Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Gourd maddness

11-30-11 fall harvest brain

Back in late October or early November, I can't remember now, I was in KC for a week and it was a good time to harvest my garden of gourds. This vine all came from one gourd seed I had planted in late spring. Nothing grew for a long time, but finally in August a vine started to grow and went crazy. It grew up some bushes and covered a large patch of ground.

So finally late October, KC had a killing frost and the vines began to die off, revealing many gourds.

Much to my surprise I harvested at least 50 gourds of various sizes. My hope now is to dry these and have fun paining them next summer.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving weekend update

11-29-10 grateful brain
Greg and I traveled to northern Iowa to have Thanksgiving with my folks. Wednesday evening in KC it was 58 degrees. Thursday when we arrived in Charles City it was about 20 degrees… (burrrrrrr...) it was sunny however, which made traveling the five hour trip from KC safer than trying to drive part way Wednesday night.

Our table was set for five this year; Mom and Dad, Bunny, Greg and I. Mom changed up the menu a bit. Instead of mash potatoes and gravy, she made “party potatoes”… the kind with cream cheese …. Very good I must say! Bunny brought a wonderful cranberry salad.

After dinner we had a surprise visit from my friend Ann. Although Ann lives in Des Moines, she was over in Waverly, 30 minutes away, with her in-laws and she brought us a yum-o pie.... and good company for my Dad.

Friday, Mom and I, along with Greg part of the time, got most of our Christmas shopping done, all at locally owned stores in Charles City. Mom commented that her friends all run over to either Mason City or Waterloo to shop, where as Mom makes a point to buy local. We spent money at two local clothing stores, “Lidds” and “Ellen's”… and a few gift stores; “The Rustic Corner” and “Oasis”.

Saturday morning breakfast out at Dave’s Restaurant was a treat (and a surprise) to see Robin, Tom, and their daughter Taylor, along with Jean Ann. It’s been at least a year and half… maybe two years since us three high school girl friends have been all together. Usually this happens either at the 4th of July or Thanksgiving. Neighbors Marg and Barb also joined us, as well as Mom stopping in for coffee…. So this was a mini Jefferson School neighborhood reunion.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Old friends

11-26-10 curious brain
All the clutter of my guest room is now temporarily in the dinning room... as my guest room is waiting to get the hardwood floors refurbished....which makes looking through some of the boxes (which were under the bed) now more convenient. I found this one and I though I'd post just for the fun of it...

This is a picture of my parents in the late 1950's (I'm guessing) with some of their good friends.... "priceless"

Thursday, November 25, 2010


What you are thankful for?

Your nice new car, sitting in your 3 -4 stall heated garage?

Or are you thankful for your master bathroom and the 1, 2 or 3 extra bathrooms in your house?

It is your beautifully arranged table with fine china, crystal glass and fancy centerpiece.

Could it be your $200+ fashion boots and the new dress you are wearing today... after all everyone is complementing you on how nice you look.

I am thankful that when most families gather around the dinner table today, holding hands and giving thanks, the above things are NOT mentioned…. So why is it that the above things and similar possessions are often our focus throughout the year?

What are you really thankful for?
Shouldn’t THIS be the focus throughout the year?

PS: I am not pointing fingers at anyone, but pointing a finger at our culture of greed and excess.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Saturday part II

11-24-10 sugar-buzz brain

With too much sugar in our system from Saturday morning...Greg and I decided to try to wear it off Saturday afternoon by raking the front yard. We bagged 15.

Of course 24 hours later, you couldn’t even tell we had done the work… It was warm (68 degrees) and breezy on Sunday and more leaves were flying, and more still remain on the trees in our neighborhood. We will be raking leaves until the snow flies, which I hope won’t be until January.

Saturday evening we were invited over to our neighbors (the artists who live most of the year in Belize) for a glass of wine before dinner, and we then went out with Molly to grab a quick bite to eat. I was so worn out from all the day's activity.... I ended up falling a sleep on the couch just after Saturday Night Live started.

