Saturday, January 17, 2009

Just for the record ...

... the official overnight low in Mason City overnight Thursday-Friday was -31F, breaking a 1977 record of -27F. Of course that's out at the airport, on flat land with no shelter from the wind, where it's always colder than it is in town. It's now above zero with a high near 30 predicted (and light snow in the air).

I've enjoyed complaining about the cold snap, but didn't have to do farm chores or other outside work and spent most of my time in warm places, so really didn't have much to complain about at all. But that's the best kind of complaining --- when there are few justifications for it. Now it's time to move on.

ALTHOUGH ... It's after 1 p.m. now and a balmy 24, but what with the wind and the blowing snow seems to feel colder. I switched from insulated to regular pants this morning and now my legs don't know what to do. Since I had to go to HyVee West (the grocery) anyway, I decided to have lunch in the deli (which translates as cafeteria, not a deli at all). After seating myself in a booth beside a window it began to feel as if the heat had been turned down, way down; my legs began to complain and I began to think hypthermially.

I've eaten at a lot of HyVee deli's whilst roaming around Iowa in a hurry, working on the premise it's healthier to eat where vegetables are available than in other fast-food establishments where iceburg lettuce is about it. Although the decor all looks roughly alike, the HyVee food ranges I found from unspeakable to decent. Go to a larger store and you get real plates; to a smaller store, and you get styrofoam that heaves and buckles under its load (something to do with dishwashing equipment I supposed). I've only had to give up on one --- in Eldora --- because of the chief cook's apparent fondness for salt. This is not a blood pressure issue; I just can't handle food that consistently tastes as if the top of the salt shaker fell off while it was being prepared.

NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS are developing gradually. I resolved to get a haircut on Jan. 2 and it took me two weeks to get it done. But it was a beast of a day when I did it, so I got right in and didn't have to sit around.

Today's resolution is not to lose household bills. This is a mildly complex matter few people other than me would have problems with, but I'm challenged by having two sets of bills for two establishments that arrive at two locations and the fact bills no longer all arrive on or soon after the first of each month. So it's not possible to sit down on let's say the 5th and pay everying at once.

This month I lost the Chariton water bill, a postcard affair that has a habit of slip-sliding away. After dropping the midmonth bills off at the postal station at HyVee today, I finally spotted the water bill peeking out from under the passenger seat in the truck. So now I can pay it --- two days late. Had I not spotted it, I'd have moved on to the alternative --- send a check in the general amount with "sorry" written on it and leave it to the water department bookkeeper in Chariton to sort out.


Ed Abbey said...

Since I know you are somewhat Internet savvy, you should do what I do. Get a bank account that allows for online banking. Get the bills that you can paid directly from your account and the rest, you can pay anytime, anywhere there is a computer with internet access. I'm down to two checks a week, one for the daycare and one for church, and about the only time I use stamps is for personal correspondence through snail mail. It has been one of the better things I have done.

Mama Podkayne said...

I'm new to Chariton and found your blog by way of Ethan's at BF. I used to be a museum site manager in DM and am currently a professor for DMACC. I've been researching the history of the farm we just bought, south of town, and it is not at all like researching a home in DM!

We found the built in buffet in a storage space, taken apart, so I asked a librarian how to find and maybe contact former owners/family to see if any remember it.....and was treated to quite the stories!

I'll be back to the library next week. Any tips?

Frank D. Myers said...

Ed, you're right of course and perhaps I will!

Mama Podkayne, welcome! You'll find in Lucas County, if you've not already done so, that while those of us who have been around for a while may not be related to everyone we are related to or know someone who is. So just asking around is the best way to find the family of former owners. As far as researching the history of the farm, if you're armed with an abstract of title you should be able to track down lore about the families involved in the genealogical society's library,though it sounds as if you may already have taken that route. I'd be glad to try to help, but would need to know which farm you've bought to determine if I know anything about it. If you'd like to contact me by e-mail, use --- although I'll be in Chariton tomorrow and may not get back to you for a few days. Cheers!