Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Here we go a stippling among the leaves so colorful

Last Sunday afternoon my friend Karen and I headed down to Nashville to Papertrix for a card making class with owner Cindy Hawrys. We made three fall cards. My friend from Muncie, Carol, makes beautiful cards and has inspired me to get in touch with my creative side. I have been buying supplies, (a LOT of supplies) but had not made one card yet! My hope was that the card making class would help me get over a few of my issues. Like a swimmer, poised at the end of the diving board, I've been afraid to jump in and get started. One issue is that I'm a perfectionist. I like to always add "but not as bad as I used to be." My mother tells me that from the time I was a first-grader, I had difficulty getting my papers finished because I wanted them to be perfect and therefore, I am slow. Still a problem, at times. Diane, who works at Papertrix told me I need to "get over that."
Another issue was how to glue my materials together- which sounds silly I suppose, but in this class I had the opportunity to learn what I liked and what I didn't like. I found I didn't like the tape dispenser thingies that you press down and it is supposed to roll out. For me, it didn't want to roll. I pressed so hard that I had marks on my card stock. We also used some glue that came out of a pen and was blue, so that was easy to see. We used that to flock with and to glue our googly eyes on our turkeys. After class I went home and made two cards and I found for now I like two sided tape. The third issue that I'm still dealing with is how to print out the text I want to put in my card- to use a stamp or hand write or ???
Here is Cindy explaining about paper cutters to us. I bought a Fiskars cutter.
Here I am with my "Gobble till you Wobble" card. We glued the layers of card stock on, colored our turkeys with colored pencils then flocked two different colors, cut the turkey out and raised him up with foam pieces. I was singing "Turkey in the Straw" while we worked.
Here is Karen. Isn't she cute? She looked like her usual fashion model self. I looked like I was going to a craft session at day camp.

Here Karen glues down her turkey.
Here is Diane, who works part time at Papertrix. Sunday was the first time I met her. Karen and I just loved Diane and the four of us had a great time together. Diane used to be a stamp company rep - something like twenty years ago and she has lots of experience and know how and gave a lot of helpful tips. She will be teaching a class on collages that I don't want to miss. I love to make collages!
You can see in the background of all of the pics how cool the shop is. It has been around for three years, but I just discovered it. Wayne and Cindy are extremely knowledgeable and both have a contagious enthusiasm for what they share with their many customer/friends. The shop is something like a local barber shop where people come to visit and share techniques and ideas. As Diane put it "I would always come here and hang out." Then she started to work for them.
We learned to stipple which is to make small short touches of paint with a short brush - but I forgot that card at the shop, so I don't have a pic of it. We also did masking on the same card - masked it first, then stippled. I'm all about learning new words and meanings and there were a lot of new words popping up.
We stamped, flocked, used copic markers and colored pencils and had a grand old time. The classes are very reasonably priced and Cindy was a great teacher.
Here is my "Gobble till you wobble" card-

Here is my Thomas Kincaid card which we stamped on a transparency and then coated the backside with adhesive and then colored the picture with colored chalk. What beautiful results!
Papertrix is located at 160 Old School Way, Nashville, IN

Monday, September 29, 2008

Goin' to the picture show in our back yard on a Friday night.

Friday night the temperature was just about perfect, so we changed, grabbed the puprs and a bottle of wine and headed to the bluffs. Cedar Bluffs is three miles down the road from our house. Cedar Bluffs is the first place that Doug and I hiked together - on our second date.

It seemed only fitting that this would be where we take Chelsea for her first hike. She and I had already walked at 6 a.m., but overall she did fine. Doug carried her a bit, but she enjoyed scampering on the rocks, digging in the dirt and darting off of the side of the trail to hide in the grass.
The trail runs along side Clear Creek.

The trail is rocky along the edge of the creek then you take a left turn and begin ascending the bluffs. In places it is steep and dangerous. The reward for your effort is after a short distance, the view is spectacular. When we got to the top where we had to climb - I went first and then Doug handed Chelsea up to me.
We opened the wine and settled back to enjoy the show.

