Thursday, July 30, 2009

I'm Off to Surgery!

This will be my last post for a while - until I can get back to Ottumwa and until I can type! We're leaving for Storm Lake in the morning and I'll have my surgery first thing Monday morning - I have to be at the hospital at 6:15 AM!!! Now, those of you who know me know that I'm NOT a morning person! After I have my surgery, I'll stay in the hospital Monday night and maybe even Tuesday night - depends on how I get along. Then we're scheduled to come home Wednesday sometime. Dr. Steve's wife wants to hitch a ride with us to Des Moines, so that's why we're coming home on Wednesday. So, until then, keep me in your thoughts and prayers! See you soon!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Another Perfect Day

I love this card - it is done with H2O shimmer colors. Pretty cool technique. It's shiny in real life - I know you can't see that on the screen, so you'll just have to believe me! I'm sending this to my friend for her birthday - I sure hope she likes it! Today was one of those beautiful Iowa days! The corn should grow tonight - it was warm and humid all day, but not overly oppressive! I had a PEO reciprocity meeting at our house this morning and this afternoon, one of the ladies from our church came over to have me teach her how to knit. She was a quick study - I think she'll do fine! After I have my surgery and can work with both hands again, I'll teach her more - today's lesson was casting on and the knit stitch. She'll really enjoy knitting if she just relaxes! Not easy for a newbie! Dave's at a Habitat for Humanity meeting and should be getting home soon. More later....

Monday, July 27, 2009

Perfect Days

Yesterday was an absolutely perfect day - and today is just about perfect too! I love days like this. You don't roast because of the heat and you don't drip because of the humidity. I've been running around doing honey-do's today - had to get the remote for the new car reprogrammed, ordered a second remote and key, called to see about license plates, etc., called our insurance company to give them the VIN # for the new car, went to K-Mart and did grocery shopping. Now I've got to clean up this house...I just looked at my calendar and I have a meeting here tomorrow! Eek! More later...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

So Much To Blog About

...and so little time! Where should I start? Thursday night we had a great time with our Ragbrai riders. We actually had 9 people stay all night with us - 3 couples and 3 guys. We had beds for the 3 couples and the 3 guys put up air mattresses in our living room. They were so pooped that they slept like rocks - all of them. On Friday, the 6 riders left at about 8:15 and the 3 ladies who were their support team left about 9:00 AM. We then went to the credit union and picked up a check to go to Peoria to purchase our Cadillac!

Got to the dealership about 1:30 and had to wait for the finance guy - forever, it seemed. We finally got in to see him, got all the paperwork done, gave him the check and were about ready to leave when we asked about the CD for the navigation system...which we had been told several times was in a drawer so that people didn't "steal" them from the cars. It seems they couldn't find "our" CD and told us we'd need to order one. I told him we weren't paying for it and he said he didn't think they would! So Dave told him they could basically take the car and shove it unless we had the CD or they got one for us and put it in writing that they would take care of it. Well, after another hour of searching, they still hadn't found the CD and we were pretty sure that we'd driven to Peoria for lunch again and would return home without the car! Finally our salesman came out with a note that was printed in bold strokes saying they would find a CD for us but would not do ANYTHING ELSE! All we'd asked for prior to that was a full tank of gas - which they wouldn't do! Well, we agreed and went out to get in the car and come back to Ottumwa. I had our salesman show me what the buttons on the remote entry were for and, lo and behold, IT didn't work!! Since we'd just agreed that they wouldn't do anything else for us, we had to live with a remote that didn't work, so I got in the car, put the key in the ignition and IT didn't work!!! So we determined that the key wasn't for that particular car, even though it was labeled such, so our salesman took off on foot to try the remote on all the Cadillacs on the lot - it didn't work anywhere! Finally, we just said forget it - we'd take the key that DID work AND the remote and take them home where we'd have another key cut just for our car. I've never been so glad to leave a place in my life!! Don't ever buy anything from Green Chevy-Hummer in Peoria! The pre-owned manager was the one making all of these decisions for our salesman, but he didn't even have the "guts" to come out and talk to us. All he did was send me a dirty look every time our salesman walked in trying to find the navigation CD! So much for customer service and the customer is always right. If we'd have blown a tire on the way off their lot, they wouldn't have fixed it for us! We're thinking about writing to GM about this dealership, but with the problems GM has, it may get lost in the paperwork! Oh well, we have a beautiful Cadillac that drives like a dream. It's full of all kinds of bells and whistles, but you have to unlock the door with the one and only key we have for the car! I had such a headache by the time we left there!!

