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Friday, March 28, 2014

Things I've Been Working On

Valerie is getting married in November. Something I am looking forward to very much. She is going to be a very beautiful bride. Her fiance is a kind, good, hard working man. He has a calm spirit that complements Valerie's high spirits in a way that enriches both of their personalities. They are so good together.

Right now, my sites are set on her bridal shower. I have picked out a theme, which I will not divulge here. While Valerie has seen most of what I am working on, she doesn't know the whole theme yet.

She worried me at one point. I had already made many paper flowers and painted some jars. I had already put quite a bit of time into things.
 "I don't really want a shower or a bacholerett party." She said matter of factly. "I don't really need much as far as household stuff." I'm sure my face must have dropped.

"Well, dear," I started, "you can talk to your sister about the bacholerett, but, you are going to have a shower." If I have to, I'll just tell people to get her gift cards to Lowes. They want to paint and stuff like that so why not.

I have been busy making paper flowers, saving and painting jars and planning how I want to use them all. I decided that I want to use repurposed items. It actually amazes me just how fast you can save glass jars. You think that everything is in plastic now a days. There are a lot of things still in glass though. Which is good for me since painted glass jars are a big part of the decor for the shower.
 I started paining the jars all one color. They were a rose gold color. It was very pretty. I liked it a lot. Until I started getting bored with it. The shower is going to be in the fall some time. I decided to start adding more colors. Some bold,  some not so bold. By the time I'm done they will all have a common theme, though.

Some are decorated with other materials as well. I have a book of upholstery samples that I got in St. Louis at a store that sells items that can be repurposed. I paid a few bucks for it and it has been a big part of what I've been doing.

 Some of the flowers I've made have been made from paper, but others out of the samples. I've been having a lot of fun experimenting and using different materials and methods.

I've also been making origami flowers. Mostly, roses. Some are made from brown paper bags, some from newspapers, and others from parchment paper.
 Pinterest is definitely a huge help with it all. I have gotten some ideas from there. A few ideas have been my own. And I learned how to make the origami flowers on YouTube.

When all is said and done, hopefully, it will all look the way I think it will.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mr. Winter, Leave Me Alone!

I was watching the movie 1776 the other day. It is a musical that was filmed in the '70s about the signing of the Declaration of Independence. If you haven't seen it you should. It is actually pretty hilarious. 

There is one particular song that inspired the title for this blog. Ben Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, and someone else, are trying to decided who should write the declaration. John Adams shouldn't because he is obnoxious and disliked, and if he "were to do it, they'd run their quill pen through it."They go through each person, singing why that person shouldn't write it. They get to Thomas Jefferson, they all look at him. He looks directly at John Adams and blurts out in loud baritone song, "Mr. Adams, leave me aloooooone!" Seriously, see the movie, I'm sure it must be on Netflix somewhere. 

Last night I was coming home from Des Moines. Two very good friends of mine, Kathy and Mary, had lost their father, and I had gone to the visitation at the funeral home. While the circumstances were very sad, it was so nice to see these too wonderful ladies! They are both such strong, intelligent women with big hearts. Getting to catch up with them was wonderful. My heart goes out to both them and the rest of their family on the loss of their beloved father. 

While we were all chatting Kathy, knowing I had an hour and a half drive, said I should get going so I wouldn't have to drive in the dark. It had also been snowing on and off all afternoon. I, kind of arrogantly, poo pooed the idea. (This is an important plot point, remember it for later.) I actually love driving. I was a school bus driver for about ten years. I had driven a bus load of rowdy teenagers about 90 miles in an ice storm once and was just fine. Driving home in the dark.... no problem! I stayed, and then another friend, Kelley and I went out to supper. I drank three ice teas, at supper. The funeral home was very dry, I was very thirsty. We talked and laughed until 10:00 pm when the restaurant closed. 

As I was driving I kept seeing snow plows out.  I had no idea why. I was cruising along at the speed limit. The pavement wasn't even wet much less slick. I was singing along to the songs on my iPhone, loudly and I'm sure way off key. I was enjoying having the time to myself. 

As I got to Iowa  County, I noticed there was a little more snow on the side of the road. I decided to turn off the cruise control, and slow down just a bit. I put my foot on the gas pedal and hit the switch for the cruise. I let up on the gas pedal a little to slow down. 

