Saturday, May 31, 2008

San Francisco III

View of the City from our Room. Overlooking Union Square.

Pink Triangle Park in the Castro commemorating all the Gays, Lesbians, and Transgenders killed in the Holocaust.

The Powell Street Cable Car right outside our hotel.

One of the many unique sights in the Haight-Ashbury District.

An "arty" shot on Alcatraz.

San Francisco IV

On our last night we had dinner at Pier 39 overlooking the Bay. We spent a good deal of time watching the sea lions.

Here's on of the Drag Queen's from the Starlight Room.

Recognize these houses? It's Steiner Street better known as the opening for FULL HOUSE.

One of the best known places in SF is the Wharf.

This is what's left of the Warden's house on Alcatraz.

San Francisco Photos

Kurt loves to find and make use of the Penny Stretcher machines. He even found a book to keep them in! He gave them to Christy.

We toured Alcatraz at night. It was really neat. Included in your ticket price is an audio tour narrated by former prisoners and guards. Our time was cut short because of mechanical issues with one of their boats so they refunded our $63 ticket price. I'm still waiting.

Here's a picture of Rikki and Me at the Supper club.

Our beautiful room #2009 at the Sir Francis Drake.


I've added all the free pictures I can to Flickr. Take a look!

It really didn't amount to many pictures. I think I need to resize my camera. I took 476 photos in 5 days! Plus video!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Parkersburg, Iowa

Here are pictures of the aftermath in Parkersburg, Iowa. Five people were killed there and two more in New Hartford. Amy's parents, Greg and Pam, lost everything. They weren't home at the time. Greg and Pam says the pictures don't even begin to show the devastation. I think the shocked, blank looks on their faces does a pretty good job.

The tornado was rated an E F5 on the new scale. They say wind on the ground was 200+ mph. The Red Cross is helping a lot. The Iowa National Guard is on site. Donations are needed. Please designate Parkersburg, IA if you do donate. A fund has also been established for Greg and Pam at a local credit union.

***I received these pictures in a forward and am trying to track down the original source.

I left my Heart in San Francisco

We had a wonderful trip to San Francisco. Each of us got to do everything we wanted to do! The four of us travel together very well. Despite the storms over Dallas that delayed us a day we still rate the trip a success. Kurt, Rikki, and I got to spend some time on the tarmac in Oklahoma City and the night in Dallas. We even got to have dinner with Kurt's brother Kelly since we were stranded in Dallas. Oddly, he was on his way to the airport to pick up someone else (who didn't arrive) so he was able to meet and shuttle us to our "Distressed Traveler" hotel.

I took a ridiculous amount of pictures and video. I'll be spending a lot of time downloading and labeling them. I adore our new camera (thanks Mom!). It has awesome features (that i don't know how to use) and video.

Some of the hilights of our trip include:

  • Going to "Bed" - a lot like in Sex and the city!
  • Riding the Cable Cars
  • Staying at the Sir Francis Drake and attending the Drag Brunch at the Starlight Room
  • Visiting Alcatraz at night
  • Eating seafood - chowder, dungeness crab, prawns mmmmm
  • Visiting the Japanese Tea Garden, Haight-Ashbury, and the Castro
  • Riding the Double Decker bus and crossing the Golden Gate
  • Eating, Eating, and Eating
  • Walking, Walking, and Walking

Picture highlights will follow. Maybe even some video if I can figure it out!

Monday, May 26, 2008


Our friend Amy that we are traveling with got a terrible phone call this afternoon. Her parent's home was destroyed in the tornadoes that hit Parkersburg, New Hartford and other areas. They weren't home and are fine. They were able to hike into town after the storm. All that is left is part of the living room. Everything else is gone. After much searching they found their kitty alive under the rubble.

I called my parents. There was a lot of damage around their farm, too, but nothing that severe. They are probably an hour and a half away from Parkersburg. It was a huge and powerful storm. Please keep everyone in your prayers. We're glad everyone is ok, but Amy is feeling very overwhelmed and helpless being here.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Palisade's Park


I put flowers on graves yesterday. This angel was in the cemetery where my great great grandpa and grandma Martin are buried. I've always wanted to stop and photograph this statue but haven't. I need to go back with my film camera. Digital is not my best medium.

