Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Good bye 2013, Hello 2014

In three hours 2013 will be over and we welcome 2014. The past year had its ups and downs. But, then again, I guess every year is that way. On a sad note, we saw the passing of a former daycare child of ours due to cervical cancer. She was only 29. We have stayed close to the family over the years. This was a very hard time for everyone that knew her. Our youngest daughter’s father-in-law died suddenly of a heart attack right after Thanksgiving.  And just this past Sunday, a close friend of ours passed due to colon cancer. Thank God the year in between had more ups. We had three grandsons graduate high school and go off to college. Our granddaughter that graduated last Dec. from college found a job at a bank and got her own apartment.  And we had our first family wedding. Our granddaughter Tonia and Jeremy got married in June. It was a fun time for the family and it was a beautiful wedding.  One big change for me was the fact that after 45+ years of being a home daycare provider, I was able to retire. I missed the daycare kids a lot at first, and I still do from time to time, but it has been nice to be able to come and go when we want, eat when we want and sleep in, if we want. My husband has been retired for a few years now and was my “helper” in the daycare.  I think he is enjoying a quiet house. This was the first Christmas that we didn’t have little ones in our home in 50 years. That was hard at first, too. But I have to admit it was nice to be able to put the nativity sets and other holiday decorations where I wanted to and not worry about them getting broke. As time goes on, I am adjusting to being retired and I like it. I have more time to create products for my teacher pay teacher store. I just have to make sure it doesn’t become a full time job. That is hard for me because I enjoy creating products for tpt.  I like having time to read, work puzzles and just sit and watch the world go by. 

So as we sit here watching football and basketball at the same time, hubby has the remote, I am thankful for all our blessings. And I pray that God continues to bless us during 2014. Now, if I can just stay up to see 2014 arrive.

God bless you all and a Happy 2014 to you and yours,


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas.

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 

Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Can't have it all but close.

I am sitting here this morning, enjoying my morning coffee. I have the tree lights on, soft Christmas music playing and the hum of the washer in the background. Can't have it all but close.

Hard to believe that Christmas is only a week away. Where has the time gone? December has been an unusual month in many ways. It just seems to have disappeared right before my eyes. I think Thanksgiving being later this year had something to do with it. Plus, we have only been home only one weekend since. We have our family Christmas this weekend. Looking forward to some relaxing, fun time with family. We will all be together for Christmas again this year. We are truly blessed. The grandkids are all getting older, graduating college, getting married,etc, and that is how it should be. But with that comes change. And sometimes that change makes it harder to be all together for holidays. So we truly look forward to all these family gatherings.

Winter came a couple of months early this year. The weather here in Iowa has been more like weather in January. We have had a lot of days when the highs didn’t make it out of the single digits with below zero wind chills. This week we have had a couple of days in the thirties, which is our normal for this time of the year, but that is suppose to change tomorrow with freeing rain and much colder temps. Back into the deep freeze we go. But all isn’t lost. We had a foggy morning on Monday morning and I was able to take one picture before my camera informed me my battery needed charged. I lucked out and it was a pretty decent one. Oh, the beauty God provides when we most need something to pick us up.

Take care, stay warm and enjoy the season.
Merry Christmas,

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Do you like to eat fish?

Do you like to eat fish? We eat fish at our house at least once a month. My husband loves fishing. He goes fishing at Howard’s, a farmer friend. Howard has three ponds on his property and lets a few select people fish them. Hubby helped him out years ago and he and Howard have been friends since. He catches enough fish to feed us and our family till next fishing season. Hubby tried ice fishing a couple of times but he is definitely a fair weather fisherman. He can handle an afternoon in his boat on a  hot summer afternoon in Iowa with no problems. But he hated ice fishing, even when he used an ice house. He hates winter, period. Anyway, after reading this article, http://shine.yahoo.com/healthy-living/12-fish-never-ever-eat-162200617.html I started wondering how good crappies from Howard’s ponds would be. Twenty years ago the thought never crossed my mind. Howard was still farming at that time and left plenty of green space around his ponds. As time went on, Howard retired and now rents out his land. The fellow that rents promised to keep the same practice up. But as time as went on, the green space has gotten narrower. And his crop better as far as production goes. Makes you wonder what he is putting on those fields and how much is going into the ponds. I hope the ponds survive and stay productive for future generations.  

