Friday, November 30, 2012

Time for Christmas Decorating-Nativity sets

I always start my decorating by setting up my Nativity sets.

And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. Luke 2:12  

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16  

This is the first Nativity set that I purchased, 50 years ago this month, for our first Christmas. It has many nicks from being "loved" over the years, but it is still a favorite.

This one has been nice because the kids can re-arrange it without a problem. It is pretty indestructible. 

As you can tell, it has the touch of a three year old.
"Animals on the one side and people on the other side"

The next two are fragile so they are up where little hands can't reach.

            And last but not least, The Willow Tree Nativity Set.

     Oh, A Crocheted Finger Puppet Nativity Set, for the kids.

Here is a Nativity set I made for my daughter and family, 20 plus years ago. Made from Plastic Canvas.

If all goes well, the tree and the Santa collection will come out this weekend.

Have  a good weekend, everyone. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Hot tub for the birds.

I spent a couple of hours in the kitchen Tuesday morning getting dinner (our noon meal) in the oven. And there was a steady parade of birds between the feeders and the birdbath. I think the key to a lot of birds in the winter is a heated birdbath. It is a hot tub for the birds and they love it.  So do the squirrels. They had a drink or two but I had my hands in the meatball mixture and was unable to  get a picture of them at the birdbath.

Top left, clockwise: nuthatch, flicker, blue jay, junco

Top left, clockwise: Goldfinch, more goldfinch, blue jay, house sparrow.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Oops, I goofed

I had some problems posting yesterday's post on my blog. The script was highlighted and I had no idea how to get rid of it. Somehow, not sure how, I got it right. Well, I had various versions on my blog so I decided to delete the highlighted ones. And you guessed it, I deleted the Sky is on Fire post, too. Some days,  a person should just let it go and do something else. Some of my followers have asked about it, wondering where my sunset pictures went, so I am re-posting the sunset pictures.

See you tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Iowa Eagles

Just about everyone here in Iowa has heard of the Decorah Eagles. Their nest is 80 ft up in a cottonwood tree, above a fish hatchery in Decorah Iowa. The Decorah Eagles have been a pair since 2007. They have fledged 14 eaglets since then. We have been very fortunate to have the Decorah Eagles live cam program. The Decorah Eagle cam went worldwide in 2011 and has had over 250 million viewers in almost 200 countries. It is very popular with school kids world over. My daycare kids love watching the eagles, from the time the eggs hatch till the eaglets fledge. Sure hope the Eagles choose the old nest over the new one.

Mom and Dad

“Oct 26, 2012: The Decorah Eagles Have Surprised Us With A New Nest.
In addition to working on their nest, the Decorah Eagles have begun building and alternate nest. Multiple nest building is fairly common among Bald Eagles and we don’t yet know which nest they will choose for 2013. We absolutely cannot install cameras at the new nest tree this year, so we may not see the Decorah Eagles for the rest of the 2012-2013 season. We’ll miss watching them online, but it is exciting to see them building their new nest. Once again, Mom and Dad are giving us fresh insights into the lives of bald eagles! Stay tuned for updates and information as the season progresses. If the eagles choose the new nest, we will post mages and possibly video to facebook and our blog”

This is a very interesting documentary on the lives of the Decorah Eagles.

PBS Documentary of Decorah Eagle

Friday, November 23, 2012

Too Windy for Me

Dinner was at number 1 daughters this year.  The daughters rotate so it at a different daughter's every year. Daughter number 1 lives in rural Iowa, about a half hour drive from Des Moines. 

It is about a 2 hour drive for us. Almost all interstate, so it is a pretty easy drive till you reach D.M. Then the traffic can get heavy.

Des Moines is the state capitol of Iowa. It has a very impressive capitol building. Yes, that is real gold on the Dome of the Capitol building.. 

This year the weather was warm, with temperatures in uppers 60’s. But so very windy. Daughters and I had planned to take a walk after dinner instead of sitting around .But the winds changed those plans. They sat on the deck enjoying the warmth of the sun and the scenery. I stayed inside, I hate wind.

Iowa is so windy most of year that a lot of wind farms have sprung up. There are a couple of pretty good size ones not far from our town. I find them very fascinating.  Love watching them spin.

It was a very relaxing Thanksgiving. Lots of visiting, some football watching and lots of laughs. A very good Thanksgiving. 

