Thursday, August 30, 2012

End of August

My blog is on hold due to technical difficulties. I am unable to upload pictures into my blog.

Friday, August 24, 2012

This and That Friday

8-24-12 TGIF brain

I've been spoiled this week: I had my windows professionally cleaned, my one room with carpet cleaned, and my housekeeper visited. The reason is that I will be hosting a family from our sister Church in Hungary this weekend. Everything seems to be in order. I even washed some rugs and curtains.

Each morning I have been monitoring the emerging weeds in the garden and pulling them. Amy finished my back garden on Monday and I put down some more mulch back there..... it's been years since it has looked this good.

I saw this tree last night about a block from my house! Although the temperatures climbed back into the 90's this week, it still feels a bit like autumn is just around the corner.

I also saw this last night on my front tree. The Cicada are still emerging and making wonderful summer music in the trees.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

GUEST Blog part 2


Best Damn Fair In The Land,  Iowa State Fair-  Part Two
So how do you dress for a typical summer all-day at the Fair?  Summer top and shorts, who needs a jacket or a rain slicker? Well, I guess I should of packed one. All went well from 2 till 6 pm, then the rain started and the temperature dropped from 76 to 60. We rode the Tram for 1 hour then I got smart and bought a polo shirt to cover up my chest and arms, $10 for two shirts. Food, well I outdid myself with restraint, 1 corndog and my share of a bucket of cookies. Here is a pic of Lexi, Nat and me, drakesmart sisters ’05 & ’06. Note what I’m wearing. 

We passed on the free stages to hear the music of Loverboy, Pat Benatar and Journey outside the grandstand. They were great and the best part, we got to see a lot of “take-down” action by the State Patrol. There was a “no tolerance for stupid behavior” at the Fair this year. We left at 12:15 and I was chilled to the bone, which accounted for my lack of appetite.
Sunday, I went prepared: summer dress, western boots, dress scarf and rain slicker/jacket in my bag. Here’s a funny pic of Nat and me.

We got there at 1 pm and left at midnight, walked from one end to the other, rode  the sky glider, caught the Bill Riley talent show, sat on Dad’s bench, saw some animals and got to the Barn to see the cloggers. What fun!

By 7 pm, we were ready for the two evening shows, Streetcar Symphony (runner up on the Sing Off) and at 8 pm, WAR, 1970’s Funk group. Wow, they were more than good and as you can imagine, I danced my butt off. Go home at 10 pm? Nope, we caught the music of Racal Flatts outside the grandstand, saw a few more take-downs and danced outside The Depot, leaving at midnight. 

Had another corndog, pineapple whip and tried a pickle dawg, deep fried ¼ pickle wrapped in deli ham. Well, I was not impressed, not impressed at all. By midnight, my dogs were tired, and yes … I did wear my Bozeman boots. 

Can’t tell you how much I love the sights and sounds of the Fair. Only 360 days till 2013, gotta run!
Chat Later, That Girl
Ann Marie

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday GUEST Blog

8-22-12 missing brain
"Sure - I'll let Ann be Oprah" ~Judy

Best Damn Fair In The Land, Iowa State Fair - Part One

Whew! Exhausted after spending two full days and three evenings at the Fair. Yes, I’ve written about the Fair and so has Judy, buy wow I love the Iowa State Fair. Some ask “how do you afford going so many times and what do you do”? Well here’s the answer in a two-part report.

When the 11 day schedule comes out, I make my own schedule to see who’s going to be on one of four free stages, yep you heard me, free music with the price of admission ($10 or $5 after 5 pm). I picked five days I would attend. The budget starts there.

Can you actually go to the Fair without buying a lot of junk food? Yep, did that two days, man what will power. Actually, I’m very frugal to a point of obsession.

Parking, well I could take the $2 shuttle, pay $10 at the gate, $6 or so to park on someone’s front yard or find a spot on the street. Yep, drove the Jeep, so no problem with a free parking.

Other than a few animals, the butter cow, chocolate moose, the beauty cakes and the cookbooks at the Varied Industries Bldg, I saw a lot of great bands and heard some great music. Here’s a pic from singer #1, Dia Frampton. Isn’t she cute? 

Wednesday I saw Dia Frampton, runner up from the Voice – Season 1. She was coached by Team Blake Shelton. She did a great job and I got to meet her. After the show I read her bio, wow, she’s been singing for 10 years. She’s sweet as can be, loves cupcakes and Tom Petty and she kept saying “saddle up” to her lead guitarist when he stopped playing. This pic reminds me of Dia. 

