fish fry on new years eve

What’s coming to Burlington, Iowa without a fish fry? Tom Stimpson (my grandmother’s nephew) got himself a new electric fryer, so of course we tried it out. There’s not much of a sense of scale here, however, so there is a LOT of food currently around the house. I think we’ll be eating fried catfish for a few days… Let me tell you though, the fried sweet potatoe wedges are superb!

Tom’s son Clinton came over with Crystal (his girlfriend/fiance – I’m not sure which) and their two year old daughter Neveah. She was a cutie, although shy around Ben, Karen and myself. Louise’s whole family is just sort of a half-generation of time off from Lela’s – Tom is older, but not really old enough that we ever called him Uncle, and Clinton is younger, but not young enough that we ever called him a nephew. Ah well. It’s about the only part of my extended family that still calls me “Joey” too. Not sure how on earth that happened.

Lela’s continuing to do better – eating more, getting rest, and moving about more each day. Its really positive. She’s napping now, but I’m really encouraged by the fact that she ate more today than any day we’ve been here previously.

Looks like we might head up to “the farm” on Monday with Tom and Clinton. I’m not sure where to pinpoint it with Google maps, but I think it’s in this area. Those dark green fingers are all wooded land on the bluffs overlooking the Mississippi. The farm fields all to the east of there (over to the river) are the old flood plains, although levees keep all that floodwater back (nice and bottled up for lower on the river) these days. My grandfather was a staunch opponent of the whole levee system for years, and I still keep some of that with me. It has made fields and land more arable, but it seems like a generally short sighted goal, and I generally think you can never control a river like the Mississippi completely. She’s just too darn large and wild. Shoot – I just think back to “Lake Missouri” and the floods of 1993 to prove my point.

We’ve been watching the Denver vs San Diego football game today too. Ben’s rooting for Denver (duh, he lives there) and it’s been a pretty reasonable game.

I hope you all have a great New Year!