A Little Art History

photo (11)On Saturday, Bill and I went to the Cedar Rapids Art Museum, a quick 10 minute drive from our house.  I didn’t know they had an art museum in Cedar Rapids until I drove by it!  Eureka, some culture! The Famous painting above is called American Gothic, by Grant Wood (named for the american gothic house in the background). The people in the photo were to represent a farmer and his daughter, but in actuality the models were his sister and his dentist.   Grant Wood, the artist was born and raised in Iowa, so he is quite the celebrity here…well he is dead ,but at one time he was.   I actually took this picture at the Chicago Instituted of Art back in February.  They own this painting.  The museum here had a few lesser known paintings of Grant Wood.  We also got a tour of the house where Grant Wood painted many of his famous works, which was 3 blocks away.  Our Docent was 1000 years old and walked like it.  Here is a few tidbits that I picked up on, but if you want more info,  look him up….I like to read between the lines:   He died at 50 of pancreatic cancer (I had to ask).  He was married at 44 for only 3 years to a woman who was previously divorced. ( again I had to ask if he was married)  His Mother and Sister lived with Grant for most of his life.  Some say he was shy, I think he was gay.  I have no issue with it but I’m sure it was a difficult life in the 30’s living in the midwest. He traveled and studied quite a bit in Paris and Germany.   But that wasn’t all regarding the Cedar Rapids Art Museum.  The Cedar Rapids public library possesses an extraordinary collection of original children’s book illustrations. These were also on display at the museum.  In the 50’s they had a librarian, Evelyn Zerzanek, who asked children’s book authors and illustrators to donate a work for the children of Cedar Rapids.  They have art from Madeline, Curious George, Dr Suess, and work from the Hungry Caterpillar artist and Where the Wild things are…..I cant remember the names so I’m not very helpful but it was pretty impressive and completely unexpected.

On to more uncultured items:

To my friend Paula:  Thank you for “nagging” me to start writing again so you know what I’m doing.  I’m sure you are sorry now or at least you think your life looks better!  I hope to see you soon!

Here is something I’m a bit embarrassed to mention, but must so I can overcome my addiction.  I have a problem with Candy Crush.  I realized as I have reached level 770 that there are no more levels yet on my phone.   But fortunately or unfortunately I usually do my candy crushing on my computer….it’s a bigger brighter picture!   I’m happy to report I do have one other girlfriend that is well into the 800’s so I’m not an island.   Morgan also tells me I’m the only person in the world (this may be an exaggeration on my part) that looks at Instagram on my computer.  AGAIN, I can see the pictures better as its a BIG screen.  I am not an ant!  Although if I was an ant my phone would be more the size of a drive in movie screen.   I should just stop thinking.

And lastly today, just to balance this drivel (it’s a WORD, look it up!)  I must mention something about Bill and his weird , quirky logic. Maybe there is no logic. When I arrived, the refrigerator was stocked with Kirkland brand Slim Shakes.  Bill will eat 1/2 bag of chips, candy , cookies and then down a Slim Shake ….all this 30 mins before dinner is ready.   I don’t want to burst his bubble but I think this defeats the purpose of the Slim Shake.  He did pour one the other day and I noticed it was Chocolate .  So now I think he possibly thinks this is a low-calorie milk shake….all the fun with a fewer calories.   I just need to let this go.  As I have told many of you my mantra for 2015 comes from this polish proverb:  Not my Circus, Not my Monkeys…….so Im sticking to that!



Spring is so beautiful in Iowa, maybe I said this last April also.  Little flowers pop up everywhere, even on our lawn.   I went for a walk today and the reason why I picked this neighborhood is because it looks right out of a Norman Rockwell print.   No cookie cutter houses, every house must have been custom back in the 30’s and 40’s when built.  Ok Im guessing on the date, but most have front porches and 3 stories.  Anyway below are some photos of spring.   The 3 prong leaf plant will bloom and I think its called a Trillium….they are everywhere in the park and my front yard.  The daffodils and magnolia are from my yard.

Here are some unusual things in Iowa that California does not share:

1. Cemeteries –   Headstones and all – they are everywhere-  oh! maybe I should go photograph some and see how old they are!  I have another project!  There must be a minimum of  5 alone in Cedar Rapids that I have driven past.  They can even be on busy street corners.  They just build around them.

2. DQ  also known as Dairy Queen – there are 1o here.  DQ – Chill and Grill is their new logo!  They are everywhere and just as a point of reference I have only seen 2 McDonalds.

3. Toilet Seat Covers — THERE ARE NONE.  Maybe the state doesn’t believe in germs.  Even the hospital restrooms have no seat covers.  I think Illinois is the same way.  Whats that all about??

Lastly and sadly I have been trying to eat better and exercise more while I am here, alas all I have lost is my will to live!   But I will battle on as Im sure I have really built up muscle mass….just what I was hoping!  And speaking of diet, oh now I know why I haven’t lost anything!  Yesterday I stopped at a new Chipotle.  I was the only one in there , which was odd but worse than that fact was that they were out of Carnitas, and would be for a few months till they could find a more reliable vendor.  I clearly do a lot of chatting while I was in there.  Some would call it interrogation.   Fortunately they still had their fantastic chips.  I blame Amy for this addiction as I would never have ordered them if I hadn’t tasted hers.  They are gently laced with lime and are light and flaky…..SO GOOD!    Now I have to go eat something….GREAT :/

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I Have Risen from……..somewhere

I am back, forgot the password and everything for this site as its been 10 months since I have written.  It is actually eery….is there spell check on this thing…..FOUND it and I did spell “eery” correctly according to my computer.  Anyway what is eery is that the last time I wrote I think I was in Iowa or just left and now I am back in Iowa.  I am only here for about 2 more weeks as I am cleaning up the broken shards of glass from my life and hoping I don’t get cut while doing it!  See what I did there?

In another post I will give more details but right now I just feel like telling you some of the things that have encrouched my mind over the last 10 months.   Hold on scholars, these are deep.

1. Why does deoderant stop working after awhile?  Is it just me? I changed brands but still didn’t feel it was that effective. This is not to say I am particularly stinky or sweaty , as anyone who know me, knows I don’t like to sweat.  So I have now been using the “clinical” deoderant and I will say it is very effective.  Just saying…….if you have this issue, go Clinical Strength.

2. Hairspray — WHAT???  why do I not  use it regularly? It is awesome and really cuts the frizzies down.

3. Bras…..do they have a shelf life?  I have my favorite brand, but after awhile they seem to lose their effectiveness and holding power.  I have probably 6 bras in the “rotation”  but they arent cheap and hate paying for them.  Seems like 3-4  months is the max life.  Ok maybe this was TMI!

4. Cooking — why am I so uninspired sometimes?  And there are weeks where everything I make tastes  “MEH”. I actually love the word or sound “meh”, Morgan is the one that turned me on to it.  Its just a word that is so discriptive.

5. Speaking of words , here are some words for your lexicon.  Yes , I said lexicon so look it up.!   These are more urban dictionary words but need to keep all my old friends updated. My friend Amy and Sally and myself have discussed these. BUTTER FACE — a woman/girl that has a hot body but terrible face (everything but her face) — ok is it derogatory but it is so clever and I love clever.  FLEEK — on point (eyebrows on fleek)  – such a weird word and who makes this shit up?  These are the only two I can think of right now

Well that’s all of my current thoughts, you’d think there would be more given 10 months , there are but not worthy of such a public forum.