Friday, September 2, 2011

Hawkeye Mania

Each fall, on the Friday before the first home football game at the University of Iowa, we have "Fry Fest" in town.  The celebration is in honor of beloved former football coach, Hayden Fry.  The activities occur in the neighborhood around my condo, so I have a bird's eye view.   Here are some photos from my balcony, of the Iowa Hawkeye Marching Band playing the Iowa Fight Song, and cheerleaders leading cheers.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Remember Iowa in Winter

Some neighbors are moving to Hawaii later this month, due to job demands. Must be tough to HAVE to move to Hawaii for one's job!!! Anyway, I wanted to give them something as a farewell gift, and found a cross-stitch and bead kit of birch trees, snowflakes and a cardinal. Don't want them to forget what winter in Iowa is like!

Fall Harvest

Well, it's not really fall yet, but my balcony garden has been productive.  We had a few weeks of really hot weather, which pretty quickly ended the salad greens, and meant I had to water daily.  My tomato plant produced quite a few tomatoes, but they were all pretty tiny (smaller than the size of roma tomatoes) so I'm not sure what the problem is.  Also have parsley and chives and green onions. 

Afternoon of Fun

On Sunday afternoon, July 31st, we went to see the UI School of Music present The Mikado.  I had figured I'd end up going by myself, but my friend Dennis wanted to come along (I was surprised!).  It was great fun.  I knew many of the songs (If you want to know who we are, we are gentlemen of Japan; Three little maids from school are we; Titwillow, etc.) but had never before seen the complete production.  And something I had not expected, the words to the songs appeared above the stage!  I guess you would call them supra-titles as opposed to sub-titles. 

The Director added a vaudevillian twist to the operetta, which made it quite funny. 

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Spring Planting

I finished my spring planting yesterday, it took all of 15 minutes or so.  I have added to my tiny balcony a raised planter box that's about 3 feet long.  Big enough, I think for some herbs and a few vegetables.  Our spring so far has been cold and cloudy and not very spring-like, but yesterday and today have been warm and sunny. 

I now have some parsley and chives planted at one end of my garden, and some salad greens and onions at the other.  The rows are about a foot long.  We'll see what happens.  The balcony faces East and gets full sun until about 2 or 3 pm each day.  Last summer I planted one tomato plant in a planter made from half a wine barrel.  This summer I'm expanding my garden. 

And just the right size.  I think the weeding will be manageable!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

What's Wrong with This Picture

I spend $100 a month to get hundreds of channels on cable TV.  But what do I watch?  DVD's of old TV shows: Hart to Hart, Scarecrow and Mrs. King, Perry Mason, Bullwinkle.  Did you know that the entire series of Bullwinkle is now out on DVD?  At the moment I'm watching the DVDs of the BBC/PBS Mystery series (10 hours) of Lord  Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane from 1987. 

The last few years, I've been giving handmade items as Christmas presents (knitting cotton dish cloths, cross-stitching ornaments, etc).  Isn't that what I did when I was a little kid and didn't have money for gifts?  What goes around comes around?  Hopefully my skill is better now than it was then!


On Friday, I had a plugged up kitchen sink drain and had to call a drain cleaning/sewer service.  The charge for augering my drain line?  $84.27

On Saturday evening I went with friends to see Tony Orlando in concert at the Riverside Casino.  We went early and had supper at the buffet, then played the slot machines a bit.  The outcome?  I won $80.00!

The Tony Orlando concert was great, by the way.  I highly recommend it .

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Thoughts for the Day

I saw a cartoon in the newspaper last week, I think it was the Pickles strip, where Grandmother was reading a book that "Intelligent Men Marry Intelligent Women."  And remarking that "dumb women marry dumb men."  That brought the question, what do intelligent women do?  And the answer - they have cats!

Welcome to the Family

Well, as I'm learning how to create a blog, I've also been learning how to use a digital camera.  My husband was an avid photographer, and I became interested in the hobby, though was never in his league.  But, I learned photography back in the SLR days, when you had to know about F stops and film speed and focusing.  Since Stan's death, I've been using the single-use cameras, but finally decided I needed something better than that.  Of  course, when I unpacked my camera and discovered that the instruction book was bigger than the camera, I was afraid I was in over my head.  But, fortunately, the camera seems to be pretty intuitive and user friendly. 

Well, what should I take a picture of, as I try to learn how my new camera works?  The answer was obvious, my cat Max.  We found Max at the local animal shelter, someone had moved out of town and left him behind in their vacated apartment.  So, early on we had a very difficult time ever leaving the house - Max insisted on trying to walk out the door with us, he was afraid of being left behind.  That has fortunately gotten better, but I still make sure to say when I leave, "Bye bye, Max.  Have a good day.  See you later."  He is usually delighted to see me when I get home.

My First Thoughts

Gosh.  What do I want to say on my very first posting to my brand new blog?  Somehow I'm thinking it should be something earth shaking...  This will be less a diary and more a journal, of perhaps random thoughts. My father's birthday is May 7th, which also happens to be Robert Browning's birthday.  On the occasion of my father's 90th birthday, we're looking at Robert Browning quotations.  Many are noteworthy, the one that sticks in my mind on this occasion is "Stung by the splendor of a sudden thought."  Let's let that be the watchword for this blog.

One of the things I continue to miss most following my husband's death four years ago, is having someone to share interesting tidbits and thoughts with at the end of the day.  I still learn of things in the news or read things in the newspaper, or something funny happens, and I think, "Oh I need to make sure to tell Stan about this."  So maybe this can fill that continuing need.

But the thought of keeping a diary, having to write something every day, seems too much like work.  So this will be a journal, with entries as I have things to say.