Friday, May 31, 2013


Okay.  I think that I have it now.  I totally forgot how to do pages that will take posts in blogger.  Quick refresher is done and now I have it.  I think.

Grocery Boy, Swim Girl and I visited the Korean War
Memorial in August of 2009.
For those who don't know, this is a page that will be all about my dad and his Army experiences.  He is a Korean War Veteran.

I interviewed him at length this past fall.  We went through his pictures (boy, did he have a lot!) and I managed to organize everything and put it into a book.  I published it through Shutterfly and then I gave a copy to him and my siblings.

I have to tell you that once I put that puppy to bed, it was time for me to not look at it for a while.  It has been many years since I have done something that intense.  I guess that explains why it has taken me so long to start this.

Anyway, my plan is to basically reproduce the book in stages, along with his pictures, on this blog page.  Some we could not identify (I mean, I can't remember what I did yesterday and here I was expecting him to remember names and places from over 60 years ago).  Many photos we could identify.  And some we think we got after lots of completely fascinating research.  I will admit that I got a little lost sometimes.  And sometimes I got sucked into the vortex of the ever expanding research.

It was really cool talking to Dad about his experiences.  He remembered so much.  I know that he didn't share everything with me, but that's his choice.

My fondest dream from all of this is that one of you all will show this to a Korean War Vet and maybe, just maybe, that Vet will remember the 151st Combat Battalion (Company C) and a tall skinny guy from Missouri, my dad, Master Sergeant Carl E. Day.

So, strap on your gear and get ready for what I promise will be an interesting, if not extremely literary, ride to the Land of the Morning Calm.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Summer Forts, 2013

I know, I know.  I was annoying last summer with all of the things that I wanted to accomplish.  Too bad.  I have the summer off from working and I am going to maximize it to the best of my ability.

In case you don't know, a summer fort is one of those things you want to get done while you are on break for the summer.  Sort of like a Summer Bucket List without the death part.  You know, just like a kid who makes elaborate plans to build a fort in the backyard.  And just like that kid, I will go gangbusters right out of the gate.  I may slow down towards the end of the month.  Last summer, I did pretty well.  Then I started traveling.  Then there was a bathroom remodel.  Then I did some more traveling.  Somehow, those forts got side tracked.

So this year, I thought that I would make a list and take pictures.  That way, you all can keep me honest.  Some of my forts will be simple and easy to accomplish.  Some of my forts will be damn near impossible.  I may fail utterly, but I will sure have a great time trying!

Here is my list so far.  Feel free to contribute.  I may or may not build your fort, but it never hurts to ask.

Oh, and just so you know, summer forts are not instead of any normal activities.  I will still clean, cook, sit outside, travel and probably move someone.  Don't know who I will help move yet, but I am sure someone will need me.

1.  Finish all of the planting and landscaping around the yard.  While this one looks easy, I am beginning to think that I will never get it done, so I am putting it on my list.  It is pouring rain as I write this.  I did get 3 pots planted before I had to run for the hills.

The (gulp) spare room.
2.  Clean out the spare bedroom.  Ugh.  This is terrible and I don't really want to do it, but I am determined so I put it right on top.  Notice how I didn't say, "Clean out the Bat Cave."

3.  Clean all of the windows.  Yay!  Can't you see me doing cartwheels.  I never said that fort building was all fun and games.

4.  Clean up and declutter the basement.  Double yay!

5.  Clean up my things in the garage.  Notice how I qualify this.

6.  Turn the bedroom in #2 into a walk-in closet for Grocery Boy  and me.  This could be fun, but will require his help and cooperation.  Hmmm.

7.  Do some stuff with my friends from a previous job.  Especially since one of them is having twins this fall.

8.  Start researching and getting estimates for the
other bathroom.  Yippee.  Another remodel.

9.  Finish all of my online art classes.  Sounds so simple, but you honestly have no idea how many I have.  I am not sharing that info.  You would all attack me viciously.

10.  Start the blog/website that I need to start for the project that I did this past fall.  Are you intrigued yet?  Stay tuned.

11.  Read a lot.  Already have this one covered.  I had to hold back on some books until summer started.

12.  Get into really good shape.  I workout nearly every day and my Fitbit is my best friend.  Now I need to get strong.  Like the bionic woman.  Hear me roar.

