Saturday, May 30, 2015

Boy did I get lost this morning.  I get this newsletter from Quora.  People write articles about stuff they are expert on.  A question is asked, and an answer provided.  Today’s question that got me was “What is the Fifth Dimension?”  Being naturally curious about the world around me I clicked on this to read his answer.

He lost me in paragraph three.  At the fourth dimension.  I had to comment because as you know, I always have something to say.  I went back and read it again but was so lost.  I did get quite the chuckle at the next comment.  Someone had posted a photo of the 60’s band, The Fifth Dimension. “Would you like to ride in my beautiful balloon?”

On down in the comments someone had posted an url with a video. And so I watched the video.  It was very interesting but lost me again in the end.  I didn’t watch part two.  Too much information for my simple mind.

I do like to envision other dimensions.  When I was a little girl I imagined there was a family that lived in our house when we didn’t.  They had jobs and went to school and came home and cooked dinner and slept.  This, of course, could not have been possible because my mother never left the house.  She was a housewife and mother and didn’t drive a car until my brother got his license at 16.  She would have been 47 years old.  Maybe this was her 5th dimension?

I like to think that dreams are a dimension of our lives but I am not sure of the number.  Sometimes when I wake up from dreams I can hardly get my mind focused back into reality.

I hope you all read yesterday that I sold my very first story and will get paid for it.  I am so into that fifth dimension where I am a famous and well paid author.  I’d like me to be another Erma Bombeck or Dave Berry where I have my own little column and write daily on the many adventures that I encounter in my daily life.  And then I turn that column into a book and many people read it and say, “Boy has this lady got her shit together.”  See earlier column.

I smiled all day yesterday and I think I will be again today.  My cheeks are gonna be sore.  I’ll just imagine them in the 5th dimension as less saggy!

Friday, May 29, 2015

When I was a child you couldn’t get me to eat spinach.  My idea of spinach was Popeye opening a can of that wilted pukey looking stuff and gobbling it down.  Well he could keep that shit.  I’d stay weak but spinach free.

As an adult I have opened my mind a little fuller and have grown to love spinach.  Not that canned kind though.  I grow my spinach outside in my little garden and it tastes so delicious and is so good for me.  Move aside Popeye.

I have eaten wilted spinach salad in quite a few restaurants.  I love the vinegar dressings but can pass on the boiled eggs and mushrooms.  Boiled eggs smell like farts and I am not eating them.  I do like a little yellow part though.  Mushrooms remind me of biting the skin off next to my fingernails when it gets irritated.  They also taste like dirt to me.  (I’ll write another blog if I change my mind about either of these things.)

I made up my own recipe for spinach salad dressing many years ago.  I have had many compliments on it.

Addi ate spinach salad but Jess never did.  I think Jess has opened her mind a little about food since becoming an adult.  The hubster likes his spinach salad fully loaded (that means with the above mentioned two things I don’t want in mine.)  So nowadays when I made spinach salad, I put mushrooms and boiled egg on half the salad and leave mine nekkid.

My recipe is as follows:

Spinach Salad ala Smother

Lots of spinach, washed and dried
Green onions chopped
Mushrooms sliced
Boiled eggs sliced
Bacon fried crispy
Layer all this stuff.  When ready to serve dump the hot dressing over the top and leave the pan on top to allow the spinach a little time to wilt.

6 Tbsp. bacon grease
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Dash of soy sauce and Worcestershire sauce
3 dashes California garlic seasoning
1 beef bouillon cube
¼ cup water
½ tsp. sugar
You can add a chopped boiled egg to the dressing to make it thicker and richer.

Put the bouillon cube into the water and microwave until hot.  Smash the cube.  Add all ingredients and bring to a boil.  Turn off and let set until ready to serve the salad to allow the flavors to meld.  When ready to serve turn the heat back on and bring to another boil.  Dump on salad and leave pan over top to let the salad get hot.