PS: On Tuesday, Hunt's Lawn Service came to our rescue... they used blowers and once again, for a moment..... we have a clean yard, front and back!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Saturday Sugar

11-23-10 sweet brain
It’s November and you would think “car events” would be over for the year…. But no, we have a few more on our schedule, and one was held on Saturday morning… “Tour de Donut”.. with the Mini Cooper people in KC.

Up at 6:20AM on a Saturday is unusual, but visiting six locally owned donut shops was the objective. There were 20+ Minis crazy enough to attempt this caffeine-sugar-pancreas-abusing event.

Interesting to find out that 3 of the 6 donut shops were fairly close to our KC house.

There were prizes involved, but I wasn’t even going to try to compete. First stop Greg and I both had a donut... I had Bavarian Cream, he had Glazed.... he had coffee, I had milk. The next stop the Cream Filled donut I had my eye on, went to someone else, so I walked away without one… which was probably wise. By the third stop I was ready to try a Powder Sugar Key Lime filled donut which Greg and I split. The forth place we split a Red Velvet Cake donut and Greg got more coffee. The fifth place we got a very long, Long John filled with icing with chocolate on the top (My favorite of all I ate that day)... Greg and I split that also. Lastly, at the sixth stop, we split a Pumpkin donut. So we ended up each eating about 3 donuts a piece.

The winners were announced after the fifth stop, since the last stop of optional. The female winner ate 8 donuts, the male winner ate 9 donuts.

What does one do for the rest of the day...with all that sugar in their system…? The answer... tomorrow!

Monday, November 22, 2010

More "this and that"

11-22-10 confused brain

My weekend trip to KC, I was listening to the radio and had three hours to ponder: I was listening and really attempting to understand current events and those who dumbfound me.

Bush Victory:
GM auto is bouncing back and GM stock has been on the rise last week. Tens of thousands of jobs were saved and it appears tax payer money will be able to be paid back…. And I do have to give credit to Bush, who although he had to set a side his “capitalist principles”, he took the advice of his money advisers and helped prevent major economic collapse back in December 2008. Why can’t we all be happy about this... but the Republicans don't seem to be. Isn’t this good news worth celebrating?

Russian Treaty:
Republicans speak often about "security issues"... of “making our country safe”…. in fact it seemed like the 2000’s were all about pushing fear on us, so they could then justify going to war… to make our country "safe from the terrorists". Now the Republicans are so hyper about the deficit, partly due to not funding this war…. and now they are the party who now wants to strip down the government to the basics; security and highways (I heard this on a conservative radio show) everything else can be done by the private sector… so why then are the Republicans not supporting this treaty with Russia which would help secure nuclear weapons and materials from terrorists??? This dumbfounds me. Doesn't this treaty directly affect our countries security in the future?

Much talk lately about ideas to cut the US deficit. One idea is to cut the earmarks used by Congress and the Senate. I am all for this! Not because of the deficit, because these really are only a drop in the bucket of deficit money, but by eliminating earmarks, this would/could take some of the “wheeling and dealing” out of policies and our leaders would not be able to add in sweet deals for companies/friends who give out campaign donations. Maybe this is one small step into a more honest system?

Nancy Pelosi:
OK to be and balanced (as Fox News), I don't always understand the actions of Nancy Pelosi either.... creating a new position in the Democratic house leadership... sounds like more "wheeling and dealing" to me.

Charlie Rangel:
It's time for this "dude" to step down! Enough said!

What do you want for Christmas?
It happened, Friday, November 19th…..I heard my first Christmas music on the radio… the song was “I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”… it’s a cute little song by Shirley Temple…. And I listened… and it reminded me of the fact that my niece, Sarah, ONLY wants a bulldog for Christmas… nothing else will do. Then the next song on that radio station was the First Noel…. And I quickly changed the channel… I couldn’t bear hearing this since I hardly could believe Thanksgiving was less than a week away, let alone Christmas….because the weather was sunny and close to 60 degrees.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Friday funny?