Enjoy the rest of the weekend.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for: Our family, our health, our homes, our jobs, living in a country where we don’t have to worry about roadside bombs or missiles, refrigerator and pantry filled with food, for friends and freedom to worship as we please.

These photos were on a social media site today. I think they are ones that we should keep in mind,especially in the next few days.

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever." Psalm 107:1

Enjoy your families and friends.

P.S.  Know anyone who might want to be vision or mobility teachers?  All in this program thus far have been hired in Iowa. Iowa has quite a few TVIs who will likely retire in the next few years, so this is a  good  opportunity.

We have re-opened the Grow Your Own Scholarship program and will be taking applications through December 14th, 2012. As active members of the vision community, your referrals are the strongest encouragement to get others interested in the field. Please forward the attached announcement to anyone you think might be interested in starting, or continuing, a TVI or O&M program.

More information, including an informational presentation and application, can be found at -

Thank you!

Justin Ruegg
Director of Human Resources
Iowa Educational Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Iowa Braille School
1002 G Avenue
Vinton, IA 52349
Phone (319) 472-5221 x 1226
Fax (319) 472-4371

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It’s for the Birds.

I have bird feeders out my kitchen window. Takes your mind off the chore at hand, when you can look out and see what birds are out there. Today,I glanced out, as always, and the feeders had the usual goldfinch feeding. We have a huge flock of those around all the time. But there was this bigger red bird sharing the feeder with them. At first, I thought it was a cardinal, till it turned  around. And, oh my, what a strange looking beak.It has a thick,curved bill with crossed tips.I grabbed my camera and, lucky for me, he  isn't a timid bird. I was able to take a couple of pictures.

When the kids were taking their naps today, I sat down at my computer  and did some searching. It is a Red Crossbill.  Seems like this isn’t it natural range.

This is what I found on
” A stocky finch of mature coniferous forests, the Red Crossbill is dependent on the seed cones that are its main food. Its peculiar bill allows it access to the seeds”.

Sounds like seeing it in our area is rare. I checked a couple of times  during the day, and never did see  it again.

Speaking of “ its for the birds” is anyone doing the Black Friday sales? I think they are for the birds. Maybe not the sales, but getting up that early to shop is definitely “for the birds” in my book.

Enjoy your evening.

p.s. I added three new cards to my Christmas Cards page. Check them out.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pictures say it all.

“When I admire the wonder of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in worship of the Creator”  Mahatma Gandhi


The sunset this evening was beautiful. The moon is from a evening a while back.

Good night.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


The weekend seemed to fly by. Maybe because it was a bit busy. Did some light cleaning on Saturday, snuck in a half hour nap in the afternoon. I haven’t done that forever.  Had friends in after church to watch Iowa State football .  Today, I spent a lot of time at my desk making cards.The day just flew by. Hope to finish them up tomorrow or Tuesday and then add them to my Card List.  Love having the time to do that. Now I am watching a new Hallmark movie, “It’s Christmas, Carol”.  A predictable movie but still very good. A modern version of Scourge.

Read this at Found it very interesting. We have a lot of wild turkeys in our area. They are becoming about as dangerous as deer on the roads.

“Overcoming Adversity
Wildlife managers estimate that the entire population of Wild Turkeys in the United States was as low as 30,000 in the early 20th century. By the 1930's, they were almost totally extirpated from Canada and found only in remote pockets within the US.  Populations have rebounded spectacularly since programs across the country were put in place to protect and encourage the breeding of surviving wild populations.  The rebound has reached the point where hunting has been legalized in the lower 48 states and current estimates place the entire Wild Turkey population at over 7 million.”

Check this out. Some really good deals.
Everything in my store is marked down 20-50% off or more. Almost everything is $20 or LESS! Get your shopping done today!  This store has a wide variety of products.
Anton Murals
Murals, Paintings and More

Have a good Monday.

Friday, November 16, 2012


I had such plans for today. After the daycare kids left at 1, I was going to do some research on the computer in peace and quiet. Well, as usual, well laid plans of mice and men. Things didn’t work out that way.

