Sunday, July 29, 2012

Weekend Report

7-29-12 bed-time brain

Sunday night at 7:00 pm..... I'm so tired I can barely keep my eyes open. I think I will head to bed early tonight. Greg and I had a great weekend together in Des Moines and I guess I had a little too much physical activity.

The hot weather broke Friday and Saturday and I had the A/C off with the windows wide open. That was wonderful! Saturday morning with overcast sky, Greg and I went for about a 2 hour walk starting down by Gray's Lake walking to the downtown Farm's Market.

We had a fun Saturday evening eating with friends Ann and Roy, then we met up with the other Ann to listen to a free concert by great local band. Ann was up dancing but my legs were too stiff and sore.

Sunday a did about an hour of pulling weeds and I guess that is what must of really worn me out.... we had a surprise 1/2 inch of rain Saturday night about midnight with some pretty loud thunder.... so pulling the weeds today was a bit easier.... sad to say my neighbor gardener was a no show this weekend, so I might just end up weeding the whole yard myself.

The kitten, of course- was being her cute self!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Hot Air in Iowa

7-27-12 perplexed brain

Here in Iowa we are being bombarded with campaign ads from both sides.... this is getting old fast! Lewis Black at least shreds some light on a few of these.... and Nutella!

The Daily Show with Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Back in Black - Campaign Fibs
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical Humor & Satire BlogThe Daily Show on Facebook

This has been a very hot week in Iowa with temps over 100.Wondering if all this hot air is coming from the 2012 campaign BS? I'm happy to report Wednesday night we did get 1/2 inch of rain. This was much needed, but not sure if it will make that big enough difference at this point. I was able to spend about 40 minutes in the garden early Thursday morning.... The only thing which was growing was my "decorative plate garden" and the weeds. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wednesday GUEST Blog

7-25-12 absent brain

Running On Empty
I took a short drive to Kansas City to see my good friends Natalie and Alexis aka “Drake Sisters” last weekend.  It’s been a year plus since I last went down to see them in Olathe, Kansas. As hot as it was going to be, I motored down Friday evening. Other than running around, we planned a bake-off using blueberries.

Saturday, we were up and out the door at 7 AM for their dentist appointment in North KC and with all the running around we did, landed back in the house at 8 PM. We passed on McDonald’s breakfast for a cute Crepes restaurant near downtown KC. Yummy yummy for sure. We love anything French and the d├ęcor was so “Paris”.

Sunday, we staged a “Bake-Off” using blueberries. Alexis was the Judge. I made blueberry pie and Natalie made blueberry cobbler, all from scratch. We were judged on Preparation, Taste and Presentation. This was so much fun and what do you know, I won by 1 point.

We'll have a re-match in August, make something from one of our many Fair Cookbooks we’ve bought over the years.

Well, I had a lot of fun, but very exhausted. However, I have a big event to go to Tuesday evening. I’ll be one of 15,000 people in Webster City celebrating RAGBRAI. Gotta Run!

Chat Later,
That Girl, Ann Marie

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday's News

7-23-12 reporting brain
Note to self: if next summer is anything like this summer..... NOW is the time of year I need to take a vacation north or to the mountains. I'm feeling worn down without much motivation today.

Lucky for me that I'm caught up at work- so I wish I would have planned to take a week off about now. Greg has returned from his 3 week adventure on "Mini Takes the States".... drive across country with other enthusiastic Mini owners. Sunday was record breaking temperatures 104..

This weekend in KC we had lunch with Molly and then went to Union Station to see the Titanic Exhibit- at least it was a cool place to spend the afternoon. There was also an art show there.

We stood in front of a green screen.... not knowing what the result would be, so I decided to "ham it up"....  I paid the $8.00 for this small memento.

Niece Sarah, on the other hand was in a cooler place- Vancouver, competing in another Make-up challenge. "International Make up Artists Trade Show"

She did wonderful and placed 3rd!

I love seeing her creativity at work. 

Here are two links to a Youtube videos which shows the process. I find it all fascinating!