11-19-10 TGIF brain
Ann and I, along with Sue and Carolyn often get together on Monday evenings to watch Dancing with the Stars together... This is where Ann and I have picked up a few of our moves... like the "shoulder shake"

Here is a shorten video of the silliness I as a part of Saturday night at Ann's 39 +11 birthday party. HERE if the below video does not work for you.

Dancin' Duo Short Version from Ann Anhalt on Vimeo.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This and That

11-18-10 hyperactive brain

Medal of Honor
In Iowa, we sure are proud of soldier Salvatore Giunta who is from Hiawatha, Iowa. This week Giunta was presented the Medal of Honor, by President Obama… the first time in 40 years a living soldier has been honored this way. Giunta served in Afghanistan and took heroic action during an ambush in 2007.

Hardwood Floor
My carpet/flooring person, locally family owned company, is willing to work with me on helping restore my bedroom hardwood floors and using my deposit money towards creating an area rug for my guest room. As luck would have it, during November and December they are running a hardwood floor special, $2.50 per square foot.

Full Body Scanning
I realize now this week that I had one of those new Full Body Scans at the DC airport when Greg and I flew home. I was asked to raise my hands above my head and to turn and face to my right. It took only 3 to 5 seconds…. So fast I just assumed I was walking through the usual metal detector. I really can’t complain…. Sure it seems “embarrassing” to think someone could be looking through my clothes…and seeing my “hot bod”…. but if I saw what I thought was a suspicious looking person, a potential terrorist, I do feel more safe knowing that they too will have to go through this type of scanning before boarding my plane.

Tuesday night I was eager to go to bed. We had purchased a new mattress over the weekend and it was delivered Tuesday afternoon. I’m happy with my new firm mattress…. But shopping for this sent me on a tirade….. a “mattress rant”. Mattresses are so darn expensive! …. AND why did they take away the side handles and why are mattresses only one sided now.

In 1993 when Greg and I bought our first queen mattress together, we paid $800, (a lot of money to us then)… and this mattress lasted us 14 years! It was a double sided mattress so you could flip it, and rotate it and get 4 positions out of it.

Then the next mattress was our current “pillow top” which was only one sided and cost $1200. I didn’t remember when we bought that until I found the receipt I had placed under that mattress. I was shocked that we purchased this only in March of 2007. Gee, and half of that time Greg and I have been sleeping in KC. This mattress seemed to become uncomfortable to us within only a few years of use!

Anyway, our new mattress cost about $1000 without the box springs and we wanted “firm” this time without pillow top… it still is only one sided and there are no side handles to help you rotate. This frustrates me!

Bristol Palin
It appears “politics” has but on their dancing shoes and entered the dance floor of the TV show Dancing with the Stars. Bristol has shown some improvement in her dancing, that is for sure, but is clearly not as accomplished as the other three couples this week, yet she has made it into the finals. Well, we all do have to remember that this show is not the “Best Dancer” contest… there is the factor of “popularity” in the way it is scored. I did have to laugh yesterday when I heard Rush Limbaugh talking about it on his radio show. Or course he is reading a lot more into Bristol’s victory than I believe needs be the case.

Oprah's “favorite things”

Friday, I will not be watching Oprah’s annual holiday show where she shares her “favorite things”…. This is a boycott I have been following for many years. In the past when I have watched, this show turns my stomach because to me it is focusing on the excesses of our culture…. Feeding into the lust of materialism.

PS: Friday's post will be short!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Good question

11-17-10 pondering brain
A friend sent this to me via email. I had recently seen this in the Des Moines newspaper too and thought this was a legitimate question to ask.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Weekend part II

11-16-10 resting brain
Sunday, the day after Ann's party, I tried to have a restful day... however, I needed to complete one task as preparation for Tuesday. I had to empty the guest room because we are (were) getting new carpet on Tuesday.

Molly helped me with this, since Greg returned to KC early. After everything was out of the room, Molly asked what type of floor was under the carpet. I didn't know, since this carpet had been there since we moved in 1993. We started to rip up the carpet and found beautiful hardwood floors... to my surprise it was in great condition!

