Sunday, May 24, 2009

Florida Fun

Someone, somewhere, at some point in time, told me that Florida is the 'Sunshine State'. Well, since we've been here we haven't seen any sun or blue sky at all until maybe the past half hour. And the city isn't exactly beautiful, but the trees and individual plants are very intriguing, unique, and beautiful in their own tropical way. We have had a lot of fun poking at the animals and exploring the vegetation. The dogs seem to be adapting very well and now I don't have any worries about them adjusting to life in the city or a foreign country. We bought them new kennels and they both seem very happy to be in them. They are also learning very quickly not to chase the little animals, birds and lizards, that are swarming on the banks of the canal behind Grandma Betty's house. Harvey is starting to get over his poop complex (ack, nobody watch!), but he still is very embarrassed when I make him sit and wait while I pick it up. I can't believe we are leaving in 3 days, but I am confident that all our paperwork is together and we are ready to go.


Look at the pictures of all the animals!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Rain, Rain, Go Away.

So far, this area of the midwest has struck me with it's beautiful simplicity, but really I thought there wasn't much to be thoroughly impressed by.
Last night, however, I was introduced to the raging intensity of an Iowa thunderstorm. It starts with vivid displays of jagged lightening tearing the dark sky in half with the speed and ferocity of a snake bite or a wild cat's claw aimed at tender flesh. Power only found in nature.
Giant booms and cracks of thunder follow it closely, shaking the ground and houses, and so intense it feels like the roof, the trees, the sky and the whole world are falling down on top of you and you can do less to stop it than an ant beneath a shoe. Torrential downpours of rain sweep everything away with rushing rivers of water that quickly overtake measly tennishoes to lash at your ankles.
Thirty seconds outdoors in such a storm has a person soaked and chilled to the bone. I was indeed thoroughly impressed, amazed, and, honestly, scared. Now I completely understand how the Cedar River could rise so high so fast and completely overtake it's banks, the buildings, and everything in it's way.

So.. fact of nature... Midwestern thunderstorms are a force to be reconed with.
Being caught in the midst of one is a humbling experience and an great reminder that Mother Earth created us and she can take us out just as easily.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Goodbye Mama

Today we were up early enough that I wasn't sure if the orangy-purlplish haze on the horizon was the sun trying to rise or just lights reflecting from the city below. Shaun and I were driving west so I didn't see it when the dark navy blue faded into light. When I looked back again, I discovered that my possible sunrise really was just a giant purply-gray haze of polution and the part which looked orange was indeed the night lights of Cedar Rapids. It was about 5 am and we were headed home from the airport where we were sending my mom home from her Mother's Day weekend visit.
And that's just the beginning or part of one of the short stories which will be published in the book that I will write. So all of you can keep a look out for the book on shelves this coming November 2037.
(Look for pictures now.)

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I O W A Part Duex

I am having some trouble uploading photos to my blog page. I just can't do it. So for now, no pictures right on here. You have to click on the name to see the pictures. Which is sad, because pictures are the best part! I am really missing my 'doggy of the day' section at the bottom of my posts.
Oh well... Technology defeats me.
Yesterday I witnessed a rather unpleasant scene. The very aggressive neighbor giant monster pit bull apparently snapped the 3/4 inch aircraft cable he was tied with, snooped into the garage we were hanging out in, and started attacking our dogs.
Our dogs are fine. But the resident's dog got bit on the face and a pretty nasty chunk taken out of her lip. And to make it even worse, resident was bit also. It wasn't bad, just some cuts on his finger as he was trying to free his dog from the lockjaws of Kujo. But apparently this was the third time neighbor beast had attacked their dogs in their neighborhood, second time it had somehow mysteriously got loose, come into their garage and attacked their dogs, and the first time it had bit a person.
It was so sad to see. The poor dog was obviously not trained right, and obviously not taken care of properly, being chained to a muddy hole in an unfenced, unkept, trashy yard. It was so sad for everyone. Especially to be part of a group of dog lovers telling another dog owner that it was time that dog be put down, for the safety of everyone.
Oh well. There are alot of dogs out there and alot of good dog owners. So kudos to them. Life goes on, however that's just one more strike against pit bull owners, which I really hate to see. For the record, I absolutely do not agree with the breed ban. I think we need to chain up some careless humans.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Frisbee Golf and Shrooms

We are still here! In Iowa, that is... Where all the clouds are perfect, all the barns are old, and all the dogs are fat, fat, FAT!

We have been visiting Shaun's old highschool friends and taking it really really easy.

We were all very excited to find a mushroom in the park!

Click on the title to see the pictures of our fabulous frisbee adventure, the mushroom, and Shaun's really really cute nephew!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


As I watched the deep orange sun rise above the silloette of a North Dakota farm on the horizon, I thought about the field of baby cows we had just passed, the herds of deer, elk, antelope, sheep, and even a few flocks of geese. All of them seemed to be experiencing some new stage in life, just as we were, watching the sky turn pastels. Even though we were only half through our 20 hour drive, unable to excape the dog smells and hair (of course Harvey puked 20 minutes into the drive), I couldn't help being overwhelmingly excited about traveling to the midwest, America's heartland, of which I had heard endlessly boring tales of lameness.
So here we are in Iowa. Harvey got over his car sickness, and whatever Suka ate before the drive has digested and his paint-melting gas is gone. There are no mountains here, so I am continually confused as to which direction we are driving.
This is an amazing transition period for me. I am trying to melow down from the 'go go go' attitude I had while getting ready to travel. I have to re-learn how to relaxe into not having a schedule, plan, or list. It is kind of hard to do, actually. But I guess it is just that time of change. Seasons, schedules, lifestyles, locations, and hopefully us a little too.
Yesterday we saw a turtle the size of a nickel or quarter. And of course I didn't have my camera.
I will add some pictures later!
Click on the title to see pictures of our Goodbye Camp Trip at Revenue Flats.