Thursday Judy and I went to the Beatles Band - Strawberry Fields, they were great (I caught them on Wednesday after Dia) and Judy was a sport to stay until 10:30. Here’s a pic from the Sergeant Pepper era. 

Friday I worked at the MidAmerican Energy building, four hours of fun I say that with a smile. I worked the 4 to 8 shift then went home to clean, guests coming for two days.
You would think I would be tired after three evenings, but nope, I have 24 hours of Fair fun along with a pit stop at the Knapp Center for the Olympic Homecoming (more on that later) for the weekend. Gotta Run but I’ll leave you these three pics that sum up my love of cakes, stuff and friends. Cakes- John Wayne’s house in Winterset, American Legion for marine dude John and the peacock for Molly.  Stuff- the glass art that I need to get back to, and of course … peas ‘n carrots eating healthy. Yep, Oprah has Gayle and I have Judy, BFF. 

Chat Later, That Girl
Ann Marie

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Saturday a "fair" report

8-21-12 fun brain
Greg and I attended the Iowa State Fair on Saturday. It was such a great day weather-wise that we hung out for a good 5 hours and "splurged" a bit on food and activities.

We rode the sky glider this year.

I loved this wood carving. I didn't see it made, but wish I would have bought it for my garden.

I listened to the hymn sing.... the log cabin was full of singers, so some of us had to hang out side the windows. I thought this was an interesting photo.... well at least if I would have had a good camera. The guy reminded me our Greg's Amish relatives.

The most interesting thing to me was this couple we met and talked to in the Pioneer Building. They were from Jefferson Iowa and have a business there where furniture is made in the period of 1875, using old tools from this time period and old varnish techniques of walnut shells and raspberries.

The cool thing is that they have classes you can attend over a 3 day weekend and learn to make your own piece of furniture..... also couples classes. I want to try this in my retirement :)
They also have apprentices whom they train.... so if you know of any person who loves history and carpentry- check out the webpage.

Check it out HERE: 

We need a road trip to Jefferson sometime .... I'm putting this on my bucket list!

Friday, August 17, 2012

This week's update

I woke up this morning grabbing the blanket and found the kitten snuggling with me to keep warm. The low was around 52!..... I found myself starting to crave pumpkin. It's hard now not to keep is it September especially when I saw this a few days ago.

Not weed free patio bricks! My "gardener" has been working out in back yard now this week. Since I didn't have to spend Thursday evening tending the yard work, I was free to join Ann at the Iowa State Fair... from about 5:00 to 10:30 pm.

We walked around a bit..... dinner was a "Beef Sunday" which is a scoop of mash potatoes in a bowl with beef and gravy on top with some cheese and a cherry tomato. That filled me up, but I had to have one dessert and I choose the Apple Pastry stick.

Our main purpose of going to the fair was watching a Beatles tribute band called "Strawberry Fields".... and to check out the painted Ice Cream Cones..... which Renee had been trying to get to to do one this year. We saw some cute ones.....

Here two of my favorite-creative ones. There were plenty of normal looking ones too.

Then we did stumble upon the "largest Chocolate Moose in captivity"
It wasn't solid chocolate, but made like the famous butter cow.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Peace Art Virtual Show

8-16-12 artsy-fartzy brain
I'm so excited to be a part of a Virtual Art Show on Facebook. My Peace Art , via by peace blog  was discovered by Brad who runs a Facebook site called "The Peace Art Collective".

It was Brad's idea to feature some of my Peace Art and we worked together, thanks mostly to his graphic artistic talents.... and these photo's were created. 

go HERE: 

Feel free to download, print off and hang this peace art for your refrigerator, file cabinet or locker. Brad and I both love spreading Peace, so we do want everyone who is interest in Peace to use these.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday Guest Blog

8-15-12 vacant brain
I think Ann is going to be adding to her "bucket list" for 2016! ? ~judy

Summer Olympics, Give Me More … More

For the last two weeks, I’ve been fixated with the events of the Summer Olympics. From waking up to the pre-Today Show, Today Show, NPR & BBC Radio to the evening NBC telecast, I watched more than my fair share. So what will I do to get my fix, ugh! Like politics and life, we all see something different, me…. my take.