Now I have to talk to my carpet guy and see if he will agree to sell me some area rugs instead, or loose my deposit! ? Meanwhile, I'll be living with all the guest room stuff piled up in the dinning room.... chaos for awhile I get this figured out!!

What should I do? It is so beautiful! I really hate to cover it up again.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Weekend update

11-15-10 worn-out brain
This weekend was spent in Des Moines. Greg came in town early, Thursday night, since he had Veteran’s Day off. Friend Molly came into town Friday evening. Temperatures were finally more seasonal, which meant it felt cold and it was also rainy (2 inches in my rain gauge, mostly on Friday). Saturday was windy and a bit nasty out too, but good times spent with friends warmed us all.

Saturday, was lunch with Kelley and Molly… then of course when Molly is in town, it usually means some shopping is on the agenda. Trader Joe’s opened in Des Moines last weekend and Molly and Greg were interested in checking this store out. For me, not so much… grocery stores seem all the same to me, but of course I went along.

It was packed with people! Lines at the check-out where running to the back of the store! It was so crowed, I didn’t even want to wander in. I stayed by the front door as Molly and Greg explored. I was perplexed by what they might be selling here that other stores don’t carry. I guess I’ll have to wait and try again during a less busy time. Greg tells me KC is also getting two Trader Joe's, one close to our KC house, so maybe this will eventually become a favorite store mine. For now, it is Dahls in DM, and Price Chopper in KC.

Saturday evening was Ann’s garage-karaoke birthday party. Good food, singing, dancing, silliness….. She had a good turn out, close to 50 people.

Here is Ann with her "Male Stripper" cake (No Jan, I didn’t bake this, one of her neighbor’s did).. I did however surprise Ann by dressing up midway in the party as Lady Gaga and Ann and I tried to do a dance routine together. If I get the video edited, I may try to upload it on my blog. Since Ann doesn't really need any material gifts, I decided instead to create a fun memory gift for her by doing this. Ann loves Lady Gaga music.

For now a picture will have to do… I think the big lips scared some people. Ann said she didn't even know it was me at first... Greg was wise and departed the party just before I made my appearance. He gets enough of my zaniness at home, he doesn't want to see it in public I guess.

Friday, November 12, 2010

More on Ann

11-12-10 to-do list brain
Just a few months ago, my friend Ann got this wild idea that she needed to create a type of “bucket list” and accomplish a list of 50 things before her birthday. Ann is already a go-getter type of person, so I didn’t quite understand her need to add more activity into her already busy life. But Ann likes a challenge.

Ann is keeping track of this all on Facebook…. She is calling it “50 Things Ann Must See and do by Dec 1, 2010". She even has created sub-categories for this list.

Here are a few examples in no particular order.

Good for the Body and Soul;
Get flu shot
Can something: (Ann was canning apples and making apple butter a few weeks ago)
Schedule Colonoscopy: (good for you Ann, let me know if you need a ride home!)
Things in my Backyard;
Visit Basilica in Des Moines
Just Because;
Take a drive in a red sports car (done... see below)
Buy cowboy boots
Plant 300 bulbs (in her back garden I think)
For Others
Surprise someone with a visit (that’s a nice idea)
Locate my old Army buddy (that could be dangerous if it is the other guy you dated)
Shoots and Giggles
Go on hay rack ride
Watch an Irish Dance Show
Crash a wedding
Spontaneous (these are things unplanned I believe)
Visit the SAC Museum in Nebraska
Buy a ticket to the Policeman’s Ball (i.e. she got a speeding ticket last month)
Visit the Grotto in West Bend Iowa
Drive the Losse Hills
Take the tram up the hill in Dubuque Iowa
Visit an Abbey in Dubuque
Walk through corn maze (I did this with her in October)

Here was an item crossed off her list! I have no idea whos car this is?

