Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Three Oak Trees Down

We said goodbye to three of our old oak trees today. Frank's Tree Service was out and took down three of our trees that had not survived last winter. Two were very large Red Oaks and one was a much smaller oak that we used to call a Scrub Oak. I don't know that is an official species or variety of oak but where I grew up in Minnesota that was what we called the smaller, scruffier looking oak trees.

Our backyard looks much different now but by no means does this mean we are out of trees. When we moved into this home more than 30 years ago we had about 26 trees on our 1/3 acre lot. Yes, we have a shaded lot. The aerial photo on Google Earth just shows trees and you can't really see a house. We have lost 7 or 8 trees now. Some to storms but mostly just getting old. They told us the rains of 2008 didn't just produce the epic flood but also stressed the trees in the city and we would lose some over the next few years. I suspect that has been a part of the problem as well. I'm no arborist so I really can't make a diagnosis.

We have now lost the trees closest to the house so the backyard is opening up. The Rev commented that we might actually be able to have a patio or a deck now. Sounds like I may have a project for next summer all ready. We shall see.

Autumn is coming. The nights are cooler and the days are shorter. Winter won't be too far away now. They say the Farmers Almanac is predicting a bitter cold winter but I'm hoping it will be mild. In either case I wish you all peace and remember. . .


HyVee equals great service

HyVee equals great service

After 25 years in retail I am always on the watch for great customer service. I must admit that it is not rare in my home town but not always the norm. But yesterday I experienced an excellent example of great customer service.

Let me tell you the story, I was on my way home from a meeting and I stopped at my neighborhood HyVee store to pick up some things for the birthday dinner I wanted to cook last night for my daughter. I was going to feature grilled pork chops and I thought it would be nice to make some applesauce to go with it. I remembered reading that Macintosh apples make the best applesauce so I thought I would give it a try.

I went into the food store and to the apples but couldn't find any Macintoshs. A staff person named Mike was straightening the apples and restocking the display with new ones so I asked if he had any. He thought for a moment and looked over his display but we didn't find any. He even looked a little disappointed when he told me that he didn't have any. I said that was okay and picked up a bag of another variety. Then I went into the back to get my pork chops and also get some other items.

I found everything else without a problem and was almost to the checkout counter when Mike called to me. “Sir, look what I found.” And he held up two bags of Macintosh apples. “And they are even locally grown”, he proudly added. I was very glad to exchange my bag of the other variety for a bag of his Macintosh apples.

As I was going through the checkout I commented to the checker how pleased I was that Mike had found the apples I wanted and had then searched me out to give them to me. The young man bagging my items looked up and said, “Was that Mike? Oh yes, he does stuff like that all the time.”

Well, he may do that kind of thing all the time but I have been in all too many stores where that would never have happened. So, thank you Mike. And thank you HyVee for having HyVee on your staff.

Oh, by the way, Macintosh does make good apple sauce. It was just that right addition that turned a regular Sunday dinner into a birthday feast.


Friday, October 02, 2015

It's time to wake this site up again

Okalhoma City National Memorial
It's time to wake this site up again. I haven't posted in a couple of years. A lot has happened since then. Most importantly for me is that I am now retired. After some 50 years in the workforce I am now collecting some of the benefits.

I hope to post more now. Hopefully on a regular basis. I live in Iowa so it seems to me that my observations about the Presidential races will be a natural. I also have recently gotten into gaming - specifically Robocraft.

Robocraft is a game on Steam that allows you to design and build your robotic crafts and take them into battle. I have acquired quite a collection of tanks, helicopters, hovercrafts and even sniper bots. My grandson and I like to design and build together. He is just about 5 now and really enjoys helping Papa design a bot. He has even learned how to take them into the practice field to test them out. He doesn't think he is quite ready to take one into battle yet. Somehow I don't think that will be long, though.

I will also talk about my life. The Rev and I just got back from a trip to Albuquerque, NM where she had a training seminar. We stopped of in Oklahoma City on the way down and spent a couple of days in Santa Fe, NM on the way back home.

Our visit to Santa Fe was particularly interesting. We stayed at a great hotel near the plaza called Las Palomas. This is really more like a bed and breakfast than your traditional hotel.

With five or six, small buildings like this you really get a feel for living in the Southwest. This is not your typical Holiday Inn.

Well, I will call this done but as always I will still wish everyone Peace and I hope you enjoy your day.