Loved the opening ceremony, the chance for the host country to give the world a taste of their history. Team USA was victorious with 104 medals: 46 Gold, 29 Silver and 29 Bronze. I really enjoyed the swimming, diving, basketball, beach volleyball, gymnastics, sprint track cycling and most of all the track and field events. Don’t ask me why I love track and field, maybe it goes back to high school. Did not run track, but hung out with the track girls. And I do recall, Marine Dude John Sebern was a track star back in the day. Maybe he should of tried swimming too.

I kept up with most of the Olympic events via my Twitter feed. Where else can you get second to second updates from all over the world in 140 characters or less. Other than NBC Olympics, I followed BBC Olympics/News and several of their sportscasters as well as Shawn Johnson (gymnastics) and Ato Boldon  (NBC). I enjoyed their updates and got a return tweet (I send them a message and they respond). While some may have an intern manage their Tweets, some do it themselves. I got one back from Ato Boldon. Man, he is one knowledge person on the track field, not to mention a “Trini” (Trinidad Native).

Oh, I need to mention, Trinidad won 4 medals, 1 being Gold in Javelin. Yep, their first Gold medal in 36 years and their second in their history. Congratulations to Keshorn Walcott.  I hear they might have a National Holiday in his honor.

Last but not least, I loved loved seeing the pictures from a host of websites: USA Today, NPR, AP, BBC, NBC to mention a few. On Facebook, Panasonic hand a nice diary of pictures. I almost felt like I was there. Information overload for some, me …. information enlightening. As the Olympic flame was snuffed out, the planning is underway for Rio de Janeiro 2016, the first South American country to host the Olympics. Wow! What I would give to go to Rio. Maybe after the games to enjoy what was built for the city. I hear Rio is the “Paris of South America”. I’ll leave with this picture that I got from The Mail Online. Here you have Mo Farah (GB) 10k and 5k meter Gold medalist and Usain Bolt (Jamaica) 100 & 200 as well as 4x100 Gold medalist showing much respect for each other’s talents. Gotta Run!

Chat Later,
That Girl, Ann Marie

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday- August or September?

8-13-12 the early bird brain

I was up at 5AM today..... well that doesn't happen too often, but I was cold and was looking for a blanket!
Boy the weather has cooled off tremendously here in Iowa. I left KC yesterday afternoon it was 93, when I arrived in DM is was cloudy and only 70! I was totally shocked to find 2 inches of rain in the gauge from the week I was gone. I guess most fell mid week when I storm passed over DM.

Also shocked to see the lawn looking so green. I guess I was use to the brown grass in KC.... it is still so very dry there. The corn in the fields were brown, as if it was late fall and harvest time, but afraid it was just all dead.

Well the political discussions have started to heat up, just as the weather is cooling down. Today Paul Ryan will be at the Iowa State Fair. Too bad my friend Teresa can't come up and show her support. She, a true conservative was very excited about Ryan as VP choice..... and I can understand why from her view point. She thinks a big change is needed..... I can agree that change is needed.... I guess we just disagree on the methods. I'm all for making some cuts in entitlements.... but GOP doesn't talk about entitlements for the wealthy corporations.... you know those "job creators"..... who where so great at creating jobs overseas?

Well, I know I'll just bore you all with political talk.... so I"m going to try hard NOT TO here!
Although I do have free speech.... Steve King can write much better than I.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Laugh a little would ya!

8-10-12 funny ha ha brain

Today to a gorgeous day, sunny but much cooler. No AC is required today- the windows are wide open!

Here is some humorous stuff..... well it's funny to me.... got it off of FB.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday GUEST Blog

8-8-12 state fair brain
Ann's pictures have gotten me excited for the state fair! See the ice-cream cone? People could buy one and paint.... Renee wanted me to make a "peace cone"... but I didn't have the time. Maybe next year? ~Judy

The Bench
Two weeks ago I got a package from the Iowa State Fair. While I love opening packages, I knew the package contained the name plate to Dad’s Bench. I wasn’t ready, don’t ask me why. Still not ready. 

Then last week I received a post-card that The Bench was constructed, 9 days before the Fair opens up. Okay, ready or not, I went out on Friday and wow, how beautiful. The Bench sits on the North side of the Outdoor Arena, facing the arena. It’s in the shade and in the rear, the MidAmerican wind turbine. What a fitting place for Dad’s Bench. Yep, I shed a few tears of happiness. 

I’ve talked to several people about how they want to be remembered. Have you ever thought about that? Dad would of said he was forgettable, just an average man getting by. Well, he’s not forgettable, and if he only knew how much he’s missed. Like I said, one day Dad I will tell everyone you are a Guinness World Record Holder, 2008 Corn Dog Chomp.

