Saturday, January 31, 2009

Good Wildlife Day!

DH and I decided to go to Waterloo today to see our son and daughter-in-law. On the trip, we saw 4 pheasants, 13 wild turkeys, 4 bald eagles, and a black hawk (which I'd never seen before!) We love seeing wildlife on our trips! A couple of weeks ago we made a trip to Burlington and saw 44 wild turkeys, a bald eagle and 2 deer! On our trip today, we also saw lots of snow! It was 51 degrees here in SE Iowa, but it only got to 39 in the Waterloo area. The snow did start to melt, but mygoodness, they do have lots of it!! That's all for today - I'll have a picture to share tomorrow!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Teeny Tiny Gecko

I have to share the story about this picture. This a picture of 9 (8 unhatched) gecko eggs that DH and DD found when they were cleaning out a window air conditioner in December. She put them in a candle lid and we were going to watch them to see if they hatched. We also saw presumably mommy and maybe even daddy gecko! We could hardly wait for the girls to get home from school so that we could show them our find. Shortly after the girls arrived home, I went out to check the eggs and sure enough, this little guy had hatched! He's so little and cute! I called the girls to come look and then we had a few moments of holding gecko eggs to see if they would hatch in their hands. DD had said she had one hatch in her hands when she was younger and thought that was so fun, she wanted her daughters to experience it. But, since the girls are only 7 and 5, the experience required a little more patience than they had at that moment, so the eggs were left to hatch on their own. Unfortunately, we came back to Iowa shortly thereafter and we never did hear how many gecko babies they had!

DH and I got our living room put back together last night. The new color is really pretty - so rich looking, kind of like a big milk chocolate candy bar! The office is going to be beautiful, too. When our painter first brushed on some of the Indian Paintbrush, I wondered if it was going to be too pink. Now that it has dried, it is cool! It's going to take a second coat and I'm going to have to buy new curtains, but we love it! This room has a bamboo grass on the walls, so it has lots of texture. It's going to be very striking with this dark color on the walls.

Well, I've gotta run - I'm going to a "Plus Club" event at 11:30 and it's 11:10 already. FYI, this is a group of people who are over 55 from our church. Usually they have a program after lunch, but today it's just lunch and chit-chat. Anyone who knows me knows that I can hold my own in the chit-chat department! It'll be fun. Bye for now...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Backsides!

Isn't this a cute picture? This is our 1-year-old grandson and their Bull Terrier waiting for some attention! I just couldn't resist taking it!

Again, I've got a busy day planned today. I'm heading over to see my 102-year-old aunt today plus I have another funeral to attend. The father of one of my best high school friends passed away - he was 90 so he had lived a great long life! I stayed at her house quite a few times when I was in junior high and high school. She's very special to me, as were her parents.

The painting is coming along nicely. DH really liked the living room! It's dark, but very inviting!! Our painter should have the living room completed today - I'm hoping he'll have it done before I get home this afternoon. Then he's going to start on the office and it's going to be one of those colors that I would consider an "out of my comfort zone" color! It's called Indian Paintbrush and it's a mix of red and burnt orange. Red and orange are high energy colors, so maybe the new paint will make me more productive! I'm hoping for that. My desk is usually a mess and I tend to want to be on the computer "playing" instead of working.

I haven't heard anything from my friends who are wintering in S Florida. I hope they're having a great time and soaking up some sun. I also hope, however, that they'll leave some of the sunshine for when we get there in February! Gotta run for now...

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Cards and Paint


This is a valentine's card that I really like...it's sooo simple! It's just red paper, embossed with a Cuttlebug folder, and a little metallic-like heart put on top of one of the hearts. It's for my great nephew. He's 21 and I think it's not too frilly for him! I've got about 12 valentines made - and I've got 11 to send - one left over for DH! Now I can get a start on next year's supply too.

We're getting several rooms in our house painted and our painter just left after Day 1. He worked in the living room today - it is a dark taupe - I LOVE IT! I can't wait for DH to see it! Tonight is our weekly church supper, so I've got my cookies packed and ready to go. I'm just waiting for DH to come home from work. If he's not here in just a few minutes, I'll go without him. I need my car anyway, because I stay after the supper and go to choir practice. There are about 7 of us who've been staying after supper to play dominos. It's lots of fun - several of us are pretty competitive!

I've been making cards today - sympathy cards. It seems like I can't have enough of them! I went to a funeral today and I've got another one tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Busy Day!