This morning, I was checking out some of the blogs I follow, and my computer froze up. I hit, ctrl, alt, delete with no results. Tried it again and again and nothing. Still froze. So I just held down the off button till the computer shut down. This has happened a couple of times this week. I just figured I had too many windows open. I tend to do that. After a reboot. NOTHING. The blue screen of death.
This laptop has been a pain from almost day one. Sometimes I have a card reader, sometimes I don’t. The DVD/CD hasn’t worked for months. I have to transfer anything I want to burn onto a flash drive, install that on my hubby’s computer and then burn it from there. The lid is falling apart bit by bit. Is really squeaky when I open and close. And that is where the problem lies. I called a computer repair person, and she said it sounds like I have a short. She suggested I get the lid in a position where everything is working and DUCK TAPE it. Yes, duck tape it. So I did. But the lid is still very unstable. Don't think it is going to work for long.

She said there isn't  anything that can be done. Suggested, I start watching for a good deal on computers. Maybe find something during black Friday shopping. So, my question to all of you? What kind of computer do you have? Are you happy with it? Any suggestions?

Have a good weekend.

P.S. a giggle from my daycare .

Daycare girl at breakfast this morning:

“Rosie, do you know what you do when you have to toot?
Me: “No, what”?
Daycare girl:
“You go like this. “ and at that she lifted one cheek off her chair and let one go.

Tried not to laugh, but that was impossible. 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

No more falling hall tree.

A few months ago, I decided I needed somewhere to hang coats when cold weather came. I had been using a hall tree but it would get so full of jackets and coats it would fall over. Not only was this a pain it was, also, dangerous for the daycare kids. I was afraid one day it would land on one of them.  
A bit of history on our place.  In the 1940’s and 50”s our house was a duplex, hence two back doors and two front doors. In the winter months we don’t use the back door that is in dining room,now being used as my office. Saves wear and tear on the carpet and energy. The thermostat is in that room and every time a daycare parent came in, the cold air would cause the furnace to come on. So, everyone enters through the garage and then the toy room. That left me just the hall tree in the toy room for coats.
Anyway, we had this old wardrobe that my husband bought home many, many years ago, his place of employment was getting rid of it. We put it in the garage and used it for storage. One day, I got a bug in me and decided I could use it for coats etc in the house. But it was in pretty bad shape. The doors had warped from being in the heat and the cold for years. And the finish was ruined. I took off the doors and sanded the wardrobe with the thought of refinishing it. The wood hadn’t fared well in hot and cold and needed a lot of wood putty to smooth things out. I, also, had to fill all the holes from the hinges, 18 holes in all. After a lot of sanding, I decided   painting it a dark brown would be better than trying to stain it. Came out pretty good. And a daughter inherited the hall tree.

What do you think?

Stay warm.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


A fellow blogger commented how she missed feeding the birds. She said one squirrel found the feeders and soon the feeders were over ran with squirrels. And she gave up trying to feed the birds.

Well, that reminded me of our experience with pigeons a few years ago. One day, when I had the daycare kids outside playing, a pigeon landed not far from the kids. They got all excited and asked if they could feed it. I didn't figure it would hurt anything, so I let them. Every day for a week, when we would go outside, that pigeon would be there and would follow the kids around like a puppy. I let them feed him,  thinking “how cute”. They even named him, Sam. We all just assumed it was a "he". Then, one morning, there were two. So now, we had Samantha. Those two pigeons would follow the kids even while they were riding their big wheels. At this point, I was thinking that, maybe, this wasn't  such a cute thing after all. This went on for a couple of weeks and I thought” okay, maybe, it isn't so bad. It sure was entertaining for the kids. Then, one morning, as the daycare kids were arriving, I noticed that the roof line, on the neighbor’s house, had pigeons lined up from one end to the other. Sam and Samantha had invited their whole family, in-laws and all.  And once they saw the kids getting out of cars, they swooped down wanting them to feed them. Needless to say we quit feeding pigeons and it took a long while before they gave up and went some place else for their free meals.  Haven’t seen many pigeons in the neighbor since and that is fine with me. 

Take care and have a good Thursday.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Have you ever had a night, when you are tired, but you can’t stop the wheels from rolling? I am having one of those nights. Too many irons in the fire and the days seem to fly.  It seems to happen to me every year at this time.  Of course, hubby is asleep and in great form, sound wise.

