Tag Archives: Iowa

Crazy Weather

30 May

I tell you, the last month or so of weather has been crazy.  We were in a moderate drought.  I think I mentioned that we were finally getting some rain.

Astra, Myson, Bambi and Ava in front wishing they didn’t have to go through the mud last Saturday.

We actually had eight days in a row with rain.  Some were just sprinkles, but we had over two inches of rain throughout that time. It was enough to make a lot of mud.

Litha trying not to walk in mud

But it didn’t even change our standing on the drought monitor.  We’re still in moderate drought; although it is better for some parts of the state.  I was hoping we’d be upgraded to just “abnormally dry”.

Then we got hot.  We spent the first part of last week in the low eighties with horrible humidity.  I will say, it makes the grass and weeds grow.  I can’t even keep up.

Where I lost the magnolia tree is just out of control.

Then there was more rain. Sometime in there, my soybeans got planted because they are coming up quite nicely.

soybeans

My garden is coming to life, but I can’t get in there to take care of weeds.

That is one big garden. All those weeds calling my name…

tomatoes, peppers, cabbages, and lots of weeds

zucchini

potato

onion

sweet corn (you can get more in a crooked row)

The first rain also let me see who was visiting my garden.  It was dried up and hard to see by the time I got took my pictures, but there was a raccoon clipping the corner of the garden.  Then there were coyote and deer tracks as well.

colored corn in a coyote paw print

The deer sank deep!

My asparagus took off with the rains.

asparagus

In fact, some of it might have gotten ahead of me and gone to seed.

asparagus

The end of the week saw much cooler weather.  You can’t see Friday’s high temperature of 50°F, but it was a record low high for this date.  Seriously, it’s the end of May.  It’s Memorial Day weekend.  We are not supposed to have a frost advisory. Luckily, I think everything is okay.

But look at the end of the forecast–back up to almost ninety!  That’s crazy!

And an update since I wrote the post yesterday.  This morning, I managed to get the whole garden cultivated and the yard around it mowed (after the picture was taken).  One more yard to go this weekend (and we’ll see if I actually get any more weeding done in the garden.

A Day Off the Farm

13 Jul

It’s so rare for me to do anything but work off the farm and work on the farm that I decided I was going to share my day off the farm yesterday.  My sister came down and we had some quality bonding time by taking a day trip to Villisca, Iowa.  On the way, we stopped at the cemetery in Grant, Iowa, to visit our great-great grandparents.

We had a picnic with them.

Me by Seth and Sarah (Bennett) Smith’s headstone

It had probably been twenty-two years since I stopped here. It was my sister’s first visit.  I was a bit disappointed to see how much their stone had worn since my last visit. It’s largely illegible now.

Me and my sister

After lunch, it was on to Villisca, Iowa.  The one thing Villisca is known for is the famous Villisca ax murders which happened on June 9, 1912.

hanging on the kitchen wall

Josiah and Sarah Moore, their four children, and two visiting girls were all killed that night with an ax from their woodshed.

Reflected selfie with the Moores and two of their children, Herman and Katherine

Nobody was ever tried and convicted for the crimes.

I had read the book The Man From the Train by Bill James last winter, and that renewed my interest.  I will say, if you are interested in true crime stories, it is a compelling book that claims to have solved the murders.

My sister and I took the day tour (you can spend the night) because of our interest in history, and it really was a major event in our state’s history.  The tour begins with signing in in the old barn, which has been converted into the office.

The house had been lived in by several families after the murders, but they’ve done an excellent job of restoring it to the condition it was in at the time of the murders.  None of the furnishings are original, but they are authentic to the time period.

cook stove in back and wood stove in front

washing machine

upright piano

old-fashioned telephone

icebox

Books from the period

You know I take pictures of everything, and when the tour guide saw my camera, she gave some tips for making sure to go outside and take pictures of the windows and take two consectutive images to really know if you’ve captured anything.  Well, I hadn’t even thought about the fact that the house is haunted and there are frequent ghost sightings, but I figured the worst case scenario was having duplicate images–easy peasy to delete with digital photography.

She also encouraged us to play ball with the children, but she also warned us that they will sometimes scratch.  We went upstairs where there are frequent encounters.  Obviously, there are bells on all the doors, but we never heard any while we were there.

toys from the time and modern ones mixed in

We did decided to roll the ball in the attic, and I’m not going to lie.  It was odd.  After rolling the ball back and forth a few times, I noticed it would take odd curves.

It wasn’t like it was hitting the edge of a board–we saw that too, but it would be a graceful curing arc.  First it would curve one way.  The next time, it would curve in the opposite direction.  It was very odd.

My sister in the doorway–no ghost

I did find this doll to be the most creepy thing in the house.

Anyhow, we made the trip around the house taking pictures, and I didn’t see anything.

The door Mr. Moore’s brother entered when they discovered the crimes.

Then I put them on the computer at home so I could make them larger.

That’s when I noticed this window (which has been cropped from the unedited version of the image above.  I swear there’s a boy’s face.  You can click on the image to enlarge it.

Straight out of camera–only cropped in on this window

lightened and sharpened

In the next image (taken immediately after the first with the continuous shooting feature on my camera) you can still clearly see the power lines reflected, and the light spot is there, but the face is fading.

There were three young boys murdered in the house that night.

The Moore children who were killed that night

Which one do you think it is?

Oh, and happy Friday the 13th. 😉

Voluptuous

17 Oct

Iowa is not a flat state.  I know, I know, everyone thinks it is flat because we have so much farming, but it is not.

click for source

Iowa is voluptuous.  I think that is the perfect description!

We have hills and curves that provide a sensuous feast for the eyes!

And this is just a small sampling of my hills.  I love looking out and seeing such wonderful scenery.

Linking to Jenny Matlock’s Alphabe-Thursday where today’s letter is V.  I’m also linking to Thankful Thursday, This and That Thursday, and Thursday Favorite Things.