...the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. Geo. Washington Feb. 22, 1732


Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.
Robert Kennedy, South Africa 1966.


Friday, April 30, 2010

Update on Lyssa's Dad

Dan's Family has a Caring Bridge Journal and are updating us through that. I will share them with you or you can go there and sign in yourself.


It’s Friday night, and Dan’s facing what most everyone who’s been through such physical trauma experiences: ups and downs in the early days of recovery.

Efforts to remove the ventilator this morning were not successful, so he’s still got the tubes down his throat (not technical terminology and maybe not technically accurate, but you get the picture) to help him breathe. But unlike Wednesday and Thursday, today he’s at normal body temp and off paralytic and sedative medications, so is feeling pain. And while he’s not alert and fully aware, he is in and out of the sort of consciousness I described this morning, so he instinctively reacts to the discomfort and struggles.

Efforts are being made to find some balance between pain management and the other factors that have to be considered in helping him progress, and that seems to be an experimental process. On Saturday morning, the respiratory therapist will try once again to cut back the ventilator’s functioning fully and urge him to breathe on his own.

Our hope and prayer tonight is that he will be able to do that and provide himself with adequate oxygen so that the ventilator can be removed. While he’ll surely have residual discomfort, it should reduce his pain considerably and allow him to calm down. Heart meds are also being adjusted to support a steady rhythm (again, a layman’s effort to convey what’s going on) until his neural condition can be assessed and a defibrillator/pacemaker can be installed.

You can see – we have a ways to go, yet, even though we have reason to be encouraged. We were told ahead of time, for instance, that if he fought the ventilator, that would be a good sign. So, keep up the prayer support, please, and we’ll hope to be able to report he’s breathing on his own tomorrow.

Tulip Time

This weekend is the annual Tulip Festival in Pella, Iowa (for you non-Iowans Pella has a long and rich Dutch heritage). Ames, Iowa on the other hand has been having an informal tulip festival for the last ten days, and here in no particular order are a variety of images I captured proving that the tulip IS one of the most colorful flowers of spring! Enjoy!!
text and photos by Bob Kelly











Three photos



I had to take a check out to my sister's new apartment and I was supposed to pick up the keys but they would not give them to me until the lease was signed. So I will have to go back tomorrow.

If not for that I doubt if I would even get dressed. I spent most of the night tossing, turning and coughing. Probably will tonight also. I do feel some better but don't like the summer cold and all you can do for them is wait them out. In the meantime I am missing things. I sit in the chair and fall asleep - oh well.

I took this picture of the beautiful Iowa sky when I was out dropping off the check.






Then I went by Battle's Bar B Que and picked up a half chicken dinner to bring home. It was really all I had to eat today. Was pretty good but was not as good as what I would have had at the Specialis Procer Festive Board. And the company (Miles and Bailey) was not as intellectually stimulating as the Brothers of the Lodge.

This is the Welch Avenue Campustown view heading south.







Then on the way home I went by the red bud trees and snapped this with my cell phone camera. Actually all three of these photos were taken with the cell phone.


Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, j

Update on Lyssa's Dad

At 11:00 Lyssa updated with this. Good News.
He woke up! Dad woke up about 45 minutes ago and has been responsive. He has been opening his eyes and reacting with facial expressions and hand squeezes. The doctors took him off his ventilator to see how he could breathe on his own- he was able to breathe but wasn't getting as much oxygen as they wanted him to. He'll stay on the vent for now. Big step in the right direction- such a great morning!

Dad is almost back up to temp this AM and they turned off the sedatives & paralysis meds. The Dr said we may see some changes today, but it might be a couple of days before Dad is fully conscious, perhaps 4-5 before we have a full understanding of his neurological condition. He appears to be developing pneumonia (possibly due to aspirating when this event occurred Wed AM), & is being treated for that condition.
Prayers are still needed and much appreciated. Thank you always for your love and support!!!