Art in the Park

Saturday Kurt and I went to the Marian Arts Fest. The weather was gorgeous! Bright. Sunny. Springy. Iowa ~ one day in few ~ when it is idyllic. Kurt got me a parallelogram shaped purse I can wear sideways from Helen's Daughters. That lady was doing a heckuva business. I bet she sold out early in the day.

Too bad my nephew is into trains instead of Robots. I would have gotten him one of these awesome lamps.

As usual there was some fantastic photography. Once again it served to remind me that I used to be a professional and creative.

Today, I'm busy packing. Kurt and I, Rikki and her girlfriend, Amy are going to San Francisco for the weekend. Our justification for the trip is to celebrate Kurt's birthday and their 4th Anniversary. At the end of the weekend, the three of us are coming home while Amy is continuing onto China with her college's academic society.

I plan on eating my weight in crabs and clams. We're going to Alcatraz at sunset, we've got a hop on hop off bus tour, and we may go to a drag brunch on Sunday. It would be cool to see some non Iowa drag queens (as well as some I don't personally know!)

Rikki and Amy have never been to SF. Kurt has been, but mostly on business. I have been many times and LOVE IT! San Francisco is still my favorite city on earth. Hopefully, she won't disappoint this weekend.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Sprucin' Up

We've had some home improvement happening here abouts! Yesterday we got our rubber membrane roof on the flat part of the house. Today, we're getting three new windows. Two in the dining room and one in the kitchen. I'm so excited to be able to open my kitchen window by myself!

We also have our handy hubby's son here installing insulation above our bedroom. Last night his dad (the handy hubby) fixed the roof soffit outside our bedroom, put drawer pulls on the vanity in the bathroom, and installed our 3rd new motion light/porch light. Next he's going to install ceiling fans in the bedrooms and dining room!

The outside of the house is scheduled to be painted in June.

Saturday we went to the Garden Club plant sale. We got probably $75 or more worth of plants for $13! It include a brownie and a 4 pk of chocolate cupcakes, too! All the plants were perennials. We got a blackberry, Siberian iris, blue iris, yellow yarrow, and a flowering crab apple tree. I see today that I have deep purple almost black iris blooming. My bleeding heart is huge and in full bloom.

Kurt and I got a lot done over the weekend. We got the lawn mowed, the flowers weeded, and the new plants (most of them) in. We are ready to mulch now. We also put little picket fence around maple seedlings in the yard. We're going to see if we can get some of them to turn into trees.

This weekend we are celebrating Kurt's birthday. We've got a free room at the Marriott and will be dining at his favorite sushi restaurant. We'll be attending the Marian Arts festival, too.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

WARNING: Whining Ahead

i have a terrible sinus headache.

My arm hurts from either the Hepatitis shot or the tetnus shot (I got it on Monday - c'mon already!)

The stuff I made for supper was rotten.

A Pizza Hut run ensued.

Kurt is gone til tomorrow night. He's in a New Jersey kissing some corporate butt.

Monday, May 05, 2008

I can't believe I went

Despite my comic book aversion I went with Kurt to see Ironman. It was shockingly good. Robert Downey, Jr was looking FINE. I like Gwenyth Paltrow, too. Jeff Bridges was a great villain too. Why are the chrome dome guys always the bad ones? Hmmm. I'm sure there's some commentary there.

Before the movie I got to go garage sale-ing with Korrena. We had a blast. She got a brand new pair of Addias for $5. I got Christy a half dozen shirts for summer (25 cents each)(some with the tags still on them) and a pair of crop pants. I got myself the kids book Tiki Tiki Tembo. It was in my 3rd or 4th grade reader. I've been trying to think of the story for years. Happiness for 50 cents. It's hard to beat that!

Today I am being a po'd domestic goddess. So far I have washed the crusty hand dishes (that Kurt assured me he would do last Thursday), washed the rugs, and cleaned the bathroom. I'm currently roombaing the kitchen and bathroom in preparation to mop the suckers. I HATE TO MOP!!!! But when your feet are sticking to the floor it is time. Sigh.

I also got some weeding done this morning. I wish Francis weren't such a barking, loves to chase cars beast. It's impossible to take him outside with me.