Last night

42 years ago last night, I popped the question….

Engagement photo.

(That’s me on the right)

40th surprise anniversary party family photo.

I have a lot to be thankful for!

Just a quick post to keep those of you that are regulars in the loop. Take care. DM

You can, but you don’t have to

Thirty years ago I attended a weekend workshop offered through our local community college on assertive communication.

I’ve mentioned this before.

Cost of the weekend was $40.

Best $40 I have ever spent…..


I was reminded of that course again this afternoon.

Yesterday, I stopped at 5 different locations assessing storm damage after last Monday’s Derecho.

I had mixed feelings about bidding on one of the projects.  Some of this stuff is intuition.

I’d originally gotten a call from a woman last week, who sounded nice enough.  After a couple of questions, she asked if I would mind speaking with her husband.   Not a problem.  When hubby got on the phone, there was a completely different vibe.  (I think she’d called me without  talking to him about it first.)  Anyway, he was a little dismissive and non committal about whether or not he wanted me to stop and look at their job.   ( I am already into November with scheduling, so  I felt like I was more doing him a favor than me needing work).

Last Sunday night he called back,  different tone.  Little more humble.   Set up a time for me to stop on Tuesday.  Monday, we had that storm  so I didn’t get to their place until yesterday (Saturday).

After looked at the project, I decided I really didn’t want to  pursue it any further.

I sent him a text this afternoon, letting him know I stopped, but after looking at the project have decided to pass on the work.  That is all I’m going to tell him.   And that’s where some of the material we covered from the assertiveness class came back.

Assertiveness Bill of Rights

I have the right to change my mind.

I do not have to explain why I chose to do what I do.

I can  tell you why I’ve decided to do something a certain, way if I want to,  BUT I DO NOT HAVE TO.

The husband wrote back, asking why I was going to pass?

That’s is far as that conversation is going to go.

I am not going to unpack my decision with him.

Nothing to be gained.

Would love to hear your thoughts.   🙂

I can’t lay my hands on the original list we covered but  here are a few variations of it I grabbed off Google image…




We have a friend (Kristi)  who lives an area of  Cedar Rapids that was heavily damaged by Monday’s  Derecho.   I was finally able to connect with her last night.  Made plans to help do clean up this morning.

Just got home.

It went well.

By noon, we did all we could do. I had to leave  one large limb  leaning on the neighbors roof, I told Kristi I didn’t feel comfortable with  that one.

I know my limitations.

A couple of neighbors stopped @ one point.  I told them I was going to pass on one of the tree branches.  Just too many variables.  The younger fella, dismissed my concerns and thought it wouldn’t be too hard, just  needed to do this, this and this.

I listened. 😉

It didn’t change my mind.  As much as I would have loved to completely finish the job, there was a real chance when that branch came down  it could take out a window.

No thank you . 🙂


As I was having my morning cup of coffee (Starbucks/ french roast) this morning before heading to Kristi’s, I spotted movement on a windowsill.

We live in a 110 year old 2 story farm house…you just never know.  It looked like it was either a leaf, the tail of  a sparrow, or a ground squirrel?

None of those possibilities made much sense for different reasons.

5 minutes later I saw it again.  At this point I said something to my wife:“I think  there is something outside on our window sill…. either a ground squirrel or a sparrow…”

Then  suddenly more of the creature came into view….

It was a tree frog!

What the heck.

And it wasn’t on the outside of the glass.

And it was stuck between the window and the screen.

The poor little fella, had crawled through a small tear in the screen and gotten trapped, and he looked pretty dehydrated.

One more day and and I’m thinking he would have been cooked.

I picked him up, to take him outside. The birdbath caught my eye.  Set him in the water, and within a minute he was revived.


Also spotted one of our honeybees thrashing around upside down in the bird bath.  I nudged her out of the water and got her up on the ledge.

Within seconds, she was revived.

The word for today is Rescue.

Riding out my first Derecho

I am thankful.

About noon today a severe storm system that nobody saw coming  (at least not initially) ripped a wide swath of destruction across Eastern Iowa.

Son and I were just starting to pour a footing for a retaining wall when the homeowner came over and asked if our phones had alerted us to a major storm that was heading our way.  It hadn’t.    She pulled up the weather channel , it said we had about 30 minutes before it would be on top of us.

It was packing wind speeds of 100 mph (160 kilos).  Not to mention, the neighborhood we were working in was surrounded by large trees.

We were able to finish the pour, and get on the road about 10 minutes before it hit.

I have never in my life experienced anything quite like it.

Found out tonight this kind of a storm is called a Derecho (which means straight in Spanish/ as in straight line winds.

We pulled next to a gas station and watched power line poles snap,  shingles get ripped off the apartment building across the street.  The winds lasted at least 45 minutes, and when it came time to try to get home,  most of the streets in the area, were blocked by downed trees, and power lines.

Saw two of these large metal high power lines in a twisted heap,  with wires across the highway.

Photo compliments of google

Once we finally got out of the city, we saw (3) overturned semis, metal grain bins, twisted and blown onto the highway, and lots, and lots of mature trees down.

The cornfields in the path of those winds were a total loss

(grabbed this off FB tonight):

Neighbor said she’d heard 40 some cell towers were down in our area.  I can believe it.

Pulled this off the news channel this morning:

We were working about 45 minutes away from home, and our town was in the path of the storm. I told my son, that if our place was hit, there was no doubt in my mind, the 3 bee hives were going to be blown over.  I have one of them cinched together with a strap, and the other two smaller ones, just have a large rock on the top to keep the lid from blowing of.  No way in the world they would have been able to withstand  a 100 mph sustained winds.

As we got closer to home, I could see, some of the corn fields had been spared, and by the time we were within 10 minutes of home, I was pretty sure  (somehow) the storm had went around us.

Talk about mercy…

As we passed our third overturned semi we saw a deputy directing traffic.

I looked at my son and said,  

And to think there are people who want to dismantle  law enforcement….

“They are a  bunch of dumb a@#’s!  

I have an interview I would really like your thoughts on but…

But rather than me post it here w/o your permission, if you’re interested in watching it, I would e-mail the link to you directly.  (It pertains to current events related to the virus (and more)  This interview has  been blocked on Youtube and restricted on Facebook.

If even 25% of what this Doctor said  turns out to be true…

What it did for me was connect some dots on  things have been happening.


I am friends with a local MD, she messaged me a couple of days ago, really distressed about a data base she has subscribed to for the past 30 years…  Won’t go into it any further than that, but it ties into the interview I’m talking about.


I think the whole interview is about 45 minutes long.  No pressure.  Let me know.  I look @ those of you that are regulars as extended family, and because of that, I respect you too much to just stuff things into your in box.  All of us are so bombarded and saturated by information, the last thing I want to be is that person in your life.