Gratefulness & One Lovely Blog Award

Sunday, November 30, 2014

For many Americans, November is the month of gratefulness and thanksgiving.  I think the only ones who did not enjoy Thanksgiving this year were my neighbor's turkeys.  I captured this shot of them in October.  I haven't seem them lately, so it's quite probable they spent this Thanksgiving somewhere warm.    
I'd like to take a moment to thank Paige at Sunday Best and All the Rest for nominating me for the Grateful Blogger Tag and Aimee at Aimee on the Mountainside for nominating me for the Lovely Blog Award.

A Real Auction

Monday, November 24, 2014

A few Saturdays ago we went to a real auction.  Unlike the church fundraising auction where everyone was there to have fun and donate to the church, here everyone was trying to get the best deals possible on the equipment and tools of a closing electric motor company in Waterloo.  

Lessons I Learned at Bethany: Serving

Friday, November 21, 2014

Luke 10:38-42 finds us in Bethany at the home of Martha and Mary.  Martha was busily serving dinner while Mary sat at the feet of Jesus, listening to him.  Who was Martha serving?  She was serving Jesus!  

What did Jesus tell her?  “Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” 
Dwight L. Moody said, "You've got to have fire to set fire with. You've got to have life to propagate life with." In science, this is the law of biogenesis.  You can only get life from the Life, and you can’t give life to others unless you have the Life.  Martha needed to hear the words of life from Jesus, all else was of little importance.

Does God care about candles, stained glass windows, choir robes, and religious customs and traditions?  No.  What God cares about is His creation: you.  

Today, we are busy with our duties, working with the talents God has given us, and serving.  Let us not forget to talk with our Creator and first love, Jesus Christ.  We must constantly be drawing from His well of living waters if we are to share His love with others.  Isn't it awesome that Jesus takes the time to spend with us?

"As Thou hast died for me, so may my love to Thee, pure, warm, and changeless be, a living fire."  --Ray Palmer

My $1000 Tip

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Last week we received a cashier's check for $1000 more than the price of a painting at my grandma's Carson Art Gallery (for which I am online sales manager).  Unfortunately, it didn't come with a note, "Keep the change."
Credit: National Numismatic Collection, National Museum of American History

Tips for New Bloggers

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Ashley from Precious Moments recently nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award with the question, "Why did you start blogging?"  I thought this would be a fun opportunity to answer her question and offer a few tips, which I hope will prove useful to new bloggers.
My blog began as a place where I could voice my opinionated political views. I quickly branched out to include devotionals, book reviews, photography, and posts about interesting experiences and places.  My advice in an early post on my first time welding in 2012 is advice I still give myself and others today: "Don't be afraid to try new things; you may make many mistakes, but never give up!"  

The Des Moines Fall Classic

Thursday, November 13, 2014

The Des Moines Fall Classic chess tournament this year was held at Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny and directed by Matthew Jacob with 75/5 time controls. 

We started our drive at 6 AM, delivered a load of concrete pads, and enjoyed sausage egg McMuffins.  The first round started late, so I chatted with fellow participants, and a few kindly answered my survey on chess player psychology
My first opponent was John Herr (1798), an experienced tournament veteran.  I remembered him playing on the top boards at CyChess L in 2012, so I determined to take my time and be careful.  The opening was a delightful straight-from-the-book example of the open variation of my beloved Sicilian Dragon.

Chess Player Psychology

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

The effect of chess on the brain holds great interest for me as an avid chess enthusiast.  I've enjoyed the constant challenge the game presents and the camaraderie of very interesting people.  But is interesting the correct adjective?  To answer this question, I enlisted the help of random strangers as well as other chess players.
How are Chess Players Viewed by the Public?
I asked several people how they would describe their impression of chess players in one word.  Many were surprised, "Chess players?!"  Apparently it isn't a social norm to ask strangers their opinions of chess players. However, everyone was very pleasant; some even confessed to playing chess themselves.  

The most prevalent views are that chess players are smart, strategic, and patient.  We could not ask for a more pleasing stereotype.  But do we live up to it?

Kansas Fences and Sisal Twine

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Some fences are built for privacy; however, this one in Kansas attracts attention!
The artwork is created from a variety of scrap metal and road signs.  In 2010 when we saw this fence on a road trip to Texas, we didn't have time to visit the studio, but I would imagine the designer has an interesting story.

Model Train Show in Hampton: Part 2

Monday, November 3, 2014

A highlight of the Hampton show was the Iowa Central Modular Railroad.  Six people created and own various pieces of the set. The members meet, assemble the t-track, and operate it for the pleasure of viewers.  During the winter, the track is displayed at the mall in Marshalltown.
The trains are N gauge.  The cliffs (below) are made of styrofoam.  The elevator silos are pvc pipe.  The static grass was created with the help of electric fly swatters, and the campfire--which miniature people sit around while watching a baseball game--is made from 2 LED lightbulbs.

Model Train Show in Hampton: Part 1

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Last Sunday, my grandparents, sister, and I stopped at Hardy's for a quick breakfast and then headed to Hampton, Iowa for the North Central Iowa Railroad Club's 4th Annual Model Train Show and Sale.  We had set up our tables and hung Grandma's art  the evening before and had minimal set-up work to do before the sale opened.
We brought along some lawn chairs for comfortable seating, and Grandma and I enjoyed delicious cinnamon rolls from the kitchen beside us.  One lady bought several cards to create a display in her kitchen.  A retired navy man bought a print of a mallard, and a few other prints were purchased while I was at the North Central Iowa Model Railroad.