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!

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Spring

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.

Friendship

 

Girlfriends are your biggest cheerleaders.  Maybe not when you are in your 20’s, when you may be more competitive or where it may seem that some will stab you in the back or you see them nasty to other friends, but when we get older.  We all travel on the same treadmill and have similar issues and problems.  Its nice to know people support you no matter what the issue is.   As we age, for me personally, you sort your friendships out into categories (I’m a big pie chart kinda gal)….all based on maintenance…High, Medium and Low. You will recognize the High Maintenance; talk about themselves mostly, always has drama or some truly non-existent crisis (their hair stylist is moving to New York now they need to find someone new – how will I ever survive- lets discuss for 20 min.). The worst trait of our High maintenance friend is if at the last-minute you have to cancel meeting up, they will be pissed at you…no matter what the reason. Because in some way you have offended them and they make it all about themselves. When you leave after meeting this person you are EXHAUSTED mentally.   The Medium Maintenance has all the above only less intense. Medium also doesn’t talk incessantly about them self but sugar coats their life where you want to barf , because you see their life and you KNOW it’s not this glorious.  I would classify this friend as not being authentic or genuine….even when you pour your guts out about the messes in your life…..theirs is still candy coated with puppies and rainbows.  You want to hit them because they need to take the rose colored glasses off as you can see right through them, they are only fooling themselves.     Low Maintenance friend you can talk with for hours.  Not speak to for a year but once you talk its like you just saw them yesterday…nothing awkward or resentful for the lapse of contact, because really…..everyone is busy and fighting their own battles that have nothing to do with the friendship.  You can cancel 30 minutes before meeting for dinner and its OK, or better yet you can say “Im just really tired can we do it another night”  and they will say “sure , I get it, no problem”.  AND THEY MEAN IT.  This friend isn’t afraid to say to you that they disagree with you and here is why, and this makes the friendship stronger as there is no resentment just growth.   SO, as we age you realize who needs to stay and which friends you pull away from and all you are left with are Low Maintenance friends…..and if you are lucky like me…you have many like this.  My step mother ,Verena, once told Morgan and myself…..”sometimes, like cards, you just need to put some people in your life in the discard pile”.  Friendships do go to the discard pile sometimes.  Maybe the friendship ran its course or helped you when you needed it to , but due to circumstances just has a hard time fitting in your life now.     People in my life fit on a pie chart…..everyone takes up a wedge.  Some have bigger wedges but all are needed.  Some friends are wild, some calm or motherly or wise or funny.  I need them all to make me balanced and whole.  I feel bad for  a lot of men as they don’t nurture their friendships….and want their wife to fill the entire pie chart…  leaving them eating cherry pie their whole life  (ok that was inappropriate but you see what I meant)….I love a good analogy.   My point is filling your life with just one person leaves you very closed off/ homogenized and sterile.  There will be no personal growth.  It really does take a village to give you different experiences and perspectives so you can grow, think and form your own personal perspective on life.    So thank you to all my friends.  You are all needed and loved for who you are and what you bring to my life and this world!!!

 

More Bugs

Here’s everyone’s favorite subject:  Bill and his first world problems.   

Besides his adapting to the Iphone, the bugs are getting to him.  He has this massive bullet hole (bug bite) smack dab in the middle of his forehead.  Weston called him Raj Gupta and started talking to him in an Indian accent the other day….yes very stereotypical but hysterical when Weston does an accent.   Bill was complaining that everyone at work was staring at him. My guess is no one is really staring that much or actually cares that much, just Bills inflated ego.   The real problem was not that he just let it alone…..he tried to pick it like a zit , so it is huge and inflammed.  Then yesterday, I mistakenly mentioned a small bruise on his bicep ….above it was a bug bite .  Turns out he thinks now he either has lyme disease (rogue tick LEAPED up his arm) or West Nile Virus (mesquito).  Oh the Drama!   I also have bites on my chest and ears and ankles….but alas I am a mortal human.  Bill is special and deserves WHO or the CDC  to check into his issues!  

Enjoy your weekend….I will be bug and Bill free in Chicago!

Another day in Iowa

 

 

 

 

 

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Things are status quo here.  Weston is still applying for jobs but thinks he will now head back to Wyoming soon as there is work there for him. I have hired  him to do  the lawns.  Grass grows at least 5 inches a week, but to find out we are doing a science test this week and measuring it. Yes, life is a hoot here!  The bugs are so bad now that Weston wears ski goggles to mow!   He has been great about being home and I love having him but Im sure he is going crazy having  me as his “best friend”..   We are doing some fun things….just to make it more tolerable for him…and me.  We went fishing yesterday…caught nothing, but had fun tooling around the lake in a small motor boat.

We are heading to Chicago on Friday (My Iphone is repaired and ready to be picked up at Apple on Michigan Ave).   Weston hasnt been yet so I hope he enjoys it….He will enjoy the food!

Hope everyone is well

Bugs and Adam

Such a nice day….Got to see Adam Witzmann!! He flew into Cedar Rapids for a Wedding this weekend so WEston picked him up and they did breakfast before he went to get his Tux!  He may be staying with us Saturday night also.  Such a great young man and always a delight to have around….to answer all my questions about life!   Think Weston will meet up with some of his friends tonight…which is good so he can meet some locals he own age!  He is getting tired of me being his “best friend”  

Things are growing here on steroids it seems.  Weston cut lawn on Friday last week and it looks like it hasnt been cut in 2 weeks….and there are little gnat like bugs that buzz around always….makes sitting outside almost impossible unless you have mesquito netting.  Hopefully just the time of year as Morgan said she almost had to pull over driving home as her windshield was completely covered in bugs….but hit a downpour that cleaned it off.  Weston has been hired as the lawn man at this time….still looking for a real job!

AS for Bill, …. his blackberry died and he has decided on an Iphone.   He is the last man in the world to get an Iphone but you would think he was the first person on the planet to have one.  Thankfully both kids were home to counsel him on how to do EvERYTHING – only you couldn’t TOUCH his phone just had to TELL him how to do it.  This is virtually impossible when you are working with the SMARTEST man in the world….who has big fingers, NO LISTENING SKILLS and no patience!   Then we all had to be impressed when he got all his Contacts on his phone…literally a 2 hour process.   Bill is the sun and everyone must spin in his orbit….NOT!