Only after the show was over and we were sitting in total darkness did I turn to Doug to ask him if he had brought a flashlight along. (I'm quick like that.) He had his head lamp with him so he carried Chelsea and he would take a handful of steps then stop and turn back so that I might follow behind. We have hiked this many times and we knew the way back. You climb to get on top of the bluffs but when you leave the trail meanders through the woods and then slopes down towards the road. We weren't always certain that we were on the trail or a deer trail or blazing our own, but we were able to make our way back out to the van.
Next time you come down, if you like, we'll take you out to climb the bluffs and take you to a spectacular picture show.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Six Unremarkable Things De Moi de la jour.

Recently, Kate tagged me with a meme to write six unremarkable things about me. And, because my life has been so exciting and remarkable as of late, I haven't had the time to get to it. I'm an English major, one of those terribly egotistical sorts that basically thinks that everything about me is remarkable (in my mind) - so, this is a difficult assignment!

6. I do not like stupid movies. Airplane, Dumb and Dumber (the catsup, mustard scene made me gag), almost anything with Jim Carrey in it, no thanks. At one point in my life (many years ago) I was Cougar to a much younger man and although we had a lot of fun, I could not stand his affinity for Beavis and Butthead. Or the Beavis and Butthead laugh. Call me a snob.

5. I do not like to go barefoot. Because I have spent most of my life surrounded by hilljacks, most people have a lot of trouble with this. For one, I don't like to get my feet dirty. I'm allergic to bees and don't want to step on one. My wittle puddies are tender and "ouch!" that hurts, thank you very much. I know. Snob, again.

4. I like things to be tidy. Some people in my life think to the point of being obsessive. Sue me. Have your attorney call mine. Mine is a fancy ass attorney (my daughter) in Washington D.C. so we'll sue your ass every which way but loose. And, don't leave your shit in my car. It drives me insane. No, I don't have a trash bag in my car- take your crap with you when you get out.

3. I love catalogs and magazines. Leave me alone if you see me reading one. Don't talk to me. I am in my own little heaven for a little while. Quiet please. I don't need your mouth running in my Heaven.

2. I can read the newspaper for myself, thank you very much. I don't need you to read it out loud for me. I am also able to interpret the meaning of the story that I read. I has a college degree! This also applies to the online crap that you are reading from your cube that you think the rest of us want to hear. If you so desire, send me a link. Then, when I don't want to read it I can at least hit delete.

1. I keep my money in order in my wallet. This is a practice that Doug finds amusing. Whateve, I say. Others, again, would say "obsessive." To which I say "blah-blah." How the hell do you know how much money you have if it isn't all in order? Maybe I just don't have as much money as you do. I want my money all facing forward, right side up - ones in front followed by fives, tens, twenties. You get the idea.

So, now I'm supposed to tag six others to share in the meme. I tag Liam, Mindy, Patty, Nicole, Nina, and that is it - because I can't think of anyone else to tag right now.

Random, I know. But now you know me just a little bit better. At least the unremarkable parts!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

How I went to see one cowboy, but came home with another.

Last night we saw Vince Gill at the IU Auditorium perform in concert with this tour.

This is me, all gussied up with my red pony - ready to ride. Watch out, Amy! I think Vince and I would make a good couple, don't you?

Although I've been a fan for years, I had never seen him in concert before. I have two or three of his CDs and have always loved his music. There is something about his voice that makes my heart climb right up out of my throat. When he sang "Look at Us," I had tears in my eyes. "If you want to see how true love should be, then just look at us."

When he was ready to get down, he called it "stretching out a bit." It made me remember what I love about country music - the fun, kick-ass, kick up your heels and get down music. It made me want to head down to Nashville, TN. Doug and I went down and joined Bec a couple of years ago for a birthday trip and we closed down the bars. Down there, the places are so packed that they literally count how many people are in the building and if two leave, then two may go in - because they are keeping down the numbers because of fire hazard. And the band that is playing doesn't take a break because they don't want anyone to leave.