Ann asked me if I was interested in creating a birthday list for myself. I said maybe, but I would limit to only FIVE things, not 50…. To tell you the truth, I don’t think I could come up with 50 things. So far I have two things on my list for 2011:

1. Visit Colorado with Greg, do some hiking in the mountains.
2. Slow down and start taking better care of myself which means eating healthier.

Number 2 is actually very important to me. I realized that in this marathon race called life… I have been doing too much sprinting and not enough walking.... I need to slow down and pace myself, or I’m not going to make it to 60!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November birthday coming

11-11-10 celebrating brain
For the next few weeks in November, I will be helping my friend Ann celebrate her birthday in various ways. Ann turns “39 + 11” at the end of November…. and Ann is not thrilled by the “11” part and not wanting to even admit to the extra “11”. Here she is age 24.

I’ve told her that the 5th decade can be wonderful, and actually has been an exciting time in my life, some of the happiest really…. But she’s not convinced yet.

One of my favorite authors, Anne Lamott, put it this way in her book “Plan B, further thoughts on faith”

Lamott’s take on aging….page 171-172

I smiled with a secret smile of pleasure in being older, fifty plus change, which can no longer be considered extremely late youth, or even early middle age. But I would not give back a year of life I’ve lived.

Age has given me what I was looking for my entire life- it has given me me. It has provided time and experience and failure and triumphs and time-tested friends who have helped me step into the shape that was waiting for me. I fit into me now. I have an organic life, finally, not necessarily the one people imagined for me, or tired to get me to have. I have the life I longed for. I have become the women I hardly dared imagine I could be. There are parts I don’t love- until a few years ago, I had no idea that you could have cellulite on your stomach- but not only do I get along with me most of the time now, I am militantly and maternally on my own side.

Left to my own devices, would I trade this for firm thighs, fewer wrinkles, a better memory?

You bet I would. That is why it’s such a blessing that I’m not left to my own devices. I have amazing friends. I have a cool kid, a sweet boyfriend, darling pets. I’ve learned to pay attention to life, and to listen. I’d give up all this for a flatter belly? Only about a third of the time.

I still have terrible moments when I despair about my body- time and gravity have not made various parts of it higher and firmer. But those are just moments now- I used to have years when I believed I was more beautiful if I jiggle less, if all parts of my body stopped moving when I did. But I know two things now that I didn’t at thirty: That when you get to heaven, we will discover that the appearance of our butts and our skin was 127th on the list of what mattered on this earth. And that I am not going to live forever. Knowing these things has set me free.

Yes, the 50’s are all about freedom and something special to celebrate... even if you have to throw yourself your own party!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

More DC: Experience the Rally

11-10-10reminiscing brain
My birthday weekend.....
For those of you who did not get to watch any of the Rally to Restore Sanity on October 30th, and you are curious. You can watch it HERE.

or at this link

Also this is a small video clip which I took to show what it felt like to be in the huge sea of humanity. Thanks Ann for helping me post the video. This shows one of my favorite signs.... A guy named Ray, trying to get a date!

Washington DC Rally, October 30, 2010 from Drake Smart on Vimeo.

Another experience I had while in DC was to see Fox News doing what it does best.... "fair and balanced" you ask? NOPE!

When we got back to our hotel room Saturday evening after the rally and we were surfing the TV channels, we came upon Fox News with a clip from the Rally. Basically what the Fox reporter had to say was that he saw someone dress up in a marijuana leaf costume... that someone knocked his camera out of his hand, and people were high and drunk.

Well, I can report also that yes- I too did see this marijuana leaf costume, along with many other costumes for Halloween. However, I never smelled pot in the air, or I never saw anyone high or drunk.

Of all the things that Fox could have reported on, and all the thousands of people Fox could comment on or interview.... they reported on the guy dressed in the pot leaf costume.

Jon Stewart addresses the "media" here in this video.
The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
MSNBC Suspends Keith Olbermann>
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorRally to Restore Sanity

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Monday night "football" for us gals

11-9-10 dancing brain

When it comes to cooking, I feel like Bristol Palin, just when I think I’m getting the hang of it…. I can’t seem to score much above a 7 or 8.

