Friday, January 17, 2014

Well......hey there!  I'm finally going to get back into posting to this blog on a more regular basis. 

But.....I'll be doing it at a different domain.  Head on over to the below link.  :-)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Our Tour of Wilson Sand mean Wilson Island

Last summer was very wet.  Very very very wet. 

(photo by Larry Geiger, found online)

That, under the water, is Interstate 29.  My parents had to drive quite a ways out of there way to get to work each day, on a highway that had flood waters lapping at the edges and was in danger of closing as well.  

The state park near my home town, where I've countless weekends in my life, was completely under water.  Up to 9+ feet in quite a few areas. 

This weekend (July 14th), the Friends of Wilson Island hosted tours of the park.  Members of the public were able to see, first hand, the power of mother nature....and were also able to understand why the park is still closed. 

Chris, the park ranger, narrated the tours and answered questions along the way. 
This was in the higher area of the park....flood waters were only around 3-4 foot deep here. 

 Trees are still falling daily.  There was hope that more of them would live, after so many sprouted leaves this spring.  But, as time goes on, the stress of last year's flood is proving to be too much for them to recover.
The park WILL be reopening.  Sooner than I expected, actually.  They estimate day use to be ready by this December, and it will possibly be open for camping next season. 

 The playground is half buried in silt and sand. 

The sand dunes in the park are in a constant state of movement.  At one time park staff dug a path to this restroom...and then scooped over 4 foot of silt and muck (by hand with shovels).  As you can see, the sand is being blown back in.

Chris said he's measured up to 4 inches of sand shifting from one area to another within a weeks' time. 

 Portions of the park were completely buried under layer after layer of the stuff.   
 Heavy equipment was used to dig out the roads in certain sections of the campground.  As we were driving along, every once and a while you could see the top of a fire grate or picnic table under all of the silt. 

The main shower house didn't weather the storm nearly as well as the small "outhouse" latrines around the park. 

 Not only did the cabin get shifted around in the flood waters...but when the trees started falling, it was struck. 

There are wooden markers on this power pole, showing previous year flood water levels.   The bottom two markers are fairly recent (90's) can see the water line level from last year quite a ways above them. 

Will the destruction was immense, I've seen this park recover from damage (both storm and flood water) with flying colors.  I have no doubt it will do the same again.  I can't wait to hike on the trails to see other changes we couldn't see from the roads. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I feel so old!!!

Yep, that's right.  Brandon, has his permit.  It doesn't seem like that long ago when I'd come home from a bad day at work,  take him in my arms, and we'd sit in the rocking chair...rocking each other into a better mood. 

Now my nephew is going to be behind the wheel!!!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Good Dog!!!

Sunday afternoon:

Steve found out I was taking my new sewing machine for a test drive, so he stopped by to watch the carnage ensue action.

At one point, before the sun had gone down, he was on the back deck....just finishing throwing the ball for Sam. I was inside messing around with a zipper. Mot was in the living room playing xBox.

All of a sudden Sam starts woofing. Not barking...just woofing. Steve and I both turned to look at her at the same time. At once we noticed she wasn't looking at something on ground level. She was FIXED on something in our Maple trees. I get up from the dining room table to come out and see what has her so alert.

Steve started laughing.

"Nej, you need to see this. You have ducks in your trees."

I went out, and sure enough, we had two good lookin' wood ducks sitting in our trees. They hadn't made a noise coming in....but Sam knew what they were.

We have soooo many birds in our yard. Robins, this year in numbers I've never seen before. Bluejays, our pair of Cardinals are back, owls, doves, etc, etc.

She could care less. They walk around the deck in front of her, they drink out of her water bowl, they bath in her swimming pool. She won't give them the time of day.

BUT.......two random ducks fly into our trees and she's all over it. Alert the media! "Dad, get your gun!"

Good girl!!!!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Our Day in Pictures: 06/26/11

In case you haven't seen it on the news.....our region is experiencing something it's really never this scale...since 1952. The Missouri River is threatening (and has, in some cases, come through on it's threats). Sections of interstates are under water and closed. Entire towns are either under water, or WILL be under water soon. I've never seen so many sandbags in my life!!!!

My original home town is practically empty. A town of 300, reduced to just a few families sticking around...holding down the fort, so to speak. Waiting for levees to fail and the water to arrive. The levees are going one by one. Hundreds...thousands of people have been forced to evacuate. Their homes under water until December....if not longer.

My grandma still lives in my hometown. We emptied her house a few weeks ago, and she's staying with my sister and family. The somewhat larger town I moved to in second grade is also at risk. My parents still live there. They, fortunately, live on a hill. Unfortunately, all the routes in and out of town are slowly being eliminated and covered in water. I've never seen anything like it.

The Missouri has a chain of 6 (?) major dams along it's route. The flooding we're experiencing is from rainfall upstream. Snow melt hasn't even become a factor yet. It's nuts!!!!!!

Anyway, the last, and closest dam is about 3 hours north of the boys, Mot and I decided to road trip up to see it. They are pumping 164,000 cfs (cubic feet per second) through it's spillways right now.....and, from the sounds of it, could be increased again before this is all said and done.

