Tuesday, May 23, 2017

All You Need's a Strong Heart and a Nerve of Steel. Viva Las Vegas!

So, what do you know? Stinky got herself engaged this weekend. I knew it was going to happen, but she didn't. Her fiance came over to our house about a month ago and showed us her ring and told us his plan. He wanted it to be a surprise, but he told a lot of people, so didn't think there was any way she wouldn't find out. We were wrong.

Stinky and her boyfriend planned a trip to Arizona to visit a friend after Stinky was done with finals. They were going to drive to Las Vegas and stay there for a day and a night before they headed back to Arizona.

On Friday night, they went to the Bellagio Hotel where they have a light and music show. Stinky's friend recorded a live event on Face Book where Stinky's boyfriend asked her to marry him during the show. The music that was playing at the time of the proposal was from "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly", which can accurately describe marriage some days...

It was all very sweet and also kind of weird...Especially, when Stinky called me a couple of minutes later, overwhelmed with emotion to let me know she got engaged and I said, "Yeah. I saw it on Face Book." Technology can be a bugger sometimes.

So, it is that we are going to Stinky's first engagement party tonight. I don't understand the need for one engagement party, let alone two, but it's her happening and it seems like kids today are all about celebrating things like no one has ever celebrated them before. John and I will show up for a beer and then be on our way, because this engagement party is being thrown by her co-workers from the Irish Pub where Stinky works. Next week's party will be a little different. Stinky's boyfriend planned it for close family members it will be more of a nice dinner.

 Here's wishing the lovely couple all the best and I hope they live happily ever after...

Saturday, May 20, 2017

That's What You Get When You Are a Dork.

Okay. Remember when I told you that we went to that sculpture garden in Des Moines last week? Well, we felt the need to take many silly photos among the art. We took this one of the two of us but then thought we should use the color to our advantage.

We took a photo of Stinky next to the purple prism thingy because it matches her purple hair. See how she stands there and looks adorable and not weird and awkward? I hear that they call that poise...Yeah. I'm not familiar  with it.

Since I'm wearing blue, Stinky tries to take a picture of me next to the blue prism. While I "pose", she says, "Oh my god. Why do you look so awkward? What are you doing with your hands?"

So, I say, "Oh you want awkward? I'll give you awkward." And I give her my most "so uncomfortable with myself it almost hurts" pose, with thumbs up and everything. That's what she gets...And I suppose this picture is what I get. I sure showed me, didn't I? Sigh.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Sad Eyes, Turn the Other Way. I Don't Want to See You Cry.

So, after many sunrises and sunsets in our great state of Iowa I am FINALLY writing about last weekend.

Last Friday, it was nice and warm enough to sit out on the porch after work. Of course, for Archie that must just have meant that he could try to get attention in any negative ways he could think of - trying to chew through the screen door, for example. Asshole.

So, he got relegated to the bedroom and we shut the window. Which just made him whine and lie on our bed and look out at us with the saddest eyes.

Normally, Heidi is as annoyed by Archie as we are...Until he gets in trouble. Then she goes and lies down next to him in solidarity against the evil humans. Assholes.

After we had some good porch settin' time, I went inside and made veggie fajitas with black beans for dinner. It was the first meal where I was actually able to go outside and pick leaf lettuce and cilantro from the garden. Everything tastes better when it's fresh from the garden.

I don't really have many photos for Saturday. Earlier in the day, John went out to work on the mountain bike trails and I went to the Farmer's Market to buy a the last few things for the garden. I did splurge and buy a couple of Gerbera Daisies that had already flowered. I planted a bunch of seedlings, but it could be a while before we actually get to see what color their flowers are.

Then I went out and met John at the mountain bike trails. Our team was putting a race on and I rode with John while he trimmed up the little shoots and vines that we like to call "face slappers". When the race was getting ready to start, John stayed and helped out and I went home and worked in the garden. I planted, and planted and planted some more. I didn't get it all done before John came home and I made lunch, but here is a list of what I did get planted: English cucumbers, English thyme, more tomatoes, the last of the torch sunflowers, regular sunflower seeds, zucchini, more snap dragons, zinnias, butternut squash, French Marigolds, green beans, oregano, and a few more peppers.

The rest of the day I ran errands and John cleaned most of the house. Then we went to our friend's daughter's graduation party at 4. We stayed until about 7 pm and went  home and watched the movie, "Twentieth Century Women". I liked it a lot. After the movie, John went to bed and I stayed up a bit longer to read some of Neil Gaiman's "American Gods". It was such a good  book.

Sunday was Mother's Day. John went to his mom's in the morning and they went for a hike before it got too hot outside. While he was doing that, I planted some more in the flower garden in my side yard.

John got home and did most of the house cleaning, while I finished up planting and did some cleaning up too.

Coadster and her dog got to our place right before we left to go on a bike ride to Columbus Junction. She and Stinky drove out to meet us and we all had a delicious early dinner at a Mexican restaurant there.