I just had this two nights ago and now I want it again!

Check out this salad bar I am growing.  I have another coming up in two more weeks.  Everyone should grow their own salad.  Good eats!  (AB would agree!)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Yesterday’s adventure in retirement was a walk in the iris garden.  I met a Master Gardener a couple of years ago and took her class on growing iris.  Fran told me at the time that she would have me over for a tour of her yard full of irises.  I couldn’t wait.  Irises are my very favorite flowers.

Last week I received an email from the Stephenson County Extension office asking if any Master Gardeners would like to go on a tour of Fran’s Iris Garden.  I signed up immediately.

Yesterday, the day of the tour, I awoke to a horrendous downpour of rain.  It has rained like every other day here for the past two weeks.  Come on Earth, this is May not April.  I was so afraid that the iris garden tour would be cancelled.  All morning long it rained on and off.  And not just some drops but deluges of rain.  Finally the sun began to shine.

I hopped into the shower determined this was going to happen.  I got ready and into my truck and as soon as I got to Davis, which is only five minutes away, the sky grew grey and dark.  I called my Extension office and was told that the tour had not been cancelled.

During my half hour drive it sprinkled rain the whole way to Freeport.  As I got into Freeport, the rain let up and the sun came out.  Yippeee!!!

I was the first one to the tour and I talked with Fran for a bit.  The other Master Gardeners came along and so began the tour.  The first bed Fran did in a pink and blue theme because her neighbors next door liked the colors.  However, she accidentally planted an iris which is called Starship Enterprise.  When the neighbor saw the strange colors in the pink and blue display he asked why she had put it there.  She explained her mistake and told him the name of the iris.  He exclaimed, “Great because I’m a trekkie.”  The iris is lovely as shown here.

Fran has labeled all of her irises except for a few that “get lost”.  She has iris that friends give her and she just calls them by the friend’s name.

My favorite story was when she attended the Gardening for Food and Fun workshop in Rockford she won the raffle prize of a basket with 7 iris bulbs in it.  The first one was Penny, the next one Nickel, the next one Dime, Quarter and Dollar.  I forgot what the other two were called but Nickel was my favorite.

We toured the entire yard and it took about an hour.  At the last bed I wanted to take a photo of a beautiful shrub that had the loveliest fronds.  As I stooped down to take the photo I notice that one of the dogs had taken a huge dump in the middle of the shrub. I passed on the photo.

Oh, and during our tour Fran said of the dog kennel in the driveway.  If you know of anyone who needs a dog kennel, we have two.  Anyone want a dog kennel?

I thoroughly enjoyed my tour and plan on getting some more iris bulbs this fall.  If you have any you would like to trade, I’m in.

Trying to leave Krape Park, I got thoroughly lost and ended up back at Fran’s where Master Gardener friend, Jill, guided me out of the maize.  I do get in the strangest predicaments.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Another Memorial Day has passed and we did nothing to celebrate.  I have always looked forward to Memorial Day as the first sign that summer is almost here.  Someone we knew would have a huge outdoor party and summer would be official.

Since we never go anywhere any longer (the hubster has chronic gout and can’t walk very far at a time) we don’t really visit many friends and stay home a lot.  Hence, the reason I do girlfriend days frequently.

We enjoy watching Netflix in the evenings.  He likes documentaries and I like movies.  Netflix is not offering many movies we haven’t already seen but we manage to find something most evenings.

What we do that we enjoy is cook and eat.  He likes to cook on the grill and I cook inside.

Last weekend as I was surfing the internet I came across a site that mentioned beer can hamburgers.  Well knowing how to cook a chicken with a beer can, I wondered how in the heck you cook a burger with a beer can.  I clicked on the link and it took me to a Bar-B-Q Pit Boys site.

I clicked on the video and my mouth was watering when I saw the burger.  It seems as though you wrap the burger around the beer can.  (He didn’t even wash the thing.)  You make a little basket burger that you fill with yummy goodness.