We have our family Christmas in the middle of December this year and I think I just realized that is just a month away. I have a few little things bought and some ideas but that is about as far as it goes. I think I am going to try and put all the Christmas things on the back burner till after Thanksgiving. And relax. And get serious the week after. We are going to daughter number 1 for Thanksgiving. Daughter number 3 and family, and Daughter number 4 and family will be there. This is the first year in a long time that all of us won’t be together for Thanksgiving. Daughter number 2 and family aren’t able to make it this year.  If all goes well, all 24 of us will be together for Christmas.

Speaking of Thanksgiving, many years ago, I wanted a Thanksgiving center piece for my coffee table that would hold up to daycare in my home. And do you remember when the plastic canvas crafts were the rage. Well, I made this turkey out of plastic canvas.

It is holding up pretty good for an old bird. It got knocked down a couple of times today.  Hate to think how many times that has happened over the years. But I try to have something on the coffee table that the kids can’t hurt. And this has, definitely, filled the bill.

I do feel calmer now. That is the best part of blogging.  It seems to calm me down. And after writing a post, I feel like I have accomplished something for the day.

Think, I will go to bed.

Good night.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Baby, it's cold outside.

Another weekend is about to come to an end. The weather men were sure right about the change in the weather. It was 26 when we got up this morning. We had a half inch of rain over night and with those temps it turned to ice. Streets were a little slick. Our west kitchen windows were iced over. The sun did come out midday but it didn't help the temperatures much. The high was 29 and windy. Brrrr. Didn't even step outside once. Way too early for this kind of weather.

Some good friends of ours were pasting through, heading to the city, and stopped for coffee early this morning. I did manage to get up early enough to make some muffins to serve with coffee. It was fun visiting with them. Other than that, we spend a lazy Sunday watching football and playing on the computer. Nothing too exciting. But that’s okay. Everyone needs a day like that once in awhile.

I did find enough ambition to come up with an ABC project for the three year old to do tomorrow. With this kind of weather, I like to have table projects for her. She loves it, too, especially if it involves glue sticks.  I am not a fan of parking the daycare kids in front of the TV when we can’t go outside.  So, table play it is. And reading books. That is always a hit.

Have a great Monday.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Beautiful sunrise

What a beautiful day in Iowa. Feels more like late spring than late fall. The sunrise was unbelievable. I always get excited when I can see the sunrise from our house. Most of the time it is blocked by trees and houses. 

Haven’t done a lot today. Just the usual Saturday cleaning. You know, dusting, cleaning the bathroom, mopping the floors. Hubby did the vacuuming. Gee, on second thought, I guess I have done a lot today.Now relaxing, watching some football. And the birds.The woodpeckers have been making a path to our feeder all day. The big one chases off the smaller one but as soon as he leaves the smaller one returns. Talk about determination. 
I wonder if the birds know that tomorrow is going to be so different from today and are storing up. Instead of sun and temperatures in the  70’s, tomorrow’s forecast is for rain and  highs in the 30’s.  
Tomorrow is our church’s Fall Dinner. Sure hope the weather doesn’t hurt the turnout. Speaking of church, I think I will go shower and get ready for Mass. It is that time of the day.
Have a blessed Sunday.

Oh, added some Christmas cards to my pages. And revamped my other card pages. Check them out. Thanks

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ahh, fresh smell

Finally, the weekend is about here. For some reason, this has been a long week. Don’t know why. Cause it’s, actually, has been a good week. The daycare kids have been good. The new baby is an angel. So far. Knock on wood. You know how that goes, when you talk about it all "h" breaks loose.

One good thing has come from this week. The smell from the deceased mouse is finally leaving our walk-in closet. It will be two weeks Saturday, that I first caught a whiff of it. I took everything out of the closet, washed the shelves, dusted the baseboards and hubby vacuumed the carpet. Never did find the critter’s remains. But the smell proceeded to get worse as the days worn on. There is a crawl space above the closet and I think that is where the critter was. This is the first evening that the closet smells close to normal. It helped that the weather was so nice the last couple of days, enabling me to open the bathroom window. Our walk-in closet is off of our bathroom. Great place for it, I might add.

Got a couple of Christmas cards made this afternoon. Hope to get more made this weekend and get them posted by Sunday evening.

