Sunday, June 29, 2008

It wasn't as bad as I thought

i freaking HATE to paint. When my friends paint I fetch their beers. Kurt and I started painting what was formerly Nick's room. The kids are gone til Aug 3 so now is the time to get things done! The room has hideous flowered and water stained wall paper. Plus the previous owner painted all the woodwork in the house a blah dingey beige.

We are painting the walls "blue beyond", the ceiling bright white, and the woodwork is going to be some bright white color of which i forget the name. It might be "snowflake." After the painting debacle of the boudoir of last year we bought better paint. I must say that Sherwin Williams paint is far superior to the cheapo walmart stuff. Kurt pointed out that everything everyone else makes if far superior to walmart products, but we live where we do so we shop at walmart a majority of time.

We got the walls all done as well as the ceiling. It only took us about 3-4 hours. It would have taken me weeks and weeks and weeks. We need to paint the woodwork, baseboard heaters, and windows (which is gonna stink) and touch up where Kurt got paint on the ceiling.

We need our handyman to show up, too. He needs to install the ceiling fan in that room and fix the ceiling in Nick's new room so we can get that room set up.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Fait Accompli!

It's 5:05 pm and we have gotten a lot done! We went to the Farmer's Market where we bought mini lemon poppyseed muffins for a buck, and some garlic jack goat cheese (YUM!!).

This morning after playing with the puppy I went up and started shoveling out Nick's room. The kids are gone til Aug 3. I've gotten it mostly cleaned up. I have all their bedding washed. As soon as I vacuum and flip the mattresses we can remake the beds.

Then we went to my grandpa's farm to plant some trees and perennials. We put in 2 Colorado spruce, a pink lilac, and a hydrangea. I also planted 8 - 10 different hostas for my aunt. We mulched til we ran out of it.

The pooper was having a great time tearing around off the leash. Well, we had his harness on with a leash attached so if we heard traffic coming on the road we could grab him. Only 2 vehicles went by while we were there and he was way too tired to give chase. The three of us walked the outside perimeter of the grove. There's a hackberry, 5 or 6 mulberries (which Kurt was loving!), a couple of hardwoods I can't identify, and some sort of fruit tree with a pit. I bit into it to find out. It was bitter!

Being out there and planting stuff felt great. Trying to decide where to put things. Our plan is to move out there in 5 years. I want plants and things to start being established so that we can enjoy them when we get there.

Once we got home we mulched here. We also planted a second lilac. I put in some bee balm the aunt bought me and I watered everything. We moved the porch furniture back since the painters are done and gone. Kurt put our mailbox back up and I made brownies. While the brownies cooled we went and vacuumed and washed the truck.

Now we are watching GHOSTBUSTERS. I remember seeing it in the theater in Dubuque when I was little. My shower will have to wait until it's over.

I can smell that it has started to rain. It's VERY windy and cool today. In the 70's is perfect!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Bargains Galore!!

my sister recently posted that she has an addiction. She is addicted to buying plants. Well, so am I! Hardly anyone is having decent sales on perennials, but Wal-Mart in Waterloo is! I - actually the aunt - bought a cartload of stuff. We got hostas for 2.96 ea; a 3' hydrangea for $2; and 2 pink lilacs for $2 ea also. She also bought some hibiscus that were very cheap. I went back yesterday and bought 2 Colorado blue spruce trees for 50% off. Kurt is very excited about all the gardening we get to do this week. I bought mulch earlier in the week that we need to get put down, too. Oh, and I ordered some hostas online, too!

The painter boys have been here since Tuesday scraping and painting Big Blue. She's the same color (although I think the cream is a shade darker). It will be nice to have that over with. The only home improvements we have left are installation of 3 more ceiling fans, replacing 2 sections of drywall and painting nick's room - soon to be the office and craft room. Unfortunately, Kurt and I are planning on doing that ourselves. Hopefully, that will go better than our boudoir did.

I took my "test" malaria pill on Monday. Next Monday I'll be able to start the typhoid pills. They have to be refrigerated. I hope they aren't too large. The malaria pill was difficult to swallow. I have to take gummi vitamins cuz of the pill size. I'm such a delicate flower!

