, I came to the realisation that the whole 'putting down fresh sand and laying the new sidewalk' thing just wasn't going to happen. So, after trying for the last several weeks, through all of the rain, to find someone that could put a sidewalk in for us, we finally got it done on Friday. Yeah!
My cousin's beautiful daughter Celina was visiting from Germany earlier this month with my Aunt and Uncle from Minnesota. They brought her out to the farm to see the animals and to spend a little time with us. I hope she had a good time...............
I think my uncle did! It's not often you see a retired Airforce Master Sargent getting all slobbery with a llama......
Or a dog.....I wonder what his Airforce buddies would say??
Recently, I have been doing battle with the arch nemesis of my garden. The Japanese beetles. Oh sure, they are pretty, and iridescent, and shiny. But, this is what they are doing to my trees!This is my old plum tree that I am sacrificing to the beetles to keep them from eating my apple trees.
White Chicken and I developed a system that worked out pretty well for her.....not so great for me. She followed me out to the tree and waited. Then I grabbed a branch and shook it. Lots of the beetles fell to the ground where she could gobble them up, unfortunately, the buggies that didn't fall to the ground, flew in all directions....like into me mostly...and they have those creepy little barbed legs that stick to you.....we only played that game once. Some of you may not know this, but we are lucky enough to live very close to the "World's Largest Truck Stop", which we happen to drive by every time we go to Iowa City. Yesterday, our son Justin and some of his friends were having a "circus" in Iowa City to raise money for flood relief, so as we were passing the Iowa 80 Truck Stop, we noticed that the annual 'Trucker's Jamboree' was going on. This, surprisingly, was something that I have never attended in all of my years living in this area...go figure... so we decided to stop.
See, I told you! It's the World's Largest, the sign says so.
There were lots of shiny trucks. This one looked angry at me.
But apparently, they were glad we were there...the sign says so.
When we got to Iowa City, we went to dinner with our daughter and some of her friends. The restaurant, like most of the buildings in the flood stricken areas, still was surrounded by sandbags and probably will be for some time. Clean up is going to be a long process. Then we went to The Cirque Stupendo. I wasn't able to get many photos since the venue was a bit dark...which may not be a bad thing, actually, as illustrated in the following photo.
This is Will, one of the performers, doing....well.. Will stuff. He is quite amusing.
Justin and his lovely assistant/girlfriend Kristin preparing for one of his acts. Justin, some may be surprised to learn, possesses a veritable treasure trove of bizarre circus skills, many of which he displayed at the show and did a phenomenal job at all of them...not bad for a physics grad student. Kristin is a master balloon animal maker. Justin and his group of friends that juggle, The Juggalos, have an amazing fire juggling act that was planned for outside after the main show. Unfortunately, the local fire marshall had other ideas.
So now you are up to date.