Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Kelley and Mikes Wedding

Addendum:
I found the picture I was looking for!



If you look just behind the bride, you will see person in gold yellow jacket, that is Molly, then I'm am to the right in royal blue dress. I loved that dress I got specially to wear for the wedding.

It was a beautiful autumn day in September 1989.

Where did September go?

9-30-09 anniversary brain
Last week I was worn out and had to “hit pause”……. This week I had to hit "Ctrl/Alt/Delete" and reboot for 48 hours. And I’m not sure what hit me. Monday morning was very productive and I felt great, then Monday after lunch, my lunch of leftover Indian Shahi Paneer sent me to kneeing in front of the toilet.

I couldn’t begin to eat again until 28 hours later. Even now I’m sipping Gatorade and only eating liquidity oatmeal for breakfast. Enough said.

It's the end of September and a special 20th Wedding Anniversary of friends Kelley and Mike! Their daughter Elizabeth was born exactly a year later. Wow, 20 years.... where did the time go?

If I had more energy I'd post their picture... I know Ann would enjoy seeing that. Maybe later today.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Remembering.....back to the garden

9-28-09 John Muir's brain
Another busy weekend: art show, craft show, parade, Sunday drive with Miata car group for lunch and visit to winery…. Much to blog about, but no desire to at this point.


Instead Sunday evening I got engrossed by the new PBS series by Ken Burns, “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea”.

This is just what I needed!
After my extremely busy summer of activities, I was feeling restless and hollow as the season begins the shift into autumn. I didn’t understand the feelings I have been experiencing over the last month, except to think that I’ve just worn myself out with too much “doing”, too much distractions, too much fun, and not enough true relaxation.

As I started to watch the National Parks show, I was surprise to find the tightness in my body melt away and the restlessness in my mind begin to be replaced by peace. With this shift, I then realized that it had been months since I had spent much time with my good friend, “nature”. I had sorely missed the stabilizing and healing benefits from time spend sitting quietly in the great outdoors.

I had only once sat and watched the sun rise from my deck. I have spent very little time in the backyard hammock enjoying my small slice of nature and I don’t even remember Greg and I even once driving up to the lake to watch the sunset this summer.

Ken Burns’ National Parks show did stir up wonderful memories of time spend outdoors from simple times watching a meteor shower in late summer sky, or a quiet evening on the back patio watching the hummingbirds…. As well as the handful of special trips to such places as the Grand Canyon, Mammoth Cave, the Great Smoky Mountains and walking on the Appalachia trail.

I believe I have spent too much time in the car this summer and not enough time in nature. Luckily there is still enough time to correct this in the next month or two before I’ll be held up in front of the fireplace over the winter months.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Why I believe in Health Care for all

9-26-09 heartbreaking brain
Part of my job for the state cancer registry is reading the medical records of cancer patients. I am not an insurance expert, but daily I have a bird’s eye view of what goes on in people’s lives when they are diagnosed with cancer.

Here is an example of a case I saw this week:
52 year old female seen in Emergency Room with ulcerated lesion in right axilla (arm pit), this was present for 6 to 7 weeks. Patient with no family doctor or no insurance. Last saw doctor in 1986 after birth of baby). Mother died from breast CA.

Pt had biopsy of this ulcerated area in arm pit and found to have metastatic cancer. Scan showed mass in right breast with extension into chest wall and involved axillary lymph nodes. The spread into the lymph nodes were causing skin ulceration and abscess in arm pit. Oncologist recommended chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The next month a report stated that chemotherapy had not been started yet due to insurance coverage. Patient worked in past but has been laid off work.

I have heard some people say “we” have the best health care in the world. It does little good for some who aren’t allowed access to this health care.

I have no further reports on this patient in the last 9 months, thus I have no idea what her status is today.

We are all one step away of being without health insurance. Lose your job and lose your insurance.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Orange coconuts

9-25-08 silly brain

What do you get when you cross a pumpkin and a palm tree plant???



My fascination with my volunteer pumpkin vine continues. It stills has about 2 feet to go before hitting the 2nd story roof. It seems to want to branch out now, instead of growing straight up to the sky.

My north bathroom window is starting to get covered by the vine.



The pumpkin's days are numbered..... maybe a month to live, since I don't have a free weekend to do fall yard work until then. I hope the snow doesn't fly anytime in October!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Beaverdale Fall Festival parade

9-24-09 flying high brain
Saturday morning was a fun tradition for me. I've been participating in the Beaverdale parade for years, most often with my church, Westminster Presbyterian.

