Thursday, April 30, 2009

Shop Til You Drop - Take 2!

I never dreamed that we'd shop til I dropped again Wednesday, but that's what we did. Sudi had found a dress that we all thought was appropriate for her nephew's wedding in Las Vegas, but they didn't have the right size in Williamsburg. The Iowa City store had the correct size, so I said I'd go with her & Howard to pick up the dress. Well, after trying it, and about 10 other dresses on, that dress was eliminated in favor of two others! Not only that, I was able to find a little black dress that could be dressed up or down, depending on the accessories...and Sudi got one too! For the past several years I've been on the lookout for the perfect little black dress for me. Now I've finally found one! I bought a hot pink sweater trimmed in black to go with it, but I can wear it alone or with just a shirt, or even sequins if the occasion calls for sequins! What fun!

When we finished at Dress barn, we went to lunch, then to Barnes & Noble and then to Lowes! Another good shopping day. I didn't get home until after 6:00. Dave called and said to order pizza - we were able to get & eat our pizza before I had to be at choir practice at 7:30. Got home about 9:15 and crashed! So today I was looking forward to not doing anything...wrong again! Dave called me about 10:30 and said he was coming home to strip the rest of the wallpaper in our bedroom! So we tore down the bed and moved it and I scored the paper. He's upstairs removing the paper (he said it was a one-person job so I should go do something else) and Scott's coming to paint tomorrow! Whew - this retirement is hard on a person! It will be great getting it done, though. I also went out and bought the paint for the guest bath upstairs. When Scott gets another free day, he'll paint it too!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shop Til You Drop!

That's exactly what we did today! The four of us went to the outlet mall in Williamsburg and shopped until we were all pooped! We had a wonderful time! Three of us had good luck - we found several pieces of clothing to wear if and when the weather ever cooperates! It's still way too cold! We met Rita's sister-in-law in Williamsburg and she went to lunch with us at the Williamsburg Country Club. Great food and the golf course was beautiiful! It almost made me want to get my clubs out of mothballs! More later...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Punched Cards

Friday night I went to a class where we made 7 punch cards for $7. This was one of the cards. I think it is really cute, and it's especially cute when you open the card and see this:
We also made a frog, an owl, a clown, an abstract flower, a daisy, and a card with several daisies and a ladybug on it. Shelly always has fun classes!
Sorry I haven't posted for a couple of days. Dave got to have both Sunday and today off, so I just did things with him. Sunday we went to church, put up the bird feeders and went to Craig & Sue's new farm. Among other things, there are so many lovely flowers there - all photography moments! We even found some asparagus and were able to pick it. I've got to go back out there to finish my photography class - I saw several places where I could take abstract art pictures! Since Dave took today off too, we actually had some quality time together! What did we do? We went to Wal-Mart! We've been wanting a new TV, so we got one today. Brought it home and hooked it up. It was great to watch Dancing With The Stars on a new TV! Now we've got to wait for Bryan to come home to hook up the receiver again! Dave thinks he knows how, but he didn't get to it today, so that's another day's project. Dave should be home normal time next week since the weather forcast is calling for rain several days. Hopefully then it'll dry out so the farmers can get all their crops in.
Tomorrow is going to be a fun day. Sudi, Chris, Rita, and I are all going to Williamsburg on a girls day out shopping trip!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Too Busy To Blog!

I was too busy yesterday to blog! I had card club at Precious Memories Scrapbooking in the morning, rushed home and slammed my lunch. After lunch I went to the cemetery and took some photographs for Lesson #11! At 1:00 I picked up Bob & Ann and we went to Fairfield to take Aunt Helen to the doctor's office. Since the new hospital is now open and the clinics are attached to the new hospital, we took her there for her appointment. The clinic hasn't moved yet - not until about May 18th! Good thing we didn't get her out of the car! So we jumped back in the car, hurried over to Maple where the old clinic is, got her out of the car (we were late by now!) and sat down to wait! Ann & I went in with Aunt Helen to visit with the doctor while Bob sat in the waiting room taking care of mounds of paperwork! Anyway, she got a clean bill of health - not bad for a 102-year-old! All of this took about 2.5 hours! We didn't get home until 5:00 and I had a card class at 6:00, so I slammed down some supper and went to my class! When I got home at 8:30 last night, I was just pooped! Here's one of the cool pix I got for my macro lesson (close-up photography). I think it's pretty cool!