Some pictures of Howard's land.

Road down to the ponds.

View of one of the ponds from the road.

A few fish from a good day of fishing.
Today isn't a fish dinner day. I have a huge pot of hamburger soup on the stove simmering and bread rising. It is only 10 degrees here at the moment, so soup sounded like a better choice. And by the smells coming from the kitchen, I better go check on the soup.

Have a great weekend. And if you are in a cold climate likes us, stay warm.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This says it all.

Another great email I just received.

The typical U.S. household headed by a person age 65 or older has a net worth 47 times greater than a household headed by someone under 35, according to an analysis of census data released Monday.  If all of us “old coots” have all of the money, then let us try to elect someone who might be near honest and not be after feathering their own nests.
They like to refer to us as senior citizens, old fogies, geezers, and in some cases dinosaurs.  Some of us are "Baby Boomers" getting ready to retire.  Others have been retired for some time.  We walk a little slower these days and our eyes and hearing are not what they once were.  We have worked hard, raised our children, worshiped our God and grown old together.  Yes, we are the ones some refer to as being over the hill, and that is probably true.  But before writing us off completely, there are a few things that need to be taken into consideration.
In school we studied English, history, math, and science which enabled us to lead America into the technological age.  Most of us remember what outhouses were, many of us with firsthand experience.

We remember the days of telephone party-lines, 25 cent gasoline, and milk and ice being delivered to our homes.  For those of you who don't know what an icebox is, today they are electric and
referred to as refrigerators.  A few even remember when cars were started with a crank.  Yes, we lived those days.
We are probably considered old fashioned and out-dated by many.  But there are a few things you need to remember before completely writing us off.  We won World War II, fought in Korea and Viet Nam .  We can quote The Pledge of Allegiance, and know where to place our hand while doing so.  We wore the uniform of our country with pride and lost many friends on the battlefield.  We didn't fight for the Socialist States of America ; we fought for the "Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave." 
We wore different uniforms but carried the same flag.  We know the words to the Star Spangled Banner ,  America , and  America the Beautiful by heart, and you may even see some tears running down our cheeks as we sing.  We have lived what many of you have only read in history books and we feel no obligation to apologize to anyone for America .
Yes, we are old and slow these days but rest assured, we have at least one good fight left in us. We have loved this country, fought for it, and died for it, and now we are going to save it.  It is our country and nobody is going to take it away from us.  We took oaths to defend America against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that is an oath we plan to keep.  There are those who want to destroy this land we love but, like our founders, there is no way we are going to remain silent.
It was mostly the young people of this nation who elected Obama and the Democratic Congress.  You fell for the "Hope and Change" which in reality was nothing but "Hype and Lies."

You have tasted socialism and seen evil face to face, and have found you don't like it after all.  You make a lot of noise, but most are all too interested in their careers or "Climbing the Social Ladder" to be involved in such mundane things as patriotism and voting.  Many of those who fell for the "Great Lie" in 2008 are now having buyer's remorse.  With all the education we gave you, you didn't have sense enough to see through the lies and instead drank the 'Kool-Aid.'  Now you're paying the price and complaining about it.  No jobs, lost mortgages, higher taxes, and less freedom.

This is what you voted for and this is what you got.  We entrusted you with the Torch of Liberty and you traded it for a paycheck and a fancy house.
Well, don't worry youngsters, the Grey-Haired Brigade is here, and in 2014 we are going to take back our nation.  We may drive a little slower than you would like but we get where we're going, and in 2014 we're going to the polls by the millions.
This land does not belong to the man in the White House nor to the likes of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.  It belongs to "We the People" and "We the People" plan to reclaim our land and our freedom.  We hope this time you will do a better job of preserving it and passing it along to our grandchildren.  So the next time you have the chance to say the Pledge of Allegiance, stand up, put your hand over your heart, honor our country, and thank God for the old geezers of the "Grey-Haired Brigade."
This is spot on.  If you agree, share with others.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Twas Two Months Before Christmas

I received this email  yesterday and thought it was very well done. And oh so true that it is scary.