Gill told the audience that he is drawn to sad songs and that is evident in much that he sings. He sat and told a lot of stories, talked about his wife, Amy Grant, his Dad who was first lawyer than Judge while Gill was growing up. He told us of the juxtaposition of the life of he and his brother and brought the house down when he sang "Go Rest High on That Mountain," which he wrote when his brother passed away.

Then he broke my heart with a song that he said he'd recently written with Amy and a couple of other guys that he called simply "Heaven." I had tears streaming down my face and dripping off my chin. I kept wiping them away, but they just kept coming. One of the lines was something like "I'll be waiting on you," and I was thinking of Grandma.

Another song that was an audience favorite was "It's Hared to Kiss the Lips at Night that Chew Your Ass Out All Day Long." He said his Dad inspired him to write the song and that it occurred to him one day that it was about his Mom!

He told us that she hates that song.
Vince, I was the one singin' along with you and dancin' in my seat in the balcony. The audience was D-E-A-D. I told Dug that I hope he realized he was with the most alive woman in attendance!

So I went to see a famous cowboy, Vince Gill, and came home with a not so famous cowboy, Duggles.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The kids on the farm

The first kid that lived on the farm was Doug's cat, Tree. Originally from Arizona, Doug's sister found Tree in a tree, thus the name. We believe he is part Siamese. His voice is this adorable little hoarse, snipped "mew." He likes to go out the back of the house, through the sliding glass door, over the roof and then jump onto one of our vehicles before wanting to come back into the house. He also likes to kill things and leave them on the front step for us- a gift, in cat land. Laura calls Tree "cobby," because he is big and solid and the "Hitler cow cat" because of his markings. He goes in and out and he and Milo are buddies. We think Tree is about eight years old.
This is my cat, the second kid to live on the farm. His name is Milo. I named him Milo because he looks like the cat from Milo and Otis and he is very vocal - a "talking" cat of sorts. When I lived in New Castle, I lived on a very busy street and could never imagine Milo going outdoors, so I had his front claws removed. I never dreamed I'd live out in the country and so for that reason "orange cat does not go out." (These signs are posted at the doors as a reminder for people visiting our house.) Because Tree comes and goes, Milo wants to go out, too and occasionally escapes, although it truly scares him to be outside for very long. Although it took Tree and Milo awhile to get used to one another, now they seem to take turns being the "domi," and have lots of fun chasing and grooming one another. He has been jealous of Mom and her new fur child and very aggressive with Chelsea. It does seem to be getting better. I believe Milo is about nine or ten years old.

This is my new fur child, Chelsea Kabob. The third kid to come to live at the farm. She is now twelve weeks old and weighing in at a little over seven pounds. She is a Welsh Pembroke Corgi.

These two were taken on the back steps.

These last few, she was on top of the picnic table. Her legs are so short, she won't even take the stairs in the house, yet.

Because we are empty-nesters, we love our kids on the farm!

Monday, September 22, 2008

The Power of the Charlie!

On Saturday, our friends Tom and Debbie came down to tailgate with us. This is our prime spot on the corner of 14th and Woodlawn. We could have made a lot of money if we charged just to tell people which corner we were on.
Debbie and I whipped the men in Corn Hole. At least that is how I remember it. I'm right aren't I? Debbie? Our set is unique because Doug made it and one end is IU and the other end BSU. Because in our household, there is an IU grad and a BSU grad.

