Monday, April 30, 2007

A Country Drive

Friday was gorgeous here. After the kids left for the weekend, Kurt and I decided to see if my parents wanted to go out for supper. They did so the four of us headed to Edgewood to eat. It was country that Kurt hadn't been through before. There is construction on Hwy 3 so a direct route was out of the question. My dad and I are HUGE fans of "never go the same way twice" so it was fine with me! I used to live over that way so it was interesting to see the changes to the country.

We had a cheap and yummy buffet dinner and drinks. Kurt and my dinners (and vodka lemonades) came to $23.12!! So there you have another bonus of living in podunk Iowa. After dinner we decided to head north through the countryside. North of Edgewood and Strawberry Point is very hilly with long ranging vistas. It's referred to as "Little Switzerland" (according to the town sign - I've never actually heard anyone call it that). I've been in Switzerland though and it's an accurate description. It was that golden hour when the sun is setting and everything is bathed in that wonderful light. We saw lots of wildlife - most of which were up close. Wild turkeys, a partridge, a badger, four or five deer, and lots of hawks. I'd really like to live out in the country again. I can't imagine living in a big city. I need some space and some green.

I drove home for my study group tonight. It was 78 degrees at 8:30. It's much to early for it, but I really enjoyed having the windows down, the music turned up, and being able to smell the fresh air, and the newly turned soil. Lots and lots of farmers are putting in many, many hours.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

A Lovely Weekend

Kurt and I had a lovely weekend. The weather was very nice. It was ridiculously warm today though; reaching almost 90 degrees. Kurt got the lawn mowed (part of our prenuptial agreement - he does all the mowing). We went to Waterloo, had a lovely lunch at Zio Johno's, recycled our cardboard, went to Barnes and Noble, and dropped off some stuff at Rikki and Amy's place. Rikki and I have set our garage sale for the second Saturday in June in case anyone wants to bring anything.

Kurt and I hit some garage sales yesterday morning on our way to Goodwill. We didn't get much just some goodies and a soda. I had two finals on Friday so I decided to take the weekend off. I have two more this upcoming week. Tomorrow night I have a 3 hour study group for my Bio-Medical Ethics class. I need to learn the last 2 chapters of accounting by Tuesday so I can hopefully pass that class.

Friday I'm having an endoscopy to see what the deal is with my constant gagging. I have the following week off since the summer Biology class I'm taking is 3 weeks instead of four (but that also means it's 3 hours a day. YIKES!)

Hopefully, I'll utilize the next few days off and get lots of studying accomplished. Tuesday, I'm taking Alex for his second driver's test. This one has to be better than the last. I can't imagine it being worse!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I Know it's Wrong, but.....

I go to a state university. Ever since the Virginia Tech Massacre I've been disturbed. The next day when I got to class, you could see it on everyones' faces. We were all checking to see if the doors locked from the inside, the outside, or even if they locked at all. Most of my classes have the uncomfortable chairs with a desk attached (no protection). In the newer and remodeled buildings there are desks/tables but they are a long row, bolted down, and there would be no way to turn them over.

The thing that I know is wrong is that I am finding myself suspicious of/wary of the few Asian students on campus. I don't mean to feel that way. I hope they can't see it in my face or body language, but it's there. An Asian male student came running down the stairs from the 3rd floor. He was taking them two at a time. I felt myself blanch and my stomach fall. I'm ashamed that I am reacting in this manner. I'm trying to get over it and think about what my real issue is.

I think some of it is stemming from NBC and the showing of the photographs and the video. The picture where the viewer is staring down the barrel of the gun if very powerful. When I watched the Sopranos Sunday night I was incredibly bothered by/uncomfortable with the rage that was coming from the Asian kid Junior was using as an underling.

I do realize that the killer's rampage has nothing to do with his ethnicity, but merely the manifested evil of his mind and soul. Unfortunately, evil (this week and last) has an Asian face.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

California - Part 2

******I've been too busy with school and everyone here at home to have time to blog. Here are the details of my Spring Break trip to California******

After a short and restless night it was time to get up and take the Aunt to work. She had the washer repair man coming and he was also going to install a new hood over the stove. It worked out well that I was there so she didn't have to arrange time off from work.