MERRY CHRISTMAS                          

Twas two  months
before ChristmasWhen all  through our land,
Not a  Christian was praying
Nor taking  a stand.
Why the PC  Police
had taken away
The reason  for Christmas -
no one could  say.
The  children were told
by their schools not to  sing
About  Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and  things.
It might  hurt people's feelings, the teachers would  say
December  25th
is just a ' Holiday '.
Yet the  shoppers were ready with cash, checks and  credit
Pushing  folks down to the floor just to get  it!
CDs from  Madonna, an X BOX, an I-Pod
Something  was changing, something quite  odd!
Retailers  promoted
Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes  to sell books by Franken &  Fonda.
As Targets  were hanging their trees upside  down
At Lowe's  the word Christmas - was no where to be  found.

At K-Mart  and Staples and Penny's and  Sears
You won't  hear
the word Christmas;
it won't touch your  ears.
Are words  that were used
to intimidate me.
Now  Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf  Blitzen
On Boxer,  on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton  !
At the top  of the Senate,
there arose such a  clatter
To  eliminate Jesus,
in all public  matter.
And we  spoke not a word,
as they took away our  faith
Forbidden  to speak
of salvation and grace
The true  Gift of Christmas
was exchanged and  discarded
The reason  for the season, stopped before it  started.

So as you  celebrate
'Winter Break'
under your 'Dream  Tree'
Sipping  your Starbucks,
listen to me.
Choose  your words carefully, choose what you  say
not Happy  Holiday!

Please,  all Christians
join together and
wish  everyone you meet

Christ is The Reason for the Christ-mas  Season!

Have a blessed Sunday,



Friday, November 8, 2013

The Wonder of the Lord

                             No words needed.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Ambitious or Depression?

I don’t know what it says about my personality, but rainy days make me ambitious. I have a friend that gets very depressed on rainy days. She thinks I am nuts and I can’t understand why she gets depressed. Wednesday was a rainy day. Woke up to thunder and rain and it rained most of the morning. Stopped for a couple of hours, the sun even came out. But it started up again. Well, as I said I get ambitious. So, I decided to paint the inside of the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. It had a few, okay a lot, of rust spots. It was paint or buy a new one. It is large and set in the wall with three mirrored doors. I really didn't  want the mess and stress and cost of trying to find one to fit the present hole. The prep work took longer than the actual paining did. And it looks pretty good. Not perfect but way better than it did. At least now it won’t gross me out when I open it. And I had the paint in my “paint store” in the basement. 

I just need a few more rainy days and I will have things in good shape.

Have a relaxing and blessed weekend.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ahhh, Progress.

Our corner of Iowa has seen a lot of hustle and bustle this summer. The changes to the school building have been amazing. A developer is making it into an apartment building with 32 apartments-one, two and three bedroom units. It is going to have a health club and a daycare center open to the public or so says “the grapevine”. Both sure would be welcome. Winter can be long and, boy, can a person get out of shape by spring. It takes me all summer to get back in shape. So having a place to exercise might be a good thing. All the new windows are installed and it looks great.
Before new windows.
After new windows.
Our interchange is undergoing some more changes, too. Menards has expanded their operations. It is now 960,000 sq. ft. in size.

Luv’s truck stop is building and should be open by the first of the year. It will have a Chester’s Chicken restaurant and a McDonalds. Definitely a good thing that there will be a health center in town.

Conway Trucking opened about the same time Menards did. It is a very busy interchange now. It is becoming a very dangerous interchange with all the trucks coming and going and all the locals gawking at the construction.

We, also, have two restaurants, a Dairy Queen, a motel, RV Park and a very pretty park at our interchange. Needless to say, like so many small towns, our “main street” is moving out to the interstate exchange area. 

Agricultural Symbol  Park

Check out our little town. 


Thursday, October 24, 2013

Have you ever?

I received this email today as the “laugh of the day”.

There was a knock on the door this past Saturday morning.

I opened it to find a young, well-dressed man standing there who said: "Hello sir, I'm a Jehovah's Witness.”

So I said "Come in and sit down."

I offered him a fresh cup of coffee and asked "What do you want to talk about?"

He said, "Beats the heck out of me.... Nobody ever let me in before."

