Ahhh, convention

it was perfect.   ” What do we do at convention?” you might ask.  Well, we listen….and listen….and we’re together.  And we feebly try to express our thankfulness.  Not much, you might think, no activities, no business meetings, no tours….but we love it, because it’s what we believe heaven will be like.  And if we love heavenly things now, maybe we’ll find ourselves there someday.

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Multiple streams, rivers and country clubs

In June, I went with my sister to a dinner at the Peoria country club, which has a fantastic view of the Illinois river.  I was going to have “rivers” be my theme for 2009, but really, I’ve seen more caves than rivers this year.  Still, this one is a beauty.  I love it as much as I love the Mississippi River.

Have you ever thought about what makes a river?  The rain falls, what doesn’t soak into the ground may make its way into a little creek or stream and those get collected into rivers.  In the past few years, I’ve run into the term “multiple streams of income”, meaning instead of having one job, people have several ways of making money.  The theory is, it makes you much less vulnerable to changes and upheavals, it makes your river of economic sustenance stronger.

It seems I can’t help but get pulled into the raging healthcare debate these days.   As a social scientist, it’s just fascinating to try to figure out what is happening and where all the emotion is coming from.  I don’t have the answer, but I did realize today that “multiple streams” could be a good idea to consider in the healthcare debate too.  Maybe we’ve gotten too dependent on the one stream of “employer provided health insurance”.   I was reading about some fiercely independent citizens in Montana that didn’t want the government messing up healthcare, and yet, one of those same people was at a clinic for those unable to afford insurance, a clinic already supported by the government.

Whether we like it or not, no matter how independent we feel or want to be, we are part of a community.  We can’t just think about ourselves and we need to realize that one day we might find ourselves less independent than we want to be.  We need  multiple options for multiple situations in order to keep the whole society strong, just the way a river has multiple sources of water.   No man is an island any more.  The pioneer days of rugged individualism are just gone.

And now, you see why I don’t write about politics very often!  Please forgive, and enjoy some river pics!





The last two pics are of the veranda at the country club, including a single photographer’s “self portrait”!

End of summer days


We’re coming up on the last days of summer soon.  Looks like it will hot here through the weekend and then cool off again with highs in the low 80’s or 70’s, temps dipping down into the 50’s at night.   Above is some grass seed I saw in the garden next to the Ames Public Library.  All over town it seems like the gardens are putting on their end of summer show, the tomatoes are ripening as their vines begin to fade away, the last crop of baby bunnies is growing up, perhaps the migrating birds are making plans for their annual trips to Florida and beyond, the Monarch butterflies are charging up with sweet nectar on their way to Mexico, and the night chorus of tree frogs and insects seems to be at a frantic peak.  I’m thinking it’s time to make some basil pesto, put up a little sweet corn for a winter pot luck, go to the Berry Patch and pick some blackberries and see how the Honey Crisp apples are coming along, make time for a concert at the Ames Band Shell Park, work in another trip to the Nevada pool, and start planning my fall wardrobe! How will you spend the end of summer days?

Back Sides

It’s just natural to focus on the front, you know….that part you can see in the mirror.  I remember someone at convention speaking once about front yards and back yards.  Everyone keeps the front yard looking well kept….but you really find out what a person is like when you look in the back yard..or something like that!  I was impressed with the back sides of downtown Ames a while ago.  The backs of these stores do face a municipal parking lot, but still, I thought the backs of the stores showed a nice sense of community aesthetic and responsibility.



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Natural plants

Ok, I am going to admit some of my extreme greeness here.  Today, being green means being ecologically sensitive;  but for me, being green means loving plants, you know, the way people love their dogs, their kids, maybe their houses.  I’ll blame my mother who let me buy the book The Secret Life of Plants when I was a pre-teen, and my gardening dad can share some blame too.  So…I feel really guilty when I don’t take care of my plants properly…and…..although I love some of the extreme bloomers that Earl May and K-Mart sell these days, sometimes I wonder if these plants feel abused, their genes pushed to the extreme for the sole pleasure of humans, kind of like ultra thin models or 3 year old beauty queens.  Maybe we as humans just need to change our point of view and see the natural beauty in some of our native plants.  I know a lot of ecologically green people are doing that these days.  So here are some close ups of plants from yesterday’s rain garden.  Aren’t they beautiful?



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