Of course that’s a reference to Dancing with the Stars, and of course Monday night was another gathering of my gal pals on Allison Avenue to watch the show…. This time at my house, with me trying to offer up the meal.

My soup was mediocre and my baked chicken salad sandwiches were a little doughy. I was using a recipe which calls for Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.... and I didn't bake it quite long enough.

We did have some good laughs though AND we actually picked up the phone and voted for Kurt Warner several times, since we felt his dance should have been scored higher than Bristol Palin’s.... And politics have nothing to do with that fact!

PS:Jennifer Grey is a good dancer,but she can't out shine "Baby". That signature nose would be helpful to her now.

PPS: I dreamt about George Bush last night .... weird, I must be excited to see him on Oprah today! ? He and I are friends now that he is not President.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekend update

11-8-10 standard time brain

WOW, again- another gorgeous autumn weekend! View out of our front window at the KC house.

It was the weekend to "fall back" our clocks. I'm glad now since it might be easier to get our of bed with earlier daylight.... and this time of year, I don't mind putting my PJ's on just after dinner.... Let the winter nesting/hibernation begin.

Saturday, Greg and I had a fairly laid back day...actually a bit boring compared to last weekend, but I needed a boring weekend to rest up. We did a few errands, ate at our favorite breakfast brunch place, First Watch, and then took a short drive out to the Overland Park Arboretum. We had a wonderful walk in the woods.

Saturday night, we had dinner at the Plaza, for the first time with a neighbor couple in KC, Terry and Kim. Then they took us to one of their favorite comedy clubs in Westport which did a sort of comedy game. There were two teams of improvisational people and the audience fed in the ideas. So they called it “improv sports” where the audience picked the winner of each improve challenge they were give. It was fun. Improv comedians have a special talent for thinking fast on their feet.

Sunday when I drove back to Des Moines in the early afternoon, it was sunny and 70 degrees. I was glad, since I had to make time to do some yard work when I returned. The front tree had dropped all its leaves since I had been away, and so I had to mow the lawn and leaves.

Sunday night, I connected back with some Des Moines friends as I was invited to a wine and cheese party with some church friends who form our Gay/Lesbian support group at church. My DM Church is striving to be an open and welcoming church to all people. This party was a small farewell for our interim minister and his wife. In December, we will be getting our new head pastor.

PS: I'm not done talking about my Washington DC trip, but just giving you a break from it.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Other parts of DC

11-5-10 TGIF brain

Our trip last weekend was not all about the Rally. We also did so much site-seeing that our legs and feet were worn out.

Also, Greg got to test-drive a Volt, by chance in the parking lot near our hotel. A "car guy" like Greg, just couldn't resist. Although I was eager to get to the rally, I patiently waited and took some pictures.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Moving forward?

11-4-10 progressive brain
Yesterday, via email, I and a conservative friend of mine (not you Ann)... Seemed to find a bit of common ground. She acknowledged that the defense budget could use some cutting and I agreed with her that that education department needed some work. I value my friend’s input on this since she is a teacher.

However, my friend also said….. “Our constitution never intended for the Feds to have as much scope, size, power or control that it now has”… this reminded me of a sign I saw at the Rally to Restore Sanity this last weekend.

My point is that the Founding Fathers had no idea what life would be like in 2010! (And we really can't relate to life in the 1700's)... Even in my lifetime, who could have predicted so much change, so imagine the large gap between 1776 and today. So to me, our laws and our government have to keep up with the changes.

Sure once it made sense that states had more local power, but today our world is so different in so many HUGE ways.... like fast and easy travel between states, interstate business, global business, mega corporations and changes in communication, the media, and the Internet….. Life will never be as simple as it was in 1776… and so our laws need to account for all the change which has taken place during the last 200+ years. We can’t go “back”...