(Side note: To help wrap your head around the amount of water flowing from the dam right now.......Gavins Point is releasing at a rate of 160,000 cfs. The flow rate of Niagara Falls during the daylight hours of tourist season is 100,000 cfs...and 50,000 the rest of the year.)

We stopped to eat breakfast at our favorite breakfast greasy spoon...then were on our way.

A stop at Starbucks once we reached Yankton, SD was necessary!! :-)

(The Starbucks was in HyVee. I really enjoy watching Curtis Stone on TV....but those HyVee commercials have GOT to go!!)

After we got our caffeine fix, we headed out of town to the dam.

The amount of people traveling to see it was amazing. License plates from everywhere were lined up along the roads.

The road over the top of the dam is open on the weekends, so we headed to the Nebraska side first.

We parked the car, walked around a little, took some pictures, then headed back across the dam to the South Dakota side. (I may or may not have had my arm well out of the car window, taking video of the water flowing below us as we drove back across. And Mot may or may not have had to yell "pole" every time a light pole would have taken my arm off.)

Once on the South Dakota side again, we had to park quite a ways away. On our way up to the viewing area, we walked along the banks of the river.


(Danny hangin' back, watching the show. It was quite a sight to see!!!)

(Mot and I wasted no time getting up the front. He was taking pics on his phone, while I was alternating between my camera and my video camera.)

(We were pretty well soaked through by the time we left. That water was COLD!!!)

Here is a video taken right in the splash zone of the spillway. It was impossible to get a video showing the power of what you see when you're there in person!!

Just watching the water rush by was making us all (well, not Mot...but the rest of us) a little seasick. And, the sun sparkling against the white foam on the water made it look like a river of diamonds.

And here is the last one taken while driving along the downtown street of my hometown of Missouri Valley. (The interstate is under water and detours from Omaha to the dam took us right near town.) Seeing the sandbags in front of all the stores, waiting to be placed, was a little creepy. The best part is McDonalds (about 2 min in).

So....after we left the dam, we went for lunch.

It wasn't so good. Buffet, blah...oh well.

But, while we were waiting for our table, I spied this flyer on the wall.

Your typical small town summer extravaganza.

Main attractions and pong and flippy cup. Niiiiiice!

After lunch, and on our way home, we hit the visitor center.

Danny spotted some Lewis and Clark dolls on a shelf.

Very lifelike and realistic....right down to the missing tooth???

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Our Day in Pictures: 06/24/11

Hello blogosphere.....long time no see!! :-)

I've made two new goals....
1) post about what we do....SOON after we do it...not six months later
2) get caught up on the days I've know, Jan - June :-)

I'll, in most cases (especially for those updates from MONTHS ago)....use very little wordage. Pictures, pictures, and more pictures. Eventually, the goal is to get into the habit of posting more often....and I'll work my way up to words again. (giggle)

As you can see from this first post....I'm failing at the "less words" thing already.

You can take the girl from the words, but you can't take the words from this girl.

(I have no idea what that means.)

OK, so these first few posts are actually things that happened this weekend. Words are OK. :-)

So, without further ado.....I give you Friday night golf league.

I changed into my golf clothes at work. On the way out the door, my boss asked where I was headed. I told him I was taking my clubs out for their yearly game.

(Last time I'd taken them out was Memorial Day weekend.....2010.)


The girls (Val and Dee) have standing tee times at a local country club. After weeks of inviting us, and schedules not matching up....we finally made it!!

I was on a "team" with Frankie and Steve. Mot was on a "team" with Val and Dee.

Friday was the first sunny, gorgeous day, in quite some time. The weather was perfect!!! No wind, not too hot. And the bugs stayed away until the sun went down on us. It was awesome!!!!!

Elmwood is a gorgeous course in mid-town Omaha. Shakespeare on the Green was in progress on the UNO campus grounds that border the course.

People kept walking across our fairways on the way to the show.

At one point a dude walks onto the course in front of me, just as I was getting ready to take a shot. He was on his cell phone...walking in circles, in the midst of a very heated conversation. I waited for him to look up and realize where he was....but he never did.


(he looked up at me)


(he ran quickly)

Frank in his cart.

Steve taking a shot.

Val, Dee and Mot on the green ahead of us.

(they are actually little dots in front of all those trees on the me, they're there)

The sprinklers came on as we were finishing the 11th hole. We played 11 and 12 before calling it a night.

Or was it 12 and 13?

I forget. :-)

Steve playing "speed putt before you get soaked" on the last hole.

Val's zoo of club covers.

We may or may not have agreed to collect the pins for the country club on the way in to the clubhouse. And we may or may not have been jousting with them on the way back.

Val and Mot

After we finished up, we headed to a pub just down the street to get dinner. It was about 9:45, and we were all pretty hungry.

(Side Note: If you want an AWESOME black and bleu burger....Clancy's on 72nd and Pacific is a rockin' place to go!!!!!)

We watched the last million or so innings of the South Carolina/Virginia CWS game.

It ended badly. I was hoping the pretty orange jerseys would win.



(I mean, I would never pick a favorite based on jersey color. That's such a girlie thing to do.)


After that we said our goodbyes and headed home.