After we ate, we stopped off at what they call The Swinging Bridge or Lover's Leap. Coadster is terrified of heights and the boys making a big point to swing the bridge back and forth didn't help, but Coadster was brave enough to take a few steps on it, before she ran back to the safety of non-swinging land.

We headed back to Iowa City and the whole ride ended up being 72 miles when it was all said and done. The guys we rode with wanted to stop and drink in towns on the way back, but I couldn't. We had to get back and meet Coadster before she went back to Des Moines. Since the following day was her 25th birthday, she and I walked her dog to the ice cream store and had ourselves a treat. Happy celebration days to both of us.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

You Float Like a Feather In a Beautiful World

Okay. We're still dealing with last week's shenanigans. Coadster turned 25 on May 15th. For her birthday present, Stinky bought her tickets to see Tears For Fears and Hall and Oates in concert on May 8th. Originally, it was just going to be the two of them, but they asked me and even though it was a Monday night, I figured, what the hell, I can take some vacation time and have fun with my girls.

So, that's what I did. Stinky had a final that got over about at about 3:30. We headed to Des Moines and met Coadster downtown. We had a nice dinner and headed over to the show.

We got there just in time. About a minute after we found our seats and sat down, Tears For Fears came out and put on a great show. Hall and Oates was fine too. I think Oates might be a little weaker in his voice than Hall, but they did all of their songs and we sang and chair danced and I wanted to try and embarrass my girls, but they were singing and dancing just as loudly and crazily as I was.

The concert got over around 11 and when we were walking to out cars, we saw people heading from the concert to different bars. Some of these people were at least as old as me and I thought to myself, "For the love of god. What is wrong with you people? How are you staying up past eleven without the help of a wheelchair?" Clearly, they have discovered the fountain of youth and clearly, I have not.

We spent the night at Coadster's apartment, and were awakened by the cutest girl dog you could ever imagine.

Coadster had to work that day, so Stinky and I stopped at the Machine Shed to eat breakfast, before we started touristing.

We went to the sculpture garden and it was very pretty. I really liked the Keith Haring sculpture.

The driftwood horse sculpture was also pretty cool looking.

The next stop was the zoo. We wanted to see the baby rhino and the baby giraffe there.

Sadly, they were working on a new facility for the giraffes so we weren't able to see the baby and the rhinos were hiding, so we saw a small part of that baby wedged between his mom and a wall.

Instead, we went to the petting zoo and fed goats and llamas and calves and then I got to take a photo of Stinky with her head inside the mouth of a hippo too. Like mother like daughter.

We also got to pet a baby crocodile? Alligator? Crocogator? They were filming something for a news segment and the photographer asked me if we wanted to pet whatever the hell kind of creature it was. Yes, we did.

It was pretty cool.

We got to see the red panda on the way out of the zoo and then we headed back to Iowa City. Stinky had to work, and I had (got) to go ride mountain bikes before it rained the next day.

I feel so lucky that my girls both live close enough for us all to be able to dork-out together.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

There's a Hippopotamus Riding on a Bike. I Can See It. I Can See It.

So, I'm still writing about the weekend BEFORE last. I know. it's crazy but the warm weather makes me super busy. Here is a weekend of warmth and all of the shit I did in it. Ready? Let's go!

I woke up around 7, went for a run, came home, got ready and Stinky met me so we could ride bikes to the Farmer's Market, where we each got a $2 coupon to spend there. We got some muffins for breakfast and Stinky got coffee and we met many beautiful dogs and rode home.

John had done a hard training bike ride, so by the time I got home, he was ready for a nap with his cat - cat nap.

I did laundry and worked in the garden and some very light cleaning in the house and then made lunch.

After lunch, I got on my Time Trial Bike for the first time this year. It was windy and it hurt, but i was able to go pretty fast for me.

We grilled shrimp kabobs over brown rice and I steamed the asparagus I bought at the Farmer's Market for dinner. We watched a movie and I basically passed-out pretty damn early. It was a good day, just an insanely tiring day.

Sunday morning I went full bore on gardening in the morning. I had to replant a few things that had a little frost damage and I worked on the beds to be able to plant even more flowers and veggies and herbs.

Then we met some friends for a bike ride to West Branch. Herbert Hoover's birthplace. It was a great day for a ride and we stopped and got some good Mexican food for an early dinner.

On the way to and from West Branch we ride through a little town called Morse and in that little town there is what looks like and old bar, that may now be a taxidermist/metal sculpture studio. It has a lovely big porch and on the way back, we got to hang out there and take fun photos and rest.

It was tough, but I managed not to be eaten by the big hippo on the porch and we all rode safely home. It was another weekend where I was almost glad I had to go to work the next day, so I could rest at my desk...Almost.

Friday, May 12, 2017

You've Seen the Difference and It's Getting Better All the Time.

 Whew! The last 5 days have been crazy. I'll try to document a bunch of it for you, but I'm tired just thinking about it.

 I started this post on Wednesday, but then halfway through the day, I realized that I had food poisoning and went home and stayed very close to my bathroom for the next day and a half. So, I am now done with that messiness and able to finally start blogging about all of the crazy shit I've been doing.