Found For Friday

My neighbor found out her dog could hardly hear so she took it to the veterinarian. He found that the problem was hair in its ears. He cleaned both ears and the dog could hear fine. The vet then proceeded to tell the lady that if she wanted to keep this from recurring she should go to the store and get some "Nair" hair remover and rub it in the dog's ears once a month.

The lady goes to the drug store and gets some "Nair" hair remover.

At the register the druggist tells her, "If you're going to use this under your arms don't use deodorant for a few days."

The lady says, "I'm not using it under my arms."

The druggist says, "If you're using it on your legs don't shave for a couple of days."

The lady says, "I'm not using it on my legs either; if you must know, I'm using it on my Schnauzer."

The druggist says, "Stay off your bicycle for a week."


Ever wondered what happens when Hallmark writers are having a bad day....

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Looking back over the years

That we've been together,

I can't help but wonder...

'What the hell was I thinking?'

Congratulations on your wedding day!

Too bad no one likes your husband.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I've always wanted to have

Someone to hold,

Someone to love.

After having met you...

I've changed my mind.

I must admit, you brought Religion into my life.

I never believed in Hell until I met you.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

As the days go by, I think of how lucky I am...

That you're not here to ruin it for me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Congratulations on your promotion.

Before you go...

Would you like to take this knife out of my back?

You'll probably need it again.

Happy birthday! You look great for your age.

Almost Lifelike!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

When we were together,

you always said you'd die for me.

Now that we've broken up,

I think it's time you kept your promise.

We have been friends for a very long time.

Let's say we stop?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I'm so miserable without you

It's almost like you're here.

A first-grade teacher, Ms. Brooks, was having trouble with one of her students. The teacher asked, 'Harry, what's your problem?'

Harry answered, 'I'm too smart for the 1st grade. My sister is in the 3rd grade and I'm smarter than she is! I think I should be in the 3rd grade too!'

Ms. Brooks had enough. She took Harry to the principal's office.

While Harry waited in the outer office, the teacher explained to the principal what the situation was. The principal told Ms. Brooks he would give the boy a test. If he failed to answer any of his questions he was to go back to the 1st grade and behave. She agreed.

Harry was brought in and the conditions were explained to him and he agreed to take the test.

Principal: 'What is 3 x 3?'

Harry: '9.'

Principal: 'What is 6 x 6?'

Harry: '36.'

And so it went with every question the principal thought a 3rd grader should know. The principal looks at Ms. Brooks and tells her, 'I think Harry can go to the 3rd grade'

Ms. Brooks says to the principal, 'Let me ask him some questions.'

The principal and Harry both agreed.

Ms. Brooks asks, 'What does a cow have four of that I have only two of?'

Harry, after a moment: 'Legs.'

Ms. Brooks: 'What is in your pants that you have but I do not have?'

The principal wondered why would she ask such a question!

Harry replied: 'Pockets.'

Ms. Brooks: 'What does a dog do that a man steps into?'

Harry: 'Pants.'

The principal sat forward with his mouth hanging open.

Ms. Brooks: 'What does a man do standing up, a woman does sitting down and a dog does on three legs?'

Harry: 'Shake hands.'

The principal was trembling.

Ms. Brooks: 'What word starts with an 'F' and ends in 'K' that means a lot of heat and excitement?'

Harry: 'Fire truck.'

The principal breathed a sigh of relief and told the teacher, 'Put Harry in the fifth-grade, I got the last five questions wrong
I was barely sitting down when I heard a voice from the other stall saying:
"Hi, how are you?"
I'm not the type to start a conversation in the restroom and I don't know what got into me,
But I answered, somewhat embarrassed,
"Doin' just fine!"
And the other person says:
"So what are you up to?"
What kind of question is that? At that point, I'm thinking this is too bizarre so I say:
"Uhhh, I'm like you, just traveling!"??
At this point I am just trying to get out as fast as I can when I hear another question.
"Can I come over?"
Ok, this question is just too weird for me but I figured I could just be polite and end the conversation.. I tell them
"No..I'm a little busy right now!!!"
Then I hear the person say nervously...
"Listen, I'll have to call you back. There's an idiot in the other stall who keeps answering all my questions
Cell phones, don't you just love them!