Today I went over to see Aunt Helen - she was great today. She didn't say anything that didn't make sense! I was so glad because the last couple of visits haven't been quite as good. Had lunch with Sudi and Howard at Kokopelli's in Fairfield - good Mexican food! Dave washed the Buick while I was gone and is going to wax it tomorrow - then we'll try to sell it. Hope someone wants a really nice car that gets about 31 mpg on the highway! More later....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Here Comes Ragbrai

Tonight is the eve of Ragbrai 2009 hitting Ottumwa and the town is abuzz! I went downtown for a massage today and I've never seen so much traffic in the O-town! People milling about on foot and in cars - just scurrying everywhere. Tomorrow will be an exciting day!

Last night we went to some friends' home for a potluck. It was a wonderful evening with great food and good friends. Their home is a beautiful brick home on several acres. They are both big game hunters (with bows only) and there are heads, pelts, and Indian stuff all over their home. I've never liked seeing animal heads on walls, but they are gorgeous in this home. They have many, many tales to tell and if you're a willing listener, you can hear about some wonderful adventures in their hunts! A good time was had by all.

I talked to my surgeon again today and I now know a little more than I did. He said he may go ahead and open up the shoulder because it seems the recovery is faster when it's done that way. I asked when I would get to come home - he said probably Wednesday, depending on how I get along. I will be staying in the hospital Monday night and then maybe Tuesday night also. Ok, now I'm getting nervous. I thought this was just going to be an outpatient procedure. I'm thinking maybe I should just live with the pain! As you can tell, I'm a wuss when it comes to hospitals! More later....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Rainy Again!

Ok, now, I'm tired of the rain - and the gray!!! I'm ready for some sunshine! Ragbrai riders are coming, so we need the sun to shine! I haven't accomplished much today, so nothing to ponder about even.

Actually, I did a few more flower pictures in Photoshop. They are at this site: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2010404&id=1584146892&l=85654ce09d - it's supposed to be a public site where you can view my pictures. Let me know what you think. I think some of the versions would be cool on the wall!

More later....

Monday, July 20, 2009

Monday, Monday

Just 3 more days until our Ragbrai riders get here. Dave talked to one of the team organizers today and she said she'd be here by 1:00 on Thursday. I would assume some of the riders will be here by then too. I sure hope this goes well! Dave has spiffied up the outside of the house, including the garages. He's so excited about having his ex-boss come to our house as a part of Ragbrai. He is taking Thursday afternoon off just so he can be here. He said we're going to make homemade ice cream for them, as well as having a cookout. They provide the food, but Dave is going to get some Johnson sweet corn in Agency on Wednesday. Should be lots of fun.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Gorgeous Sunday

This is just a perfect day...the sun is shining brightly, there's no humidity in the air, and the temperature is only 71 - on July 19th - in Iowa!!! You can't ask for better than that! Dave is outside mowing - we just finished lunch. When he comes in, I think we're both going to take naps!! Tonight we're going to a friend's house for a cookout!

We made it through the weekend with flying colors. Chris' mom's funeral was a beautiful service. Aunt Helen was about 50% with me during our visit. The other 50%, though, contained some new stories! This time she and Jeff (her 2nd husband - NOT) had 12 children! She also told me that Jeff wasn't very trustworthy - he married her and then took her 700 cows and disappeared, only to come home long enough to make those babies! What a riot. I think it's sad what all she has to worry about! But some of her stories are funny.

