Monday, December 29, 2008

Would Your Children (or Grandchildren) Like This?

Thought you might like to see a gift I made for each of our two families
(that of my son and that of my daughter).

Take some Wildly Striped fabric...

and some brightly polka-dotted fabric.
Cut a few pieces and iron them.
Sew a seam or two...

Pockets on the back (for the puppets)...

And you have a puppet theater
that will fit in nearly any doorway!

Next, take a variety of fleece (remnants if you have them).
Find a few patterns, ideas, and poems and fingerplays
and put them in a book...

And now there's something to have fun with!
The following collection will be presented to my daughter's family
this weekend, as we again celebrate Christmas.

Our son's family received Jan Brett's book "Town Mouse, Country Mouse"
with laminated faces from her website.
Our daughter's family will receive Jan Brett's "The Mitten" with
laminated faces from her website.
Paint stirring sticks are taped on the backside.
(I used these in my second grade classroom many times!)
My next assignment is to make puppets for the book "Marsupial Sue!" ;-)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Planets Align and Friends Combine!

Last Tuesday, December 2 was a special night!

Four friends (including myself) piled into the car
of the couple that was driving.
Jim stopped at the end of the driveway.
Out came our 3x magnification digital cameras...
snap, snap, snap.
Wiggle, wiggle, wiggle went the moon and the planets...
This is the best I could do!!
What fun. What a rare opportunity!
I neglected to photograph Jim,
but here's a photo from last summer.
A great escort!
He drove us the hour or so to Keokuk, Iowa
to see Amahl and the Night Visitors
and other entertaining ballet sequences.
The troupe hailed from the Minneapolis, MN area.

As members of our local Concert Association,
we have reciprocity with
neighboring community associations.

I'm on the left, Karen is in the center, and Joan
is on the right. Jim took the photo.
Jim and Joan are the couple that ushered us to Keokuk.

We sat in the balcony!
Both these photos were taken as we looked up.
Isn't this quite the theater?
Before leaving town, Jim treated our entourage
to hot fudge sundays at McD's.
Good Memories...
That's what this is all about. :-)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Move Over, Lily Tomlin!

On Saturday, October 4, hubby and I drove to Cedar Rapids, IA to visit friends. He and friend Maury were due for a day-long fishing trip, while Lois and I drove to the Amanas. I had not been there for years, and we had a great time!!!

Our first stop was at a broom factory with a large gift shop. The gift shop was complete with many wooden items for sale, all created by area residents. I did a little bit of Christmas shopping here. I can't post photographs, of course... someone would know what they're getting! ;-)

Next we stopped at a furniture store.
*(This is my reference to the title of this post. )
Here I am, seated in this humongous rocking chair. I'm so glad there was a footstool available!

I do think that Lily, Lois and I could all sit comfortably in this chair! :-)

Does Lois give you an idea of scale?
This is the windmill on the property. It was a fairly windy day.
At the base of the windmill was a "woodcutter."
Check out the video below.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

A Day for Memories

by Ted Kooser*

Spinning up dust and cornshucks
as it crossed the chalky, exhausted fields,
it sucked up into its heart
hot work, cold work, lunch buckets,
good horses, bad horses, their names
and the names of mules that were
better or worse than the horses,
then rattled the dented tin sides
of the threshing machine, shook
the manure spreader, cranked
the tractor's crank that broke
the uncle's arm, then swpt on
through the windbreak, taking
the treehouse and dirty magazines,
turning its fury on the barn
where cows kicked over buckets
and the gray cat sat for a squirt
of thick milk in its whiskers, crossed
the chicken pen, undid the hook,
plucked a warm brown egg
from the meanest hen, then turned
toward the house, where threshers
were having dinner, peeled back
the roof and the kitchen ceiling,
reached down and snatched up
uncles and cousins, grandma, grandpa,
parents and children one by one,
held them like dolls, looked
long and longingly into their faces,
then set them back in their chairs
with blue and white platters of chicken
and ham and mashed potatoes
still steaming before them, with
boats of gravy and bowls of peas
and three kinds of pie, and suddenly,
with a sound like a sigh, drew up
its crowded, roaring, dusty funnel,
and there at its tip was the nib of a pen.

*Ted Kooser, Poet Laureate of the United States, received the Pulitzer Prize for Delights & Shadows, the book from which this poem was taken.

Kaitlyn's memory-making visit to the farm this past July. :-)
This day, October 16, is a day of remembering and reminiscing. Our lives, after all, span a very short period of time - and yet are filled with so very much. May we each leave a little behind us, written and/or unwritten, that makes a difference. In honor and remembrance of my sister, Barb. With Love.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Just Playing Around!

You might think all we did at Dad and Mom's was "play around!" Think again!!

We did some serious work!
(Does this look somewhat familiar? ha!)
Yep! Another birdbath.
It wasn't revealed until after I left, so I'm waiting for a photograph.
When it arrives, I'll post it here!

