Thursday, April 30, 2009

A New Master Mason

This is James, He was raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason in
Arcadia Lodge tonight.
The second section of the degree was put on by the Za Ga Zig Shrine Past Master's Club. All of the members of the Club are Past Masters of their Lodge and they travel from all over to put on the second section in costume for lodges. It is always a special event when they come and tonight was no exception. James' father and Uncle traveled over from Davenport to be with us tonight. It is always very special to see a family member get his third degree.

On another note it was interesting to me to know that this evening (probably as I am writing this due to the time difference) Brother Fred Anderson's Lodge in Arizona was also raising a new Brother to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason. I met Brother Fred through the Internet and was able to help him contact some Masons in Arizona where he now resides and he began his Masonic Journey. I hope someday I can meet him in person. I find that Blogging and Masonry go hand in hand. I read Brother Fred's Blog and Facebook posts every day. I think he is on the computer almost as much as I am. I feel as if I know him - Blogfriends and Blogbrothers are very special to me. So we were experiencing the same thing miles away and that is really kind of a neat thing.

I wrote the last poem of the month for A Poem A Day. That means that I wrote thirty poems this month. Not sure they are any good but they are all on my Poetry Blog. Not great poetry but it was fun to write some of them. Go look if you want. Thanks for stopping by. ARTYAL. Hugs. J-bear.

Thursday Morning

Miss Cassie decided to jump in the empty laundry basket last night when Jon was over so we got some pictures of the event. It was late so Jon was already sleeping.

I just got the word that my car won't get worked on until Monday. Part was lost - What else is new. That means a rental for the week-end as I have places to be. Not fun. However the folks at Denny's Auto are taking care of getting me a rental so I don't have to worry. Even got me a "full size" vehicle. they will bring it to me tomorrow. So now you may have some idea of why I didn't post much last night. That and the new site Jon showed me. Fantastic Contraptions is awesome (and addictive)

Dianne over at Forks off the Moment had this to say about the Swine Flu scare. She has the Patty Judge announcement as it was shown on Letterman. It should be below as I tried to embed it. If you can't see it here go to her post and click on the link.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The World Sings Stand My Me

Stand By Me

This is stolen from MadPreist's blog. Embedding seems to be giving me a problem so if it doesn't work click on the link above to go see it. It is a wonder.

Swine Flu vs Regular Flu

Check this out.
Wash your hands.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Bob's Spring Flowers

Photos and Commentary by Bob Kelly.

The Dog Tooth Violet, also called the Trout Lily is showing itself now, and here are some early ones. There will be droves of them this weekend if we have some warmer weather.
I cannot tell you why they are called Dog Tooth Violet other than the flower hanging upside down somewhat resembles the incisor tooth of a dog!! You can make up your own reasons why they are called a Trout Lily!! (Note from Jay - Look here to find the reason.) They are a very pale violet with bright yellow stamens in the center. When the sun hits them the new ones open wide like a big star, and when it is cloudy as it was today they close or are partly open. There are millions of them at Inis Grove Park, so enjoy looking and seeing!!

The May Apple is a giant compared to the tiny flowers I have been photographing, with large canopy leaves, sometimes as much as 8 inches across. You can see from the first photo how they emerge from the forest floor....all wrapped up like an umbrella, and as they grow taller it unfurls into the full leaves you see on the other plants. They are at their peak in May, and some have a small bud attached that opens into a white blossom about the size of a quarter, which turns into an apple looking fruit. I wouldn't eat it!! They are just fun to see and grow in patches around the forest.

A weed is a plant out of place, and some people consider a mass of violet in their yard a weed! These were on the trails at Brookside Park and are most definitely in the category of wild flowers in my book. Whether purple, yellow, or shades of purple and white, or in some cases totally white...they are like tiny delicate orchids, and like many other small flowers...the closer you get the better they look!!

I found this one, beautiful Blue Bell in the brush of Brookside Park, all by itself, just waiting for someone like me to crawl down and give it a look and I did. The flower buds open with a pink color and then turn blue and do look like lovely delicate bells hanging down for lucky viewers to enjoy!
The Bleeding Heart blossoms are most unique in the shape and color, and they form in large clusters, bending their branches into graceful arcs. People do plant these in their yards, but they originally did and still do grow wild in places. I may try some ultra closeups on this blossom in a few days if the weather and the flowers hold out!!

The First House North of the Casey Motel

Ginny wrote this. The house used to have windows on three sides of the front porch and the garage was not there. Instead there was an old chicken coop which I took over and had a place to live in which was not in the basement. That was when I was home for the summer. It was too cold in the winter. Enjoy her memories. She is better at it than I am.

Memories of the “First House North of the Casey Motel”

By Ginny Jackson

My mom (Ruth Cole Jackson), brother (Jay Cole Simser), and I (Ginny Jackson) lived with my grandparents, “Ma” and Granddad (Sadie Cole and Dr. Clarence Gordon Cole) from 1954 until spring of 1964. It was a great neighborhood to be a kid in with plenty of natural places to explore sunsets to watch, stars to wish upon, and dreams to dream.

