Tuesday, August 29, 2006


The odd little sub-culture of scrapbookers has actually drawn the attention of a documentary filmmaker and this is the resulting product. Who's in for a local movie premiere/crop night?

Houston, we have a problem

DD had a major meltdown at school this morning. DH brought her to daycare late and she had missed the bus, so he brought her to school and ended up having "security" pry her off of him. As he's walking (running) out of the classroom, she's wailing "Daddy, don't leave me here...I'll be good...don't go." Par for the course - - this is exactly what I went through on her first day of Kindergarten.

Rewind to 6:30 this morning when we all get out of bed, happy as can be. And then that silly "Time Monster" steals many minutes from our well-planned morning. By 7:30, we're rushing around the house, trying to get going, fighting about what DD is wearing, what day of the week it is, when Sharing Day is (DD and DH think it's today as I'm looking at the sheet from school that says it's tomorrow).

How can a little family like ours be so dis-organized? I pride myself on being a person who's got it together - - I need help! Any ideas out there?

Monday, August 28, 2006

One of these things is not like the other

Found in the chicken house on Saturday: Friday night was the annual back to school pool party at DH's boss's house. DD swam the whole time. Entertainment by an Elvis impersonator and some "groupies/lounge lady" act.

DH worked on the new building most of the weekend. Mom & Neighbor Laurie came over on Saturday to help can - - 27 pints of salsa and 6 quarts of stewed tomatoes. Gramma K volunteered to watch DD Saturday night so DH & I could go out (woo hoo!). Of course, we took her up on the offer and went to the 99 cent theater in GC and saw "Miami Vice." Not bad.

After church on Sunday, went to Pine Lake to do a photo shoot for the Simpson Family. Very fun (learned a lot). Photos coming soon.

DD and her buddy:

Friday, August 25, 2006

Look what Daddy brought home!

Yes, that's an accordion (or "doodlezak" as my Grampa Carbo & Great Grampa Carl would call it). DH thought it would be neat for DD to have one after hearing all the stories at my family reunion a couple weeks ago. Gee, thanks, dear. We've got a regular little family band going with DH on the mandolin he recently purchased and DD on the accordion. Notice how my little wunder-kind has been sent outside to practice...
Happy Birthday, Gramma K!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

I Trust You'll Treat Her Well

by Victor Buono

World, I bequeath to you today one little girl in a crispy dress.. with two blue eyes...and a happy laugh that ripples all day long, and a batch of light blonde hair that bounces in the sunlight when she runs. I Trust You'll Treat Her Well.

She's slipping out of the backyard of my heart this morning and skipping off down the street to her first day at school.

And never again will she be completely mine...

Prim and proud, she'll wave a young and independent hand this morning, and say goodbye and walk with little-lady steps to the nearby schoolhouse...

Gone will be the chattering little hoyden who lived only for play, and gone will be the delightful little gamin who roamed the yard like a proud princess with nary a care in her little world.

Now, she will learn to stand in lines...and wait by the alphabet for her name to be called...

She will learn to tune her little-girl ears for the sound of school bells, and for deadlines...

She will learn to giggle and gossip... and to look at the ceiling in a disinterested way when the little boy across the aisle sticks out his tongue.

Now she will learn to be jealous...and now she will learn how it is to feel hurt inside...and now she will learn how not to cry. No longer will she have time to sit on the front porch steps on a summer day and watch while an ant scurries across a crack in the sidewalk...

Or will she have time to pop out of bed with the dawn to kiss lilac blossoms in the morning dew.

Now she will worry about important things...like grades...and what dresses to wear...and whose best friend is whose. Now she will worry about the little boy who pulls her hair at recess time... and staying after school...and which little girls like which little boys...And the magic of books and knowledge will soon take the place of the magic of her blocks and dolls.

And she'll find her new heroes. For five full years I've been her sage and Santa Claus...her pal and playmate...her parent and friend. Now, alas, she'll learn to share her worship and adoration with her teachers (which is only right).

No longer will her parents be the smartest, and greatest in the world. Today, when the first school bell rings, she'll learn how it is to be a member of the group...with all its privileges, and, of course, its disadvantages, too.