13.  Take more camera lessons online.  Especially the free ones!

14.  Take an in-person art class.  Gulp.

Well, that's all that I can think of right now.  I have a couple of irons in the fire that could put a crimp in my style, but that is for another post.

Oh, and so you don't think that I am a complete lame ass, I already visited the parentals and some of the other relatives along with a couple of my high school friends.  My last day of school was last Thursday (officially).  I haven't been as lazy as you thought!

This is my niece.  She just graduated from high school over the weekend.  She sang an amazing solo during the ceremony.  So proud of her.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day

Well, it is Mother's Day.  So, Happy Mother's Day to all of you moms out there in blogland.

In honor of this day, I decided to go retro and dig up some pics of my own children to post.  Now, let me warn you, there are a lot of them.  But, I'm a mom and that makes me the official family photographer.

These pictures were taken during our first official family vacation.  We went to the Black Hills of South Dakota.  What a fabulous place to start family vacations!  We just had so much stinkin' fun.  And, it wasn't all that far from home.  Just across Iowa and then South Dakota.

What I remember:  we took the blue 'woody' van that we had, we saw tons of motorcycles coming back from Sturgis while we were headed out there, Computer Boy was completely obsessed with this Mystery Spot place that he wanted to see, there was no stove or oven in our kitchenette room and Wall Drug was touristy, but a hoot.

I remember more things, so if you want to take a stroll down my Memory Lane, have a look.

Have a great Mother's Day and go through some of your old pictures.  You might be surprised at what you remember.

Our first stop on our trip was Mitchell, SD.  Of course, when you are there, you have to go to the Corn Palace!

Still in Mitchell.  We visited this gentleman.


More pictures here:

Sunday, May 5, 2013

My Frustration

Surprise!  I did some more art this weekend.  Actually, one of the pieces I did during the week and the other I just finished.  You know, I am really kind of digging pushing myself to do some of this drawing and sketching stuff.  In fact, the second piece actually turned out just how I pictured it in my head.  I know.  Strange head.

Just a quick recap on this class which is called The Art of Wild Abandonment .  It is offered through Christy Tomlinson and her site Scarlet Lime (I have a link on my sidebar).  The instructor is Junelle Jacobsen and she is a complete hoot.  Come on.  Put your big girl (or big boy) panties (or briefs) on and push yourself!

Anyway, this class is all about the sketching and stuff and also mainly concerns art journaling which is kind of the new next big thing.  Except, it really isn't all that new to those of us who have been doing it for a bit.

Junelle gives us some sketching prompts and one of those cool ideas is a clothesline with pretty spring clothes on it.  Weeeellll, since Spring has really decided to take a back seat to winter around here, I sort of did my own take on that clothesline.  Mine kind of morphs from winter stuff into spring stuff, but you sort of always know that winter is still hanging around at the edges.  I am warped and this crappy weather is making me worse.  This particular piece is done with acrylics and paper.  Mostly.

The second piece further illustrates my complete frustration with not being able to get outside and do my planting, sit in the sun, etc.  Now don't blame me.  Junelle told us to sketch our feelings.  She made me do it.

That piece is all watercolor on gesso.  Oh, and for those of you who get crabby when you screw up a page, this was actually my 'first attempt at owls' page.  I love gesso.  It's better than duct tape.
 More pictures here

Friday, May 3, 2013

Water, Water Everywhere

Yes it is raining here in Iowa.  It could be worse.  I mean, just 3 hours west of us in Des Moines, it is snowing.  I will take the rain.  With joy.

My drawing and sketching class is progressing.  I have moved on from radishes and owls to cupcakes (yum) and balloons.  I know.  I already did balloons, but honestly, I can't help myself.  I am still trying to figure out why they attract me so much when as a kid I was scared of them.  Maybe it's like the 'bad boy' syndrome thing.  I must need a little danger in my life.  Anybody got a motorcycle?

While I have never been able to draw, this isn't too hard.  I mean, come on, it's cupcakes.  They have a rectangular bottom and swirly top.  And we already know that balloons are easy.  Circles, remember?

So here are a few pics.  We are still working with watercolor, which I personally find fascinating.  It is a lot easier to shade with them.  They also dry very quickly.  This is good, because I have been known to be very impatient.  Every once in a while.