May 29, 2013 – Record Flood on Iowa River

I’m late posting this, but better now than never. The Iowa River (the closest river to us) reached record levels this week – even higher than the floods of 2008 and 1993.

This photo from the Marshalltown Times-Republican shows the river looking south into Marshalltown along Highway 14.

This photo is of the other main highway north of town, Highway 330 near Albion. We put a sump pump in after 2008 when we redid our septic and while not perfect, it was much better than 2008 when water accumulated in the basement – this time there was just some water running through to the drains over the cement floor.

Needless to say gardening has been non-existent and we’re behind the 8-ball trying to catch up. Most of the things we did get in between raindrops is doing well, although portion of the garden have had water running/seeping through for over a week.

May 28, 2013 – Emma at Accelerated Freefall Iowa!

For a graduation present, we thought it would be good to throw Emma out of an airplane a couple of miles above the earth! Cynics among you may view this as a way to avoid paying for college, but the guide she tandemed with is a colleague of Linda’s, so we knew he would treat his precious cargo appropriately.

Getting ready.  A purple jump suit is perfect!

Gaining altitude.

The moment of truth!

Head first out of the plane.  I wonder if it feels like birth is like?

Upside down, looking up for a while.

Freefall with the storms moved off to the east.




I can fly! Flap harder!

Getting closer you can see all the ponding in the farm fields.

Chute deploys.

Back to terra firma, almost.


Back to the soggy ground at the Boone airport.

May 25, 2013 – High School is Over!

Graduation 2013.  And Emma couldn’t have had any more symbols behind her name!

The one that’s most indicative of Emma is the one designating “Silver Cord” recipients, for those students with more than 100 hours of community service per year of high school.

Emma was also selected as a commencement speaker. Since the school is about half minority students (yes, in the middle of Iowa there is a school where there is such diversity), she presented a speech with a Hispanic friend.

Emma being a boss at the podium.

The ceremony was one most will not forget.  During the ceremony, which included a storm that pushed the local river to a record flood level, the sound of the civil defense sirens filled the gym.  As the principal was giving instructions to seek shelter from the storm, the policeman on duty alerted him that the sirens were for a flood warning, not a tornado, so the ceremony continued until… the power went out. And about 15 minutes later the lights came back on.

By the time the ceremony finally ended, the storm had passed and we could gather for a photo.

May 16, 2013 – Emma Competes at State Track Meet

Emma’s 4×800 team qualified for the state track meet.

Here’s the team overlooking the famed “blue oval” at Drake University, home of the Drake Relays and the 2013 NCAA Track and Field Championships. Now she can say she’s run on the same track as Bruce Jenner, Michael Johnson, Carl Lewis, Jesse Owens, Wilma Rudolph, Frank Shorter, and Gwen Torrence!

Emma ran a PB (personal best) for her leg of the relay, a great way to go out of her high school career.

May 10, 2013 – Spring has Sprung!

Now with the snow gone and all, it’s time for a walk around the farm to see what’s up.

The plums are usually one of the first out of the gate.

This pear is just starting to bloom, while another variety has already finished.

This one’s just peachy!

Apples are a bit behind the rest of the gang.

This cherry tree was blown horizontal in a storm two years ago and I didn’t have the heart to take it out, and it looks like it’s making a case to stay, even though the trunk is horizontal – easy picking from the top of the tree!

A close-up of the cherry blossoms.

Mushroom logs are beginning to set fruit as well.

Garlic is looking on target as well.