Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bridges

"An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered.  
An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered."   --G.K. Chesterton
A bridge I saw before me; it's way I fain would take.
I strained my eyes to see, but the darkness made me quake.

If the bridge I do not cross, it will fore'er be my loss.
Courage whispers on, but will all be well at dawn?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

A Reason and an Excuse

"Ninety-nine percent of the failures come from people who have the habit of making excuses."
--George Washington Carver

I'm not a very good tennis player.  If you watched me play for a while you might become confused as to whether I'm actually playing tennis, golfing, playing baseball, or a combination of the three. However, during the summer, I do have fun and get to spend time with my family while playing (or attempting to play) tennis.  

There are always at least two perspectives from which we can look at every circumstance and opportunity in our lives.  To everything there is a reason and an excuse.  The human mind is extremely capable, and can think of either depending on what you want to do.

My mother is a former U.S. Army sergeant (an E-5, known by friends as The Enforcer).  In the army she was trained to say, "No excuse drill sergeant!"  As sweet a lady as she is, she's always expected the same from her children: no excuses.  

It's easy to blame circumstances and other people for our failures and shortcomings, but we hurt ourselves when we do so.  It's easy to excuse ourselves from trying, but we often don't realize what we're missing out on.  Only when we are willing to take responsibility for our own actions and faults, regardless of the circumstances, do we empower ourselves to make progress.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Marshall County Courthouse

The Marshall County Courthouse in Marshalltown, Iowa, was built between 1884 and 1886 on land given to the county by the town's founder, Henry Anson, with the provision that a courthouse costing at least $100,000 would be built.  Construction costs totalled just short of $150,000.
Our objective in visiting the courthouse was to visit the clock tower and see the view from the top of the courthouse like we did in Grundy County.  Papa and I were told that the clock tower is closed during the winter, but tours are available during the summer months, so we contented ourselves with admiring the architecture and visiting a courtroom.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

If You Please

From 1908 to 1918, my great great grandmother, Ethel Carson,  had a little book where she kept a record of income, expenses, and various happenings around the farm.  She also wrote or copied one poem, "If You Please," but unfortunately did not indicate who the author was or if she wrote it herself.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

February 2015 Blog Awards

I'd like to thank Ashley of Precious Moments for the Awesome Blog Award and Sisterhood of the World Blog Award.  Ashley shares her photography, as well as hymns, Bible verses, and words of encouragement at her blog.  She asked several interesting questions, which I will address in this post.

1. What is your favorite place to shop?
C.W.U. Thrift in Iowa Falls, IA
Does the thrift store above look like paradise to you?  Only accessible from an alley/back road and located in the basement of a couple more prominent businesses, C.W.U. Thrift is a treasure-trove! 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

7th Annual Holiday Swiss

My first chess tournament of the year was the 7th Annual Holiday Swiss on January 17th.  Papa and I began our drive at about 7:15 a.m.  Sunrise was particularly beautiful, and windmills, which have thoroughly invaded our area of Iowa, added interest to the scene.
After reading a chapter from the Bible, I settled back and enjoyed the scenery along the way.  There were five very impressive stacks of corn stalk bales.  The large rectangular shape of the bales indicates they will be used by an ethanol plant.  Most farmers in the area feed their cattle with large round bales.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Saying No to Okra

One vegetable that my family used to grow in our large gardens is okra.  My parents loved it, but to me and my siblings it was the epitome of a slimy, not-so-great-tasting, green vegetable.  Mama taught us to give everything a try, so we dutifully tried it...and our opinions remained steadfast.  My dearest papa has a policy that no one has to eat anything he or she doesn't like, so we were spared from eating okra and taught a life lesson I'll never forget.
Wiki Creative Commons
"Children," Papa said, "What if a neighbor walks up to your door with a big box full of okra and says, 'Hi, I have some extra okra from my garden, and I thought I'd bring some over for you!'  Would you respond, 'Oh, thank you so much!  I'll just love this!' and take it just to make your neighbor happy?  No!'"