I yelled down to the hubster to check these out because I wanted one.  He agreed that they might be fun to make.  And so we made Beer Can Bacon Burgers yesterday for Memorial Day.  He went with the onions, peppers, mushroom, pepper jack cheese and I went for the onions, peppers, bleu cheese and A-1 sauce.  I even put in a layer of dill pickles.

It was delicious!  I could only eat half and so I will enjoy that today for lunch.  We had fresh asparagus and salad from the garden along with our burgers.

Celebrate!  Summer is almost upon us.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

I had the most wonderful surprise this past week.  A large very light weight box arrived on my front doorstep.  I came inside and didn’t have my reading glasses on to see whom it was from.  I zipped it open and inside was a bright red teddy bear.  There was also a note from Rick Haney, the husband of my dear departed fellow Master Gardener friend, Carla Haney.  It seems that he had taken Carla’s old staff shirt and had it made into this teddy bear for me.  Isn’t that the sweetest thing you ever heard?

Carla was one of my good friends while working as a secretary at Shirland School.  She was the librarian and the Advisor of the Quiz Bowl team.  I called them the Nerd Bowl team.  There were some very special students on those nerd bowl teams.

Carla became a Master Gardener while I worked at the school.  She insisted that I had to become a MG also.  I vowed that when I retired, I would do it.

Over the years we shared so much.  She and I would trade music and I discovered quite a few new loves.  We talked about gardens and gardening.  Her house plants that she kept in the library thrived.  One was named George.  George is a Monstera deliciosa and is huge.  One leaf covers two hand widths.

Not George, but Cheryl, my Monstera deliciosa.

When Carla retired I somehow inherited George.  I had a new security office built with a foyer for visitors.  George was moved to the foyer and I became his caretaker.

When I retired several years later, I was told to take George with me.  Unfortunately, I already had a Monstera deliciosa and could not house two.  I promised to find George a home before the next school year began.

I was at my veterinarian’s office the next week and realized that they have an enormous waiting room (about 3 stories tall) and lots of windows. They already had a couple of house plants.  Maybe they could take George.

Sure enough the wonderful vets at Brodhead Veterinary Clinic drove down to Shirland with their horse trailer and brought George back to live with them.  I get to see him whenever I visit.

So I have two flashback memories of Carla -- with my little Carlabear and whenever I take Jessie dog to the vet and visit George.  Just lovely reminders of a very special friend.

Photo at the top is of me, Carla Haney (in back) and the infamous, Toni Bortoli, nurse extravaganza. 

Saturday, May 23, 2015

This morning as I sit and drink my ginger tea and check out my email and the news on Facebook, I noticed that almost everything I click on goes immediately to an advertisement of some kind or another.

I was watching a guy who found his dog after nine years and suddenly some ad popped up and suggested that I change my server to Bing.  What in the heck is Bing?  Probably invented it to further irritate people.

I was checking out this really cute video of an animal which I couldn’t identify and a pop up arose letting me know that I am pooping wrong.  I am POOPING WRONG?  Okay, so I had to read this one.  You know me.  The video showed a drawing of your poop inside your anus.  It went on to say that they had followed three kinds of poopers – those who pooped on high toilets, those who pooped on low toilets and those who squatted and pooped in a hole.

It concurred that those who squatted and pooped in a hole were healthier and happier people.  Who would have thought?

At the bottom of this was a blurb for “Pooping like a Samurai”.  I resisted the urge to check that out too.  I am still wondering if he took off his katana.  (Go look that one up.)

This photo was taken the day I got my Ipod.  I do love it.  I should really update but I hate having to learn new things.  Yeah, right!.  Don't I look like John Lennon in this picture?

Friday, May 22, 2015

Years ago in Rockford the black community decided to have a Black Family Reunion.  Since then it has turned into a yearly festival with a different name, I forget what.  Well our friends all decided that we should have a White Family Reunion and we started a tradition of our own.  Mind you, this is not anything to do with racism, we just needed a good reason to have a party.  Everyone is invited.

