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Another entry into the Spider Black-White Photography competition. This one is from an amateur Jason Robinette USA. It is such an anomaly in contrasts, the expected tilted back head so common to one who is arising from beneath the water of a pool, the hand placements so very odd. It other worldly in some sense, alien. I wonder if it was spontaneous or staged?

Horrors continue in Iowa. We learn that a boy scout camp was hit by a tornado last night with a loss of life of 4 and upwards of near 50 injured. It is almost beyond comprehension that so much misery is visiting our state. Cedar Rapids has no power, and the 500 year flood plain has been evacuated while the downtown begins to flood. Cresting has not yet even occurred. One can only wait in dejection as things just get worse and worse.

Our friend has has plenty of time to remove all his valuables and appliances from his home. At last check yesterday the waters from the Wapsi were about 40 feet from the house. The Wapsi has I believe crested in Independence which is the last stop before it hits us. Things look bleak. Well water must be boiled in our county if you live on a flood plain. We do not.

Our major concern now is power. It flicked off once yesterday and then went off for about 10 minutes. No sump is worth a dime if the power goes out. At this point, our basement would begin flooding I believe within a hour. That is simply nothing we can do anything about. As power fails on other parts of the grid, more stress is placed upon those still operating.  It has rained fairly steadily since about 6 am. We are now in a lull, and hope that perhaps we have now had the worst of it. Time will tell, but we are told that after today, things will be quite a bit better except for Sunday where rain is still highly likely.

Oh, the Chipotle Chocolate Flourless  Cake is well, HOT. If you make it, I would definitely not add the dash of cayenne suggested. I added a couple of scoops of ice cream and that tempered the heat enough that I could enjoy it, but I’m doubtful I’ll try this little number again. It would be okay I guess for something rather fancy, small pieces with ice cream or whipped with maybe some fresh raspberries for garnish. It definitely is a dish that would cause a good amount of chatter when served.

Let’s see what we can find that takes our minds off the sad state of affairs in my state.


A lovely owl filet crochet  is offered by Sandi’s Crochet Blog. As always it comes with complete instructions and variations so that you can even cross-stitch it if you wish.

Iowa Public TV has been running a series on the American Presidents. We just finished watching the one on Harry Truman. I didn’t think much of the man after watching it frankly, and even less of his self-centered wife Bess. His adoration for her was slightly disgusting, given that she treated him rather badly in my opinion. American President’s blog  has a nice piece on his courtship of the woman. He was strange and they were a strange couple.

American Revolution Blog  looks again at religion, especially that of Unitarianism in our early colonial period. I believe that John Adams changed from his Puritan roots to the Unitarian church. It’s an excellent read and you shouldn’t miss it.

Okay, so we have been flirting with some recipes that are a bit out there. This one features that chipotle again, this time with blackberries. I thought it made an interesting possibility for summer barbecue. It’s called Chipotle-Blackberry Pulled Pork, and comes to us from Coconut & Lime. It’s a slow cooker recipe, with a long list of ingredients but oh it could be a huge winner!

Free Sample Forager  has Pantene hair product samples available. Vaseline samples as well.

Garrison Keillor  has a piece over at the Salon. This week he weighs in on Barack Obama and the challenges faced by a black man running for the country’s highest office.

Family Style Food  offers a recipe that is anything but Family Style. This is a lovely update of an old favorite. I can assure you that at the moment we actually have a wonderful beautiful ripe tomato of sufficient size, BLT’s are thfirst thing we consider. We gorge on them for a month, at least once a week, until the time has past. Take a look at BLT’s with aoili sauce and on Flatbread.Recipes for all including the flatbread. Oh I am definitely trying this one.

Maggie brings us another of her marvelous bio’s. This time the featured woman is Rebecca Towne Nurse. She arrived with her family in Salem, MA in 1640 and later married a man named Nurse. She was arrested as an elderly woman of 71 as a witch, and even though she had an impeccable history in the town, accusers (who may have had other personal reasons to get her out of the way) prevailed. Although the initial verdict was Not Guilty, the jurors were urged to return and rethink things which they did, and finally provided the Guilty verdict that was desired by some. Read about this sad story at History of American Women.

Niki’s Ventures  has a link to a big bunch of new quilting patterns. This is worth bookmarking if you are a quilter. She lists a very long list of sites which offer free patterns and then gives you a separate list for specific quilt types. An excellent resource. In fact there are several lists, and in total more than 2500 patterns. So this is the best of the best. I’ll add this site to my blogroll for crafts for sure.

The Hubble space telescope continues to show us new parts of our universe in all its splendor. The Coma Cluster contains thousands of Galaxies. Can you imagine what you are viewing here? Millions upon millions of stars and planets. I believe most  are older galaxies, no longer producing much in the way of new stars. It is an impressive wonder.

Did I tell you that I adore ice cream? And I adore cherries especially. They are so expensive here in Iowa. I remember as a kid stopping at a roadside stand on the way up to the lake and buying a quart for 50cents. Now it’s like $3 bucks for a quart. But oh so good to combine the two as Simply Recipes has done for Cherry Ice Cream. Oh did I say it also has chocolate chips? BONUS! And I bet that changes your mind!

Secret Recipe Blog  has a wonderful Olive Garden  entry today. Tortelloni Bologneseis available for the copying. Italian dishes are my super favorite ethnic food with Tex-Mex a close second. Try your hand at this crowd and family pleaser.

A wonderful fabric decoupage nightstands  for you from J Caroline Creative. I picked this up through Tip Junkie  and thank her alot. I can’t vouch for the colors chosen here, which are a little glaring to me, but I this tutorial is worth that and more. If you have a cheap piece of furniture that you would like to redo, this is great! Take a look and save this tutorial as the process can be used on anything I think. I’m now thinking of buying a really cheap chest of drawers just to try this.

If anyone is a Civil War buff or a military history buff, I found a nice site courtesy of World History Blog entitled Wig-Wags. It’s run by a graduate student in the subject so you will get some great information and as I perused it, some really good reviews of books on the subject. Stop by if so inclined.







“I’m not against half-naked girls – not as often as I’d like to be…” Benny Hill

“TV has brought murder back into the home where it belongs.” – Alfred Hitchcock

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.” –Mark Twain

“An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”. –Gandhi

“You miss 100 percent of the shots you never take. – Wayne Gretzky

“Happiness isn’t getting what you want, it’s wanting what you got”. – Garth Brooks

“I’m an excellent housekeeper. Every time I get a divorce, I keep the house”. – Zsa Zsa Gabor

“Charlie Brown is the one person I identify with. C.B. is such a loser. He wasn’t even the star of his own Halloween special.” — Chris Rock