This has been a very busy day and it's shaping up to be a very busy night too! I had my yearly mammogram this morning, followed by dropping shirts off at the laundry, and getting groceries. I got home about 2:00 and started baking cookies for tomorrow night's church supper - the first half of the alphabet has to furnish dessert tomorrow night, so that's us! I've finally got the first pan full in the oven baking, so I have a little time before I have to get them out of the oven. Tonight DH and I have to get things out of the living room as we are having it painted starting tomorrow morning. Since the painter is an early riser, that means no more sleeping in for me until he's done! He's going to paint the living room, the office, the ceiling in the family room, and the bottom half of the foyer/hallway. I have a P.E.O. meeting here Friday, the 6th of February, so hopefully we'll be put back together before then!

The oven timer is buzzing - gotta run!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Snowflowers!

I know everyone has heard of coneflowers, but we grow snowflowers here! I love the way the snow just settled on the center of these...it's amazing that it stays there. When I went out this morning to take this picture, I was in shorts and a sweatshirt. Now, let me be the first to say that it's too cold here (10 degrees) for shorts and a sweatshirt, but that's what I like to wear around the house - I'm very warm-blooded, so I don't get cold very easily when I just get to stay home all day. If I do get cold, I put on jeans! I hate wearing socks too, so I was outside with just my tennies on! I'm sure the people going by were wondering about me! Oh, well...just let them wonder!


Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Valentine's Card

This is one of the valentine cards we made at card club on Friday morning. The base is made with the Love Language folder from Cuttlebug, then a label from SU Sizzix die, then cuttlebug hearts. Pretty simple, yet very pretty, I think. I liked this folder so well that I had to order one! I can hardly wait to get it.

It snowed last night and this morning - the world is beautiful again. I like it when a blanket of white covers all the old dirty, gray snow and the brown grass. DH is outside now, blading the driveway! Actually, I think he's loading up the lawn tractor and blade and going to do several of our friends' driveways! He's such a good guy!

We went to church this morning and then had our annual congregational meeting following church. We had a wonderful sermon today - very Evangelical - all about getting us to see that we should be asking people who are non-believers to come to hear the good news of Christ's birth, death, and resurrection. The sermon was based on Jesus telling the disciples that He would make them fishers of men if they followed Him. This pastor even has us normally stoic and quiet Presbyterians saying Amen in church - hard to believe!!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Hotel for Dogs

DH and I went to the movies tonight and saw "Hotel for Dogs" - what a cute movie. Pedigree is giving a portion of each ticket bought to local animal shelters. What a wonderful idea for them - a good promotion of their products (you see several Pedigree items in the movie) as well as helping out local animal shelters during this economic downturn. This is one of those "feel good" movies - lots of laughs!

Friday, January 23, 2009

It was a creative day!

I had a great day today - went to card club at Precious Memories Scrapbooking and made 3 valentine's cards. I haven't gotten pix taken of them yet, so will have to share them tomorrow. There were only four of us at club today - usually there are 7 or 8. We sure missed all of you ladies! Jan is so creative and so generous. She always shares lots of things with us. Thanks, Jan!

DH wants to take me out to dinner so I've gotta run! See you tomorrow!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

53 Degrees!!



I just love this picture - again it's a picture of a Florida hibiscus. It was taken at night, however, so it has a definite "glow" about it. I like the effect!
Sometimes I feel like I'm doing a weather report on my blog, but in Iowa in the winter, the weather is the main topic of conversation! Today was supposed to be about 40 degrees, but it's 3:00 PM and it's 53!!! Wow - what a nice surprise!

I went to see my 102-year-old aunt today. This is the first time I've seen her since we moved her to the dementia unit last week. She seemed to be doing fine! She told me she really liked her new place. She even showed me her bed and where the bathroom is. She was lamenting the fact that she couldn't get around as well as she did before she moved there. She was a little confused, but nothing major today. It was a very good visit!

Tonight my DH has a meeting and won't be home until late and I have a wake to go to. Then I get to come home and vegetate! I had a massage this morning and after a massage, I like to just relax and I haven't gotten to do that today yet! Tomorrow morning I have card club where we'll be making valentine cards (I assume anyway). We were asked to bring red and white materials so that sounds like valentines to me! Hopefully I'll have something new to share tomorrow. Gotta run!


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Beautiful day!

What a beautiful day here! The sun is shining and the thermometer says 26 degrees! Wahoo!