That's when God decided to slap the arrogant right out of me. 

My car started to swerve. I checked my rear view mirror. No one was anywhere behind me. I looked side to side, and in front, no cars anywhere. I knew if I went off the road, no one would go with me. That set a calm into me. I thanked God, over and over,  as I was swerving from side to side, that there was no one to hit. At one point it looked like I was going to end up in the ditch. While, I had no real desire to end up in the ditch, at least if I ended up there, the worst that would happen would be a black eye from the airbag. I got myself turned away from the ditch on the right and head straight for the ditch on the left. Still thanking God there was no one near me. I finally got my car stopped. I was turned the wrong way on the interstate, but I was fine, the car was fine, there was still no one anywhere near me. Life was good.

I sat there a moment. "Well. That was interesting." I said out loud to no one but God. I started to turn my car around. Yeah, it wouldn't move. The tires were spinning on the ice. The ice that was a glare on the entire interstate. At this point, I could see cars heading toward me. Headlights in the distance were coming my way. I put the car in reverse and moved it an inch or two. That was enough to give me traction to be on my way. 

Facing the proper direction again,  I slowly started up the interstate. The taillights in front of me didn't seem to be moving. I slowed down... VERY CAREFULLY!  I soon caught up with the vehicles in front of me.  

We were creeping very slowly. The semi two cars up was trying to move. It's trailer fishtailing with ever inch. Then, nothing. No movement at all. The taillights in front of me, reflecting off of the ice coated pavement. I sat and waited. 

About ten minutes later I called Kelley. I had told her that I'd send her a text when I got home. I was only about ten miles from my exit, but I could tell it would a few minutes before we would be moving again. I didn't want her to worry when I didn't text her when she would expect it. 

"A few minutes." BA HA HA HAAAAAA! 

 A half hour later, I checked out the road condition app on my phone. Despite the fact that there was a glaring sheet of ice all over the road, the app said it was normal driving conditions. Hmmmm. I checked Facebook, I looked up our local news station. They had just posted that road conditions were partially covered to normal. I started to wonder if I had crossed into some parallel universe, and my phone was still picking up my home universe. I looked on Twitter. I tweeted a question to both my home area TV station and a Des Moines TV station. I just asked if they knew what was going on. 

A Ryan Westendorf from KCCI in Des Moines answered. He had looked up the road condition site, also,  and saw the same puzzling wrongness I had. He kept looking into it and got a hold of the DOT. Soon they were tweeting me and other people stuck with me on the interstate. 

Not so soon, two and a half hours later, yes that says two and a half HOURS! (Do you remember that I told you I had THREE ice teas?) I saw a sand truck. We started moving! Very slowly at first, but it was movement!

Well, until it wasn't.... We were stopped again. (THREE ICE TEAS!) The DOT tweeted and said that semis were having trouble getting up the hills. This time it was only another fifteen or twenty minutes. 

Then finally FREEDOM! I have to say thank you to the DOT workers that came out and rescued all of us. Thank you to Ryan Westendorf of KCCI, and the Iowa DOT for keeping so many of us informed through twitter. 

 Say what you will about social networks, sometimes it is wonderful! I finally got home around 2:00 am. Stupid snow greeting me. But I was home.

 I didn't want to run, I didn't have the proper shoes for it.

Buuuuuut, three! ice! teas!
Do you think winter will EVER end????

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Trying to Get Back on Track

So, yeah, it's been a while. I have been having a hard time with the blogging. I don't get out much any more. Most of my time is spent at home with my father. He doesn't like going out in the snow, or cold, and this winter has just been snow storm after snow storm, and polar vortex after polar vortex. Unless he has a doctor appointment we stay home. Not getting out, makes me feel as though I have nothing interesting to say. 

In an attempt to get back my, what a fellow blogger named Pia calls "writing mojo," I'm going to do an experiment. As I wrote in my last post, way back in January, (really? that long ago?) I have been attempting to learn Italian. I am going to give myself a homework assignment. I am going to try everyday to blog at least a small post. Even if it is just a photo with a caption. Then, to help me with my Italian, said post will be translated into Italian. Don't worry, I don't expect anyone to try to read the Italian, unless you too have the bug to learn a new language. I just wish I knew someone that actually speaks Italian. You know to tell me how I'm doing. Then again...... 