For the last few years I was dressed as a frog.


This year with our fall church theme of "Transition", I got to be one of the butterflies. I almost had to be the caterpillar, but the costume did not fit, so Brad had to fill the part.

We had a beautiful warm sunny day. We all had fun, but we all were a bit worn out after the 2 miles walk. I am glad that I decided it would be easier on me to roller blade. So THIS butterfly did a lot of gliding as if a real butterfly.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Saturday evening fun- horse races

9-23-09 sluggish brain
Last week was a super busy week, then followed by a super busy weekend... no wonder I'm worn out.

This is what Greg and I did Saturday night- visit this blog site by co-worker, friend, and fellow blogger Renee: http://renee0576.blogspot.com
Renee's blog can be found on my right side panel, called "Believe".

Why repeat myself here, when Renee has the topic covered very well.

I will just add one additional photo and say that I "broke even"as far as money I bet. Of the 4 bets I placed, I won two.... but then I always bet "to show"... so I at least win something.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Time to hit pause

9-22-09 pooped out brain
It had to happen at some point, the shift into autumn. Yesterday this happened dramatically for me. After 25 days of no rain and beautiful sunny weather, Mother Nature turned upside down. We had cool temperatures, dark skies, and rain, which also continues today.

This change did a number on my sinus and ears. I’m plugged up and dizzy. I’m somewhat better today, but it looks like my busy schedule, which was in overdrive, has come to streaking halt- Time to get realigned with the slower autumn pace.

No energy to blog much today. It appears I need to take a break.

I'm hitting the pause button.



The fields in Iowa are changing their color too. Soybeans with mixture of green, yellow and gold! Sorry not a great picture. Was taken out the car window on my drive back from Iowa City last week.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Life is good in Beaverdale

9-21-09 happy brain
Big weekend in Beaverdale with Fall Festival and parade. Those pictures are on Greg's camera, so will have to post later.

Sunday night was the season closing for our neighborhood ice cream shop, "Snookies"..... Steve our neighbor entertained the crowd on his piano with friend Cheryl on accordion.



Neighbor boy "Mr. Z" had eye's bigger than his stomach!


Life in Beaverdale is as sweet as a hot fudge Sunday! Enjoy the video.

video

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Just messing around


Sunday... I'm worn out!
So I'm resting and just messing around with my paints.






More toenail sketches... the abstract side of me!


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Peeping Tom pumpkin

9-19-09 growing autumn brain
Alice you are right in your observation of "Mr. Pumpkin Vine"..... he is peeking into the bathroom window, in perfect view of my bath tub!




This is going to be quite the chore to take him down and put into a lawn waste bag later this fall!

By the growth I've seen this week, I'd say Mr. Pumpkin Vine will make it to the roof top for sure!

Here is a pretty leaf I picked up in Iowa City this week.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Frog in the toilet

9-18-09 reminiscing brain
I’m back from my 2.5 day trip into Iowa City and having a “light” Friday, recuperating from my busy week. I’ve already worked 40+ hours this week, but have loose ends to tie up today. We had a successful conference and I’m just glad it’s over. This has taken up most of my work energy all summer long.

I was pleased to see that my childhood friend Laurel (Tuesday’s posting) did visit my blog and posted some of her cat memories. One of my goals for 2010 will be to see Laurel one way or another, either in Iowa or in Colorado.

It’s interesting what people remember from the past and I love hearing stories my old friends Steve, Robin, Jean Ann, Alice, my sister, and now Laurel. Often some of my own strongest memories are small and insignificant.

I was remembering the times the girls in my neighborhood would have slumber parties and remembering the silly things we would do. We must have been giggling the whole night away. I remember my sister and I pretending to be the Beatles with Lynn and Laurel and we used the ping pong paddles as our guitars as we lip-synced along to the records.

We often would play board games such at Clue or Risk, and once in awhile someone would get a Ouija board out. I still have one up in my closet. I found it the other day when I was getting my “45” records out to blog about. Yes, this closet needs to be cleaned and organized…. “Jean Ann help!”…. (Inside joke!).

I’ve heard people say that Ouija boards can bring evil spirits, so you need to use with caution. As a child, I don’t think I ever had a true revealing Ouija experience, but I do remember feeling like the finger pad piece was freely moving and vibrating a bit, but I always suspected the other kid was moving it. Our questions to the Ouija board usually involved finding out if certain boys liked us.