We celebrated Dad's birthday along with an aunt's birthday at a tea house in a neighboring town.
It was a great lunch, complete with piano accompaniment by a 94 year old grandmother of the owner. It was wonderful! :-)

Then, I went shopping at the Farm Store. ha. Actually, I found something I'd been looking for all summer, so we had to try it out!

Works beautifully, don't you think? :-)

And one last foray into their wonderful garden center/nursery!
This bug was pointed out...
if you don't know its name,
Bugguide will!
(It's a species of Cranefly.)
(and if you want to get "up close and personal," click on the photo)Of course, I couldn't limit my stop at the nursery to a peek at an insect!
Here's what's happily residing in my flower bed!

Rogersia "Chocolate Wings"
(out in the south 'woodland walk')

And this is Eupatorium Joe Pye Weed "Little Joe"
He's only supposed to be 3 - 4 feet tall.
He's flanked by "Starfighter" Asiatic Lily on your left,
"Pink Chablis" sedum on your right,
and Catmint in the background.

Have a great day! --- Shady G

Visiting Aunt MEA

On the way to stay with Dad and Mom for a few days at the end of August, I stopped off at Aunt MEA's house!
This is really her front door (at left). We're on the east side of the house, facing north towards the driveway. You can see a flower bed that hides my car. And my car hides another flower bed. :-) The photo at right is one of a collection of lilies on the south side of this stairway.
Now, I'll only orient you as to where you are in her yard. :-)
We're on the north side of the yard; the bed we could see from the front door.

There is a flowerbed the entire length of the yard on the west side. There used to be a humongous vegetable garden just on "this side" of this flower bed. This (photo on left) is only a small cluster of plants on the north end of this bed. The second photo shows the shady south side of this bed... a wonderful collection of hostas.

We are now on the north side of the house. This is Bloodroot (left) and ginger (right).

Here we are, at the north door (peeking easterly). This is the door that we always use to enter the house. From the steps, you walk north to the garage and driveway.

You might remember the
garden craft
I worked at so hard this summer!

Now Aunt MEA has one, too!

Here's a photo from an area newspaper. Aunt MEA was featured as an area gardener... and this is what the article said:

92-year-old most enjoys her daylilies

MEA takes two urns filled with her flowers to church every Sunday.

The 92-year-old has been raising flowers for many years and maintains flower beds all around her home.

"I started raising flowers in my late 20s," she said.

Inspired as a young woman by a neighbor man's wonderful flower gardens, she is a 51-year charter member of her local Federated Garden Club.

MEA most enjoys daylilies --- "they're pretty prolific," she said, but she loves all her flowers.

"I have lots of daffodils." Other favorites include her tulips, zinnias, phlox, 80 to 100 hostas and azaleas.

"I like to be outside," she said. "I spend a lot of time out there."

My mom is on the left and another aunt is in the center of the above photograph.

Way to go, Aunt MEA! :-)

Monday, June 9, 2008

Mississippi Katrina Relief Trip - May 31 - June 8, 2008

Saturday, May 31, 2008
Bright shiny faces and ready grins in anticipation of days ahead.
Here we are: A great group of ten.

This day was special for another reason: Jim and Joan celebrated their 38th wedding anniversary! Denny and Marty smuggled decorated cupcakes for the occasion, which we devoured at our lunch stop. :-)

Saturday night was spent in the Days Inn at Hernando, MS - just outside Memphis, TN. We had a great meal at the Guadalahara Restaurant right across the street!

As we left the restaurant, some bright-eyed person spotted a Magnolia tree, Mississippi's State Tree, in bloom. Denny took the prize-winning photo below. The Magnolia blossom is also Mississippi's state flower.

Sunday, June 1, 2008
The next morning found us having too much noisy fun in the parking lot!

We arrived at Camp Hope in Vancleave, MS around 3:00 p.m. Sunday. First, we toured the church.
Then we took a walk, made our beds and arranged our suitcases for the week. Here are photographs of a couple more flowers we ladies discovered on our short walk.

We don't know what this first one is... any ideas?

We were told this is a gardenia.

My Hometown Bunkmates:
Janet and Marty

Kris and Joyce

(me) and Joan

Sunday night's meal was enjoyed at a locally recommended barbecue spot called The Shed. This is one view of the outside the restaurant. Check out their website by clicking their name above.

Here we are indoors (of course you know the photographer rarely gets in the picture!)
The food was wonderful!
Group Photos:
These photos were actually taken Saturday morning before we all left for home, but I wanted you to see everyone who came to work!
Our group of ten is in the first photo.
The first photo is of the group from Tennessee. Next, we're all together!

This is Sally and Kurt. They have husband/wife
managed Camp Hope for the past two years. They will be moving in July to pursue.... whatever's next. :-)

About Me

My photo
I enjoy being outdoors! I also love that I've two children (now grown up with families of their own)and six young grandchildren! :-) Sure would like to see them more often!!