The beach was the best place to have it since everyone we all knew was invited.  We even made posters and hung them around the area.  Bring a dish to pass, wear your bathing suit and byob.

One of the best things about our family reunions is when someone you just don’t expect to be there shows up.  Our friends, the Webbs, who moved to Arizona years ago have shown up at the reunions several times.  It is so fun to catch up on news and just have a great time.

One year the hubster made fish tacos for everyone.  Our friend, Greg the fisherman, provided crappie and blue gills from the lake for the fish.  Some friends didn’t want to try them at first, but when the first one came off the grill, everyone was in like flint.

Some people have commented on the fact that we all have Whites in our families.  How much of a coincidence is that?  We just laugh.

At each reunion I like to gather everyone together and take family photos.  I really love all my girlfriends in one picture.  Here is one where Jeff photo bombed the girlfriends.  It is entitled Jeff and his girlfriends.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Last year at the end of gardening season I took the remains of my garden (old tomato plants, weeds, seeded out lettuce and spinach, etc.) to the composting site.  I was so surprised to find in the compost pile a bunch of beautiful tomato plants that still had green tomatoes on them.  I snarfed those puppies faster than you could imagine.

I brought my treasure home and made my wonderful fried green tomatoes and they were so delicious.

I make my batter with some corn meal, a little flour, salt and pepper.  I dry them off first to get rid of any excess liquid.  I dredge them in plain flour first to keep the batter on and then dip them in the corn meal mixture.  Then I warm up some bacon grease and fry them golden.

Add a little cut up fruit and I have the most heavenly breakfast.

Thanks to whoever left those lovely tomatoes on the vine last season.  I hope to get more this coming fall.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I have read that Jews and Muslims have nine hundred names for God.  It seems that one small word is not enough.  I am guilty of calling my loved ones by more than one name.

First born daughter – Adrienne

Addi, Addibeth, Addi the Baddy, Adley, Ageretum, the Bear (I made up a song for this name and we still sing it every once in a while), Princess, Sally Sunshine (I called her this while pregnant) Poop Butt (which I wrote a ditty and sang it to her when I changed her diaper)

Second born daughter – Jessica

Nathan (she was supposed to be a boy), Ca, Jessa, Jessaleigh, Baby Applesauce (Addi called her this while I was pregnant), Punkin, Punkin Head, Chunk Jess, CJ, Clunkhead, anything but Jessie

My dog – Jessie

Jessie dot calm, Jestie McFerbish, Jesticulata, Boogernose, Puppy

The Hubster – Rick
Richie, the hubster, Ferb

My mother – Belle

Uncle Charley (I watched My Three Sons and was pissed that I didn’t have an Uncle Charley), Mother

Myself – Wilma

Wimla, Woehema, Wilmarea, Asshole, Ferb

So I don’t have nine hundred names but I think I did a pretty good job of making up more names for my beloveds.

This is a photo of my beloved Jessie dog.  This was at Christmas and we have a Faerber family tradition (the girls hate it) that I give everyone one of dad's old underwear elastics. Hey, I washed them!   I know it's stupid but it is a tradition.  We generally have rubber band fights with them.  Go make up your own tradition.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Food cravings are not new to me.  I love to eat and I eat quite well.  I cook, the hubster cooks, and when the girls were here, they cooked too.  When we were young and childless, the hubster and I would go out to eat almost every night.  If I ate something that I liked I tried to learn to cook it.

My repertoire includes chicken cacciatore (than you Aunt Lura), lasagna, Mu Shu Pork, Chicken Cordon Bleu, Chicken Kiev, and so many other things too numerous to mention.  The hubster also has his specialties.  His beef stroganoff is to die for.  Anything he grills is magic but his piece de resistance is his fish tacos.