I Owe My Mother

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE .

"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.

"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.

"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. My mother taught me LOGIC.

" Because I said so, that's why."

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC .

"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.

"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

7. My mother taught me IRONY.

"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS

"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.

"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA ..

"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.

"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."


12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.

"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.

"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION

"Stop acting like your father!"

15. My mother taught me about ENVY.

"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.

"Just wait until we get home."

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING .

"You are going to get it when you get home!"

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.

"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to get stuck that way."

19. My mother taught me ESP.

"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

20. My mother taught me HUMOR.

"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."


21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT .

"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

22. My mother taught me GENETICS.

"You're just like your father."

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.

"Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.

"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

And my favorite:

25. My mother taught me about JUSTICE .

"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"



Have a great Week-end. Hugs. j

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Prayers Please

My friend Lyssa's father is in the hospital and can use your prayers. You can read about it here.

Update

These little darlings found a place to grow at the base of one of my evergreens in front of the house. I snapped the picture on my way out to get in the car to take me down to pick up my car from the auto place as I had to have it serviced yesterday. Taking the car down and picking it up was all I accomplished yesterday and it looks to be the same story today. I am hacking and coughing still with a sore throat. I HATE SUMMER COLDS! -

The only thing that it accomplished is that I read a lot. I finished The Scourge of God and have started Hadrian's Wall. I am sure I could read something more profound but it is all I have the energy for. I like Historical Novels so I am enjoying them. I read for a few pages or chapters if I am lucky and then drop off to sleep. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs (but don't get too close) j

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Supreme Court News



I got this in an e-mail. It is just too good not to share.

This article was originally credited to Rick Chertoff, who we have since found is not the author. We apologize for the error.



President Barack Obama is expected to nominate Jesus Christ, an immigrant originally born to a virgin mother in Bethlehem, to fill the new vacancy on the Supreme Court. Although Mr. Christ is over 2,000 years old, He is immortal, so Democrats and Republicans expect that He will serve on the high court forever or until He decides to start the End Times. Republicans are expected to fight the nomination on the grounds that Mr. Christ would radically move the Court to the left. The GOP is also concerned that, despite decades of controversy and speculation, Mr. Christ has never revealed his position on abortion. Mr. Christ, according to many authorities, is expected to oppose the death penalty in all forms. Michael Steele, the head of the GOP national committee, issued a statement: "Christ is a complete mystery to us. He won't reveal His physical appearance and many of His positions are unknown or the subject of speculation. He is a stealth candidate. Why won't He reveal himself? Who does He think He is?"

Republicans are reportedly outraged that Mr. Obama even considered Mr. Christ, who has been widely quoted for his sentiments supporting the poor over the wealthy. In a Facebook post, former half-term Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin called for an investigation into the Bethlehem chapter of ACORN because of what she termed the "highly suspicious" coincidence that both President Obama and Mr. Christ had each spent three years as community organizers. In her post, Palin also wrote that "More and more of good God-fearing smalltime Americans from hardworking smalltime towns from great parts of this real America, West, South, East, North, are seeing more and more every day that Christ is a community organizer. We don't need another community organizer in the White House!"

Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-MN) asked, "We're not even sure where He was born. Why is He afraid to show us his birth certificate?" Bachmann also announced that she would vote "no" when the Christ nomination came before the House of Representatives. Later, her congressional staff released a statement saying that the Congresswoman had forgotten that the House does not vote on judicial nominations.

According to Rush Limbaugh, "Christ doesn't know anything about free enterprise. This is part of the Obama conspiracy to drag us to socialism. If this guy is approved, I'm moving to Costa Rica." Sobbing, Glenn Beck attacked Christ's support for the separation of church and state, telling his audience "You know who else wanted a separation of church and state? Hitler."