One of my strongest memories of Lynn and Laurel was one of the times they were spending the night with my sister Jan and I at our house. For some reason our twin beds were set up on my bedroom. So I’m remembering Jan and Lynn sleeping in one bed (they were in the same class) and Laurel and I in the other bed (Laurel was one year ahead of Jan and Lynn, and I was one year younger).

The lights were off and we were telling silly jokes and stories to each other. I love jokes, but for the life of me, even now am not good about remembering jokes or telling jokes…. But this one has always stayed with me for 45 years. I believe Laurel told the joke, but it could have been Lynn.

The joke is about the story of a frog that had to spend a night in a toilet. This poor frog suffered many hardships…. Then the joke went on to describe several of these such as …. “it rain on and off all night long”….. OK my mind has forgotten the details….. but surprising the punch line has stayed with me all these years, and I still giggle about it remembering how this joke make us laugh on that night.

Punch line has the frog finishing up is description of his night in the toilet by saying…. “ and someone had the nerve to drop a LOG on my head!”
I’ll be eager to see if Laurel or my sister remembers THIS.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Autumn travels

9-17-09 Autumn LEFT brain

Today as you read this my left brain will be in overdrive.
I will be speaking at our Annual Iowa Cancer Registrar's Association Fall Workshop in Iowa City. I love going back to Iowa City in the fall, since this brings back the memories of me heading there for another year of college back in the late 70's and early 80's.

Autumn gives me mixed feelings in my stomach; one of sad endings, as summer slowly fades, and one of happy beginnings as new classes start with new opportunities to meet Mr. Right. (PS: This never did happen in college)

These sad and happy feelings are how I now experience pictures of our sweet Missy cat who was still alive last fall and enjoying the autumn weather next to the catnip plant.





These sad and happy feelings places that catchy tune back in my head from the song called "Closing Time" by Semisonic.

The lyrics say "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end.


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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pumpkin time?

9-16-09 nature brain
This last weekend I thought it was time to put the unproductive volunteer pumpkin to rest. Once it hit the 2nd floor window I knew it was time. I figured Greg wouldn't want it climbing on the house.

Well, after he saw it, he thought it was pretty interesting garden "project" to observe a bit longer. The fine tentacles that this plant sends out are fascinating.... especially after they start to twist and anchor the plant as it grows.




Next year, I hope to purposely start a pumpkin, and this time plant it in the sun, so maybe it will produce a surprise pumpkin like I had in 2002.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Laurel come home!

9-15-09 yearning brain
I clearly remember as a child the first time a prayer of mine was answered. This was a serious prayer, a heartfelt prayer, and prayer of desperation.

Our family cat Tippy had been with us for about 4 to 5 years. Tippy was a great mother cat and each year she gave us a new liter of kittens twice per year. Somehow my parents managed to find homes for all these kittens, but they got to the point when they were tired of this cycle.

As a child of age 9 or 10, I was given the explanation that Tippy would be taking her current liter of kittens to live on a farm to help keep the mice population under control. It would be a wonderful place for her to live.

At that age, I didn’t know I could say no….. Back in my day, our parents made the rules and we followed them. I remember the day someone came and put Tippy and her kittens in a box placing them in their car trunk and drove off to “the farm”.

I remember starting to miss Tippy and feeling an intense longing for her. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know that asking my parents to get Tippy back might be an option. Instead, I did what I had learned in church. I started to pray every night that God would bring Tippy back.

As I said, these were heartfelt, desperate prayers like I had never prayed before. I did feel somewhat comforted by doing this every night….. for how long I have no idea. As a child, I really wasn’t acutely aware of time.

But one morning it did happen. Tippy was there at the back door wanting to come home. Everyone was surprised and I was so delighted. We were then allowed to keep Tippy, and she was happily neutered and lived a good long life.

I relate this LONG story for one reason only. It’s because I’m having those same intense feelings and longing for Laurel, ever since I received a few emails from her last week.
Laurel and Lynn were sisters and lived in our neighborhood down the street and they were mine and my sister’s childhood friends. I haven’t seen Laurel since Lynn’s funeral about 10 years ago. Laurel lives in Colorado. Lynn died of breast cancer in her early 40’s after fighting it half her life.

I just wanted to tell Laurel …. Come home! I’m longing for a chance to hug you, share stories with you and laugh! We will always be like family!