I almost gagged the first time I heard of fish tacos.  Then I wound up in Arizona at Filiberto’s and my friend encouraged me to try one.  I do believe I had a second one.  They were not what I had expected.  I guess I thought ground fish meat with lettuce and cheese with salsa. 

Fish tacos are not that.  They are a lovely piece of fish deep fried crispy with delicious tartar sauce made of sour cream, mayonnaise, and seasoned with cilantro and jalapeno, served on a tortilla with raw cabbage.  Add a little tomato salsa and you have heaven on earth.

We watched someone on the food network make fish tacos and the hubster decided he could do this.  We concocted all the ingredients, got the old wok out and began making fish tacos.  The secret of the taco was that when you grill your tortilla sprinkle it generously with cumin.  The smell alone brings tears to the eye.

We have this spice cabinet from Hell in our house.  I grow my own herbs and have them everywhere and use them all the time.  I have so many spices that I have to house them in two cupboards, one pantry and one LARGE spice rack.

It is when I open the spice cabinet from Hell that I need a fish taco.  The smell of cumin is overwhelming.  My mouth is watering just thinking of it.

Fish tacos are a lot of preparation work.  And the person making them gives them away so he can make another one.  That is so you get them hot and fresh.  The hubster is the last one to sit down and enjoy.  We don’t make them often and I haven’t found any place in the area that makes fish tacos like the hubster makes them.

I may just have to announce to him that I MUST have a fish taco.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

I have got a terrible case of beach fever.  I want to be on the beach so badly that I hurt.  I have had a back and neck ache for days and it is all because I want to be on the beach.  I may just have to drive across the lake today and put my feet in the sand.

The first time I ever experienced the beach was when my brother was in the Air Force in North Carolina and my family drove down to visit him.  We had never been to the ocean and decided it was a good time to do such.  I will never forget when we rounded the top of a hill at Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  The ocean was before us and it was eternal.  You could see it entirely in your vision.  I fell in love.

We played on the beach like little children.  Even my father was nuts over the ocean and the beach.  My mother didn’t swim and so she sat in the cabana watching us and taking some pictures.  (Yes, she cut off our heads!)

I think my next beach experience came when the hubster got his hand hurt in a punch press accident a couple of years after we were married.  We decided he needed to recover by the beach.  He and I and five other friends headed off to Daytona Beach, Florida.  We had one heck of a time.  The hubster couldn’t resist the water and got his bandage all wet.  We ended up at a hospital getting it rewrapped.

After the girls were born and old enough to enjoy it we used to take Spring Break and drive to Florida for our vacations.  We usually did the Gulf Coast thing.  I was so happy to share my ocean and beach with my daughters.

For our twentieth wedding anniversary the hubster took me to Jamaica, which is one place I had always wanted to visit.  The beach there took my soul.  I’d like my ashes scattered on a beach in Jamaica.  But Sugar Creek Preserve will have to do.

I’ve been to beaches many places in Jamaica and I can’t say one would be my favorite.  They all are my favorites.  I have been on a beach in the Atlantic side of Mexico, on the Pacific side of Mexico and on Cozumel.  The beach on Lake Michigan in Chicago is pretty impressive. I have also been on the beach at Pearl Lake, Illinois (where we scuba dove) and on two beaches at Lake Summerset where I live.

I’d take any one of the above right now.  And so I have written it down and gotten it out of my system.  I’m off to the beach.

These toes were taken at Washington Island, Wi.  

I just realized that I have done two foot blogs in two days.  Whats with the feet theme, Wilma?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

My foot

I have this foot that will probably be the death of me.  In my teens I was a cheerleader.  Okay, so I have a big mouth and don’t mind wiggling my butt in front of people!  Our uniforms consisted of the unholiest smelling wool sweaters, wool slacks (thank God they were lined) and saddle shoes and wool socks.  The saddle shoes wore the back of my heels to blisters which eventually turned into callouses.  The callouses turned into hot, red inflamed hard skin.  The one on MY FOOT, which is the left one hurt so badly that I sometimes cried?