Isn't this one of the cutest pictures you've ever seen. These are our grandchildren who live in Florida. I think my grandson is about ready to escape, what do you think? He looks to me like his personal space is being violated and he wants out...NOW!! He was awfully good though; he sat there for about 10 more poses...with the same look on his little face! I just love this picture! We took this picture about the 12th of December in their front yard - I have others I'll be sharing soon!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A New Day

It is a beautiful day here in Iowa, and it looked like it was in Washington, DC too! The sun is shining here - but it's still only 17 degrees. I can handle cold weather as long as the sun shines! I've been glued to the television today, as I'm sure many Americans are. It sure seems that the American people have embraced President Obama's message of Change and Hope.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Pink Hibiscus



Here is another picture of my favorite flower, only this time, it's a pink hibiscus! This picture was taken at my in-laws park in Sarasota, FL. I just wish these flowers were all in my yard! I do have a couple of hardy hibiscus in my backyard; I have a red one and a white one with a red center. I plan to get a pink one this year. I'd like a yellow one, but I've never seen a yellow one that is hardy. Since we have had temperatures in the -20's this winter, they'd have to be very hardy in order to survive. I keep posting these pictures so that I can pretend that I'm in a warm climate where the sun shines most of the time! It's 72 in Ft Lauderdale where our daughter lives - it's 19 here! I think we're going to head down there around the 7th of February, so I don't have long until I'll be warm again! Our daughter has 3 little ones (our grand-children) that we adore and can hardly wait to see again.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Dear Deer!!


While we were opening packages on the Saturday after Christmas, someone in my family looked out the glass by the door and saw these dear deer! My brother, whose home we were in, said, "That figures; I just put new feed in the bird feeder and they're coming to eat it!" I guess this is a nightly ritual at his home. There were actually 6 deer, but DH took my camera and got this shot of 4 of them just making themselves at home. He would have been about 10 feet away from them taking the picture. The flash didn't even seem to scare them. We used to have anywhere from 10-15 every night just west of us in a vacant lot, but the city has been allowing people to cull them out with bow and arrow. Now when we see them, which is maybe once every 2-3 weeks, there are about 4 or 5 of them together. They love flowers, so in the other 3 seasons of the year, they have a smorgasbord of my perennials! Most people in our town just hate them because they eat all their plants and trees, but I don't mind seeing them - i just wish they'd develop a taste for crab grass or the weeds in my perennial gardens!!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Ponderings of the beach


I sure hope my friends made it to Florida okay. They were to arrive yesterday; I haven't heard from them yet. This is a picture of the beach just a stone's throw from where they will be staying. What a beautiful sight! I wanted to post this today so that those of us in the frozen tundra can imagine ourselves on this wonderful beach! It helps to take our minds off of the weather if we can see pictures like this. I took this in November near Hillsboro Beach just north of Pompano Beach. It's such a beautiful area. I sure hope my friends get to see more sights like this. They took their black lab with them. She's a rescue from the Heartland Humane Society. She's such a sweetheart, but I heard that she was causing a little bit of a problem on the trip down to Florida. I think she's just like us - got a little bit of "cabin" fever (or SUV fever in her case) and acted up after 2 days. I'm sure she'll get used to being a beach dog and love being in Florida!
We're getting ready to go to Burlington to watch the Indian Hills CC basketball team play Southeastern CC. Both teams are very good this year - I believe that SCC has only lost once all season as has Indian Hills. Should be quite a game! The Southeastern coach used to coach at Indian Hills and the fans all love him, so it's hard to cheer against him or his teams. Besides going to the game, I get to go to Hobby Lobby! This is a real thrill for me because this is the nearest Hobby Lobby and it's 75 miles away.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Heat Wave!!

We're having a heat wave - it's up to 5 degrees!! It's even spitting snow. I figured it was too cold to snow, but again I was wrong.

I had a good time yesterday doing the writing assessment for the Ottumwa Schools. We assessed 10th grade papers where their assignment was to write to a legislator regarding a potential bill requiring students under the age of 18 to have a 2.5 gpa in order to get a driver's license. As you can imagine, this topic (or prompt as they now call it) is one that teenagers have strong opinions about, one way or the other. Quite interesting reading and very interesting development of the students who were doing the writing. Because it was so cold outside, school was cancelled so we had 34 assessors AND we got to start at 9:00 instead of 8:00 AM - this is very important for us retired folks!

I got my new Stampin' Up catalog today so this afternoon I plan to look through it to see what I can't live without in 2009!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Brrrrr.....

Ohmigosh - we're only supposed to have a high today of -2 degrees - now THAT's cold! At least the sun is shining and I'll be inside all day. I'm going to help with the writing assessment for 10th graders for the area education agency. This is a very interesting task. We "grade" students' writing skills based on the six traits of effective writing - ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency and conventions. I'm glad I'm doing 10th graders - I think it's a lot easier to see these traits with older students. Unfortunately the first half of the day is training and I find that to be a little monotonous.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

What a fun card!