This the winners are announced:

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wednesday GUEST Blog

7-18-12 steamy brain

Give Me More, Art n’ Music
Geez, I missed out on the monsoon rain ‘n wind event at Winestock ’12. I arrived at 4:30 after attending the wedding shower of Jeffery n’ Alicia. Two University of Iowa Medical Doctors that are related to Drakesmart buddies Megan n’ Jordan.  Check out their cool wedding site.”.  That’s the reason for the delay in getting out to Winestock.
By the time I got there, the major rain storm had passed. Other than raining on Judy’s parade, the temperature dropped from 95 to 70 in 30 minutes.

By 6 pm, the sun was out and the last two bands were ready to jam, Matt Woods n’ the Thunderbolts and then Roxi Copland. I’ve been wanting to see her for a while. The Peace sisters had a lot of fun and this picture should have you wondering. I’m going to buy me one of these next week.

Back to Art, the Art Center showed a movie on Sunday “Portrait of Wally” pronounced “valley”. A very interesting documentary of a 1912 painting by Egon Schiele’that was owned by Lea Bondi (Jewish). During WWII, the painting was stolen and after the war, never returned to Lea Bondi.  She spent years and years trying to get the painting from Austria (Leopold Museum of Art). Then in 1998, the painting made it to MoMA and the Bond’s family began their efforts to claim the paining. The story is fascinating, taking 12 years to resolve. If the painting had not made it to MoMA (NYC), there would of never been a resolution to this case.

The Case: The United States of America, the Estate of Lea Bondi Jaray and the Leopold Museum,  Settle the Long-Standing Case Involving “Portrait of Wally” by Egon Schiele
New York, NY (July 20, 2010) -- The Estate of Lea Bondi Jaray (the “Estate”) announced today that the United States Government, the Estate and the Leopold Museum Privat-Stiftung (the “Leopold Museum”) have agreed to settle the long-pending case of United States of America v. Portrait of Wally, which was about to go to trial before Chief Judge Loretta Preska in federal court in Manhattan on July 26, 2010.
The case involves Portrait of Wally, a painting by Egon Schiele (the “Painting”), stolen from a Jewish art dealer and collector by a Nazi agent in the late 1930’s in Vienna. The major terms of the settlement agreement, which has been approved by Judge Preska, are as follows:
(a) the Leopold Museum pays the Estate $19 Million;
(b) the Estate releases its claim to the Painting;
(c) the United States Government dismisses the civil forfeiture action it brought against the Leopold Museum and releases the Painting to the Leopold Museum;
(d) the Leopold Museum will permanently display signage next to the Painting at the Leopold Museum, and at all future displays of the Painting of any kind that the Leopold Museum authorizes or allows anywhere in the world, that sets forth the true provenance of the Painting, including Lea Bondi Jaray’s prior ownership of the Painting and its theft from her by a Nazi agent before she fled to London in 1939; and
(e) before it is transported to the Leopold Museum in Vienna, the Painting will be publicly exhibited at the Museum of Jewish Heritage -- A Living Memorial to the Holocaust, in New York, beginning with a ceremony commemorating the legacy of Lea Bondi Jaray and the successful resolution of the lawsuit.
The Painting was the personal property of Lea Bondi Jaray, a Jewish art dealer in Vienna, who fled in 1939 to London, where she died in 1969. The Painting became the subject of court proceedings in New York City, after it was loaned in late 1997 and early 1998 to the Museum of Modern Art in New York by the Leopold Museum as part of an exhibition of Schieles from the Leopold Museum’s collection. In 1998, Robert Morgenthau, Manhattan District Attorney, subpeonaed the Painting in connection with his investigation into whether the Painting was stolen property. After the State Court of Appeals ruled in 1999 that such “seizure” of an artwork loaned for exhibition was prohibited under New York State law, the United States Government immediately commenced a civil forfeiture action in New York, alleging that the Painting was stolen from Lea Bondi Jaray during the Nazi era by a Nazi named Friedrich Welz, and was imported into the United States in 1997 by the Leopold Museum in violation of U.S. law. The Customs Service seized the Painting in connection with that action. The Estate of Lea Bondi Jaray asserted a claim to the Painting in the action, and the U.S. agreed that upon forfeiture of the Painting, it would transfer to the Estate all right and title to the Painting.
Based on the evidence presented during the case, Judge Preska ruled last fall that the Painting was the personal property of Lea Bondi Jaray and that it was stolen from her in Vienna in the late 1930's by Friedrich Welz, who was a member and collaborator of the Nazi party. The Court found that the Painting had been seized from Welz by U.S. Forces in Austria after World War II and delivered in 1947 to the Austrian Federal Office for the Preservation of Historical Monuments (the “Bundesdenkmalamt”), along with paintings Welz had acquired from Dr. Heinrich Rieger, a Jewish art collector who had perished during the Holocaust. In 1950, the Bundesdenkmalamt delivered artworks to an agent for the Rieger heirs and included the Painting in the delivery. Later that year, the Rieger heirs sold their works to the Austrian National Gallery (the “Belvedere”), and the Painting was included in the delivery of the artworks to the Belvedere. In 1954, the Belvedere traded the )ainting to Dr. Rudolf Leopold. In 1994, Dr. Leopold transferred the Painting to the Leopold Museum. (from The Art Law Group of Herrick).
Here is a picture of Wally. Yes, art n’ music, my summertime tagline. Gotta Run

