Saturday, December 15, 2007


After the ice storms this past week all the leafless trees looked like they were made of crystal. Absolutely beautiful.
But the downside to that beauty was the power outages that were caused by those weighted-down branches breaking under the weight of all the ice and falling on power lines.

Andrew was off work by 1:30pm on Wednesday and my office closed at 1:00pm and sent everyone home because of the impending weather. Ice storms had been forecasted for a huge portion of Iowa. We made it home at about the same time and were enjoying an afternoon at home together when the power flashed a few times and then everything went dark and silent. Isn't it amazing how much noise is going on all around you in your home that you don't notice until the power goes out? The constant hum of the computer, the heating system, the refrigerator and various other things we hear in the background everyday but we just become used to.


I think the first words to break that sudden silence were "Shit. Now what?"
Without power, there would be no heat. We don't have a fireplace in this house, so that was not an option. It was about 30 degrees outside and our house was built in 1958 when natural gas was cheap and insulation was something that wasn't used in much abundance. I knew there was little or no insulation in this house from many of the remodel projects I've done here. After a couple of hours, it was becoming dark. We have a lot of candles in our house because we like the ambiance of them and we use them all the time. we had plenty of light throughout the house with all of the candles lit, but they weren't doing much to help with warmth.
About dinnertime we decided the best thing to do was go out. We both were in the mood for Mexican so we headed for our favorite place. Closed. Fine, we went a little further to our next choice. Closed. What's with the Mexicans in this town?? They've never seen a little snow and ice? Our next option was open so we went in, had dinner and more than a few margaritas. Hey, if we were going to have to brave the cold all night, we might as well utilize as many methods as possible to stay warm!
We got back home around 9:00pm and the power was back on and the house was warm again. We were the lucky ones. Some parts of town were without power for almost 3 days.
This was the only tree limb casualty we had in our yard. Oh well, it will make some good fuel for the outdoor fire pit next spring.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


Andrew and I had a great time last weekend. Our friend Sue gave us a certificate toward a hotel room at the Main Street Inn and a dinner at a great Italian restaurant in Galena, Illinois. Last weekend was the perfect time to use them.
Galena is an old, historic town in western Illinois just across the river from Dubuque, Iowa. It has become a very touristy little village with locally owned shops and restaurants where we love to go during the holiday season when the entire downtown is decorated for Christmas. A perfect place to do some Christmas shopping for really cool, handmade crafts and one-of-a-kind things.
We set out on Saturday morning just as a major winter storm hit. We had ice, snow and freezing cold temperatures. We had to stop every 10 miles or so to clear the windshield of ice so we could see where we were going. Crazy, maybe, but darn it, we had plans and there was no way we were going to let a little weather spoil our planned weekend. The usual 1-1/2 hour drive took us almost 2-1/2 hours but we made it just fine and without incident.
The hotel was in a very old building and was sort of a bed and breakfast. The owners were very nice and went out of their way to make us feel welcome and comfortable.Here is a picture of our room and a couple of views out the windows looking down Main street and up the hill at some of the old, Victorian homes and buildings that fill the town.The winter storm kept a lot of people away for the weekend, so it was actually nice to not have to push through the usual crowds of shoppers this time of year in Galena. Sure, we had to trudge through some snow and make our way down slippery sidewalks most of the weekend, but it was worth it to not have the crowds to battle. We felt like we had the entire town to ourselves.
Dinner at Vinny Vanucchi's was amazing. Here's a picture looking up at the restaurant from the street below.
By the time we were ready to leave on Sunday, the roads had all been cleared and we got back home safely. We'd spent way too much money, ate way too much food and goodies but we had a wonderful time.
Thanks Sue!

Friday, December 07, 2007


"You sir, have no business being president!"

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Honestly, did anyone watch our president's press conference this morning on the NIE report and NOT see right through his bold faced lies?? C'mon, the body language alone spoke volumes.
I apologize to anyone offended by my language here, but watching this press conference made my blood boil.

If this wasn't enough to convince everyone to get out and vote in 2008, I'm not sure anything will be.