Another cold, cold day - I'm so glad to be retired and not have to go to work! When I worked I had about 50 feet to the door of my building - but that 50 feet is the coldest in this town - the wind whips around there so badly, you have to run into the building just for self-preservation!


I've been playing in my studio today. This is the card I came up with for my friend's hubby's birthday. Since we're into vintage cars, this is perfect for us to send to him. The papers were just scraps I had lying around. I used Nestabilities to cut out the ovals and SU punches for the sentiment. The pickup was colored with colored pencils and gone over with a SU blending pen. The ribbon is beautiful - I bought it at Precious Memories Scrapbooking in Ottumwa. I also used a Cuttlebug embossing folder on the card itself. I've also been making note cards of the purple clematis for a P.E.O. sister of mine. Now I'm baking a cake to take to church tonight for our weekly Wednesday night dinner before choir practice. I hope DH gets home to blow the snowdrifts out of the driveway before we have to go to church. My car might not make it out!


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Nothing New

We missed the blizzard - yeah!! We had only about an inch of snow and hardly any wind! North of us, however, was a lot different. Today was very cold - I think it got up to 5 degrees, but the sun was shining brightly, so it didn't seem so cold. My brother and I, and a friend of ours, moved our aunt into a dementia unit today - in spite of our protests. She only has an episode now and then of true dementia - the rest of the time she's confused some, but then who wouldn't be if they were 102 like she is! She seemed to be fine with her move.

I have nothing to share today - I'm just too tired. I'll be back tomorrow with something new I hope!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Possible Blizzard!


This is for those of you who live in sunny, warm climates! It has been snowing here most of the day - the good news is that it hasn't accumulated too much yet! Tonight and tomorrow we're supposed to have windy conditions (25-35 mph NW winds!) which will mean a blizzard! Schools have already let out for today in anticipation of this weather event. I'm sure glad I am retired and can just stay home! So, in light of the weather in Iowa, I'm going to post a picture that was taken in the Sarasota, Florida area where my in-laws are in the winter. This way, we can think warm thoughts at least!


I have several cards to make, so I'd better get busy. My brother just called telling me that we're going to have to move my 102-year-old aunt. She is becoming a problem in the assisted living unit she lives in. They want her moved to an Alzheimer's unit. When we visit, which is weekly, she is sometimes confused about her past, but she's never had what we considered Alzheimers - just some dementia. She didn't even have this until after she turned 100! Hopefully, we'll do the right thing for her.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Good Deed!

I have something fun to share today! My DH loves to help other people with their snow removal - he loads up the snowplow and heads out to help some of the people from church and other friends frequently. He's been cleaning the driveway of one of our friends from church for quite some time but she was never at home while he was there. So he'd just clean the drive and leave...she'd always thank him at church "for all he does" so he assumed this included her snow removal but she never did say so specifically. A couple of weeks ago he was over there to clean her drive but as he pulled up the driveway was already cleaned and her garage door was closing. He left, called her, and said, "I see you beat me to the snow removal and that you were just closing your garage door." She acknowledged that she had just done this a few minutes before. Three days later he went back to her house trying to knock off some of the ice that had accumulated on her driveway. She wasn't home again. Yesterday he called to see if she'd done her driveway yet; she hadn't, so she told him she'd open the garage door for him. He pulled up and noticed her at the neighbor's house but continued to unload the snowplow and clean her drive. After a few minutes and a few passes, she walked over to him and said, "Do you clean their drive too?" They had a great laugh out of it!! He had only been to her house one time in the past and had been cleaning her neighbor's drive all this time! I guess the neighbors have been asking her for the last year if she knew who had been cleaning their drive, but she didn't have a clue because she was never home...he wears full snow gear including a deerskin mask and goggles so noboby would have recognized him anyway! ROFL

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Another Cool Card!


This card was given to my granddaughter on her 5th birthday. She opened the card and exclaimed excitedly, "Mommy, isn't this the cutest thing you've ever seen!!" Boy, did that make me feel good. She had no clue that I had made it - she just liked it. So when her mommy told her that Grandma Peg made the card, she looked at me and said, "For real?" I'm sorry that the colors aren't really right - basically they are a baby blue and purple (just scraps of cheap paper). The stamp set is from SU - Crazy for Cupcakes. I used SU markers Orchid Opulence, Lovely Lilac and Gable Green to color the images.
Today was another gray day in many ways, not just the weather! I had a funeral for one of my sorority sisters to attend this morning. It was a beautiful service. She will be missed a great deal. She had the greatest sense of humor! Then this afternoon, my Cyclones got beat by #7 Texas. I must say, though, they kept up with the Longhorns until the very end. Keep the faith, Cyclone fans! There was a bright note yesterday though; our best friends welcomed another granddaughter into their family! I'll bet she's a doll - I can hardly wait to see her!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Fun, Fun, Fun!