Chat Later
That Girl, Ann Marie

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Dry and hot in Iowa

7-17-12 weedy brain

I've been away from home a lot this month.... so when I came back recently I was surprised that the stray corn in my garden actually had an ear of corn growing on it!

Of course the WEEDS have been growing too- guess they don't need rain  :(

These nasty vines are taking over everything! I think I need  to find a roommate that likes to garden!!

My temporary solution.... I am hiring my neighbor Amy, who is out of work, and loves to garden. I can trust her, since I to admire her garden down the street. I feel a bit guilty about it, but it's really a win-win. She needs the money..... I have money, but I don't have time to weed. PS: No the rain did not hit Des Moines on Saturday.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Saturday report

7-16-12 weekend brain

A report on the Winestock Festival 2012 (Peace, Love & Wine) which I participated in on Saturday can be found over at my Peace Art Blog.

It was quite an adventure!

It was a hot sunny day to start out ..... but we were visited by a stray thunderstorm!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday Funny

Oh gosh..... I didn't know it was a Friday the 13th today!
Here is a bit a nostalgia to brighten our day.....
My Mom and Dad about 1950 or 1951.... given to me by Vivian, who was cleaning out a drawer at her house.

This was well before Jan and I were in the picture. Just a "sexy" 25 year old Marine Dude and his bride... probably fishing in Minnesota.

(I now see where I get my arms)... Molly do I resemble my father here at all?

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Vacation report continued

7-12-12 vacation brain

Other vacation activities once the weather cooled off to 81 to 84 degrees (this felt so wonderful!):

Steve and I visited the Fritz Garden in Rockford Iowa. Everyone needs to make a trip to Rockford to see this! Although Mr. and Mrs. Fritz are getting up in years and gardening is becoming more of a challenge for them, the garden is a peaceful place to come sit in the gazebo and read or visit.

My next trip up, I need to take one of my Peace Art garden ornaments up to the garden.

ALSO in Rockford.... a must see visit.... and take the kids along- is the Fossil and Prairie Park. There is a wonderful visitor's center with educational information. Ann put this on your bucket list!

Remember Iowa was once covered by ocean and thus this area is a view into the past.... it's not your typical Iowa corn field.

Prairie on the top.....

Fossils to find down in the quarry.

I found this wild rose along the hiking trial. Iowa's state flower!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday GUEST Blog

7-11-12 vacant brain

Des Moines Center – Hidden Gem in Des Moines, Iowa

Has everyone recovered from their 4th of July festivities? I’ll answer for Judy – NOT. Well I worked the week and when not at work, met the heat – dead on.. The fireworks from the comfort of my office was outstanding. The following day I was invited to a neighborhood 4th party with a not-so local singer David Zollo. He was great and in 100 degrees, wow!