I believe Love brought Tippy home to me, now I'm hoping the same with Laurel!

A neighborhood reunion is long over due.


(Picture: Laurel on left; Lynn on right)

Monday, September 14, 2009

"The Healing" Transformation

9-14-09 RIGHT brain
This weekend I helped with the hanging of the annual Fall Art Exhibit at my church (Westminster Presbyterian Church).

I’ve been lucky enough to participate in this for about 9 years. Each year we are given a theme and the September sermons, education, music and art at church center around this theme.


This year the theme is “Transformation and Change”.

At first, I didn’t think I had time this summer to work on a project, but I did like the sound of this theme of transformation. So I got inspired to do something different, something FUN and easy (I thought)... Painting out in the back yard.



I did have fun using my creative brain to experiment a little on this project. I had to try twice before I got something that was close to what I was envisioning.




The name of my new piece is called “The Healing
My statement is: I believe LOVE is the most powerful force in the universe. Chaos and brokenness are always transformed by LOVE and forgiveness.



This piece measures about 54 inches x 54 inches.

PS: It was an unplanned coincidence that my prior post mentioned "healing" and "forgiveness", followed by this art posting today.... or is it just one of those wonderful god-incidences?

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Post 9-11

9-12-09 altered brain
In 2001, Greg was the building director of the Iowa Federal Building in downtown Des Moines. I remember on the morning of September eleventh, I was working from home and Greg called me and told me to turn on the TV.

I asked, “what channel?”…. he said something like “any channel” and he hung up. So I walked downstairs, feeling curious, and turned on the TV. I saw a plane sticking out from a tall building in NY. It looked like a small plane to me and I thought “that is a strange accident”….

As I was standing there watching, another plane flies into the picture….. HOLY COW! What’s going on here? That’s no accident!

One of my strongest memories from 9-11 was how beautify blue and clear the sky was in Des Moines that day. I later heard that the sky was clear all over the country that day. During the morning, I walked outside feeling strangely disoriented, wondering what was coming next. I saw squirrels out in the back yard and my cats sunning themselves, and I longed to be unaware and carefree like them.

The world outside my house looked the same, but everything about life seemed to be totally different from that moment on.

Later Greg called and said they were sending all the Federal workers home and clearing the building just in case other buildings around the country might be targeted. However, Greg stayed and did’t come home until later that afternoon. Was he in danger staying there? I tried not to worry but felt enormous relief when I saw him come through the door later that day.

I can understand the worry and anxiety of the families waiting for their love ones to return home that evening…… but some never did return.

Eight years after 9-11, my life has gone back basically to normal….but a "new normal" of being more awake about not taking anything in life for granted. These families who lost love ones never will get their “normal” back. But life does go on, one day at a time, one tear at a time.

I wonder if they have healed?

It doesn't feel, over all, like our country is healing very well.

I highly recommend this book: Amish Grace: How Forgiveness Transcended Tragedy , it's an uplifting story of grace. If we all could love and forgive like these Amish, the world would contain more peace.

It's good to remember out of respect, but we need to also remember to forgive. Forgive like the Amish forgave the shooter of their school house killing of children a few years back. A person forgives to release themselves from the pain, it doesn't mean we condone the act.


Friday, September 11, 2009

9-11 (2001 and 2009)

I may have posted this prior, sorry if it is a repeat .... but wanted to post today.

The words below are my reaction in the following days of 9-11. I was hearing a lot about why this could have happened and learning more than I ever wanted to know about people who hate America.

Some chose revenge, some chose to stay ignorant, some chose to pray, some chose the call to defend, some chose fear, some chose to divide us, some chose love,.....
I chose to "wake up" on 9-11.




It’s About Time” -America

Thank you SEPTEMBER ELEVENTH for awakening me from my comfortable middle-age nap.

I was couch potato like-
Drowsy,
Lulled into complacency by the rich meal of prosperity,
Over fed by my middle class life.

Groggy as I was-
I didn’t even know I was chosen.
Too sedated to care much of the “other world’s” woes.

The alarm came-
Shocking and too loud to ignore.
No snooze button to be found.
Time to stretch, rub the sleep from my eyes.

Yes, I am now awake-
Called to stand up, summoned to make a difference.
Justice to be prayed for, liberty to protect.
Life to be grateful for, love to spread.

-by Judy Sebern Beachy


The pictures are from 2006:
On the five year anniversary, The Healing Fields came to Des Moines.