She'll learn in time that proper young ladies don't laugh out loud...or keep frogs in pickle jars in bedrooms...or watch ants scurry across the cracks in a summer sidewalk...

Today, she'll begin to learn for the first time that all who smile at her are not her friends. That "the group" can be a demanding mistress... and I'll stand on the porch and watch her start out on the long, long journey to becoming a woman.

So WORLD, I BEQUEATH TO YOU TODAY ONE LITTLE GIRL in a crispy dress, with two blue eyes, a happy laugh that ripples all day long, and a batch of light blonde hair that bounces in the sunlight when she runs.



My baby went to Kindergarten yesterday. She has been so excited for like the last two months and was babbling about how great it would be up to the moment we stepped into her classroom. Then (out of the blue), my independent and confident little trouper turned into a cling-on! She did not want me to leave, she wanted to go home, she did not want to be a Kindergartner! After some tense moments (as if it wasn't hard enough for me already), some bribing ("ice cream after school"), and downright threats ("no more movies this week"), she finally let me leave.

She was fine, she did get ice cream and she did get to watch a movie when she got home. I know, I'm a sucker!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Thank you

My DH makes me a cup of coffee to go almost every single morning - - with the perfect amount of sugar & cream. Maybe 'cause he knows I don't function well in the a.m. and would be more likely to put salt in it instead of sugar. Maybe 'cause I'm usually in a hurry and he's saving me a couple minutes. Maybe . . . it's just because he loves me. Whatever the reason, I'm grateful for this and all the other sweet things he does for me and so many others. I thank you, DH (XXOO)

Monday, August 21, 2006

So happy

Had a great weekend - - got a lot done and enjoyed every bit of it!

Friday night, I hosted a free craft night in our church fellowship hall. Although there were only three people there, it was fun. Mom came over Saturday and we canned 14 pints of salsa and froze 6 big bags of shredded potatoes. DH worked on the workshop most of the weekend and got all the windows, the two walk-in doors and one overhead door in.

DD loves to watch her dad work, she sits out there with her dollies and tries to "help" when DH allows it.

Look what I found in my cutting garden:

The cats find a cool, comfy spot inside the chicken house:

My favorite photo from the weekend:

Friday, August 18, 2006

Kelli was here!

...and we had a ball. Love spending time with her. She drove all the way down here and bought milk and dog food! She tells the story here. Lookie here! I LOVE photo storage boxes for all the fun organizational stuff you can do with them. I was having such a hard time figuring out how to store ribbon and my new Heidi Swapp foam stamps & paint. I finally figured it out:

I used the new Crop-a-Dile and punched 20 holes in each side (you'll break your hand if you try to use a regular paper punch). Line up the spools (or loose scraps) of ribbon and pull a little through each hole. There's still plenty of room in the middle for the Making Memories ribbon cards!

See that luscious new ribbon on the lower left side, it's a brand called Elements and I got it at Hobby Lobby.

In a separate box, the Heidi Swapp foam stamps line up on one side (a little tight but do-able), and I purchased a set of 24 acrylic paints (at W-Mart - eee gads!) in cute glass jars for $9.98.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Status report

Status of the workshop - - the roof is on, baby!

Apples in August (with no spray so far). Granted, they're not all this nice, but we're hopeful that we'll get a nice crop off this tree.

DD gets paid one penny for every apple she picks up - - she then puts them in the compost pile which makes for six very happy chickens!

Then she takes a break to let mama get her photo-fix:

DD's new 'do (only after I promised that she would still be able to put it in ponytails):

We truly enjoyed the Finke Family Reunion on Saturday. DD re-connected with her cousin Jacki, and the two had a blast. Uncle Lew fries up some fresh walleye he caught in Canada:
Lots of great food, conversation, and a special video made by Uncle Lew. The video had photos of family then & now put to music. The highlight was hearing my great-grandpa Carl (who died in 1983) singing his favorite ditty in German (I'm gonna cry again!). What a very special touch!

