Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Fort Dodge is an interesting place

This is a new billboard that was put up in Fort Dodge. I had to stop and take a picture of it, mostly because I find it slightly disturbing. It's right next to a billboard about preventing teen pregnancy (our county has the highest teen pregnancy rates in the state of Iowa...amazingly high). Anyway, I don't know if you can tell, but this is a picture of two Fort Dodge firefighters in hazardous material suits leaning over a dead body.

Why do you think Fort Dodge would need a billboard like this? I'm only asking...

Snow Day

We're having a blizzard in Iowa today. Brian is stuck at work and will be until Friday. The community college where I work is closed, so the pups and I are enjoying a snow day. It would be more fun if Brian was here, but he's safe and sound at a hotel in town. I would prefer to have him safe than have him attempting to make the commute home.

Mattie's pretty happy that I'm home and that she's an indoor dog.Though she and Dawson would like to be playing out in the snow. With 50 mph winds I told her "not today". Maybe tomorrow if the college is closed again and the winds calm down they can help me shovel the driveway so I can get my car out. Currently it is in the middle of a very large snowdrift that extends the entire length of the driveway.The living room windows. What it looks like from the porch door. This is our back shed.
Thankfully we didn't lose power, so we have water, lights, and heat. Hopefully things will be cleaned up by the weekend.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Maybe next time I can drive

Today I got to ride in a great big, band-new tractor. How cool (and midwest) is that? It was almost scary being up so high...The cost of this tractor is even more than our house and property. Brian wanted to buy it, but I said "no".Thanks for this adventure, Melissa!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A hitchhiker

We had a little hitchhiker named Ned follow us home in Brian's jacket. He said that he wants to hang out in Iowa for a while, maybe see the sights.

Thanksgiving in Lincoln City, OR

As is a Bickmeier family tradition, we spent Thanksgiving with Brian's parents, his sister Jennifer, her husband Jason, their three kids Caleb, Luke, and Cate, his brother Jeff, his wife Laura, and their daughter Ada at a beach house in Lincoln City, OR. It had been two years since we were all together, so there was a lot of catching up to do!

Jennifer and Mom Bickmeier.
Mom and Dad Bickmeier with their grandkids.Brian.
Luke and Caleb being sea monsters in the hot tub.We spent a lot of time on the beach. It was beautiful.Here Caleb found a big pile of sea foam.The Bickmeier siblings.Caleb knows to never turn your back on the ocean!
Luke and Cate watching the waves from a safer distance. Luke.Cate is a master sandcastle builder (or at least that's what she told me).Jennifer spends the majority of her time with a camera in hand. She has a very keen sense for lighting and takes amazing photos. Our cutie niece, Ada.Laura.Me!Brian and my footprints coming back from a walk on the beach. Our shadows on the same walk. It was pretty early in the morning, so there were great shadows everywhere.One of the highlights of the trip was a siblings outing to the Rogue Brewery. We all had to wear safety glasses. Brian said he felt right at home being that he wears similar goggles all the time at work. Jeff was so excited he could hardy contain his enthusiasm.
A very pretty sunset on the plane ride home. What a wonderful time! Can't wait to do it again in two years. :) Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

A walk though Dolliver State Park

A few weeks ago Brian and I took the dogs too the pups for a walk at Dolliver State Park outside of Fort Dodge. It was a very nice, quiet afternoon. Here are some highlights. It was an overcast day and we had to cut our hike short when it started to rain. We had a good time none-the-less.

A new bridge that Dawson was pretty sure he didn't want to cross.

The path.Mattie looking stoic and Dawson looking goofy on a big rock. Par for the course in regards to dog personality. A whitetail that the dogs really wanted to chase. Okay, Brian, maybe it was a good idea that we kept them on leashes (there was an ongoing discussion...).

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Daniel and Victor's Baptism!

Two weeks ago, Brian and I were finally able to make the trip out to Denver to meet our newest Godsons- Daniel and Victor Wood. I'm going to hold back and not post every baby photo taken, though these boys are cute enough that doing so could easily be justified. We had a wonderful time catching up with Ryan, Louise and their families. Somehow the majority of my baby photos turned out to be of Daniel (not sure why). I'm hoping that I have the captions correct for this post, but Louise and Ryan, you may have to help me out in case their not. When we see the boys together we can totally tell who's who, but separate them and it comes a little more challenging (even though they are fraternal twins).

Here's Daniel (nickname "Bunny") wearing a bunny hat knitted by his Auntie Megan. The boys in their baptismal outfits hanging out their the mom and dad before heading to church. Louise (one hottie of a mom) and Victor.
Grandma Henne and Victor.The baptism set-up. It was a beautiful ceremony. A wonderful reception was held at Maggiano's. These fun centerpieces were made by Daniel and Victor's nanny, Jessica. The food was amazing!Appetizers.
Dessert (my favorite part, of course). And finally, here's Louise's parent's dog Molly. I would be remiss if I didn't include her in this blog post. She's such a good dog!

We can't wait to head back and see everyone again!

The End of Harvest

Things are quieting down in Iowa. After lots and lots of rain, the farmers were finally able to bring in the majority of their crops. The fields around the house were harvested this weekend. With Brian at work (per usual), the dogs and I decided to do some exploring (and to try out my new camera lens). Mattie always has her nose to the ground, trying to finds birds to track. The only thing she did find was a coyote den (that appears to currently be in use). On the left side of the photo you can see the trail they use to get through the barbed-wire fence that separates two fields. We hear coyotes often at night, but didn't realize they lived so close.
On the other hand, Dawson seldom does any tracking. Mostly he runs around kicking up his heels being a goof. A lone stalk that the harvest missed. Our acreage among the bare fields and trees. Yup, we live in the middle of nowhere- it is confirmed.