It reminded me of a day many, many years ago. It was a rainy, cold fall day and there was a knock at my door. It was young man, a Jehovah’s Witness.
I don’t normally let strangers in but, for some reason I let that fellow in that day. Figured he could warm up a bit. And, besides, it was a different time. It turns out he was new at his “job”. I asked where he was from etc. all the usual “being polite” questions. He seemed relieved that I wasn’t angrily asking him to leave after finding out he was a Jehovah’s Witness. He was from out east, Massachusetts, I believe. He starting telling me about his family and how he missed them. Commented about being raised Catholic and having doubts. My girls were young at the time and underfoot so I decided it was time for him to leave. He thanked me for letting him warm up and I asked him to put my house on the don’t stop again list and he said he would. Always wondered if he ever found what he was looking for. I never had another Jehovah’s Witness stop for years. He must have honored his word.

Have you ever let a door to door person into your house? Not in this day and time but in years past when it was safer world?  Sure wouldn’t now.

Take care,


Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium Dubuque Iowa

This lived up to its billing as one of the top attractions in the state of Iowa. We spent almost four hours at the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium.

The second floor is all about turtles, some on the endangered list, some very unique in looks. There was an alligator, a beaver family, and a tank where you can touch and feel fish. I chose not to take advantage of that option. There was another attached building that had a lot of hands on displays of early river travel. Very interesting.

Dinosaur turtle


The tank where you could touch the fish.

Another weird looking turtle.

This guy was just "chilling". The only thing that moved was his eyes following me. 


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Steamboat William M. Black, Dubuque Iowa

On the Mississippi river behind the Aquarium is where you will find the
dredge William M. Black, now permanently moored in the Ice Harbor. It is one of the last steamboats built with the advance technology of the 1930s, the last era before diesel power replaced steam. A side-wheeler steamboat, the Black is similar in form and style to the great steam boats of the 19th century and thus constitutes a link with the most colorful period of river transportation. http://www.cityofdubuque.org/index.aspx?NID=713

You are able to tour the Black at your own pace after listening to some background information on boarding.

Here are some pictures of the William M, Black. This too was very interesting.

William M, Black
Pilot house

View from top deck of the Black

Everything on the steamboat was oversized.

Check out the large pots and pans on the stove.

Giant mixer

Very life like character. Found these in other places in town.

 Couldn't find out much about this little boat. Wondered if it tagged along the Black.

Sign below the stack says "Tavern".


Have a great weekend, Rose

Thursday, October 10, 2013

View from the top of the bluff via the Fenelon Elevator.

Dubuque Iowa has a lot to offer anyone spending a few days there. There are a lot of great old buildings to see. The view from the Fenelon Elevator is amazing. When you get up to the top of the bluff, you can see all of Dubuque, the Mississippi River, and parts of Illinois and Wisconsin. The view is amazing. It was 12 noon and the Cathedral started playing the Angelus. Took me back to my elementary school days at St. Stanislaus, where the Angelus played every noon. You can hear the bells, if you listen close,  in my video of the Fenelon Elevator post. It really added to the beautiful, sunny day. 

Take care,

Saturday, October 5, 2013

"World's steepest, shortest scenic railway"

Exploring Northeast Iowa and Northwest Wisconsin

Last Sunday, hubby and I left on a week of touring a part of Iowa that we hadn’t seen before. Also, northwest Wisconsin. We started in Dubuque, Iowa. There is so much to see there. We spent almost two days at various interesting places. We went to Eagle’s Point and was able to look down on Lock and Dam no. 11(Steps on a river). on the Mississippi. But due to the pending government shut down, there wasn’t any river traffic. I was very disappointed. We would have loved seeing that in action. Just can’t imagine how that works.  We spent almost four hours at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. We were lucky there, too. It was closed the next day due to the government shutdown. One other museum we wanted to visit later in the week in McGregor Iowa was closed.