Several Catholic priests were contacted for comment but refused to discuss the issue, and, even though they weren't asked, all empathetically denied that they had personally molested any children.

Democrats are optimistic about their chances of shoving Mr. Christ down the throats of Americans using normal constitutional and parliamentary procedures. Many Democrats are hopeful that Mr. Christ's past associations with prostitutes will earn him at least one Republican vote, that of Sen. David Vitter (R-LA).

If confirmed, Christ will be the first Supreme Court Justice who has at least one American city named after him: Corpus Christi, Texas.

Recommendation

Go read Forks Off The Moment. Beautiful Post.

The Placebo Effect Beats God, Prozac

This is the story of three drugs. Except one is not really a drug at all and is merely an illusion, a nifty construct, an intense belief that it might be a drug, even though, as mentioned, it is very much not. We just think it is. Isn't that strange? Wonderful? Both?

Read the rest at The Placebo effect. It may surprise you.

Bob's Field Trip to the Ledges

Photos and text by Bob Kelly.
I left Ames on a beautiful sunny day to make a photo record of some of the spring images that could be found at the Ledges State Park south of Boone, Iowa. I had no more left my driveway when I spotted a big pot of Violas my neighbor had by their front door, and of course I had to stop and grab the photo below. Their brilliant shades of blue, lavender and yellow were like a beacon of color.
As I got over towards the Towers Dorms at Iowa State I noticed some flowering Crab Apple trees and my camera just made me take this lovely photo of the pink and white blossoms with yellow stamens all against a brilliant blue Iowa sky! I was off to a good start
As I left town what should I observe but two more "sentinels," these old aging structures standing in place as sentinels of time amidst the fertile lands they once served. The old barn while reasonably erect and upright was missing a few doors and boards, but what I enjoyed seeing most was the kind of brickwork pattern formed by the rusting of the metal roof during the last fifty years. If you squint your eyes a bit and rotate your head to the left, the pattern kind of reminds one of a brick wall.
A few miles down the road was yet another old abandoned pump, most likely a key component for a farmstead that was once there. All is gone except for this pump which stands there in all the weather Iowa has to offer, and reminds us that once it was very important!

After these pleasant distractions, I finally reached the Ledges, and upon entering the winding canyon road the first thing I came upon was a cluster of May Apples. These creative plants come out of the ground like a pointed umbrella in the early spring, rise up taller and then the umbrella gradually opens to the size you see her, and a single or sometimes a double blossom forms. After it whithers it turns in an apple shaped fruit that is in place about mid to late May, thus the name.
Nearby and scattered randomly all over the woods of the Ledges was the lavender Woodland Phlox, standing out prominently from the decayed leaves of the woodland floor.
Along the banks of the canyon road one could see the waxy looking yellow flowers of the Smooth Fox Glove, and well as taller and small flowers with five white petals, called Wood Anemone. In the photo below you get both of them in the same image!


As I cross the creek that meanders through the canyon area, and actually crosses over the roadway about five times, I noticed a purple flowered tree (most likely a variety of Crab Apple) along the edge of the creek, and it along with some of the first bluffs you see in the Ledges, made a rather nice scenic view. After I crossed the creek a couple of times I came upon a Wild Geranium with its light purple flowers showing proudly in the early afternoon sun.
Once you get all the way down to the end of the canyon road you run into at T intersection that takes you north or south through the lower ledges, and back up to the top. Along the road to the south sits an abandoned stone cabin, yet another sentinel that has no function other than to add some rustic beauty to the landscape. It has sat there for decades and seen water rise and fall with flooding, very likely engulfing it as well, but it stands undaunted there for us to enjoy as we drive by.
I turned off the lower Ledges road into a parking lot for a short trail that takes one to Lost Lake, which is a good size pond out in the middle of the forest, and a lovely habitat for frogs, turtles, fish, and water birds. As I walked down the trail to get to Lost Lake I observed a cluster of Jack in the Pulpits, and made a close up of one of them. For those who may be unfamiliar with this plant, it grows in shaded areas, and has a circular base that resembles a pulpit as found in some of the older churches. The stamen parts of this flower are contained in the small cylinder shaped object that protrudes up from the pulpit, commonly know as "Jack."
When I finally got to Lost Lake I observed several Painted Turtles, each about six inches long, sunning themselves on dead logs in the water. Their first response to me sitting about twenty feet away was to flee, which they did. I sat on a bench, enjoying the landscape and just waited and soon one of them emerged up through the moss and algae covered water and checked me out. He seemed to be unaffected by me, so there he remained for a good long time, looking somewhat like a soldier turtle, in camouflage dress checking out his visitor! It was a fun way to spend a couple of hours and I am happy to tell you that Ledges State Park has fully awakened for Spring and I would encourage any of you within driving distance of Boone, Iowa, to go there and check it out as I did today. You will not be disappointed, as no matter what the season, there is always something there worth seeing.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Iowa Research Lodge # 2