One flag with name, for every person killed in 9-11. It was beautifully painful.....


... And powerfully healing....

Now, I long to remember 9-11 as the last moment we were all one nation.....and grieve this loss in 2009.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Cook-off at Aggie Acres

9-10-09 tantalizing taste bud brain
Labor Day weekend: Sunday late afternoon

After the car show, Greg and I headed out to Aggie Acres to attend the 10th Anniversary Cook-off. This was our first time attending one of Molly and Jeff’s Labor Day parties. Guess we just never where in town before.



The competition was for the best “meat dish” which were cooked on the grills, and also a division for best side dish and best dessert. Trophy mugs were awarded.

Teriyaki Turkey won out of the 16 meat dishes entered; Aggie’s Sweet Potatoes won best side dish (Aggie is Jeff’s Mom), and Bev’s Mom’s Texas chocolate sheet cake won best dessert.



I was just happy that my Peach Cobbler got at least 4 votes out of the 15+ desserts to choose from.

Peeps my peacock friend was there demanding a lot of attention from anyone who would give him the time of day.

I also enjoyed the wagon ride out into the field for the chance to feed some of the animals: Buffalo, cows, horses, sheep, goats, lama, donkeys to name a few.


This was another fun, relaxing visit to Aggie Acres with an abundance of GOOD FOOD.
At least 100 people were in attendance. I lost count, it was hard to keep track of all the kids.... (kids of all ages, young and old!)

I don't know why..... but I just love that Peeps!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Married to a car lover

9-9-09 more motor brain
Labor Day Weekend: Sunday early afternoon
You guessed it.... since it is a Sunday between Memorial Day and Labor Day or course there is yet another car show- and we must go!

This was the KC British Car Club Show and since we belong to the Iowa British Car Club it was our duty to check this out. Plus we knew there would be a few Iowa car friends showing there.


Yes, Dave and Ladonna (above picture) had made the trip with one of their classic Mini’s. Dave and Ladonna are a fascinating couple. She from the U.S. and leans towards the serious side of life, and Davey is from England and a charming funny guy. (perhaps a good example of "Ayurveda" Three Doshas in balance) Davey actually has a car shop in Des Moines that works on British cars and he does our Mini Cooper oil changes now that we are out of warranty.

I sing a song in my head to the tune of Lady Madonna….

Dave and Ladonna own a Mini Moke, Davey’s always telling everyone silly jokes”….

What else can I do…. Me and my shadow standing around looking at cars with Greg on a beautify day in September.




The picture of the Triumph sport cars are for my Dad. He owned two back in the day before my sister and I could drive.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Ayurveda

9-8-09 balanced brain
Saturday of Labor Day Weekend:
Greg and I met up with Molly and her niece Megan for lunch at a Greek Restaurant in KC. Greg then proceeded to a car show, and I went with Molly and Megan to an alternative medicine lecture.

I didn’t have any clue or expectations on what this was going to be, all I knew was that we were going to Molly’s yoga instructor’s house for two hours. There were about a dozen in attendance and we met our instructor David who was from New Zealand. So I was happy that I would at least be entertained by listening to a cool accent.

We were introduced to Ayurveda which means life, and knowledge/science. So this is an ancient “science” about life. We learned about the “Three Doshas”… these are very similar to the five elements (water, earth, fire, wood, metal) I’ve learned about in Chinese Medicine, and Fung Shui.

The Doshas are made up of two elements each:
Vata: Ether(space) & Air
Pitta: Fire & Water
Kapha: Earth & Water

So during the two hours we learned and explored what our primary Doshas were and what this has to do with how we get and stay healthy and balanced.

I enjoyed spending time with Molly’s niece Megan (pictured here with me the next day out at Molly’s farm).



Molly and I have been two matchmaking Aunts over the last few years or so. We tried to get my nephew Christopher and Megan introduced to each other. It was hard to do since they live many states apart, but we thought they might hit it off. They seem to us like they could be two peas in a pod. Both are studying history, have red hair and a bit shy around the opposite sex- the semi nerdy types.

Molly and I did manage to connect these two via Facebook a few years back, and it looked like a nice friendship was taking hold. These two did finally meet once face to face over last Christmas vacation. I don’t think it went anywhere…… oh well, at least Molly and I tried.

NOW after learning about Ayurveda…. I see where Megan and Christopher are probably too much alike to be much good for each other as partners. Both are strong in Pitta and it would be better for them to find someone who can balance that out with more Vata and Kapha.

