Monday, April 29, 2013

Music, art and volunteering

Darrell Staggs photo

We started the weekend with a photography exhibit at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.  The exhibit featured photographs of geological formations in Indiana state parks and national parks out West.

Darrell Staggs, an engineer at Lilly and former classmate of Mike's at Rose Hulman,  exhibited his photographs.  He had a very interesting technique of photographing reflections and then displaying the photos upside down.

Mike also gave me a quick tour of Moench Hall and the chemical engineering lab.  And we "discovered" a new 3-D printer set up in a hallway for the students to use.  Somehow I expect Mike to check this out before the quarter ends...

Stairs, windows and artwork in Moench Hall

And we participated at a United Way Day of Caring in Indianapolis on Saturday.  The DePauw Alumni sponsored a volunteer day at South Circle Farm, a community farm in the industrial area of the city.  This organic farm was built a couple of years ago with labor supplied by volunteers.  The produce is sold at city market, and vouchers are given out at a local community center so their customers get fresh produce instead of canned goods at the local food bank.

We  had about 20 volunteers who built a new raised bed and improved the compost system, all using repurposed items.  Donated cardboard boxes, pallets, railroad ties and Christmas trees turned into wood chips were put to good use.

And of course,  I was the "oldest alum" as most volunteers graduated in the past 10 years.  So I shoveled wood chips with gusto, somehow wanting to prove that my age wasn't a problem!   We really enjoyed meeting some new folks and helping with this farm. Nothing like volunteering and a hard day's labor to make you feel good about life!

Shoveling wood chips (me and Mike at far right)

Building compost bins

Young vegetables

And then there was an evening of music.  One of our favorite local guitarists, Michael Kelsey, played at Parky's, a barbecue restaurant in Lebanon.  We arrived early enough to enjoy a wonderful meal of barbecue ribs.  And I did learn one valuable lesson here...playing scrabble on an iPad while eating ribs is not a good idea!  What a mess...both me and the iPad!

Michael Kelsey is an amazing guitar player, and his use of a looper and eBow produced some incredible sounds. We also picked up a new CD called "Submerged".  We are both inspired to pick up guitars again after a long hiatus!

Michael Kelsey at Parky's

And despite a busy week of travel to Southern Indiana, I did find some time for jewelry making...

And this cool, rainy weather continues to produce some magnificent "greens"...and the cats LOVE the screen porch!

Blue Belle and Gilbert hanging out

I hope you are enjoying some great Spring weather!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Eclectic is the best way to describe this last week, sometimes just the way of life...

I promised some pictures of my newly painted kitchen which is now lovely green color.  And thanks to Mike we have artwork on the walls!

View out the kitchen window
Cooking in progress

Introducing Dr. Jane Goodall
Mike and I heard Dr. Jane Goodall speak at DePauw University(my Alma mater)  about her life's work with chimpanzees and environmental activism.  Clearly her speech was directed to the students, but we walked away feeling energized and excited about our own role in preserving the environment.

Party underway, in the kitchen of course!

We decided to celebrate my birthday with a small party at our house.  Great friends, stories and lots of laughter filled the evening. That and some wonderful Judge's Barbecue and a Triple Chocolate Ganache cake from Taylor's Bakery.  Ok, and MAYBE a few alcoholic beverages...

Chuck, Mike and Mel
Trying on my Life is Good shirt

Elena, Atanas and John

And then we got rain and rain and more rain...Our area got 4-5 inches last week alone.  As I drove to Southern Indiana yesterday, I saw at least 100 miles of flooded fields.  It was an incredible amount of water.

Water lapping the road
A new roadside lake

But I did find some sunshine and fluffy clouds during the week...

And mom and I attended my nephew Adam's baseball game.  He did a great job pitching several innings at the St. Philip's baseball field where I grew up watching my brother and cousins play ball!  Took me back a few decades...

Adam thinking of stealing 2nd base
Adam pitching
And tonight I got to see my nephew Dane play left field and score a run.  I am so proud of both of these guys!
Dane on 3rd

Dane after the game

Anyway, it's been a good week of friends and family!  And as far as another birthday goes, I got a great card from my sister Angie that quoted George Burns:  

"Young. Old. Just words. Life is what you make it."

Take care and have a great week!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Tax Day

Laughed at this great sign we saw today.  The guy seems so forlorn!
Happy Tax Day 2013.  Did you meet today's deadline?  My tax man, Mike, finished ours on Saturday morning.

Beyond taxes, it was a wild week here!

First there was hail.  For some reason we get hail storms here; this is the second one since I moved here last Fall.

Then the flu.  In my humble opinion, seven days of stomach flu is just not right!  I am fine now, but I wouldn't wish this weight loss program on anyone.
Hate the flavor but it works!

And painting the kitchen while sick.  I was definitely obsessed (or is that possessed?).  For the first few days, I was NOT seeing the beauty of this fresh honey dew green color.  Now that I'm better, I love it. Moral is DO NOT PAINT when you are sick.
Cats offering advice

But then I did get a beautiful bouquet of flowers from my tax man... He took good care of me during the week (when he recovered from the flu himself).

Today I finished the painting, and we love the results!  I'll include some pics in my next blog.  I'm so glad this project is finished, the taxes are completed and we are back to good health!

And my prayers go out to the victims and all those impacted by the explosions at the Boston Marathon. It's hard to get my head around another senseless act of violence.  When will it end?

So at the end of this crazy week, I am tired and acutely aware of the fragility of life.  Think I'll hug my sweetie...


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Spring is in the air

We have all the characteristic signs of Spring here in Indiana...

Spring cleaning, or in my case "Spring unpacking and organizing".

Wire shelves for stacking pans and dishes.  We bought these at Lowe's and later found them much cheaper at Big Lots.

Yeah, I have my dishes back from the black hole of the storage unit!
Having my stuff(although greatly reduced by donations to Goodwill) just makes me happy.  For some strange reason I am finally feeling grounded in this city and our new house.

And look at these amazing finds from storage boxes.  Who could possibly live without the bunny mold or fish spoon rest I made on an Alaskan cruise!
With only 1 small linen closet, I unpacked 6 boxes and donated 4 boxes to Goodwill.

A new "do".  I've never understood why we couldn't get a body change as easily as a new haircut!

A plastic horse being transported to a new home. Ok, maybe this is just strange and not a sign of Spring at all...  And yes, the driver probably thought we were stalking him as we dodged in and out of traffic for this pic.

2 flats of pansies.  Sounds good until you try planting 6 dozen of those tiny flowers.  What was I thinking?

And for those of you rolling your eyes, yes, I am back on my flower kick again!

11 bags of mulch.  My back and shoulders only hurt a little after lifting those bags.

And I DEFY weeds to come through this 4 inches of mulch!

My great niece's 1st birthday party
Happy Birthday Alice!

Alice may have had her own cake, but we got these monkey cupcakes!

And one expected sign of Spring...threats of rain, hail, thunderstorms and tornadoes tomorrow.

Today it's in the mid-70's and trees are budding out everywhere.  I planned to paint the kitchen today, but I've been under the weather with stomach flu.  After sleeping all day, this blog is the most ambitious thing I've done. And I'm thinking it's time for another nap now!

Be healthy and happy Spring!