Sunday, July 24, 2016

Killer Book Shelf

I think I am going to give up on home improvement projects. They are far too dangerous for me. I bought a new shelf with baskets out at Costco. I saw it last year, but when I finally decided to buy it, they were sold out. Then two weeks ago, I noticed they had them back in. I came home to measure the space to be sure it would fit, and went back on Monday to buy it.

I was really excited, because the price had been reduced by $25. There was a manufacturer's rebate. The problems began when we tried to load it into my car. I had three people helping me, but it would not fit in my little Ford Focus. I finally took the pieces out of the box, and managed to arrange them in the back of the car. Once home, I carried the pieces in the house, one by one, and piled them in the dining room.

I didn't get the shelf assembled immediately, because on Tuesday we had violent thunderstorms and heavy rain. My mom had a lightning strike and power surge at her house, which burned out her garage door opener, internet router, both televisions, her DirecTV box, air conditioner and furnace. I ended up with water in my basement. The week has been spent restoring and repairing appliances at my mom's house. I also had to cut up and remove all the carpet in my basement.

On Thursday, I was getting a glass out of my china closet, when I stubbed my toe on one of the pieces of the shelf. That was the first time it attacked me. I figured it was trying to send me a message so on Saturday, I decided to put it together. It wasn't easy. First you have to put together the shelves that make the cubicles, then you attach the outside framework. I studied the directions, and finally I managed to get it all assembled. It was when I tried to set it upright, that it tried to kill me. Once all eleven sections were connected, it was very heavy. When I tried to lift it, it slipped out of my hands and fell on my feet. Now I have a new shoe.

The doctor doesn't think my foot is broken, but I need to wear this shoe to give my foot extra support. I still like the shelf. It's going to provide lots of excellent storage space. I'm a little scared of it though. I'm even more scared of taking on the next home improvement project. After all, it was just two weeks ago that I popped myself in the chin with the pruning clippers.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016


It's only Wednesday, but I have already had two big accomplishments this week.  First and foremost, the sweater that I have been working on since October is off the needles.  Now I just need to weave in the ends, sew on the buttons, and block it.

The other accomplishment centers around my bicycle.  I bought a new bicycle and picked it up from my daughter's bike shop in March, but I have been less than consistent in actually riding it.  Sometimes that has been due to the weather, sometimes it has been hard to find the time because of gardening tasks.  Sometimes I just haven't felt like it.  I took it with me to Minneapolis over the 4th.  Lisa and I went for a bike ride, but a mile and a half in, I had a flat tire.  Yesterday I took it to The
Hub, where she works, and had it fixed.

Even loading it onto my bike rack has been challenging.  For that reason, I left it loaded on my car when I got back from Minneapolis last night, and today I went to the bike trail to ride.

I rode from Sargent Park to Copper Creek, around the lake, and back to Sargent Park.  I figure that is about six miles.  Yay, me!

I am really enjoying the peace and beauty of the bike trail.  I am so fortunate to have it so close to home.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Yarn Bowl

This is one of my purchases from Artfest Midwest.  Last year I purchased some smaller bowls from this potter   I love the deep and rich colors she uses for her glazes.   I already have two other yarn bowls, but this one is bigger, and I am sure that you can never have too many yarn bowls.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Yard Art

This past weekend was the Des Moines Arts Festival.  The show downtown gets the most attention, and sometimes I go.  Artfest Midwest is held at the same time at the fairgrounds, and I always go to it.  One great advantage of Artfest Midwest is that it is here on the east side.  Another is that it is inside the Varied Industries Building and therefore air conditioned.  That was a big factor this year.  Temperatures were in the mid nineties.  The other thing that draws me there is the fact that there are more local and Midwestern artists at this event.  There are also items within my price range.

I like to buy pottery and yard art, and occasionally jewelry.  This is my newest piece of yard art.  This is steel art and I have a whole collection from this artist.  Every year, or just about every year, I add a new piece. These flowers will not wilt or die, guaranteed!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Flower Garden 2016

My Garden 2016

A lot has changed since my last blog post.  First and foremost, I retired from full time teaching in June 2015.  As I often say to people, apparently I don't fully understand the concept of retirement, because I spent four to five days a week at school.  Beginning in November, I worked as a substitute teacher, and I substituted in grades kindergarten through fifth grade for a total of 59 days.  It was definitely a learning experience.  I also volunteered many of the other days.  I really enjoyed working with small groups of kids.  Now that school is out, I am doing the things I usually do this time of year, working in the garden.

I started seeds around March.  Next year, I will start earlier.  I am really loving my perennials this year.  They are gorgeous!  I love the fact that the Day Lilies, Purple Coneflower, Hostas, and Shasta Daisies return each year, bigger and even more beautiful than the year before.

To see more of this year's flowers, click on the photo above.  It will take you to my Flickr Album:  Garden 2016.