Me, with my game face on. We had a lot of fun.
I had my Charlie Cardinal bobble head with me. I had taken it to put on our table while we were tailgating. Then, I took it to the game with me and kept raising it over my head and yelling "The Power of the Charlie!" And telling IU fans that I was going to put a hex on them. During the game, I'd raise him over my head and shake it.
I wonder what Ball state could have done if IU didn't take out our best player?
That part was very sad.
I had a lot of fun being obnoxious. I'm good at it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A Passionate Heart Welcomed Home to Bloomington

At times, he held his mouth in a straight line, taut as the strings on his bow, his determination and passion shown in the set of his jaw. Closing his eyes, he swayed to and fro, back and forth, right to left with the rhythm of the music. Forcing the music from the violin, the haunting refrain came forth. Wearing a dramatic expression, his eyes ever expressive, his body arched in response to the music which emanated from not only his instrument, but also in response to the orchestra as well. Initially, his hair tossed with each movement. Before his performance had concluded, it was flat against his head, wet with perspiration from his effort.

Joshua Bell returned to his alma mater on Wednesday evening, September 18. He joined the Indiana University Philharmonic Orchestra, directed by Leonard Slatkin, conductor, to perform The Red Violin concerto.

Sitting in the sixth row, I was close enough to hear Bell as he drew in each breath. Just as a vocalist does, he seemed to breathe with the phrasing of the piece. I sat transfixed with a permanent smile painted upon my face. So enraptured at times as I sat, forgetting to record my thoughts and feelings, nearly forgetting to breath. When one listens to Joshua Bell, it is easy to lose touch with reality. It is easy to be transported to another place. He leads his listeners as the pied piper, leading us into a land of nirvana.

Surely, a never more powerful piece, than the Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (The Red Violin Concerto) by John Corigliano. Bell's 1713 Gibson ex Huberman Stradivarius, which is nearly 300 years old and known for its resemblance to the human voice, screamed out the highest piercing notes. His instrument chirps, whines and moans in protest to the demands that Bell places upon the strings. Bell's beautiful hands gently hold his violin as one would hold a newborn or a similarly precious object. Yet, there is strength in the hands that cradle his child, the violin, and even more strength in the hand which drives the bow over the strings. The powerful duo of Bell and his instrument challenged the orchestra, taunting them to respond to him. Despite the fact that I have attended numerous orchestral performances, this stellar performance causes me to feel as if I am experiencing this type of music for the first time ever. I doubt that I am the only audience member to feel this way. In response to Bell's passion, I scribble my notes, my words covering every bit of white space on my program.

At the conclusion of his performance, he lowers his violin and Bell's face breaks into a smile. The audience calls him back to the stage three times to take a bow. Finally, he returns and speaks to us, telling the audience that one of the orchestra members who had seen the movie by the same name had expressed regret that one of her favorite pieces form the movie was not included in Bell's performance. He then informed us that he would play that piece for us. Bell lifted his violin once more and played "the Pope's Concert."

Bell was born in Bloomington, IN and in 1989 received an Artist Diploma in Violin Performance from Indiana University. He was also honored with a Distinguished Alumni Service Award just two years after his graduation. Named an "Indiana Living Legend," he also received the Indiana Governor's Arts Award. Currently serving on the Artist Committee of the Kennedy Center Honors, he was inducted in the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2005. He serves Indiana University Jacobs School of Music as senior lecturer. The Red Violin film featured Bell on the Oscar -winning soundtrack for Best Original Score.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Wonderful Thing # 367 about living in Bloomington

Tonight, we are going to see Joshua Bell perform in the Red Violin concert.
Free tickets, row 6! I sat for 2.5 hours for them, actually for the administration and dug & I get to go. Thanks, Tom!
Doug said this a.m., "I had a dream last night that we get to go see Joshua Bell perform tonight."
I know it will be fabulous. Stay tuned. More on this tomorrow.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Gross Post

I went to the dermatologist today to get some moles removed from my neck.
I thought they would burn them off. It felt as if they were being burned off. It burned and hurt like hell. Afterward, I asked the gal that was with me when the dermatologist walked out - "did she burn those off?" And she said "No, she clipped them off with those" motioning to the pair of curved fingernail scissors laying on the counter.
Plus, I had a full body check and silly me, I figured that I would be totally naked for that. I was instructed to have the paper gown open in the back and "you can leave your underwear on."
Remember how your mother always said to wear nice underwear in case of an accident? I must not have listened very well. I did not have on nice underwear and I thought "Can't I just go naked?" Because, I would have rather have been seen in all of my glory than for the Dr. to see my not so nice underpants!"
Then, I had to return to work with band aids on my neck. I guess that is better than getting blood on my clothes.
I warned you. That is why the title of this post is gross.
I'm off to buy some nice underwear.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