I am starting this now. 

The one thing that keeps me from going absolutely insane being cooped up all winter, has been the grandkids. Getting to have them for a weekend, now and then, makes me smile and laugh. Noah is such a calm laid back little dude, so much like his daddy. Of course he isn't moving around much yet, which makes it easier to to keep up with him. Paxton is everywhere at once. He is always smiling and giggling. He is a hoot and a half. Keeping up with him, is like chasing a hamster in an exercise ball, racing all over the house. Getting a good photo of him is near impossible. Kahlen, she is a little princess. At least that is what she would like us to believe. Her mom told me that she was insisting on being called Princess Elsa today, and that the princess part was going to her head a bit. I told Alyssa that meant she was the queen! Apparently, in Frozen, which I haven't seen, Princess Elsa becomes the queen. Which, I told Alyssa, makes her a Goddess! I don't know how things went after that. 

Kahlen being Kahlen
Kahlen essere Kahlen

Kahlen painting the birdhouse she built with grandpa.
Kahlen dipingere la casa degli uccelli ha costruito con il nonno.

We mixed colors and learned blue and red make purple.
Noi misto colori e dotto azzurro e rosso trucco viola.

Paxton and Bazinga snacked while Kahlen painted.
Paxton e Bazinga mangiano mentre Kahlen dipingere.

Painting is very delicate work.
La pittura e' un lavoro molto delicato. 

Paxton ran around the yard while Kahlen built her birdhouse.
Paxton correre intorno il cortile mentre Kahlen costruito la sua casa di uccello. 

I actually got a few good photos of him.
In realta' ho avuto un paio di buone foto di lui. 

He's more of an action shot kind of boy.
Lui e' pui' di un tipo colpo di azione di ragazzo. 

Always on the move.
Sempre in movimento.

Paxton thought he should be allowed to sleep in Bazinga's kennel.
Paxton pensava che dovrebbe essere consentito di dormire in Bazinga's canile.

Silly selfie.
Selfie sciocco.

Best. Toy. Ever!
Miglior. Giocattolo. Mai!

Kahlen enjoys playing the proper cowgirl.
Kahlen gode giocare la propria cowgirl.

Mr. Noah Smiles!
Signore Noah Sorrisi

Goof ball in his overalls.
Buon pallone nella sua tuta. 

Toes, are super awesome!
Dita sono super awesome!

Peaceful slumber. Shhhhh!
Sonno tranquillo. Shhhhh!
Watching Iowa men's basketball team lose.
Guardare la squadra di basket maschile Iowa perdere.
"What the heck was that shot?"
"Cosa diavolo era quel colpo?"

"Grandpa, are you seeing this?"
"Nonno, stai vedendo questo?"

"I just can't believe this, they had so much potential."
"Non riesco a crederci, che avevano cosi' tanto potenziale."

L'unica cosa che mi impedisce di andare assolutamente folle essere rinchiusi per tutto l'inverno, e' stato i nipotini. Arrivare ad averli per un fine settimana, di tanto in tanto, mi fa sorridere e ridere. Noah e' un po tizio tale rilassato, cosi' come il sou papa'. Ovviamente lui non si muove ancora molto, che rende piu' facile tenere il passo con lui. Paxton e' ovunque contemporaneamente. Lui e' sempre sorridente e ridacchiando. Lui e' un spasso e mezzo. Tenere il passo con lui, e' come inseguire un criceto e palla di esercizio, correndo per tutta la casa. Ottenere una buona foto di lui e' quasi impossibile. Kahlen, lei e' una piccola principessa. Almeno questo e' quello che lei vorrebbe farci credere.  La sua mamma, mi ha detto che insisteva per essere chiamato Principessa Elsa oggi, e che la parta della principessa, stava per la testa un po'. Ho detto Alyssa che significava era la regina! A quanto pare, in Ghiacciato, che non ho ancora visto, la Principessa Elsa diventa la regina. Che, ho detto Alyssa, lei una dea fatta. Non so cosa e' successo dopo che.