At the car cruise Friday night, I think we had about 45 cars. Everyone appreciated the cool weather and wondered what happened to global warming! Saturday's car show was wonderful - we started working at 6:30 AM and finished about 5:00 PM. We had 159 cars at our show, along with about 10 of our club's cars. So the parking lot at Bridge View was beautiful! Unfortunately the guy whose car won Best of Show starting having seizures and had to be taken to the hospital. He has MS and his disease is progressing very rapidly. I guess he'd had seizures earlier in the day also. His was one of 5 cars that came down in a group from the Des Moines area, so one of his friends was going to drive his car home for him. It was a perfect day for a car show - the sun came out and the day was just beautiful. The 4-H lunch was wonderful this year, as were the 4-H displays. I'd really like to get into judging some of the 4-H entries. I wonder how I go about that...

Oh, I forgot the best news - I've got a date for surgery. We'll be going to Storm Lake on Friday July 31st for my pre-op appointment, stay with Steve and Mary for the weekend and then I'll have surgery Monday morning, August 3rd. I'm glad to finally have it scheduled! I can't say I'm looking forward to the surgery or the recovery time, but I'll be glad to get it over with! More later....

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Darned Computer Anyway!

Yes, I'm having computer issues - not with my computer, however, but with the car club's computer. I can't get the car show program to work right and I'm getting very frustrated. I guess tomorrow I'll have to try Dave's to make sure it works. I wish I had a friend who was an expert at Microsoft Access. The car show program is in Access and for some reason it's not counting the votes - so much for being a time saver, huh!? We used Dave's computer last year so it should work. But just in case I'd better do a test run!

I've been really busy and I'm tired. Besides that darned computer, I've been trying to get my PEO meeting organized for Friday. Chris' mom's funeral is Friday at the same time, so I've asked my VP to take over for me. This will be her first time at presiding over a meeting so I wanted to make everything very easy for her. She's a great gal and I know she'll do a wonderful job! I've also been working on getting things ready for the mission auction at our church. Tonight is Chris' mom's visitation in Fairfield so I've got to go get gas in my car and head over there about 4:15 or so. Tomorrow is the funeral, some time with Aunt Helen, and our car show's annual cruise-in at 5:00! Saturday is our car show! No wonder I'm tired!! More later...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tuesday Ponderings

Sad news - my friend Chris' mom passed away last night. She was a lovely woman who fought a valiant fight against her cancer. She's in a much better place but this will be really hard for Chris and her family. She's been so lucky to have had both of her parents for this long. Chris, you and your loved ones are in our thoughts and prayers.

I did hear from my surgeon yesterday afternoon. He's going to talk to his scheduler and get me a time scheduled. I should hear something this week, so stay tuned....
By the way, if you're looking for something to do this weekend, our car show, Memories 2009, is Saturday at Bridge View. The temperatures are supposed to be in the mid 70's so it should be a gorgeous day for a car show. I hope we have lots of cars. We'll also have a cruise-in on Friday night from 5:00-8:00 at the park - everything is free, so come on out and enjoy the cars with us.
I made a new card today. I saw a beautiful card on the flourishes blog so I tried to CASE it. Theirs was done in a bright blue - mine is pink. Theirs had a water lily blossom - mine has a rose. Other than that they're a lot alike. I think I'll make mine a birthday card, but I can see it as a get well card or a sympathy card - whatever I want. The rose is part of a stamp set called 5th Avenue Floral from Stampin' Up. All the paper is from SU and I used my Cuttlebug Swirls folder to emboss the white.



Monday, July 13, 2009

Another day of working on Photoshop in between playing Farkle and Farmtown and Mafia Wars on Facebook! I love what Photoshop can do. This is a picture of a clematis which I liquified and then added a filter of glass blocks. I think it would make a really cool jigsaw puzzle! I put some other pictures on my Facebook page. They are of a pink peony which I changed in multiple ways. Photoshop is so much fun...and so easy! Well, some of it is easy - but some of it is way complicated! I had a church evangelism meeting tonight and didn't get home until 6:45 or so. Dave got home about the same time and now he's out cutting dead branches out of trees. He got himself a new toy!! It's battery operated and he's just cutting up a storm! He's trying to get the yard beautiful for when his friends come in for Ragbrai! He's still on prednisone too!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Wonderful Sunday