Friday, June 20, 2008

The Boys

Rikki came over on Wednesday to keep me from going insane. She brought her 9 mo old terrier puppy, Stewie. He and Francis had a barkfest. They tore around the dining room table taking turns chasing and attacking each other. They were a little tired by the time I decided to video them.

video

I especially like at the end where they both look at me.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

What I couldn't Be

Well I definitely couldn't be a military wife. I HATE Kurt being gone (and it's been less than a week)(and I went and saw him yesterday). I couldn't be a wife whose husband traveled all the time either. I can't imagine how couples can stand - or survive - such arrangements.



The kids are driving me crazy. The dog is driving me crazy. Having limited contact with Kurt is driving me crazy. I realize that the floods are not his fault, but that does not mean that I am understanding.



Saturday is my grandpa's estate auction. We're selling a bunch of stuff at it, too. All the s**t needs to be hauled out of the basement and pulled down out of the garage. In addition we have to load up all the boxes at my gpa's and then of course, unload them again at the auction site. UGH.



Kurt's been working 15 & 16 hour days. I should be glad that this husband works.


*** BTW it's the second anniversary of our church wedding. We celebrated by im-ming. And don't forget bickering. I miss him. (and it's not just because I'm trapped with the children)

****
Jon Stewart just said "I've been to Iowa. They are nice bleeping people." It's true. We are. We are very very soggy at the moment. When I went to Davenport yesterday I went through CR and Iowa City. Water was EVERYWHERE and it had gone down. I came home via US 61 and Dubuque ~ there was water EVERYWHERE there, too. The stench coming out of the park is horrendous. Mud, muck, dead fish. It's awesome.

Bush is coming tomorrow. woo hoo.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day Feast

We had a good brunch with way too much food of course. I made Sangria, dark chocolate dipped strawberries, quiche lorraine, grilled lemon pepper shrimp skewars, and oven baked french toast (that stuff is gooood). Mom brought ham balls and cherry/rhubarb pie. The aunt and Maria brought an cornbread/egg casserole, a chocolate ganache covered cake, a fruit mix of blueberries, black berries, and strawberries as well as a meat and cheese tray with crackers.

Kurt got home at 9:40 am and left at 12:20 pm. I just made him a hotel reservation thru Friday. His boss has decreed that the entire team needs to go to DAV, work 12 hours on/12 hours off and no one leaves until it's done. Their company alone is losing millions in lost revenue.

I'm so thankful we don't live in Cedar Rapids (or anywhere else tragically affected) and no one we know is underwater.

So it's the kids and me for the entire week. Feel free to send valium my way.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Hanging Art

My Grandma Arnold crocheted afghans and potholders. The potholders were made with a very tiny hook out of a thicker thread. I had 4 of the fancy ones framed. We paid a lot to have it done. I am NOT happy with it. Plus paying retail from framing makes me nuts since I know how much the frames cost an inch (since I had a studio). Sometimes I think I should have kept my tax permit for just that reason.

I also had 4 images from San Francisco enlarged. I'm not happy with one of them either. I think I ordered the wrong one. Also the color is off a few points. I wish I was able to print my own color. I was always good at that. However, I only shoot film once or twice a year so that's not really possible either.

We're trying to conserve water because of the flooding. It's one of those things you take for granted.

I'm hosting a father's Day brunch tomorrow. I have no idea if Kurt will be able to attend or if he'll still be in DAV. He did manage to get home last night, have a shower and get 8 hours sleep.

Currently, Cedar Rapids is predicting $735 million in damages. The river has crested, but rain is in the forecast and there have been intermittent storms, winds, hail and tornado warnings throughout the day.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Is the End Near?