On Friday, I hustled after work to the Des Moines Art Center to see Mural by Jackson Polack and stay for their Friday Summer concert. Well, hate to admit that after 26 years in Des Moines, this was my first visit to the Art Center. I’m not really into art, but I have seen a lot of art during my 8 years tripsing (I made up this word) to Europe. 

 Back to the reason for the visit, to see the local band Faculty Lounge (group of educators) think KC and Sunshine/Kool n’ Gang and so forth. I’ve seen them once (at Obama’s June visit in 2008). The band was FANtastic, playing tunes from 1975-1985, a sure blast from the past.

Did I mention the weather, a cool 100 degrees in the shade w/out a breeze. I can’t believe I danced my butt off for 2 hours. Why is it that guys are shy about dancing? Here we were, about 10 ladies dancing. Then there was a lone odd looking duck, we all danced with him and he tried to teach me twist n’ turning dance. Well I did not do too bad, that could be on my bucket list to learn.

Back to Jackson Pollack and Mural, the Art Center had a movie about Pollack showing on Sunday and I decided to go. I did learn a lot about Pollack, he’s more than a “dripper painter” and he worked really hard at getting his name and paintings out there, oh yeah, one must credit his wife. She did most of the work. Like most artists, he led a life with demons, one being alcohol. He died in a single car accident, and yes he was drinking. Either way, his short life was very interesting.

Here’s a little bit about Mural. Peggy Guggenheim was an early supporter of Pollack, she commissioned him to paint something for her new NYC apartment, finished in 1943,
's "a stampede... [of] every animal in the American West, cows and horses and antelopes and buffaloes. Everything is charging across that goddamn surface." —Jackson Pollock

Mural was given to the University of Iowa in 1951. The UI was well known for their Art Studies. Mural was in Des Moines for 3 months, taking off next week for California. The painting  is worth nearly 140m.

The Art Center is indeed a real gem in Des Moines, not only great art, but great events. Next month, a live karaoke band and I must, must attend. Gotta Run.

Chat Later,
That Girl, Ann Marie

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

vacation report continued

7-10-12 vacation brain

People I hung out with:

Molly, Christopher, Jean Ann, Steve and Vanni, Micheal and Karin, sister Jan, Judy C.....

Things we did:

Game night-

Breakfast out-

Tubing down the kayak run on the Cedar River-

The river was very low this year and so it wasn't scary at all- but still fun.

here Christopher found a fun flower to welcome Catherine at the airport.

Excited to meet Christopher's girlfriend Catherine, who made her first trip to Iowa!
They are cute together.

Taking funny pictures-
Here we put Steve up against the short ones: Bunny was happy that she was taller than Catherine.

Discussed Retirement-
Steve and Vanni have just retired from teaching and administrative positions up in Alaska and will be spending more time back in the Midwest. This of course had me thinking again about my own retirement.

 I'm happy to report on Saturday and Sunday the weather had cooled to 82 degrees so other outdoor activities could take place..... continued.....

Monday, July 9, 2012

4th of July report

7-9-12 vacation brain

I spent almost a week up in my hometown over the week of 4th of July. I was skeptical that this visit would be fun, since Greg was not with me, and the weather was so darn HOT! Heat Index over 100 for many days without rain here in the Midwest.

However, I was wrong- this time a way turned out to be just want I needed: relaxing, and spending time with people I love. (minus Greg)

Since Greg is off going his cross-country Mini Cooper Rally, Molly decided to fill in and come up to Charles City for a few days..... and since Sarah couldn't come to Iowa this year, Molly filled in with  our traditional FLAG CAKE.... however Molly changed it up a bit and this cake was the BEST CAKE ever!

I'd give you the recipe, but she doesn't use a recipe. I guess she took a cake mix and substituted frozen lemon aid for the oil..... so this was a lemon cake. Then the frosting was some type of Italian cheese and whip cream. She decorated as the usual flag.

We did mange to attend the parade in the morning- sitting in the shade and saved by a breeze. But 4th of July dinner had to be inside this year, due to the heat. We had 14 people this year, so needed an extra card table as well.