This is another hobby of mine! DH and I have a love of classic cars! Fortunately (unfortunately??) we don't own all of these cars now, but I took pictures of our cars, past and present, and made them into a collage with Photoshop - another thing I like to do! Trying to get just the right image of the car and adding embellishments is really a challenge, but a lot of fun! One of my BF's and I both play around with Photoshop and have created some wonderful images. This is just one of which I'm proud!

Yesterday was a good day! I was able to visit with all of my aunts and attend a luncheon with several of my high school classmates. I think there were 15 of us classmates, plus spouses and guests. We spent 2 1/2 hours just chatting! Couldn't believe how time flew - it's always fun when old friends get together! There were several of our classmates who didn't attend, so our goal will be to get some of them at the next one!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Long Live the King!

Today is the King of Rock and Roll's birthday. There will be big celebrations at Graceland in Memphis - sure wish I could be there one day. What an entertainer! I'm so glad I got to see him in person. He came to Ames, Iowa, in November of 1976 and I had a great seat. I'd always despised those girls who screamed, or cried, or fainted when he sang, so there was no way I was going to do any of those! Well....I didn't faint! I did cry and I did scream, just like 14,000+ others did that night! After all, we WERE seeing Elvis!! I remember being shocked by his appearance, but when he sang his first note....it was just Elvis! His appearance no longer mattered. He had the most mesmerizing voice and a wonderful stage presence. Can you imagine the wonderful choirs in Heaven!

Today I'm going to my hometown to visit with my aunts - I have 3 there. They are 90, 93, and 102!! I also have one in Kansas City who is only about 80. A couple of them have moments of delusion, but the others are doing very well.

I'm also going to have lunch with several "kids" from my class - oh, all right, we're not kids any more! Anyway, it should be fun. We had our 40th class reunion in 2006, but those who are around town still try to get together every once in a while for lunch. There may be 6 of us or there may be 16 of us, you just never know.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Why I'm Blogging


Last night I was at a meeting and I was asked why anyone would want to "do" a blog. I've thought about this a lot and I've decided I should have said, "Just because I can!" Technology is changing so much every day that I'm excited about being able to at least keep up with some of it. I guess I don't really care if anyone ever reads my blog or not - I have figured out how to do this on my own and all by myself! That's how we grow, isn't it - challenging ourselves to do something new! I'm just trying to keep up with the world!


That being said, I've got a card to share today. I'm very proud of this card - it started out as a blank sheet of white cardstock. I then used several inks and sponged the background to get both the ground and the sky. After I had achieved the look I wanted (of a fall day), I then stamped SU's Lovely as a Tree with SU Chocolate Chip in the background and stamped the large tree with SU Hunter Green in the foreground. I then added the sentiment from SU's Heartfelt set - I used a Marvy punch to punch the corners. Took the picture I'd created and layered it on a purple scrap that I had, added a piece of olive ribbon and put it all on an olive green card. I think it's nice and I intend to use this technique more often!


I've got to run - my car is getting an oil change and DH is coming to take me to pick it up. I've got choir practice tonight and I've been up since 5:33 AM - I wonder how my voice is going to sound with so little sleep...oh, well!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Something Other Than Gray!

It is so gray here (and has been for a couple of days) that I decided I needed to focus on something beautiful and colorful! I took this close-up of my clematis with my Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-H9. I love this shot and I love my camera! It allows me to take pictures at very close range so therefore I get some interesting photos. I take lots of pictures of flora and fauna - especially when we're visiting in Florida in the winter. The hibiscus down there are so beautiful - as are the palm trees. I plan to put several of my Florida shots on here for us to enjoy. It really makes me happy to see something so beautiful on a cold, gray day!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Oh My - I've Arrived!!

Watch out, computer world! I've arrived - I finally have my own blog! As the title says, I plan to "ponder" and share! I like to think I'm creative, so I plan to share some of my "creations" - in the way of photography, card-making, and quilting. I hope I get good enough at this to have a bit of a following even - besides family (lol)! Please just enjoy and feel free to comment!