Today's not been quite so busy, although I did mow the lawn and take my husband his lunch! We're hoping for rain tomorrow so we can go to Des Moines.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Road Trip

Today was starting out to be a boring day; however, when Sudi called, I suggested we go to Cantril to the Dutchman's Store. She agreed that it would be a good day for a road trip, so off we went! The Dutchman's Store is an experience in and of itself. It's run by Mennonites and has just about anything you could ever want, including natural casings to make your own sausage links! They have fabric, dry goods, bulk foods, and some of the best candy in Iowa. We met up with Rita and Bob at Cantril and then followed them to Mt. Sterling to A.J.'s - a typical "redneck" bar/cafe, complete with dead animals on the wall. I ordered a tenderloin which completely covered my plate - in fact, the bun looked like a little teeny island surrounded by a lake of tenderloin! After eating all I could eat, I asked for a take-out box and what tenderloin that was left had to be cut to fit in an 8 or 9" box!! Now that's a tenderloin!

After lunch we went to Rita's house to see it. After having grown up in the Fairfield area, Rita and Bob moved back to Iowa last year from the Dallas-Fort Worth area to this remote southeastern Iowa acreage. I can't imagine the culture shock. Now instead of having anything and everything to choose from in the Dallas metroplex, now they have to drive about 25 miles just to get to a store. They don't have internet service where they are, so they drive to Keosauqua just to read their email! Their home is beautiful and so is their acreage. It's nice to have them back in the area again...they were gone for 35 years.

A potentially boring day turned into a wonderful day with old friends! Thanks, you all!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What a beautiful day!

Now this is what spring is supposed to be like...75 and sunny! It was gorgeous here today. I was able to go outside several times today to get my rationing of Vitamin D. The farmers are getting corn planted and Dave is back to working until about 10:00 instead of midnight! All's well with the world!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I'm Sorry LT!

I've been in Beta Sigma Phi now for 35 years and tonight was our annual Founder's Day Banquet. It was lovely. Years ago we always wore long gowns to Founder's Day, but we've progressed(?) since then...somehow I wish we still dressed up in long dresses. It was always so lovely! Tonight we had 3 different rituals which were very well done.

The only bad part of this evening was a lot of us wanted to be home watching "Dancing With The Stars - The Results"!! I'm sorry to hear that Lawrence Taylor was eliminated tonight. I met LT in Kansas City in about 1989 or so. He was very charming and charismatic! On "Dancing" he acts so shy! Our encounter in Kansas City was very short, but I was enamored with him nonetheless! He was with the NY Giants at the time and they were in town to play the Chiefs. My friend, Karl Nelson, was there with the Giants, even though he was undergoing chemo treatments for Hodgkins Disease. He introduced me to LT as well as several of the Giants - it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience! Karl accused me of being just like all the other women - smitten by the athletes. I just considered them all legends! Lawrence Taylor, Pepper Johnson, Mark Bravara, Phil Simms, Karl, Coach Parcells - what fun! That's all for tonight, more later...

Monday, April 20, 2009

More Tote Bags!

Here are the other four tote bags I've made. I've got a couple more cut out, just haven't had time to sew them up. I've enjoyed making them - the one on the top left was actually the hardest and it appears to be the simplest! It's also the largest. I can almost get the kitchen sink in it!!

Today's been a productive day. I got my desk pretty well cleaned off which means I've paid bills and filed - yuk! I've also taken the wallpaper border off in the guest bathroom, so now all I have to do is wash the paste off and then it's ready for paint. Actually there really isn't much paste left - I think this border was one of those we got from K-mart which was supposed to be a removable border. Not! Regardless of what it was or where it came from, it came off relatively easy compared to the master bedroom border. We still have one wall left to go in there. I was going out to take some macro pictures, but the wind is blowing about 35 mph, so I'm going to do that another day! That reminds me, I'd better get my bird pictures posted for my class or it'll be too late! More later...

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Tote Bags

I have been busy sewing lately - I've made 6 tote bags like this one. They are different colors though. I have so many "irons in the fire" that I'm going to keep PEO stuff in one, Beta Sigma Phi stuff in one, stamping club stuff in one, etc. This one is probably the prettiest because it is new colors. The others are made from pre-quilted fabric that I've had for years. I tend to procrastinate a bit!
Today was a fun day, although Dave worked all day. I went with 6 other ladies over to Eddyville where a PEO Chapter there had a "Christmas in the Spring" tasting bee. They had about 35-40 different dishes set out and you could go along and get small helpings of each dish! Then, you also got the recipes for each of the dishes presented. Prior to the tasting, Michael Philipsen and the Indian Hills camerata singers performed - beautiful voices - and it's always a pleasure to listen to Michael play the piano! I'm sure we'll go again next year, even though none of us won any door prizes!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Busy Friday!