Ma had and antique shop in what would now be called a three season room until she died in the fall of 1959. (See enclosed article).

Mom and Jay and I had rooms in the basement. Granddad built closets out of cedar in the largest room. The flooring was concrete and whenever it rained water would seep through the walls of the foundation and we would sing as we swept it out the door on the south side. Ma stored her canned vegetables and fruit on shelves that were located under the stairs. Granddad had a work bench on the west side of the basement next to the door entering the garage that was under the house. He kept the materials he used to refinish furniture on shelves there also. I don’t remember there being vehicles in the garage but I do remember him refinishing furniture there. When Granddad was taking care of me and working in the garage he gave me a coffee can filled with water and an old paintbrush and I would “paint” the outside steps or the outside wall that held up the west side of the front yard.

After Ma died in 1959 Mom and I shared her old bedroom which was in the southwest corner of the house. Jay would sleep in the room where the antique shop had been when he came home from college in the summertime. This was a great improvement from sleeping in the basement. Granddad’s room was in the northwest corner and it being the coldest room upstairs whenever mom would make candy she would keep it on a table there.

Granddad put a basketball hoop outside the garage underneath his bedroom window. To protect the window from being broken he put wooden slats on it.

At one point there was a house on the north part of the property. I barely remember it and I am not sure how long or why it was there. I don’t remember anyone living in it. Jay put in posts tied together with rope from the highway to the top of that hill so I could climb up it easier to my pretend fort. The driveway came in the north side of the front yard where a house is now. It forked and to the left it ran to the garage and to the right it went to where the house was. The driveway was gravel up to about a few car lengths by the garage. When the snow melted in the spring time Granddad would sweep/shovel the water down to the highway. He also would have gravel put on the driveway on a regular basis.

Granddad had a garden in the northwest part of the property. I remember the cabbages, tomatoes, green peppers, onions, rhubarb, and being outside while he worked. Ma had a flower garden on the south side of the front yard where she grew roses. On the north side right next to the house by the steps mint grew. The property had lots of trees to play on (apples, pear, and plum). The lilac hedge in front of the yard bordering the top of the hill from the highway gave privacy to the house and smelled wonderful. There was a mock orange bush by the middle door that entered into the living room and a bridal veil bush by the entrance into the antique shop on the southeast corner of the house. There were at least three peony bushes scattered in the front yard too.

At one point and I don’t remember why, when, or where it came from there was a remodeled chicken coop in the backyard that Jay stayed in for awhile.

When we lived there for few years the house was the first house north of the Casey Motel and there was a farm house and barn across the street from us where the Terroness (sp) family lived. This burned down after we moved into Ames. There weren’t any houses north of us on the west side. There was a nursery at the bottom of the hill on the east side. Mrs. Calhoun lived there but didn’t have water. She would come to our place and get it. Again I don’t remember why or for how long she did this. Doctor Adams house was west of ours but we were surrounded by fields. There was an alfalfa field between us and Top-o-Hollow where my aunt Jean Bates lived. I could go over there and only had a small creek to jump across in her backyard. I remember when there weren’t any houses between Top-o-Hollow and 20th street. Top-o-Hollow was gravel and her house was always dusty until the road was “oiled”. Not sure what was put on the gravel roads only that it cut down the dust and the road was darker after it was put on.

This is what the field looks like today April 28, 2009

I remember hearing when we were annexed by Ames that we just got “their” water and the dog catcher. Our well water sure tasted better!

When we lived there the highway was old highway 69 and connected to the new one via Top-o-Hollow and where it does now.

I lived there from the time I was two until eleven and a half so my memories are more emotional then factual. I loved living in the country and riding a school bus to Gilbert school. The sunrises and sunsets could be enjoyed without going outside. The neighbors were birds, squirrels, rabbits and occasionally I would hear coyotes. With the exception of gravel trucks and occasional vehicles and visits to the Casey motel to get soda pop there weren’t any noises caused by people. It was a great place to grow up.

Click to enlarge


Bailey decided to drive around and see what he could find on his way home from the groomers. He likes to drive the Jeep.
A hillside north of where Jay and Ginny lived
First he spotted some Bloodroot leaves growing on a hillside so he had Jay take a picture.

A close up turned out blurry but when he looked at it he saw the close up of an opening bud sharp and clear. So it is a keeper.
We drove down and around and wound up on Stagecoach road. This is the view of "Grandpa's Bottom" as the Great Aunts used to call it. You can see some water standing in the fields because of the recent rainy week-end.

I love the wires. I think it would be fun to play around. I am sure there are some things to chase lurking around under here.
The windmill is a wreck now but it makes for an interesting photo.
This tree holds up a lot of vines. It is going to be interesting to see it as it progresses.
There is so much old stuff around this place that it always takes an interesting picture.

