Friday, March 27, 2015


"The eyes of men are never satisfied."  --Proverbs 27:20
Satisfaction in life is elusive.  The more I learn, the more I want to learn. The more I travel, the more I realize how many places I have yet to explore.  I eat every day and eat again the next.  I check off to-do lists only to start new ones.
Is there any goal I can work toward, finally reach, and say, "Ah, this is it!  There is no way I can improve.  I have reached perfection, satisfaction, and the ultimate happiness"?  

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Immaculate Conception Church & St. Raphael

From the Physicians' Clinic in Cedar Rapids perhaps the most interesting building in view is a church.  While eating lunch in the skywalk between rounds of our latest chess tournament, we speculated on its denomination.  
Our top guesses were Orthodox, Catholic, and Episcopalian.  I zoomed in on the sign with my camera, and Catholic it was.  We decided to walk over to see if the church was open.  I grasped the handle of one of the sturdy doors.  It opened, and we filed in.  Inside, the church was quiet and empty.

Friday, March 20, 2015

A Coin Auction

I'm a far cry from a numismatist, but when Papa mentioned checking out a coin auction in Marshalltown, Iowa this winter, I was fair game.  There was a wide selection of coins, and there also were a few old paper bills.  The most expensive coin we saw went for $3050.  The trays of Kennedy half dollars sold for their value in silver.
The majority of the people at the auction were older men.  But there were a few women, younger men, and children, and some husband/wife, father/son duos.  Most tried to come early enough to find a place at one of the tables.  They were armed with briefcases, calculators, and small magnifying glasses.  They also carried lists of all items to be sold, with notes written beside coins of interest to mark intended bidding prices.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Austinville Historical Society

Austinville is one of Iowa's blink-and-you-miss-it towns.  It has a grain elevator, photography studio, church, and several houses.  Visit the historical society at 9:00 any Tuesday morning for coffee, and you'll meet friendly people, enjoy delicious cookies or cake, and learn of a rich history of baseball games, bank robberies, and practical jokes.
The town's founders, the Austin brothers, began farming in the area in 1868.  An elevator was built in 1891, and in 1892, the name of the town was changed from Evergreen to Austinville, since another town had claimed the former name.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Mission Impossible: A Natural "B"

 Anni from Hootin' Anni's Chronicles has given a Mission Impossible challenge at her blog: find your first initial in a natural state and then link-up with her within the next 2 weeks.  I thought finding a "B" would be a challenge, but I've watched the task force at work enough times to know that no mission is impossible. 
Sample 1: The orange sections on the edge of the outer wing form Bs when looked at two at a time.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Wake Me Up

It's lambing season, and one of our neighbors has a flock of sheep.  Not long ago, we asked him if we could come see his lambs and their mothers.  Some were tiny--only a day old--and others were already growing into sturdy little lambs.  He has to bottle feed any that are rejected by their mothers or whose mothers do not have sufficient milk.  

Friday, March 13, 2015

A Welding Table

In one of my first blog posts, I wrote about welding for the first time.  Since then, I've made many very simple welds, tacking rebar together to reinforce the concrete pads we make for propane tanks, but I am by no means a real welder.   

My brother, Daniel, on the other hand, takes welding seriously.  Would you like to see him at work?