What a beautiful day! I sat outside to get my ration of Vitamin D from the sun! It was so pretty out!! Actually today was a very busy day for me - I had a P.E.O. meeting, plus a luncheon with several of my P.E.O. sisters, plus I got my hair cut, plus I took some more pictures of geese (trying to get one to fly) - and this was all before 3:00! Whew!! As soon as I get my bird pictures organized, I'll get some on here. I just wish I could get one of the geese to fly so I could get a picture of that. Today's lesson talked about macros - taking extremely "up close and personal" pictures. I think that will be fun!

Poor Dave is still working. He worked until about 1:30 last night, then took off again at 6:15 or so to go back to work this morning. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so that will let him get home at a decent hour. More later...

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Small Animal Safari

Okay, as promised, here are the pictures I submitted from my small animal safari! This first one is a little baby rooster - isn't he cute!
The second one is of a fish in an aquarium here in town. Talk about something hard to photograph. I took about 150 pictures of fish in the aquarium and almost every one of them had some kind of glare (overhead lights) or a window showing from the back of the tank. Didn't even think of all of that. I did watch for obvious glares, but didn't consider that I was getting the back of the tank in my pictures....duh! Anyway, here's one that turned out.

This third one is of a dog named Hannah - she was "guarding" the cattle that I took pictures of a week or so ago. Doesn't she just look like she's smiling for the camera?
Today I went out to get some bird pictures. I am really happy because I got a bunch of good bird pictures! I took pictures at my brother's house (he's got bird feeders) and some at the park, where there are all kinds of ducks and geese. I've still got to get a picture of a bird in flight before I can post them though, so that will be another day....

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Glorious Day

What a beautiful day today was! Makes you think that winter might be a thing of the past! I was able to get some of my pictures today - went on my small animal safari. Maybe I'll get time tomorrow to share them. Tonight was choir practice and I'm pooped. We're singing some challenging songs the rest of the year! More later...

Monday, April 13, 2009

It's Raining Again!

Ok - I know I complain a lot about the weather, so from now on I'll try to be better! I love having the sun shine and it seems that we haven't had a lot of that since we've been back from Florida. One nice thing about it is that Dave should be home at normal time tonight - it's his birthday and I had hoped he wouldn't have to work late on his special day! He was so exhausted yesterday from working such long days on Friday and Saturday, that I guess I should be happy to see the rain. It gives him a chance to rest!

I don't have much planned for today and I'm sure glad. Actually my niece, great-niece, and my ex-sister-in-law are stopping by today. They're heading out to try to find fabric for Kaylee's graduation quilt. There's not a lot of places to buy fabric here in Ottumwa, but we're not far from Pella. They may have to go there. Anyway, it'll be fun to see them. I haven't seen them since Christmas. Other than that, I have an Evangelism meeting at church this afternoon and then nothing until Wednesday. I do have to make a couple of cards for our son-in-law and for Dave's sister and I have to find my small animals! Guess I'd better get started!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

The Lord is risen! Today has been a beautiful day - a great day to celebrate Christ's resurrection! Happy Easter to all our friends and family! We had two church services today AND a breakfast served by the deacons of our church in between services. Our choir sang two wonderful songs and the messages were very powerful! Good crowd, too. After church we met up with our friend, Nan, and went to the club for Easter brunch. Good crowd, great food! Then, as Dave says, "It was nap-thirty!" Both of us took long naps, then he left to go pull shrubs at Nan's house. I don't believe there will be any wallpaper torn off today - he's just exhausted. It's supposed to rain tomorrow, so at least he should be home at normal time. Maybe he'll get rested up. More later...

Saturday, April 11, 2009

I'm Having a Pity Party!

Today is a very boring day. Dave worked late last night - didn't get home until about 11:30 PM and left again this morning about 6:00 or so. I hate having to spend Saturdays without him! I'm afraid that my party is going to last a while too...planting season is just starting! I could do what my friend does - retail therapy - however, I don't particularly like to shop, so I guess I'll just stay here and find something to do.

It's supposed to be really nice out this afternoon, so I'm planning to sit outside and wait for Mrs. Squirrel so I can take her picture. Speaking of pictures, here's the picture that I spoke of yesterday of Bill the bull. The farmer said he was named after our former President. I didn't really appreciate that, but he's kind of unique. He's huge, plus his ears were frozen off, so his little ears give him a unique look! He almost looks like he has some buffalo in him, but it's just the ears!