It was during these formative years that I began to develop bunions.  Bunion ache, if you don’t know it, is a burning sensation.  I have put my feet in iced water many times to try to curb that pain.  After many years of suffering I discovered that my bunions didn’t hurt any more.  My feet just looked like something from Michael Jackson’s Thriller video.

If bothered by my ugly ass feet, I would always think to myself, “at least they work.”

My husband and I were wrestling in our early years of marriage and I dislocated my big toe on my left foot.  That was quite uncomfortable for some time.

Through the years I banged my foot, broke little toes, and stepped on glass and every damage you can imagine and then some.  I wore heels for a few years but avowed to give them up when I chose to stay home and be a stay at home mother to my two girls.

The year that I took my job as school secretary I was having some strange problem with my left foot.  I couldn’t walk or stand for even ten minutes at a time.  My stupid foot would go numb and I’d have to sit down.  If you know me, you know I am hyperactive.  I can’t sit down!

I had a neuroma.  Not a Morton’s neuroma but between my big toe and the one next to it.  (Does that toe have a name?)  I had to have foot surgery and I was warned that these things do come back.  Oh goody!

The year before I retired from being a school secretary I decided to have my bunion removed from my left foot.  I would recover at my Christmas vacation.  Well as fate would have it the bunion surgery recovery was much worse than I had imagined.  I had had the big toe bunion removed and pinned, the neuroma tied off again, and spurs scrapped from between my toes.  My little toe was also bunion free and pinned.

 I was off during January also and worked part time during February.  When I went back to work full time in March I had to take my lunch break lying on a floor mat with my legs up a wall.  This was to help with the swelling.

I went into compression socks and it hurt so bad just getting the boa constrictor socks on but it did relieve the swelling.  I was in those things until summer when I swore I would not wear black knee socks every day in my swim suit.

Three years later and I now think the stupid neuroma is back with a vengeance.  If I sleep on my left side my left foot goes to sleep as well.  If I sleep on my right side, my shoulder hurts.  If I sleep on my back I snore to high heaven.  Sleeping on my stomach is out because my large American breasts are uncomfortable.  So I toss around all night long, shoulder hurting, foot asleep and snoring.

Oh, well, at least they get me around.

Photo is from my trip to Arizona where younger daughter and I had pedicures and the lady did my toes in a Bengal motif.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Well I had to seal the grout in the new kitchen floor this past Tuesday and I am paying for it today.  My back seems on the verge of going out of place.  When this happens I am in total discomfort.  I shortened my yoga session this morning concentrating on my back exercises.  I took two of my arthritis meds and am feeling somewhat better if I sit still and don’t make any quick movements.

I feel such empathy for people with chronic back pain.  It is like having a toothache all the time.  I have worked through mine with the help of chiropractic care, professional and my own learnings.  Jess used to walk on my back when she lived at home.  I have even had a student at the school where I worked walk on my back once.

I am not much for sitting around and this back thing is awful on my hyperactive self.  I think I will take a short nap and see if it is any better.  And maybe a long bath later.

I had a short nap with my legs and back in the correct position and I do feel somewhat better.  I have just learned that one of my favorite aunts has died.  I am so sad because I know I cannot make the drive to Ohio for her funeral.  This back would not allow it.

I have such fond memories of my cousins and our many adventures.  My daddy’s family was one of the most fun loving people.  Always cracking jokes and playing games.  And such food you would never believe.  I think it was because they came from a simple background and appreciated all of their blessings.

Rest in peace Aunt Limabean.  I wish I had a photo of her to include.

Photo is my cousins, Tim, Gerald, Russ, Sue and Emerson in back row.  In front are Barb, Pam and myself.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

I had a lovely adventure with two of my very favorite people, Mike Kelly and his daughter, Noeha.  We met up at Mike’s house in Freeport and set off for Clinton, Iowa.  Mike grew up in Clinton and he and Noeha had many memories to share with me.