Here's another one of those flower pictures that I played with in Photoshop. This has a glass filter on it after I liquified it. I kind of like the effect. After church today, Dave said he'd bring home something to eat. Well, that he did! He brought home steakburgers and sweet corn, tomatoes and onions. So we had our own little cookout! The sweet corn was really good - the ears aren't real big, but it was pretty sweet for early corn! Nothing like Iowa grown sweet corn! After that wonderful meal, we took naps! One of us took a longer nap than the other - I sure hope I get to sleep tonight! We didn't eat supper tonight; instead, we drove the '56 to Grahams for black raspberry ice cream. Many other people in Ottumwa had the same idea - it was packed. Great day I would say! Now we're getting ready to watch Design Star on HGTV - I'm sure glad Dave likes designer shows too. More later...

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday Ponderings


Here's another one of my "abstract" photographs. On this one, I used a couple of different filters - but again the main one was the liquify filter. This is just a common marigold, but I think it looks really cool liquified. It is a lot of fun to take an ordinary photograph and try to make something of it.
I'm watching the NASCAR race while I'm typing this. If I mess up it's because something exciting has happened and I got distracted. So far, it's been a pretty boring race.
Dave is on prednisone so he's been outside working all day. Our bushes are NAKED! He's been trimming and hauling away, trimming and hauling away - sure wish I was on prednisone!! Actually I should be careful what I wish for - I got bit by something and part of my hand is really swollen. It appears I got bit 3 times because there are 3 watery blisters on my hand - I was weeding Thursday and saw a little brown spider looking at my hand with hunger in his eyes...I suppose he's the one who got me. I know I didn't get stung. Anyway if the swelling doesn't go down pretty quick, I'll probably have to have it checked out.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Another Adventure!

Today Dave and I had another one of our adventures! We decided to go to Peoria to look at this black cherry Cadillac DTS that had everything we wanted on it and was a pretty good price...the only drawback I saw to it was that it had 18,000 miles on it and I tend to prefer new vehicles over used ones. So we got up early, read the paper and got on the road about 8:15. It rained on us the whole way, which is nothing new this summer! Actually about 80% of the time when we are in Peoria it rains on us and today was no exception. Anyway we got to the dealership and saw the car - it was described as being maroon...I would have called it mahogany...but it was pretty. I took it for a test drive and really liked the way it handled. While we were there we also took a Buick Enclave for a test drive and the Cadillac far surpassed the Enclave for comfort and quiet...darn (cause I thought I wanted an Enclave!) So we went inside to "deal". We got their bottom dollar and added on a figure for an extended warranty. We agreed and I wrote a check - called the bank and they agreed to ok the check, called our insurance agent to make sure we were covered, and shook hands. We're the proud owners of a 2009 Cadillac, right?
Here's where the adventure part happens. The finance man we were talking with gave us the wrong figure for the extended warranty (to the tune of $1,240) so after a lot of talking back and forth, I suggested that we would split the difference and pay $620 and they could absorb $620. After all we already had a deal and I'd written the check! Well, we waited while he went to talk to someone and then someone else, and he finally came back and said they just couldn't do it - they were already losing $$ on the car, etc., etc., etc. So we tore up the check and walked away without a Cadillac. Basically we spent 12 hours away from home, had 2 good meals and a lovely car ride back home in our 2001 Buick!! Another adventure for us!

I also wanted to share with you one of the pictures I did yesterday which I would consider abstract art. This is a picture of a vining geranium with beautiful salmon pink flowers. I doctored it with Photoshop's liquify filter and came up with this. I love it. I think it would look beautiful hanging on a wall - what do you think?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Little About A Lot

I've been having fun today - I've taken several flower photos and made them into abstract art. Hopefully I'll be able to share them with you soon. Right now, the add image button isn't working on this blog site! Sorry!

I went outside and pulled weeds today. It felt like there was a mist in the air, but at least it's not raining yet. There's a possibility of thunderstorms every day this week - yuk!