We also rode the "world's steepest, shortest scenic railway, 296 feet in length, elevating passengers 189 feet from Fourth street to Fenelon Place. Magnificent view of the business district, the Mississippi River and three states." from www.dbq.com/fenplco

In 1882, Dubuque was an hour and a half town-at noon everything shut down for an hour and a half when everyone went home to dinner.  Mr. J. K. Graves, a former mayor, former State Senator, also promoter of mines and a banker lived on top of the bluffs and worked at the bottom. Unfortunately, he had to spend half an hour driving his horse and buggy round the bluff to get to the top and another half an hour to return downtown, even though his bank was only two and a half blocks away. Mr. Graves liked to take half an hour for his dinner, then a half an hour nap, but this was im-possible because of the long buggy ride. John Bell, a local engineer, was hired to design and to build a one-car cable modeled after those in the Alps. Mr. Graves' cable car operated for the first time on July 25, 1882. After that, he had his gardener let him down in the morning, bring him up at noon, down after dinner and nap, and up again at the end of the work day. Before long, the neighbors began meeting him at the elevator asking for rides. The Fenelon Place Elevator is still operating as it was many years ago. It is rickety. But the Ice Cream shop that is close to the cable car entrance assured me that there has never been an issue with its safety. I wasn't sure I wanted to take a ride but hubby promised me an ice cream cone when we came back down. Couldn't turn that down. Fun.
The next day we headed out to Wisconsin and northeast Iowa. More on our trip later this week complete with pictures.

Have a relaxing, blessed Sunday, 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Do deer like tomatoes?????

Our straw bale garden has been pretty successful. One thing we will do different next spring is put more dirt in the holes for planting. It sure was nice to have the garden knee high. Made watering and the weeding easy. Wasn’t much weeding needed, tho. Water, yes. It has been pretty dry here and hot. Pleasant temperatures now, but still dry. Anyway, there was one problem we hadn’t planned on and that was critters liking the garden, too. First we battled rabbits and solved that with the white fence that one puts around flower gardens. Just enough to keep the rabbits at bay. But this morning we discovered that another critter had found our garden. Or, we suspect, three. On Sunday, when I was watering, I counted about a dozen or more tomatoes that I figured would need picked today. Hubby went out to pick them this morning and guess what? There were only 5. There were greens tomatoes on the ground and a couple of green bean plants missing. Hmmm also, a cucumber vine, with cukes on, was also nibbled on. On Monday, three deer walked up our drive, coming from the east and heading west. Must have walked clear across town. And they headed right into the cornfield behind my garden.  Coincidence ???????? Or tomato loving deer.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

"King of the Mountain" aka "bully in the bird world"

Hubby and I have spent a lot of time the last few days watching the hummingbirds play “king of the mountain”. They sure don’t share with each other very good. Every year there is one that appoints himself the keeper of the food. We have three feeders a distance from each other. But he won’t share any of it. We have seen the bully knock another hummingbird right out of the air. That poor fellow sat there on the ground for about 5 minutes before he took flight again.  I guess there are bullies in nature, too.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Zonk group night and Apple Bars

Tomorrow evening is our turn to host the Zonk (card game) group.  My hubby fishes a lot, so zonk night at our house is always Fried Fish, crappie to be exact. Since it is still so hot, I am serving potato salad, a tossed salad and fresh baked bread. I had a sack of apples hubby bought home the other day, compliments of a friend, so I decided to serve Apple bars, topped with soft serve ice cream and caramel sauce. I haven’t made these in a long while so the process was slow. When I use to make them often, they went together faster. I guess I am out of practice.

First off, the apple peeler wasn’t where it usually resides. Found it upstairs in the storage room. At one point I was afraid I had given it to one of the daughters. Since the Apples were tiny ones, I sure didn’t want to peel them by hand. Don’t know what kind of apple they are, but they are sweet and very mild tasting.

As I was mixing the dough up with my antique pastry blender, I wondered how many pastries had it mixed. When we bought our house in 1965, the couple left most of their furnishings and all the kitchen things as they were heading to a nursing home. I know I have used  it many times since then and who knows how many times it was used before I inherited it.

Once I got going the process came back to me and it went pretty smooth.

This is the hardest part for me, rolling out the dough.

Apples on top and ready for top crust. Another part I am not fond of.
 Forgot to take a pic.

Whipped egg white and ready for oven.

Done and ready for the glaze.

Looking pretty good.

And hubby and I sampled them at noon. Didn’t want to serve something that wasn’t good.

Here is the recipe. It, too, is old. I have been making it for years. The cookbook  I found it in  years ago is over 50 years old. It calls for lard, even, but I use, and always have, Crisco.


