Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Albia Restoration Days

Saturday, August 27, had temperatures in the 80’s with sunny skies for the Albia Restoration Days parade. (The monies collected during this festival help to renovate the buildings and artifacts in Albia.) It had the usual elements of an Iowa parade, which are clowns, fire trucks, bands, horses, floats, and tractors. The unusual element was the man who carried hundreds of “pop” cans on his motorcycle. These cans are valuable since you pay a fee of 5 cents a can when you purchase soda pop, which can be redeemed when you turn in the empty cans.

If you look beyond the parade in several of the photos, you see a Civil War statute, which reads “erected to the memory of our fallen heroes 1861-1865.”The flags are the US flag and the Iowa flag.

After the parade, I wandered around the square. There were food concessions, a band played in the bandstand and various artists displayed their art. I purchased the watercolor of red tulips from Ken Smith who painted it when he was 89 years old before I went to a display of quilts in the Methodist Church Family Life Center. Then I went to the “Follies” which I will write about in my next blog.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Our 2011 - Yard Work

After mowing, the first thing that needed to be done to our six plus acres of land was the removal of junk from inside the shed and beside it.

We discovered hundreds of what the exterminator called “Burrowing Wasps” in the dirt floor of our shed. Their holes are the size of my index finger. Surprisingly, these wasps don’t sting when you disturb them. The exterminator said to put two inches of gravel on the floor of the shed to prevent the wasps from returning.

We wanted to make a pad for the RV and add gravel to the driveway so we ordered about 50 tons of gravel. We also needed dirt to cover the paths the kids made in the yard with their bikes, cars and four wheelers. Terry borrowed my brother Jim’s tractor to move all this soil and gravel around.

My brother Clare has operated Hoven’s Lawn Care for about 30 years. We were glad to have him come to sow the grass seed.

The western side of the property has about 20 oak and walnut trees that my former father-in-law planted in the late 60’s or early 70’s. The hibiscus is a perennial that grew huge red flowers.

Last fall I planted tulips along the western edge of the driveway and put blocks along the edge so the grandchildren wouldn’t drive over the tulip bed. Because we have planted grass seed along this area, my tulip bed will now be on the eastern edge of the driveway.

From the front door, you can see the sun rise. From the patio you can see rabbits and sometimes deer. From the highway you can see that we have plenty of room for friends and family to park their cars. We even have space for an RV if you want to visit us but call first because we might have gone RVing.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Our 2011 Housework

The painting and application of sheet rock “mud” is finished. Yeah! The pounds of plaster that Terry applied to the walls and then sanded off caused volcano like dust covering everything.

The library/spare bedroom (which doesn’t have all my books in it yet) was the most improved. Purple and yellow/green paint was pulled off the walls, patched and painted a creamy pale yellow. I refinished the woodwork and the carpet was replaced.

Terry thinks that his study with its holes in the walls and new doors is the most improved.

The ceiling in the bathrooms had large places from the old skylights that needed plastering and painting. Since I pulled the old wallpaper off the bathrooms, they needed fixed.

Maybe the living room with the sheet rock replaced under the leaking window and its new carpet is the most improved. (We have a new window but haven’t replaced it yet.)

Since the laundry needed the appliances replaced and Terry’s research said that the front-loading washer was the most efficient, I asked for the appliances to be put on pedestals.

The kitchen, dining room, and master bedroom didn’t need anything done except for cleaning and touch up painting.

What do you think was the most improved? The yard work was another project. I have enough photos of it for another blog.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Iowa State Fair

Temperatures in the low 80’s brought record crowds to the Iowa State Fair. We headed up the hill to the area of alternative energy tents and buildings but were disappointed in that we didn’t learn anything new.

This year honored 100 years of a sculpturing a life-sized cow made of BUTTER. The bright lights on the glass refrigerated cases made it difficult to photograph the sculptures but I took pictures anyway. I was more impressed with the early 1900’s cow, calf, milkmaid and farmer life sized creation that was on a revolving stage than I was with the recreation of the first cow. About 100 fancy small sculptures made of plaster were located throughout the fairgrounds; the most unusual that I saw was entitled “ Pirates of the Cowibbean.” We walked through a barn with real live Holsteins but I didn’t get any good photos.

We saw many old time exhibits including Terry with a Case tractor. You could buy almost any food on a stick including my favorite- a thick Iowa Pork Chop on a stick.

My favorite part of the fair is the contest of “The Talent Sprouts.” Kids from 2 to 12 compete locally in dancing, singing, playing instruments, baton twirling and acrobatics before they come to the fair. Everyday there is another competition. On the final day of the fair, the top contestants perform again for thousands of dollars worth of prizes.

Monday, August 01, 2011

July in Iowa

My granddaughter, Jamie Delacruz of Texas, gave birth to a 3 lb. 1 oz. son Alex on July 5. If you think that’s small, my niece gave birth to triplet girls on July 12 who ranged from 1 lb. 8 oz to 2 lbs. All the babies are doing well. I hope to see Alex when we go to Texas next winter and the triplets when they get home in August or September.

We didn’t see the THOUSANDS of bikers who participated in the 39th RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa) even though we went to Altoona later in the day. We did see a few bikers and some buses but didn’t have our cameras. Lance Armstrong rode on Tuesday. My sister Joy rode on Wednesday and Friday of the race. My nephew, Jon Klein came from Kentucky to ride and dipped his bike into the Mississippi River, which is the traditional ending of the weeklong event.

We did go to the National balloon Festival in Indianola on Saturday night and sat in the park across from the church. The balloons are launched from the campus of Simpson College, which are just below the church grounds. The panda was air born but didn’t get over the church steeple while the eagle appeared to be tethered. However when we got home we saw this pile of . . . ah “dirt” in our yard that wasn’t there when we left. Terry said that the eagle wasn’t responsible for it.