We drove through Shannon and I shared my story of when I was a little girl I always said when I grew up and had a daughter, I would name her Shannon.  I didn’t name either one of them Shannon.  We went through several other small Illinois towns and as we drove further west the terrain became hillier and more beautiful.

I think boulders were a theme of this trip.  I love big rocks and spied many along the way.  When I was a baby we lived at this house that had a HUGE boulder next to it.  I have a photo of myself standing on the boulder.  One of my favorite poems is:  “This is my rock and here I run, to steal the secret of the sun. This is my rock and here come I, Before the night has swept the sky.  This is my rock this is the place, I meet the evening face to face.”  David McCord

I confessed to my companions of my fear of heights.  I didn’t really want to go overlook the Mississippi River from the peaks above.  I had tried that once before and it scared the crap out of me.

We got to Mt. Carroll and Mike took us to Raven’s Grin Inn.  It is a really scary building with cars and junk tucked in and around and into the building.  I guess you can take a tour of it.  It wasn’t open when we were there.  I imagine Halloween to be a bit of a frightening party there.  I took a bunch of photos and Mike had me take one of him and Noeha and her bulging pregnant tummy.

We headed on down the road and came to one of our destinations – The Heirloom Market and Café in Thomson on IL Route 84.  It is a market, seed and plant nursery and café all in one.  Their food is all organic and grown outside in their green houses.  The serving plates and bowls are made of some kind of palm leaves.  The utensils are made from potato starch -- all biodegradable and organic.  I loved it!

I had a wonderful garden salad with one cucumber (boo hoo) two tomato chunks, some julienne carrots and raspberry vinaigrette.  It was delicious and yes, I licked the bowl the dressing came in.  I also had a cup of 9 bean soup.  They didn’t have any vinegar on hand so I ate it as it came.  It was pretty good but a big splash of cider vinegar would have made it extreme.

Our next stop was at a big park on the Mississippi River where Mike had learned to play guitar and had partied big time as a teenager.  It was closed as the road were full of pot holes and so we just chased once around the parking lot.   Mike said a lot of German POWs were kept close by here and they used them to build various structures around the park.  There were some very nice boulders.

There was a cool cemetery where Mike said his grandparents were buried.  We didn’t get to explore that but if Garnet and I go sometime, maybe we will.  I just love a good cemetery.
We did the big bridge thing and went to the lock at Dam 13.  Mike scared me to death pretending he couldn’t’ stop at the edge and I emitted a mind boggling scream.  We thought the guy next to us called 911.  The sight was mighty impressive.  The pelicans were soaring overhead and landing in the water near the dam.  Pretty good fishing I imagine.  They tried to coax me up onto the lookout ramp and I had to remind them that I am deathly afraid of heights.  I told them they might as well feed me a snake as to get me to climb heights.  I’m afraid of snakes too!

We cruised the town of Clinton, Iowa, home of the famous rock star, Mike Kelly of the band Prime Time Live.  If you every get a chance to see them, do so.  They are so good and so much fun to dance to.

Mike drove by the house where he grew up and just down the street was the ice cream parlor that he would go to for his treats.  I suggested we stop and have some ice cream.  He turned around in a driveway that had a no trespassing sign and was at a mansion.  Noeha pointed out that at one time Clinton, Iowa had more millionaires per capita than anywhere in the USA.  There were some huge and lovely mansions and of course, big boulders abounded.

We got soft serve and noticed the walls were plastered with photos of people eating ice cream.  I asked our server if she would take our picture and she did.  She also took one with her camera to print and put up for the next time we visited.  I had raspberry soft serve dipped in chocolate.  It was quite good.  I usually prefer hand dipped ice cream.

We drove to a downtown area that was quite neglected.  There was an old building with a walkway in front and on the walkway were various etched blocks with the names of famous people and companies that had contributed to Clinton’s history.  One name in particular and the reason we were here was Clyde Kelly who had lived to 106.  He was Mike’s grandfather and I wanted a picture of the block with Mike’s shadow next to it.