Have a good weekend everyone. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Necessary but not necessary fun

Today was a beautiful day here in Iowa. Sunny, no wind and 52 degrees. Great day for doing something fun. I don’t think grocery shopping  qualifies for that. But eating does. So, I guess they go hand and hand. The college student that checked me out, was beside himself over the outcome of the election.  He was not very happy. Told me how tired he was from watching the results and than not being able to sleep because of those results. Poor guy. I, in turn, wasn't very happy either about how all the prices seemed to go up since a couple of weeks ago when I last bought groceries. While in the city,I, also, made a stop at Hobby Lobby to pick up some scrapbooking paper to start on Christmas cards.  After putting all the groceries away,I was too tired, or should I say lazy to do anything else. So, I spent the afternoon looking for some good card ideas to get me motivated  Check back in a couple of days and hopefully  I will have some Christmas cards made.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Yum. Homemade noodles

Nov. 6
Yesterday was a chilly day in Iowa. Stayed cloudy and dreary all day, never getting above 48 degrees. A perfect day for homemade chicken noodle soup.  My chicken soup has always been a hit in my daycare. I have always wondered if it because it is so good or if it is because the kids love  to help make the noodles. I have bought noodles since we have been married. Take that back, one time when feeling lazy, I bought some and everyone agreed that the soup wasn’t near as good. I think they are just spoiled. Anyway, it was a good day for soup . And since I have never figured out how to make smaller pots of soup, I don’t have to cook today. No matter what kind I make, I always make way more than we need. But it sure makes the next few meals easy. Nothing hard about reheating leftovers.
My helper

Our homemade noodles drying

Here is my recipe for  noodles.
3-4 eggs
Flour –3-4 cups.
Salt- I would suggest around a ¾ tsp per egg

Add flour till you have a soft dough that rolls out easy. I am lucky to have a noodle press ( a gift from a daycare family many years ago) that I use. But if you don’t, just roll out your dough on a floured counter till it is paper thin,. Dust dough with flour than roll up a sheet of dough like a jelly roll (forming a spiral) then cut into noodle widths using a very sharp knife. Unroll  and let dry till ready to cook.. To cook, drop them in your soup and cook till done. Very easy. Enjoy

Don’t forget today is Election Day 2012 and cast your vote.. Not sure how we could forget with all the phone calls and TV ads. 

Monday, November 5, 2012

YUCK!. What's that smell

Another skunk in the live trap. Yes, skunk. My hubby keeps his live trap, un-baited, behind our shed. He has caught various critters this summer. Skunks, raccoons, one mommy opossum with her babies, squirrels, cats and even robins. Now, why would all these critters go into a trap with no bait is beyond me. One time we had a woodchuck digging around our fountain so he baited the trap trying to catch it. Do you think it would go in the trap. NOOOOOOOOOOOO. But leave it open, behind the shed with no bait and it is a mean machine. Except for rabbits. They must be smarter than the rest of our local critters. Never has he caught one of them. He takes his trap, critter and all, out to the country and lets them go. I say he is catching the same critters over and over again.heehee So, later today, he will put a blanket over the trap and take the skunk for a ride. The blanket keeps the skunk from spraying. I don’t know why. Either they don’t spray what they can’t see or, my opinion, they don’t spray in confined areas, because they don’t want to sit in their own stink. I keep telling him not to count his luck.,tho.  One day it might not work. He had planned on closing the trap for the winter but just hadn’t got around to it. Hopefully, now he will.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

New to blogging

My name is Rose. I have enjoyed reading blogs and decided it might be fun to try doing one. I live in a rural small town in Iowa. Really small town-only 600 + population. Thus my name, Small Town Giggles.. I have been married for many, many years, have 4 married daughters and 13 grandkids. I am a home daycare provider. I started this "career" as a way to stay home with my own girls. And, I am still at it. I love spending my "free time" making greeting cards, reading and playing on my computer and bird watching/feeding.

Dear old aunt

I decided this morning, to get the kitchen and bathroom floor scrubbed. With daycare in my home, this is something I need to do every week. But, there are those weeks when I do a better job of putting it off, than it takes me to get the job done.  But you know how one project leads to another. I live in a house that started out as two rooms in the 1800's and grew to a 5 bedroom house. Love it and all its antique features. Even the 6  panel antique doors. But, those corners in them can really gather dust. So I decided to wash them since  I was in a cleaning mode. And that reminded me of one of my aunts. Every time she would come, she would comment on how clean the doors were, even tho I had kids rounding around. To this day, when I wash them, I find myself thinking of that dear old aunt. Makes the job a bit easier.