If you want to learn more just google “Ayurveda”… there is a lot of information out there.

For the record, currently I am fairly balanced between the Three Doshas... on the self assessment I was 9-Vata, 9-Pitta, 6-Kapha...... after 10 years of acupuncture and self exploration and self care, I would have expected no less.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

My "new normal" life

9-5-09 Tale of Two Cities brain
This has been my week to spend in KC. I’ve been spending a week each month down in KC with Greg. Really its 11 days when you count the weekend on each side of the week. Then on the other weekends in the month, Greg tries to take a 3 day weekend up in Des Moines. So I figure we get to spend at least 15-17 out of 30 days together.

This is working out well…and it is kind of fun. This has become our “new normal” as they say. It won’t be forever…. Just for now.

I find I get a lot of work done when I’m in KC with my laptop. Not so many distractions here. Our house is in a nice quiet neighborhood for the most part. My only distractions might be the neighborhood animals. Once in awhile there is a barking dog.

My KC routine has been to walk around the block at lunchtime or for afternoon break. And I usually find myself looking for my new friends….. the neighbor's cats: Kojo and Pixel.

Recently I’ve also discovered another pet down the street that I like to walk by and “observe”…. I haven’t been able to get close enough to be friends yet with this animal.

It’s a goose.


At first I thought it was just a lawn ornament which kept being moved around the yard. Then Greg told me it was a real goose. Sure enough when I tried to go meet the goose the other day…. It came at me like a guard dog, honking and making a lot of noise. I couldn’t even get close enough to take a good picture. The goose also has a companion, the family dog.

Since birds seem to be allowed in this neighborhood, maybe Molly will let Peeps come stay with Greg and I from time to time…. and maybe Peeps can keep down the mosquito population. (That’s my major complain about KC this summer)

Tomorrow I’ll get to visit Peeps the peacock again since Greg and I plan to attend Molly and Jeff’s Labor Day party out at Aggie Acres. I don’t believe it will be warm enough for pond floating though.

Friday, September 4, 2009

More music memories

9-3-09 reminiscing brain
It was fun to have several comments from others on yesterday’s blog sharing favorite first owned songs.

I started thinking how music has played such an important part in my life growing up. These thoughts also came to me in August, as I listened to NPR story about 40th Anniversary of Woodstock. I was only 13 at that time, but I do have strong memories and connection with the music from that event.

My first music awareness was as a child when my Dad would play some classical music on his stereo. My favorite was Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

I got my first transistor radio around age 11.

I misspoke yesterday when I said I only owned 45s single records until college. I actually owned ALL the albums of the Monkee’s when I was in 5th and 6th grade and had them displayed as a shrine in my bedroom……That along with Tiger Beat Magazine pictures on my walls. (I believe I still have some of those magazine laying around…. I’ll have to look again in my closets)

My very first concert was in 8th grade with friend Becky who had older sisters to drive us over to Mason City, at the community college 30 miles away. We saw Jim Croce and the Carpenters! Croce wasn’t too famous then, but the Carpenters were, and we stayed after the show and got all their autographs. (I believe I still have the piece of paper too…. I’ll have to verify that. I think I know where I kept it all these years- that’s for another blog)

My first really BIG outdoor concert happened the summer of 1974, after I graduated from high school. I guess I was old enough to get to attend a concert 3 hours away in Davenport Iowa with my boyfriend Bruce. It was suppose to be a double date, but his friend Dave at the last minute didn’t bring his girlfriend, so the three of us went in Bruce’s car.

This was a day long outdoors concert and the acts I remember the most were Lynyrd Skynyrd (“Sweet Home Alabama” was popular) and Eric Clapton ( “I Shot the Sheriff” was popular song). This was my first experience turning down pot which was offered to me. I was still a “good girl” then, no drinking or smoking for me. As it turned out, my two companions were not so good and they didn’t refuse the offerings. They being a bit wasted and sleepy….I ended up being the one to drive us home late that night. I was a little PO’ed with them, but proud of myself for not getting lost in the dark.

Music was a common bond for Greg and I when we met in 1990. We both loved the music of the 80’s! At that time we had two CD’s in common; Joe Jackson and Steve Winwood. Now we own hundreds of CD’s and several iPods full of music.