We got out the door and headed across town. It was probably a 30 minute drive to work. We stopped and got a few supplies at the grocery. Salads for our lunches, yogurt for my breakfast and rubber gloves so I could start cleaning. The drive to work was nice. I refamiliarized myself with the town. We drove thru brilliant pink blossoming orchards (I think they were peaches and some nut trees). It was gorgeous. I've never been out there in the spring. Everyone's grass was green, the flowers were blooming, and the air was warm. Everyone I ran into was complaining how hot it was. After two months of subzero, snow, and ice storms I thought the were crazy and ungrateful!

I got her dropped off at work and headed back to the apartment. I decided to tackle cleaning off the stove top first so the repairmen would have a clear space to work. Since every surface was stacked with stuff it was quite the change.

Next I decided to do the dirty dishes in the sink (I thought that might be a source of the smell). First, though, I had to create a clean surface to put clean dishes on. I started hauling empty boxes, a bird bath, and other clutter out to the patio. I managed to clear off half the table. I found a clean bath towel to set on the table and I was ready to go. The sink was disgusting!

The repairmen showed up. I made it clear that I was a guest. At one point we had to find the circuit box. The repair guy had to help me into the 2nd bedroom because there was so much stuff! I finally found it in the closet. In 1987 the closet was full of 5 gallon pails of quick oats, now it's full of very nice glass wear and ceramics. I think the Aunt needs a hobby other than going to TJ MAXX!

I gave myself a break and went to Barnes and Noble. I had some tea, some cake, and some wi-fi. I already missed my husband (but not enough to wish I was home!) I drove downtown and went through the McHenry Mansion - they were some of the earliest residents of the town. It was gorgeous! I also saw the American Graffiti statue sine Modesto is the birthplace of George Lucas. I sat in the park for a while and enjoyed the gorgeous weather.

I was to meet the Aunt and her friends at a restaurant called the FRUITYARD for an early dinner. It was aptly, out in the orchards. Her old friend, Ruth (whom I know), Jose (her boss), and two sisters all were in attendance. Everyone was Latino so it was a cool experience.

The buffet was huge and varied. There was stuff you just don't see on an Iowa buffet. Tamales, huge slices of calamari, prime rib, fajita meat and rice, a stew, as well as prime rib, crab legs (cold instead of hot - weird), shrimp, as well as desserts and salads. The restaurant had all kinds of animal heads up on the walls - a lot of them were African. No one seemed to know why - was the original owner a big game hunter? What was the deal?

The Aunt was taking the next two days off. She had a couple of doctor appointments and Thursday we were going to the coast, to Monterey!

Thursday, April 05, 2007

California: Part 1

******I've been too busy with school and everyone here at home to have time to blog. Here are the details of my Spring Break trip to California******

Day 1

I flew to CA today via Chicago and LA. Landing in LA was really cool. It was just at sunset so all the buildings were bathed in golden light. The airport itself seems old and sucky. I had to walk a very long ways to get to my gate to Modesto. It was awesome to see palm trees as we were landing. I saw the round LAX thing. There are also tall glass structures that are lit in ever changing shades of blue as cars exit the airport.

Taking off for Modesto was really neat, too. We flew out over the Pacific. There were lights everywhere! The LAX thing was lit up purple. I saw the hugest jet I’ve ever seen, It was a Quantas “spirit of Australia” jumbo jet. It was the kind that had upstairs windows.

The ride to Modesto was loud and very vibrating. It was nice when I got outside. Aunt Jan’s car smells of rotten fruit. I had to move a bunch of apples and a half rotten avocado so I could sit down. And I had to throw out a core of some kind.

When we got to the condo, I could see the stuff piled up inside the dining room. It wasn’t as bad as I’d heard but it was still awful. When she opened the sliders a stench of rot, sour, and I’m not sure what else greeted us. We're going to have our work cut of for us.

I'm sleeping on a mat of some sort on the floor. She and the cat have the bed. The cat hair and dust is bothering me. I'm exhausted so sleep should soon come.