Here is a sampling of other signs at the Rally:

Then of course you had some extremely creative people... who of course then got the media attention. You have to remember it WAS Halloween weekend, and some people came in costume.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Fear not

11-3-10 sane brain
Rally to Restore Sanity: Part I

While my parents and some friends were back home watching and experiencing the Rally on TV, Greg and I actually saw little of the what was going on....on the stage. Instead, Greg and I were just two small drops of water in a great sea of humanity. This was a totally wild and wonderful experience, and hard to put into words.

First of all, the Metro ride down to the National Mall area was packed, but manageable. I usually hate big crowds, but I somehow was cool and collected, I think this was for the fact that I was going to the Rally with no preconceived expectations whatsoever.

When we arrived and realized that the Rally was not going to be about what was happening on the stage, but rather experiencing the positive vibe, the creativity of the people attending and being a part of this mass of people which had a life and soul of its own…. I had this wild feeling of being a part of a collective community of consciousness…. Greg and I decided we would walk around and take it all in, rather than stake out one spot.

In this picture, see the four red X's which shows the various spots we were during the Rally. The X closest to the stage, was after the Rally ended and many people had left.

The X on the upper left side is where we first entered, then we moved to the right side, then walked in the back.... during the middle of the Rally we actually went into the Museum of American History for a break. We viewed some exhibits, ate a late lunch, and used the restroom. It was after this when we got to walk closest to the stage.

The volume of people, just blew my mind away… and the signs were interesting, funny and some outrageous. More pictures tomorrow...

Our stop on the upper right:

People in the trees:

Our stop on the far right:

PS: I decided on my trip, that there was NO reason to fear if the Tea Party has a great effect on the elections this year and allows the Republicans to control congress. This actually could be a good thing in the long run. This would force the Republicans to stop just sitting on the side lines, whining, and join into the process of being part of the solution.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Greg voted YES

11-2-10 traveling brain
Part of me would have been content to enjoy my birthday weekend following the usual traditions: dressing up for Halloween and attending the Hoot and Howl- scary organ music program; giving out trick or treat candy at the DM house; birthday dinner out at our favorite restaurant…. The other part of me wanted do to something crazy and exciting for my 55th birthday…. So I took the crazy idea to Greg and let him break the stalemate I had with myself.

Greg, being one who enjoys adventures, voted yes to the crazy idea of spending the weekend in Washington DC…. And he made the trip happen. He got reasonable flights booked out of KC, and used his Marriott reward points to get a free room at a great hotel, not far from a Metro stop…. And we took off Friday morning… packing lightly with only our back packs.

The purpose of our trip was to enjoy some of our favorite museums and to attend the Rally for Sanity on Saturday afternoon.

As we left, I started to question IF I should be attending this Rally…. how sane am I really? After all, I consider myself the first official “tea party” person in Iowa….. Yep! Back in 2002, 2003... 2004 I was vocal about the U.S. deficit, just like the current day tea party people.

When everyone was putting yellow magnet ribbons on their cars to “Support the Troops”…. I made my own red, white and blue magnet ribbons which said. “United We Stand, Deficit We Fall”. I had great fun looking for vehicles in parking lots with a “W” sticker and I put one of my magnets on their cars. I was also the crazy lady neighbor who put of signs in my yard. My favorite one was from TrueMajority.com…. In my book, you are just giving lip service to reducing the deficit, unless you are willing to consider cutting the defense budget. This is where the majority of our taxes get spent.

Way back then in early 2000‘s, when I was passionate about the U.S. budget… I was called “unpatriotic. I thought I was just “logical”… I couldn’t understand how you decide to take in less money (tax cuts), at the same time you spend money on two new wars, and pay for a new drug program which appears to help the elderly, but actually line the pockets of the drug companies, who then give campaign donations… and get regulations written in their favor.

Sorry, I got carried away…. More on the Rally to Restore Sanity tomorrow.
Happy Election Day.... go vote!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Weekend Birthday Adventure

11-1-10 amazed brain
So much to write about my birthday weekend in DC.... be patient, more will come this week. First, I need to work today and get caught up with reality.

I want to THANK Greg for making this memorable Birthday happen!