Probably the band I've seen most in concert was REO Speedwagon. My favorite? That would be hard to pick. Probably a concert by Peter Himmelman, which actually might also be who I've seen the most in concert. Greg and I became fans in 1992 and helped start his Fan Club with Ellen from New Jersy and Pam from Chicago. Peter Himmelman is a talented songwritter, artist, and funny guy! I'm still a huge fan!

Himmelman has a great website now and gives concerts online every Tuesday night.
http://www.peterhimmelman.com/home.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Himmelman

Thursday, September 3, 2009

More music

9-3-09 music brain
My friend Ann recently gave me a CD of Michael Jackson’s greatest hits. I’ve been listening to it quite a bit over the last few weeks. I especially enjoy the several Jackson 5 songs that are included on this CD.

These songs bring back memories of Jr. High. I loved dancing, but was a shy geeky wall flower back then at the school dances. Now, given the chance, I’ll be the first one out on the dance floor!

I went looking in the closet and found my old records. I owned the single 45’s back then and had several of the Jackson 5 records. I didn’t progress to albums until college. Singles were less an a dollar back then.

Did anyone else have a storage box like this?



These are some of the other songs in my collection from back then.
Do they bring back memories for anyone else?






I Want You Back: Jackson 5
I’ll Be There: Jackson 5
The Love you Save: Jackson 5
ABC: Jackson 5
Ben: Michael Jackson
Julie, Do Ya Love Me: Bobby Sherman
Little Woman: Bobby Sherman
The Letter: The Box Tops
Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye: Steam
We’ve Only Just Begun: Carpenters
Pleasant Valley Sunday: Monkees
Why Don’t You Write Me: Simon & Garfunkel
I Think I Love You: Partridge Family
I Saw her Again: Mamas & the Papas
Come Together/Something: Beatles (I like both sides!)
The Long and Winding Road: Beatles
It Don’t Matter to Me: Bread
I Saw the Light: Todd Rundgren
Last Night I Didn’t Get to Sleep at All: The 5th Dimension
Cray Me a River: Joe Cocker
In the Summertime: Mungo Jerry
American Pie: Don McLean



I was remembering how I would play those singles over and over again and again. I bet my parents got sick of hearing the same song again and again when I bought I new one I liked…… so different from today with the iPod’s. Parents have no idea what their kids are listening to!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

American Idol

9-2-09 music brain

Sunday was the last of my August summer fun. This day included a drive down to KC in the afternoon with the purpose of celebrating Molly’s Birthday and to attend the American Idol concert at the Sprint Center in downtown KC. (Greg was in Ohio attending the Browns football game)

My friend Ann has a friend Felicia, whom I just met on Sunday, and Felicia was the instigator to get Ann interested in the American Idol concert. That didn’t take too much arm twisting, since Ann is a huge Idol fan.


In contrast Molly agreed to go, having never watched. (What is that look on Molly's face?... shock?...deer in the headlights?... she can't believe she agreed to THIS?) Me, I was somewhere in between. I had watched quite a bit of the top ten and loved Adam the most, although I did like Kris also, and also impressed with the talent of Allison.

We started out with dinner down in the Power and Light district of KC and then headed over to the concert. Our seats were good enough, not real close, but I liked the fact no one was behind us.

It is obvious to me now that I didn’t have my camera settings correct for the venue. Thus I don’t have many pictures worth posting.


The concert was awesome! I was blown away. Molly was even entertained as well as people of all ages, who were in attendance.

Ann and I had attended the American Idol concert 3 years ago, when Carrie Underwood won and Ann and I described it as an enjoyable variety show. I’d give it a 9 on a scale of 1-10. Using that same scale, this year’s show was a 100! It was quite the production with lights and several large screens.



Ann is allowing me to use her video on my blog, so if you are an Adam fan, here is a sample.

Adam Rockin' The Sprint Center, August 2009 from Drake Smart on Vimeo.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Summer sounds

9-1-09 waning summer brain

You know it's August when: you hear the special August sounds.

I realize it is September now, but that special August sound continues even today. When I was in KC mid August the cicadas were especially noisy in our KC neighborhood! I think it is because of all the large trees in this area. I started to find many of their carcasses around the large trees.

So being the weirdo that I am, I started to make a collection. Maybe there is some strange type of art I can do with these odd bugs.



One evening when we were coming home after dark, we saw a cicadas in the process of shedding it's skin and evolving into it's next life. It had attached to a outdoor wood chair.



This is what "death" looks like to me. Our body, a mere shell, is left behind as our soul breaks free and goes on to live a new type of life.