I've been watching the bird feeder, but haven't been taking any pictures because it's just the same old birds - some goldfinches, some house finches, some sparrows, some doves AND this morning, 3 squirrels and 2 chipmunks (all at the same time!!)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Day of Remembrance

I was not particularly a Michael Jackson fan, but I do agree that he was an icon in the music world. So, today I watched and listened to the tributes being paid to him by his peers, friends, and family. He must have held a lot of love in his heart, because that was one thing that came out loud and clear - Michael loved and was loved by many, many people. It was nice to hear of all the charities he supported with his money. That alone is cause of celebration....in addition to his singing and dancing. He is going to be missed by the world.

I finally got around to downsizing this picture so I could share it with you. I really like it - to be it's a pretty good example of abstract photography. I also like how the colors change from the top of the flower to the bottom half. This was a red gerber daisy, but I used the flash and half of it came out yellow...pretty cool if I do say so myself. I've missed sharing pictures so I've got to get started doing that again. I guess I'll have to walk away from Farmtown and Mafia Wars on Facebook and then I'll get more creative juices flowing!!! Later....

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July Weekend

As holiday weekends go, that was just one of the best. We spent the 4th with good friends and what more can you ask. We had a cookout and an indoor picnic - complete with margaritas, burgers, chicken, ribs, and homemade ice cream, cake and brownies for dessert!! Couldn't ask for anything better! We also played cards after dinner and had a good time. Howard and Nan were hysterical!

Sudi told me I needed to change the picture on my blog, so I actually decided to just change the whole thing. I love this picture! I've got to get some pictures downloaded from my camera and then I'll be able to share some more pictures on my blog. Lately it seems all I've been doing is playing Farmtown on Facebook. Well, maybe it's not all I've been doing - I've also been playing Mafia Wars and Bejeweled Blitz. Who knew that Facebook could be so much fun.

I'd better get off of here and see if all the changes have worked. Dave should be home soon for supper. More later....

Friday, July 3, 2009

Aunt Helen Day

This was an "Aunt Helen" day. I went over to see her after having lunch with Sudi and Howard. Today was one of those days when she just wasn't with me at all. She knew right away who I was and she knew she was 102, but she got off on tangents all day...talking about her 4 boys (2 0f whom were killed by the Indians) and her daughter who was killed by Hitler's regime. She said she was just little, but she can still remember the bombs going off and the sky being red with fire. I feel so bad for her. It's all I can do not to correct her when she starts telling stories like these. We've been told that it does no good to correct her - she has it in her mind that these stories are true. It's so sad.

It's 6:15 PM and Dave is still at work. I've called him, but he evidently can't get to his phone. Sometimes it's too loud when he's working so he just doesn't hear the phone. Sometimes, he can't get to it. Maybe they're working late tonight so that they don't have to work tomorrow.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Ponderings

Yesterday was a road trip day. I called Sudi at 9:30 or so and asked if they wanted to go on a road trip to Williamsburg. She had to have her haircut at 10:00 but she would be ready to go after that. So, about 11:00 we met in South English and went on to the mall at Williamsburg. We shopped until about 2:30 and then went to Amana for lunch. I hadn't planned to go to any quilt shops, because I thought Howard was going. Since he decided to stay home we went over to Heritage Designs just to see what they had. We got out of there pretty much unscathed. Then on the way home, we stopped at Fern Hill where we bought a couple of things. All in all, it was a good day. We didn't buy much in the way of fabric because we both have so many UFO's in our closets! The lunch at the Ox Yoke Inn was just so-so. In fact, I was very disappointed. I'd had my heart set on their chicken salad croissant. When we got there we found that their menu had changed and they no longer offered it. I was really bummed! I thought their menu was pretty restricted. I'm sure the economy has hurt Amana too.

Today has been another beautiful day. Poor Dave has caught a summer cold or something. He even came home from work today - he just felt horrible. He's pretty much sat/slept in his chair since about 2:30 when he got home. I had mowed today so he did go out this evening and mow the first 2 rounds around the property - I won't mow there because I don't like to mow on a slope. Other than that, it's been pretty quiet here.