2 ½ c. sifted flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 c. Crisco
1 egg yolk (save white)
2/3 c crushed cereal ( I like to use  a wheat cereal or cheerios)
Sift  flour, 1 tablespoon sugar and salt; cut Crisco in with pastry blender. Put egg yolk into measuring cup and add enough milk to make 2/3 cup. Add to Crisco mixture, mix just  enough that dough shapes into a ball. Roll out half of dough into a 11 x 15 in rectangle; transfer to baking sheet. Cover with cereal than apple mixture.

Apple Mixture
8 c sliced, peeled apples
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 ½ c sugar.(or to taste)
Mix together.
Roll out remaining crust. Cover apples. Patch holes and crack with crust. Pinch edges together. Beat egg white till stiff. Brush on top crust ( this will smooth out top crust).
Bake at 400 degrees for 40 minutes. While hot, drizzle with glaze .

2  ½  powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp. lemon juice or water

Enjoy and have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

God IS Good

Have you ever been just sitting there and all of a sudden you feel like doing something nice for someone you care for? THAT'S GOD talking to you through the Holy Spirit.

Have you ever been down and out and nobody seems to be around for you to talk to?  THAT'S GOD wanting you to talk to Him.

Have you ever been thinking about somebody that you haven't seen in a long time and then next thing you know you see them or receive a phone call from them?  THAT'S GOD. There is no such thing as coincidence.

Have you ever received something wonderful that you didn't even ask for, like money in the mail, a debt that had mysteriously been cleared, or a coupon to a department store where you had just seen something you needed, but couldn't afford? THAT'S GOD knowing the desires of your heart.

Have you ever been in a situation and you had no clue how it was going to get better, how the hurting would stop, how the pain would ease, but now you look back on it....THAT'S GOD passing us through tribulation to see
a brighter day.

This is part of an email I received from a dear friend today. I liked the message. 
Hope you do too.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

More on my antique patio rocking chairs

Years ago, our house was the second house north of the school. The old house that sat between us and the school was torn down a couple of years ago. Back when my girls were little, they would wander down to the first house south of the school. An elderly couple named Mr. and Mrs. Coker lived there. I never did know their first names. The girls loved to sit and listen to tales of old. But what they loved even more were the rocking chairs that sat on the Cockers’ patio. They were huge chairs or at least they seemed to be to little girls. They would talk about how great those chairs were. After Mrs. Coker passed and Mr. Coker was going to move to be closer to family, he had an auction.  Hubby paid a dollar a piece for those two chairs. They have a wrought iron frame and are very heavy. The chairs have sat on our patio for 40 plus years, through all kinds of weather. Wind doesn’t bother them. All it does is make them rock like some invisible person was taking a break. A couple of years ago, we had to have all the boards replaced. The old blue color was gone and new boards gave them new life. I just stain them now so that there won’t be a buildup of paint. They are the best lawn chairs around. The chairs were made by someone that knew what they were doing. They are heavy but rock easy. And these chairs fit the contour of a body perfectly. I wonder sometimes just how old these two chairs are. And I bet they will go on for a lot more years to come.

Have a great holiday weekend.


Thursday, August 29, 2013

A little of this and A little of that

Today's post is just a little of this and a little of that. Mostly pictures taken the last couple of days.

This first is the sky late yesterday afternoon. The white wisps of clouds make the sky look so blue.

Our experiment with straw bale gardening as gone pretty good. We had enough beans for a couple of meals. Would have had more if I had put up fencing sooner to keep the rabbits at bay. We have had a couple of cucumbers already and more on the way. The tomatoes are finally starting to get ripe. Too much shape, I think, has slowed down the ripening process.  But even the one the rabbit ate down to a stub is doing well. Straw bale gardening takes a lot of watering especially when the temps are almost a 100 degrees.

The one the rabbit ate.

Took this as I was heading back to my nice air conditioned house.
 These hot afternoons have been a good time to work on the puzzle. I think my next one will be a 500 piece one. This one is 1000 and is rather hard.  But little by little I am making progress. And, yes, it is beginning to look like there is a piece missing. 

I guess after I get it done and glued, it will need a frame to hide the missing piece.