At work I always say “when I get run over by a bus, someone will take over, the work will get done, maybe not the same way, but it will get done”. Well I hope while the work is getting done, someone will smile every now and then and say “how did she do this, who’s mind am I going to read, and wow I get to use as many stick notes as I want to (my pet peeve).

Enjoy the Fair. Gotta Run,
Chat Later, That Girl
Ann Marie

Monday, August 6, 2012

Weekend- this and that

8-6-12 reporting brain

I traveled to KC on Saturday morning and it actually wasn't too hot down here- well not as hot as it has been. 90 seemed cool, but the nice thing is that it cooled down in the evenings so we could walk. We even had the air conditioner off on Sunday and Sunday night.

Saturday afternoon I went to an Indian Dance Recital with Molly , although "dance" does not fully describe what we saw. This was a 5,000 year old ancient Indian Temple Art and was a graduation of sorts for these teenage girls who have spent 8 years learning this. It was amazing!

This picture can give you a hint of the beauty.... but the dancing was very labor intensive. One dance went on for 20 minutes and was called "an endurance" dance.

Sunday I was looking for a nice relaxing day..... but for some reason after we went out for breakfast, the weather was mild, so we decided to drive out to the Nebraska Furniture Mart, at least 30 minutes away from us. We we looking for a new mattress.... a firmer one than our current 5 year old one we have in KC.

For some reason we also got inspired to finally buy Greg a chair for is living room here in KC. This is a recliner. Now at least three people can sit in the living room!

Other news to report:
I've been working with an artist I met on the Internet who also likes Peace. He is running a Facebook page called "The Peace Art Collective".... he found my Peace blog and wanted to work with me to have a FB art show. So here is the announcement he put together.

For those of you on Facebook.... go check this out! He has used my Peace CD's disks and add graphics and peace quotes.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Garden Report

8-3-12 green-thumb brain
Happy news! My neighbor gardener- Amy, did show up and worked hard for me Monday and Tuesday! Wow, she is good- I give her weed-pulling ability an A.... where as I am only an average C. I was very pleased AND grateful!

Since she removed all the dead plants, this was a good time to lay down some fresh mulch. I did this Wednesday morning (12 bags) before work when it was still cool out.

Now the real test begins for me..... can I keep up with the gardening now? I guess it takes going out each week and pulling up any new weeds, which I've learn it's NOT too hard to do in the early morning.... this gives me some needed outdoor time during this hot dry summer.

About the only thing currently blooming are my blue Salvia which reseed themselves each year.... so I guess they are just plain hardy.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Wednesday GUEST Blog

8-1-12 mid week brain

Olympic Fever
In the dogs days of Summer and in the midst of the Presidential election, why not have Olympic Fever! The Olympics is something I look forward to and so did Dad. He would be watching the competition cover to cover, calling me to say “are you watching Trinidad playing/running right now or you know Ato Boldon was once the fastest man at 100 meter dash (he’s now a NBC broadcaster}”. Yes, another milestone to check off the list.

As I was thinking of the Games, I looked up the past host Countries, going back to 1896. Geez, I was very surprised that I’ve been to many of them:
USA: Los Angeles, Saint Louis, Atlanta, Salt Lake City
Europe: London, Paris, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Berlin, Munich, Rome, Moscow, Barcelona, Charmonix,
Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Innsbruk . I have this poster at home. 

Wow, I’m stunned by this list, 12 in European and four USA host cities. By the list, I have a lot more travel on my bucket list. In the meantime, I’ll be glued to the tube and enjoying the back stories, the views of London and not to mention the competition and the trash talking.

So what am I looking forward to?

First up, the opening and closing ceremony. The opening was absolutely fantastic and I wished I’d gone out to see it on the big TV in the garage. While watching, I managed to cook, bake a pie, do a load of laundry. I’m so glad that NBC did not go to commercial break when Trinidad was announced. I got this picture  off Lolo Jones FB page. A Des Moines native, she’s running the 200 hurdles. She came so close in Beijing. Good luck Lolo.

My eyes will be glued to gymnastics, swimming, diving, track n’ filed and basketball. However, I did enjoy the cycling last weekend.  And yes, I took time off for some fun on Saturday night. Thanks Judy for coming out with your posse.

Back to the Tube, so much to see and so much to do (yes, I’ll get back to my vacation write-up). Gotta run.
Chat Later, That Girl
Ann Marie