Today's one of those days when I sure wish I had a dog! I wouldn't be quite so bored if I had a dog asking for my attention. I'm sure Sudi & Howard would be happy to loan me Missy! I took several pictures of Missy the other day; unfortunately, I chose to take them in their sun room and she's a little washed out. I'll figure out those f-stop settings and try again. I'm working on altering one of them on Photoshop, but I'm not ready to show it yet. Stay tuned...

Friday, April 10, 2009

Large Animal Safari!

I decided that I should share a picture or two from my "large animal safari" on Thursday. Here's a picture of the llama that we found - he's kind of scary, I think. I keep calling him a he, but I really don't know, it might have been a she!! Either way, I don't think he/she appreciated having his/her picture taken!

This shot is probably my favorite. Both mother and daughter were very cooperative...I got lots of good pictures of them. I also have a picture of a big, black rent-a-bull called Bill that I still need to crop. Maybe I can share it tomorrow!
The last picture I turned in for my class was this little pony. He was just so bored having his picture taken. To me, he looks like he needs a hug!
My instructor said these were good photos with a good focus on their eyes. I think he would also like me to vary my photos a bit - maybe have some full-body shots. Oh well, that's why I'm taking the class - to improve on my content and composition.
Our assignment for the lesson released today is to photograph 3 different small animals like a dog, a fish in an aquarium, and a spider or snake or something in the woods. I don't think I'll be doing the spider or snake. I may try to get a picture of Mrs. Squirrel here in our yard, but I'm not into critters! Stay tuned for results from my "small animal safari!"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Gorgeous Bedroom Paint

Here it is Thursday already - where did this week go? Yesterday Scott was here to paint our bedroom - at least 3/4 of it! We still have to remove the wallpaper from the 4th wall - yuk! We do have a good start on it though. Back to the painting - it is gorgeous! I had choir practice last night, so while I was gone Dave put the room back together and cleaned up. He even hung the curtains! He's such a good guy! I hated to go to sleep, it was so pretty in there! Now we have to get super busy this weekend and remove the rest of the wallpaper. First, though, we have to move the bed away from the wall. It's a Tempurpedic with the base that raises at the head and/or the foot and IT'S HEEAAVVYYY! Thank goodness it comes in two parts. When we bought it, I tried to carry one end of each piece up the stairs - no way! I couldn't even lift the base!! We'll probably have to call in some help for a little while. Dave thinks we can just pull it away from the wall - I don't think so...and I'm usually right! (lol)

As for my quandry on what pictures to take (see yesterday's post), Dave reminded me that two people in our area raise elk - they would probably make cool subjects for pictures. I'll have to call to see if I can get permission to take their photos! Other than that, I'm sure I can find some horses or cows along the way to Fairfield. I'm going over to visit Aunt Helen today, and have lunch with Howard, Sudi and Walter! Hope Aunt Helen is having a good day. It's such a bummer when she's "not with me". I feel so bad for her because she's clearly living in the past. I'll let you know how it went! More later...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I'm In A Quandry

The digital photography class that I'm taking has an assignment this week of taking pictures of 3 large, the closest zoo is 100 miles away and we don't exactly live in a rural area. I don't have a clue what subjects I'm going to use for this assignment. I can use a large dog, so I guess I'll ask my friends if I can take pictures of Missy, a black lab. Then, perhaps I can go out to sylfarm and get a picture of a hog...that would be two subjects. I could probably get a picture of a horse or a cow, hmmm? I'd like it to be a little warmer before I venture out to get these pictures though. It's not much fun waiting for the right shot when the wind is blowing 30 mph and it's only 54 outside. I'll probably take my camera with me tomorrow when I go to Fairfield. How about it - is Missy up for having her picture taken?

Today I've been working on getting caught up - my desk is beginning to look much better! I think I've finally got all the P.E.O. paperwork put in its proper place, as well as all my Beta Sigma Phi stuff. I've gotten the cards out to the grandkids and I have cards ready to mail to Dave's brother and our niece who just had a baby. I've even got all the bills paid and updated by facebook page!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Another Chickie!

This is the other chick card I made for one of my grandchildren. I think it's adorable! This one is made with all SU papers and I used a couple of the SU punches as well as a Cuttlebug folder to add the little dots. I take that back - the Easter egg isn't a SU paper, it is from Designs With a View. I love this!!
I've got tons of things to do today. The painter didn't come today - he'll be here tomorrow morning bright and early. I'm hoping to get lots of my projects done today so I can be gone some tomorrow! I've got a meeting Wednesday night (choir practice) and then Maundy Thursday services on Thursday night. Our choir will be singing at those services as well as on Easter morning. More later...