Iowa seems to be the epicenter of disaster of late. First the horrible winter, then the Parkersburg EF5 tornado that affected multiple counties. Now the Boy Scout Camp tornado and the horrific flooding. We've been spared, but Cedar Rapids is doomed. Kurt's been gone since yesterday morning. There is 11+ feet of water in the building where his company's multi millions of dollars of servers and phone systems are. He and the other upper management pulled what they could before the generators blew and drove it to another center in Davenport. There are so many rumors concerning the flooding. National news people are here. We've been glued to the coverage on TV. We just got our Internet back because the Qwest building is surrounded by water on all sides and inside. I believe it's 55 of 99 counties are currently disaster areas. There will be more to come in the days ahead. 100 square blocks in Cedar Rapids are underwater. We watched furniture float of out a store and down 1st st, a houseboat hit a bridge, and a railroad bridge filled with 20 freight cars filled with rock collapse into the river like a house of cards. And it's just not Cedar Rapids. It's everywhere. It's farms miles from rivers. One channel showed cattle trapped on a deck of a house. They managed to bring them some hay and 48 hrs they are still alive. It's more than one can comprehend.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

1st time shooting video

Anyone know how to rotate this?
video

And what's going on your Neighborhood?

video

Here's what's happening less 125' to the West of here. The bridge where I shot this is south 4 blocks. Our house was moved out of the flood zone after the Flood of '93. We're on a bit of a rise so we should be safe. Historically, the highest the water has been in to the middle of the street in front of us. The Wapsi is cresting at 18.8 feet, but up to 3" of rain is predicted north of here. Rain is also in the forecast for the foreseeable future.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Chicago

This past weekend was the only one where we have the kids until sometime in August. Therefore, we did our "family" vacation. The four of us overnighted in Chicago. Saturday we went to early dinner at Medieval Times in Schaumburg. The kids are into that genre of stuff so we bit the expensive bullet and took them. We were to be there an hour before the show. Turns out that is so you have time to buy overpriced crap. Both of the kids had earned around $50 which they could spend (mostly) how they wanted. I quickly vetoed $40 wooden swords.



Christy loved the show! She was shrieking and hollering constantly. Our guy, the Blue Knight, even threw her a flower. She was beyond ecstatic. Nicky really liked it, too. There was no silverware used in the 12th century so we didn't get any either. It was all hands. The menu was tomato soup, 1/2 herb roasted chicken (yum!), potato and dessert. Messy but good.



The show was over by six so we drove downtown and took the kids up to the 94th floor observation tower at the John Hancock Building. It was rainy so visibility was only around 2 miles. Still, it was pretty cool for kids that have never been anywhere near that high up. Christy noticed there were spiders making webs outside the window. Determined little suckers!



After the drive back to the hotel Kurt took the kids back to the pool since we had to be up early on Sunday to check out and get back downtown.


Sunday we had 9 am timed tickets to see Mystical Creatures special exhibit at the Field Museum. It featured dragons, mermaids, and unicorns. All of us enjoyed it. Nick and Kurt read every stinking word of every stinking thing so we were there forever. After lunch the boys went to the dinosaur hall. One and a half hours later they weren't even half way through. I begged them to cut the last half down. They finished up in half an hour or so. We got back on the road for the usually five hour trip home.

While we were having supper in Freeport, IL Mom called to say they were having terrible storms here. We did see the sky was getting darker and bluer. I'm completely paranoid after all the tornadoes here. I found a radio station that was doing weather alerts. We were smack in the middle of a bunch of super ells. We missed the worst by about 6 miles, but still had to pull over for 30 minutes or so because of sheets of rain and terrific winds.



Now that we are home we've learned that the river is flooding again. It's already higher than it was in April and it's not expected to crest for another 5 hours. Mom and Dad have 5" of water in their basement and the well pit is filling with water. My aunt's water pump switch burned out so she's waiting for the plumber who is evidently at a farm where there are hundreds of hogs without water. One of the bridges in town is closed and truck loads of sandbags are going by.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Saving Blogs

How do you save your blog for posterity? Save it to disk? Print it out? Or maybe make a book? Does anyone know about this? Discuss amongst yourselves....

Sunday, June 01, 2008

San Francisco I

We ate a wonderful lunch at the Sausage Factory in the Castro. Brian was mad that I didn't get him a T-shirt!


The Drum Bridge at the Japanese Tea Garden.


Sometimes you just have to scratch that itch!


Sights in Haight-Ashbury are colorful!



The Queens and Harry Denton at the Starlight Room

San Francisco II

The four of us in "Bed".
Approaching Alcatraz at Sunset.


Chihuly glass at the Palace of Legion of Honor (where I snuck in to go potty!)


Dungeness Crabs....mmmmm



The Golden Gate and Marin Headlands from the Palace of Legion of Honor.