Iowa Research Lodge # 2

Iowa City Lodge # 4 - 312 East College Street, #212 - Iowa City, Iowa

(319) 338-8181 41.659113 by W 91.53137 http://www.iowacity4.org/

Saturday; May 8th, 2010

Open Lodge in Form 5:15 P. M. - Business Meeting - Masons Only

It will be declared closed with a rap of the gavel.

Dinner with Ladies and guests Invited at 6:30P.M. @ $15.00 per person

Menu: Pork Loin mixed green salad, vegetable, potatoes dessert, and drinks.

The program will follow dinner:

The Jerry Marsengill Memorial Lecture for 2010

“Operative Masonry in Conservation Techniques of

Salisbury Cathedral and York Minster”

Presented by Robert R. Harvey, FASLA

Professor Emeritus, College of Design, Iowa State University

Professor Harvey was granted leave from Iowa State University to teach Landscape History at Thames Polytechnic in London UK and has presented refereed papers at the annual meetings of the American Society of Landscape Architects, Association for Preservation Technology, International and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and invited to lecture on Landscape History and Historic Preservation topics at the following academic institutions: Columbia University; Harvard University; University of Illinois; University of Minnesota; Joselyn Art Museum, Omaha, NE; Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL; Carlton University, Canada; University of Manitoba, Canada; University of Victoria, Canada; University of Winnipeg, Canada; York University, UK.

Professor Harvey has made numerous trips to England to study the architectural preservation methods to conserve and save these old structures. He has been afforded access to many parts of the structures not open to the public and, as one example, has climbed vertical stairs to the 250 foot level inside the Salisbury Cathedral. He has slides to illustrate these experiences.

Our speaker is a member of Arcadia Lodge #249, Ames; Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, Des Moines Valley; Iowa Research Lodge No. 2; and the Scottish Rite Research Society.

Send your reservations by Monday; May 3rd to

Phil Enabnit, Secretary-Treasurer, (515) 266-7600 E-mail to

masmedia@dwx.com

Give a membership! It is a great deal at $20.00, U. S.

New members receive two books from stock and the new book!

www.yorkrite.com/ia/lodge2

Cough, Cough

This is the picture out the window of the foot Dr.'s office. There is a Canada Goose in it. I took it with my Palm Pre. Below is my Dr working on my toe. I have a sore that, while clean does not seem to heal. Perhaps this summer he will operate on it to fix it. In the meantime I am too busy to deal with having to be off my feet.
Dr. S is a good sport and I enjoy going to see him. I just wish the foot would heal. In the meantime I have picked up a summer cold and am coughing. I think that it is a good thing I did not have to work in Des Moines after all. I got there yesterday and lo and behold there was Don. Turns out his wife is ill and he had to cancel his vacation. So I went to the bank, bought gas and came home. I took three naps yesterday. That is the best thing I can do for it. And as you can tell from the crummy attitude I had Sunday it is best not to blog much. So that is were I am and what is going on. I shall continue to read and rest and heal. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs, j