That evening we did attend the band concert, since it had cooled down into the 90's.... and the fireworks where again held downtown. These had been held either at the high school or airport for a few years after the accident of the stray firework shell going into the crowd.

It was nice. The trade off was smaller fireworks,but I believe most people like it held downtown so the community can be all together.

Here we also did a few patriotic tattoos.


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Wednesday GUEST Blog

7-4-12 celebration brain

Hip Hip Hooray for the Red White and Blue - Independence Day – July 4, 2012

Taking a short break to jot down a few random thoughts spinning in my nutty head.

Weather: What is happening with this weather, coast to coast? Fire out West, wicked storms out East and hot-hot-hot everywhere in-between. All I can say, thank you electric provider for the juice for the AC. Marine Dude John, what up with your love/hate relationship with AC?  I’ll post this picture of a proud Marine with his service picture. Hope you were in the parade today John!

Music:  I’ve got the music bug in me these days, listening to John Mayer and Muford n’ Sons. I posted this “if you see me jumping, I’m listening to .Mumford and Sons, if you see me daydreaming, listening to John Mayer.” Oh, not to forget Maroon 5/Adam Levine’s new CD. Love that too. Judy and I went to see my favorite singer Bonne Finken two weeks ago. Not often you see me lounging.

Politics: Final answer, Affordable Health Care Act is a TAX, now congress deal with that. States, you have a big decision on what to do with Medicaid. The ’12 election will be very interesting.

News Round-Shame on NBC for their decision on replacing Ann Curry, they really showed that their #1 asset is not their people. Good grief! TomKat is getting the big D, he’s an odd duck. Speaking of TomKat, Judy and I want our money back and 2 hours of our Saturday. You really fell flat in Rock of Ages. Still shaking my head.

Back to the 4th , I’m going to enjoy my day off. I’ll be headed on the 3rd to Des Moines Yankee Doodle Pops at the Capitol. Cant’ tell you how much I love the pomp and circumstance of the 4th. Oh how I love watching A Capitol Fourth. I’ll miss Dad again this year, he would call me saying “are you watching the show?”  Several years ago, we went to Chicago to see the fireworks at Navy Pier. We walked about a mile w/ chairs to see the fireworks. Thinking of that puts a smile on my face. 

I hope everyone had a fantastic 4th of July. And when the Symphony plays the Armed Forces melody, I will proudly march to the Air Force, Army, Marines, Navy and Coast Guard songs.

Chat Later, That Girl
Ann Marie

Monday, July 2, 2012

Weekend Report: Hot!

7-2-12 hot brain

I'm so sick of the heat..... I'm trying to remember back what the cold of winter feels like.... but right now the cold sounds very appealing, even though I know I whined about that weather too.

I'm back in Iowa now after being in KC for last week. It's hot in both places, but I think Iowa is more humid since Des Moines got an inch of needed rain on Friday. KC is so dry!

When I arrived back in DM, I saw the plants in my garden continued to grow, along with the weeds.
Here are the corn and sunflowers which the squirrels planted for me from what I was feeding them last winter.

Greg left Thursday on his cross country Mini Cooper adventure..... so I am now in charge of taking care of the cats- otherwise I would have been in Iowa sooner. Ann agreed to come visit me in KC this weekend to keep me company.

We had dinner on Friday with Molly, and then Saturday morning, Ann took me out to several garage sales and a few estate sales.  We spend a few dollars here and there and had fun seeing what treasures we could find.

Here I found- well Ann pointed it out, otherwise I would have missed it.... this welcome sign. Yes! I can use a welcome sign many times..... from welcoming my nephew's girlfriend to Iowa in a few days, and welcoming our Hungarian church friends come August.

Saturday afternoon, to get out of the heat we went to a movie, "Rock of Ages"..... we had seen the Broadway show and like it.... but we have mixed emotions about the movies. Ann was grossed out by Tom Cruse's character, even though it was rates PG 13.... it got a bit too graphic for her.

Ann will post Wednesday, but then I'm off the rest of the week on a computer vacation!