I like this little creek flowing down from the woods.
Skunk River is running pretty full.

These "little ones" are growing up in the front of the house.
Jay found the bluebells growing on Crawford Street. Zoom lens works well.
Jay dropped me off and went to the Grove for lunch. He had meatloaf and also great homemade tomato soup. Yummy and the culture ain't so bad either.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Q & A

I had a thought this morning about "waterboarding" - Just wondering why what is described below sounds like something you would do for recreation like showboarding. I found the answer in the Wikipeda article which also says"

Waterboarding is a form of torture[1][2] that consists of immobilizing the victim on his or her back with the head inclined downwards, and then pouring water over the face and into the breathing passages. By forced suffocation and inhalation of water, the subject experiences drowning and is caused to believe they are about to die.[3] It is considered a form of torture by legal experts,[4][5] politicians, war veterans,[6][7] intelligence officials,[8] military judges,[9] and human rights organizations.[10][11] As early as the Spanish Inquisition it was used for interrogation purposes, to punish and intimidate, and to force confessions.[12]

In contrast to submerging the head face-forward in water, waterboarding precipitates a gag reflex almost immediately.[13] The technique does not inevitably cause lasting physical damage. It can cause extreme pain, dry drowning, damage to lungs, brain damage from oxygen deprivation, other physical injuries including broken bones due to struggling against restraints, lasting psychological damage or, ultimately, death.[4] Adverse physical consequences can start manifesting months after the event; psychological effects can last for years.[14]

Swine Flu

Information about the Swine Flu from the CDC can be found here.

They recommend:

There are everyday actions people can take to stay healthy.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • If you get sick, CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.

Georgia Guidestones

Click on picture to read this fascinating story I found the link on the Masonic Society Forum.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Rainy Day/Week-end Update

Craig and I went to Des Moines for a practice tonight. it was not a great practice because not enough people showed up. So we just got to talk about things instead. Then Kurt and Craig and I went to the Royal Mile so Kurt and I could eat and we talked some more. It has been a crummy rainy week-end but at least the trees and the flowers and the green are returning.
The trees in Des Moines are a little further along than they are in Ames but it is nice to have warm weather bursting the buds. I will get some more pictures this week I hope.
The clouds and the rain on the way home were awesome. We were under a tornado watch and also a flash flood watch (so that is Iowa in the Spring) but nothing came of it. There was a York Rite Festival in Des Moines yesterday but I did not go, I went to a movie instead. Russell Crowe, Ben Affleck and Helen Mirren in State of Play. It was a great thriller and I enjoyed it. The acting was top notch. The twist at the end was not expected. It was set at a newspaper and it made me think about how much the press has not been doing their duty the past 10 years but are just regurgitating the spoon-fed pap which was hand fed to them.
I also finished reading a book and started another. David Baldacchi's First Family is going to be a great read. I really should be reading it instead of writing this.
My car has problems. I am not sure what it is but it is going to cost me $1000+ to get it fixed. but at least it can be fixed and it is cheaper than a new car. I still like it and it fits. I tried to drive a couple of other cars- In one, a Ford Edge I had no leg or ass room. I had my knuckles scrape when I put the seat belt on and my knee was banging the dashboard. Obviously these cars were not designed for someone who used to be 6'3" (and still am at least on one leg.) So I will stick with what I have. After all it only has 124,000 miles on it.
We are still getting rain and thunder. Bailey has not heard the thunder of the would be out growling around and barking. He hates thunder. I have gone back on Facebook and have learned how to do some things on there so that it is more fun. Not sure how long I will stay on it but for now I am enjoying it. Since I am not getting many e-mails lately it is one way to keep in touch with people. Since I am not supposed to drive my car very much I will be hanging around the house and maybe I will get some things done. (But don't count on it.)

Interesting experience today also that points up how my fraternity connects and helps. I had an opportunity to help out one of my Brother's wife and son. As I was waiting for Craig I got a phone call. The brother (who lives in Cedar Rapids) gave his wife my number to call when her car broke down. It was 2:30. Her son had to go to the dorm pick up his tux and cello and get back to C Y Stephens for a 3:00 rehearsal and 4:00 concert. We did it. I left the house, went out and picked them up and took them to the dorm and delivered them to the concert. Then when I got back in town I called and made arrangements to pick her up to take her out to a motel where she will spend the night until she can find out about her car in the morning.

I was the one able to help in this instance but there are thousands of Masons all over the world who would do the same thing and help a brother's family when he can't be there in person.

I love my DVR, I can fall asleep watching a show and wake up in the middle of the next one and because I had set them to record I can watch the end of one and the beginning of the next. Another added plus is that you can fast forward through the commercial. Well that is it for now. Thanks for stopping by, ARTYAL. Hang in there. Flowers are coming. Hugs, j