John and I decided to have a date night last Friday after work. It was lovely. We rode mountain bikes for an hour or so and then headed to Big Grove Iowa City for dinner.

Since it was Cinco de Mayo, we were going to order their special ceviche, but sadly they were out of it. Wah. On the happy side, I did have a margarita or two and they were just what the doctor ordered. (And apparently, I'm the doctor)

After we finished eating, we went outside on the patio and finished our drinks while watching the sunset. It was pretty much a perfect date night. We'll have to do that again some time very soon.

Monday, May 08, 2017

I Feel so High, I Even Touch the Sky

Last week Heidi had oral surgery. She had gingivitis and some stank breath and she had to go into the vet where they doped her up and pulled 6 of her teeth. They gave her some kind of opiate that they said would last 3 days. They also shaved her legs so they could put IV's in. So, now she looks a bit Dr Seussy and kind of like a kitty Corgi.

They said the opiates she was on would make her very affectionate and boy were they right. They also make her tail all fluffy and the first day she was home, her pupils were so dilated that she could have been an anime cat.

She has been so sweet and cuddly that we want to ask the vet if we can dope her up all the time. We've never seen her so relaxed.

Of course, we also need to shoot Archie up with something that would make him a bit LESS relaxed.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Hee-Haw 'Til Judgment Day. Don't Tie Me Donkey Down There.

This Sunday, we got some of the University athletes to do their community service hours working on some trails to help us get a cyclocross course set-up. As part of the project, John was supposed to tell them the ins and outs of the sport and talk about his bike.

While it sure was nice and sweet of him to inform the kids, and while I'm sure those kids were all very special...

...You can see from the photo above, John will talk about his bike with just about any jack ass.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Well, They Dug For Their Coal 'Til The Land Was Forsaken. Then They Wrote It All Down as The Progress of Man

I didn't get this posted yesterday, because I was outside playing most of the day, but since every day is Earth Day...Happy Earth Day, everybody. Please respect the planet and take care of it so there is something left for the youngin's. Also, it was great to see photos of the Science Marches all over the world. My sister ever marched. Yes!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

You Like Tomato, And I Like Tomahto.

Here I'm finally going to talk some about my ambitious garden plans for my yard. I'll first start by saying I don't understand why people want their yard to look like a golf course and spray poison all over them to kill dandelions that are really pretty and make the bees happy.

My goal is to make as much of my yard as possible into a garden. Since my backyard is very shady. I'm adding many hostas to the ferns and lilies that are already there. My front yard is now sunny, so I get to plant all of the things that haven't been able to grow well before the big tree died that made it all shady.

As you can see from the photo above, I dug out most of my front yard for a garden. It's a damn good thing I don't live in a housing development or I would have to get permission.

Two Sundays ago, John put up a great rabbit fence for the garden and I helped. I have never been in a relationship with anyone who works as hard as I do and who is so accommodating. When I asked him to help me put up the fence, he researched it, bought all the stuff and put it all up with a little help from me without grumbling or bitching...Except for a few swears when he had a hard time getting something to work correctly, but that's understandable. And I'm sure he doesn't really care that much about whether we have a rabbit fence or a garden. I feel very lucky to have such a great and caring partner in crime.

I also got all the seedlings into bigger containers a couple of weeks ago. They are growing much faster than I thought they would and since my tomatoes were getting a little too leggy, I decided to plant them outside last weekend. While I was out working in the garden on Easter, an older woman walked by, looked at my tomatoes and said, "My you are overly optimistic..." I told her that I did check the weather channel and there is no chance of frost through the first of May and I can always cover them if I have to. So there.

I do love working in my garden in the front yard. So many people walk their dogs or run or ride by and say hi and sometimes stop to talk or tell me that my garden looks great. It's a nice way to meet a lot of the neighbors, now that my kids aren't young and running around and I don't walk a dog around to meet people. The only drag is that I really love to talk to myself and sometimes I look up after living in my own world and having a detailed conversation with myself to see someone giving me the worried, arched eyebrow. Whatever. All I've ever wanted was to be a curmudgeonly old crone, and I'm finally getting old enough to make it happen for me.

My friend Burne was nice enough to drop off a pick-up load of horse poop that's been hanging out at his farm for many years. The plants love the soil it makes.

Right now, I have most of the Spring veggies/flowers planted: sugar snap peas, English peas, lettuce, arugula, spinach, carrots, beets, poppies, some kind of African Marigolds, brussels sprouts, lavender  and the not early Spring tomatoes. I've also lined the garden with Marigolds and a few torch sunflowers. I was able to swap seedlings with a neighbor for the lavender, some Impatiens and a moon flower. I have a few more weeks worth of set-up, planting and gardening to do before I get to start harvesting and will be bogged down with weeding. I can't wait.

So, I'm sure I will annoy you all with many more shots of my garden whenever it morphs this Summer, but hopefully it will be pretty.