I also admired a huge boulder that was nearby and asked Noeha to take my picture trying to steal it.  We got a good laugh.

As we were heading back to the river we came across an area with a billion boulders covering the area.  Mike stopped and told me to get out and take one.  I gave him my mother’s reply.  “Mike, if everyone took a boulder, soon there wouldn’t be any left.”  Mike got out and stole a boulder for me.  It will go into my fairy garden.

We made it back to Mike’s place without any haphazards.  I had to look at Mike’s garden as he didn’t know what a plant was that was growing.  It was a thyme and a really nice specimen.  We gave hugs all around and promised to see each other soon.

On my way home I had to stop and take a photo of one of my favorite trees.  I think it looks like a smiling troll or a hairy Gumby.  What do you think?

Monday, May 11, 2015

Someone asked me recently what inspires me.  Looking back at my writing I believe I am inspired by humor.  I am such a klutz at times and end up in the silliest situations.  I normally write about my experiences.  I don’t mind laughing at myself and sharing the stupidity of my life.  If you can’t laugh at yourself I believe you would go insane.

I have always made up stories and written them.  I can look at a photo and my mind begins to write the story of the photo.  I also like to write experiences that I have had.  I find humor in so many situations.

I think I am funny and like to share my humor.  I believe most people who read my stories share my sense of humor.  If not, they probably think I am quite insane.  I am quite insane at times--hence, my lunacy episodes.  In my life I have had car lunacy, duct tape lunacy, hot air balloon lunacy, Christmas play lunacy, photo lunacy and so many others I cannot remember all of them.

I once grew a cabbage bigger than my head.  Actually, I usually grow cabbages that are bigger than my head.  Ah, cabbage rolls.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Today it is official.  Duct tape is no longer my friend.  This morning I made up my mind to plant beans.  My pole beans get a bamboo teepee constructed for the beans to climb.  Last year I don’t recall having such difficulty in making this teepee.  This morning I felt as though my fingers had grown into sausages and I couldn’t seem to do anything right.  I got the poles into the ground and tied them together.  Now I wanted to put a piece of duct tape around the tie so it would be more secure.  The wind was blowing pretty hard and the stupid duct tape (as opposed to the intelligent duct tape) was blowing all around and then would fold onto itself.  It is such a chore getting duct tape away from itself.

I next decided to attach the end of it and cut it taught.  Well as soon as I made my cut the wind blew the other end onto the sticky part of the tape.  And so I went back to the idea of holding it with one hand and cutting with the other.  My scissors decided to revolt against me and they would not make a decent cut.  Maybe a quarter of an inch and then they would be stuck to the tape.

Taking a large breath of oxygen, I turned from the wind (is that alee?) and started on the cut again.  Again the scissors stuck to the tape.  I finally, after about a million cuts got a piece of duct tape and made my attachment.

I went back to the duct tape to cover all my little twinings of twine to secure them.  I looked at the duct tape about a million times and for the life of me I couldn’t find the end of the tape.  I began to think that all the neighbors were watching me and wondering what in the heck I was doing staring at the duct tape.

I finally went inside.  I gave the duct tape to the hubster and told him my dilemma.  He, of course, had his reading glasses on and immediately had the duct tape free.  I got a different pair of scissors and cut the duct tape and stuck it to my chest in strips.  Well, of course, at that point I knew it was my next blog subject and I took a photo of myself with duct tape lunacy.

I didn't even get all the pieces of duct tape that was on my chest in the photo.  Do you see the earring piece?  And is this the worst photo ever taken?  The hubster thinks I am insane and, well I am.  It doesn’t take much to entertain simple folk.  (Think clogging!)

My pole bean teepee is complete and my beans are in the ground and another blog has been completed.  But, duct tape is no longer my friend.