On 9/11 We Remember

This morning, on my way to work I passed the National Guard Armory and just as I was driving by I saw a soldier come out to the flag pole to lower it to half mast in remembrance of 9/11. He saluted and then taking the lines in his hands began to slowly lower the flag. I had a huge lump in my throat, remembering.

I was working at Ball State and the news reports started pouring in. T.V.s were on, everywhere. No one was working, people were crying in disbelief, calling loved ones. That day after work, they had a small memorial service on the quad. I remember how I found Joe G. and we cried together. I was working on my undergrad and had class that night. Before going to class, I called both of my children - just to hear their voices - just to make certain that they were o.k. Laura was at I.U. then.
A graduate student was teaching our Ed Psych class and a test was scheduled that night and she tested us. I couldn't believe she tested us but afterward, we were free to go. The tears started to fall as I walked to my car. When I got home, I was shocked to find that I didn't have any messages. No one had called to see if I was o.k. and I felt frightened, alone and vulnerable. I didn't want to see any more of the horrific images on T.V. , so I went to bed.

A couple of years later, in a Linguistics class, we were studying speech patterns and how you can often tell a person's intelligence or educational level by the way that they speak. What we did was to ask people to tell their story of 9/11/01. Then, we reported our findings. Everyone remembers where they were, who they were with, how they felt. Everyone has a story to tell.

I knew a family from New Castle that had a daughter there when it happened. She was one of those who was running late to get to her job that morning. She told me her account of what happened and how all she wanted to do was to go home. To be with her parents in her home town, to eat home cooked foods, to be with friends and family. I remember her mother told me that she couldn't reach her daughter by phone for something like 48 hours and she said "all I could do was believe that she was o.k."

That November, I went to the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Indianapolis, where they light the giant Christmas tree on the circle. Together, a crowd of thousands stood together, packed so tight we could barely move and we lifted our voices together and sang the chorus to "I'm proud to be an American." The tears flowed freely down our faces.

Proud to be an American - Music and Lyrics by Lee Greenwood.
If tomorrow all the things were gone I’d worked for all my life,
And I had to start again with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars to be living here today,
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom and they can’t take that away.
And I’m proud to be an American where as least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.‘
Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A.
From the lakes of Minnesota, to the hills of Tennessee,
across the plains of Texas, from sea to shining sea,
From Detroit down to Houston and New York to LA,
Well, there’s pride in every American heart,and it’s time to stand and say:
I’m proud to be an American where at least I know I’m free.
And I won’t forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
And I’d gladly stand up next to you and defend her still today.
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land God bless the U.S.A

Yes, they changed this country on that day. Created more solidarity, more national pride, more strength, more determination.

We remember.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Summer's Last Sigh?

Here is what remains of the Zinnia garden. I love Zinnias with their prolific colors and shapes and sizes. Sometimes you'll find a stem with two blooms in differing colors and shapes! The more you cut them, the more you get. I walk out into the garden and say "thank you."
I put in many, many hours this summer working with my flowers, but these - are Doug's. He planted them and I cut them and arrange them.

Even a bug is cute sitting atop a Zinnia!

An antique Ball jar with wire fastener makes a perfect vase for a collection of wildflowers,
don't you think?

I throw anything and everything into my arrangements. Whatever I find in the yard or along the wood's edge.

Beautiful colors of the end of the season. Pears from the tree in the yard. It was fifty-one degrees this morning. How long until the first frost? I suppose when I hear it is on its way I will go out and cut all of the remaining Zinnias and gather what is left in the garden.

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