Monday, April 6, 2009

Chick Card

This is another of the cute cards I made for one of our grandchildren for Easter. I think they're really going to like them! This one was also CASE'd from - I changed the way the wings were and I used a different punch for the chick's feet and comb. I think it's really cute!

Today's another one of those cold days - gray and windy! Yesterday evening we got snow, but it didn't accumulate, thank goodness! The little robins are all hunched up out there today. The thermometer says 35 degrees but I'll bet the windchill is in the teens! I have to go out, unfortunately, so I guess it'll be a heavy winter-coat day again!

Over the weekend, Dave decided that it was time to paint our master bedroom. That means removing wallpaper and wallpaper borders - yuk. Most of the wallpaper/borders so far have come off relatively easily...NOT THIS ROOM! This particular wallpaper is requiring one of those scoring tools, then soaking the wall about 3x and then finally the wallpaper will come off. Dave's such a trouper, though! He just told me to leave and he'd work on it. There are about 8 more strips of paper to remove, so tonight I guess you know what we'll be doing. The painter is coming in Tuesday to start painting the's a big room, so he'll have 3 walls to start on Tuesday - we should be done removing the wallpaper by Tuesday night hopefully; then he can paint the last wall! I'll sure be glad when this room is painted - that's all we're going to do for a while. The next one will be our master bath - it's got wallpaper too - yuk!! NO MORE WALLPAPER IN ANY HOUSE I OWN!!! Mark my words!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

My Friday!

Yesterday was sure a fun day! I met 11 other ladies at 8:15 AM and went to Mt Pleasant to tour the P.E.O. memorial rooms at Iowa Wesleyan. They have lots of artifacts and period furniture from the 1860's when 7 women from Iowa Wesleyan started P.E.O. It was a very informative tour. After touring the P.E.O. rooms, we went to the Harlan-Lincoln home which is basically on the IW campus. It was the home of Senator Harlan whose daughter married Abraham Lincoln's son Robert Todd Lincoln. Again they had a lot of artifacts from both families - the Harlans and the Lincolns, including a piece of the coat that President Lincoln was wearing when he was assassinated and one of Mary Todd Lincoln's mourning veils. After these two interesting tours, we went to a fellow P.E.O. sister's home where she and a couple other P.E.O. sisters served us a wonderful meal. Following lunch we were treated to a tour of her home which is absolutely beautiful. When we finally left there we were running a little behind! We went to the Old Threshers grounds for our next two tours. The first was of their doll room. They were given over 400 dolls by a gentleman whose wife had collected dolls. She wanted her babies to stay together in one place! When they got the dolls, they were in something like 54 boxes with each doll wrapped in bubble wrap and plastic bread wrappers. Now most of the dolls have been cleaned up and catalogued. It is a beautiful collection - from china head dolls to Barbies! They have one French doll there worth over $8,000! After the dolls, we went to our last tour, which again was on the Old Threshers Grounds - The Theater Museum. Here they have a wonderful display of curtains from the opera houses around the country, as well as musical instruments, scripts, costumes, handbills, tickets - everything from the old tent shows and traveling acting troups. They have a lot of information about the old Toby and Susie actors and skits. It was a fascinating day! After I got home, I talked Dave into going downtown to the river to take a few water shots for my class. Here is just one of them. I'm still awaiting my instructor's comments. I went down this morning to get some morning shots, but actually they look just about the same. Anyway, I think I was able to capture the power of the water pretty well. If I had a DSLR camera with lots of settings (more money!!) I would have been able to get the water to look like strands of silk. My camera has some settings on it for changing the shutter speed, but I don't think it's ever going to get the water to look like silk! I'll keep trying though!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Rose Pictures

Part of our assignment last week was to take pictures of flowers in nature. Well, spring is maybe here on the calendar, but it's snowing/raining/sleeting again today, so I'm not going outside to take pictures of my neighbor's crocus!! So our instructor suggested that we buy some flowers and take pictures of them. So, here's one of my pictures. I really like this. It's taken with no flash and light coming in the window from behind the rose. It's a pink rose, believe it or not! Anyway, I like the effect and the colors. My instructor didn't comment on it other than to say he really liked my second rose shot better.

Here's the second rose shot. His comments indicated he liked the soft colors and the contrast with the woodgrain.

I like this shot, too, but I thought the other one had more artistic character. Oh well, what do I know!? I guess that's why I'm taking the class!!