Thursday, August 10, 2006


"We live on the edge of the miraculous every minute of our lives. The miracle is in us, and it blossoms forth the moment we lay ourselves open to it. The miracle of miracles is the stubbornness with which men refuse to open themselves up. Our whole life seems to be nothing more but a frantic effort to evade that which is constantly in our grasp." ~Henry Miller
Terrace Mill - July 2006

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


One week ago: As of last night: Last week, DD went to Living History Farms (don't you love her little t-shirt?!)

Monday, August 07, 2006

It's Official!

For immediate release
August 7, 2006
Marshalltown, IA – Executive producers announced Marshalltown, Iowa as the site for filming of the new supernatural thriller " The Curse". Filming will begin in September at various locations throughout the community. The movie is to be co-directed by Xaypani Baccam and Bryan Brewer. Baccam a Marshalltown native is thrilled to be shooting in is home town.

"The Curse" will feature ex-"Bold & Beautiful" star Shanelle Workman, who recently completed production on the feature film "Even Money" with Kim Basinger and Ray Liotta.

Duane Journey, the film's Producer says, "The Marshalltown Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Iowa Film Office have been instrumental in securing locations, amenities, technicians and equipment for the production." Iowa Film Office Director Tom Wheeler says “Iowa is experiencing steady growth in a very competitive region so I'm very glad that Xaypani and his team have chosen Iowa over other locations. It's fantastic to have yet another Iowan return home to produce a project."

This production will have a significant positive economic impact on the community with lodging and catering revenue in addition to the hiring of electricians, carpenters, productions assistants and many more crew positions from the local area. Journey says "We want to round out a lot of the filming crew from the community, both behind and in front of the camera." Announcements on crew and casting calls, as well as a planned special event, will be issued soon.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Simple Pleasures

God sent us the most beautiful thunderstorm and rain shower yesterday - - what a (much needed) blessing! DD had fun playing in the water on the in-progress workshop floor. The chickens loved pecking fresh worms out of the dirt pile. DH worked through the storm and got the floor plates bolted to the concrete. Then, the wall frames will be screwed to this floor plate. During any of our construction projects, things in the garage tend to get a bit disorganized since DH's tools are currently stored in there. I have never quite understood why tools and "stuff" can't be put back where they are found. This is a source of tension that rears its ugly head from time to time. But last night, I straightened up the garage without a word (but I wouldn't be a good wife if I didn't give him "the look" the moment he stepped into the garage to put something down where it wasn't supposed to go!). Love ya, babe!
I put in my first online order for my digital prints (100!). I went with waldenphoto.com. That's where I bought my camera and I was really impressed with their print quality. I'll let you know how they turn out.

It looks like the movie project is still on track. I'm not at liberty to say exactly who and what's going on, but it's very exciting. This is one of the perks of my job - - getting in on projects like this and helping to "seal the deal." The producer is coming to town today or tomorrow and I get to show him the locations we are recommending based on the script he sent (very creepy).

Can you guess how many white cats are in this picture?

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Back from vacation

And all is well. Beautiful weather -- warm with a little breeze -- and this was our view: I had the opportunity to spread out all my scrapbook stuff on the big table and "play" whenever I was inspired. I got quite a bit done and had lots of fun with the new products from Memory Works.

DD spent most of her time in the water. She's at the age and ability now where she can go down to the dock and jump off, swim and play without constant supervision. Sweet. She got to ride the tube all by herself and as you can see she had a great time. She also learned how to use a Spyrograph...remember those? DH spent most of his time cleaning and organizing the cabin (his mom recently put it on the market and he is such a good son) and he did some fishing (but nothing worth keeping). His mom came up on Wednesday and we drove up to Alexandria on Thursday for shopping. Found pieces to match my great grandmother's china and so now I have eight place settings, two serving pieces, and 12 cups. Found a great little scrapbook store [insert wry smile here], and on the way home we stopped at Terrace Mill.
Friday, we headed down to Owatonna to visit our old stomping grounds. Turns out, it was their annual Crazy Days Street Dance and Festival of the Arts! Perfect timing! Except for the fact that were no available hotel rooms. Fortunately, Tom & AnnaMarie were gracious in offering their home to us and our dog. We stayed up until 1 am talking and laughing. Saturday morning, I had lunch with my amazing friend, Diana, at Costas. After some more shopping, we sat down to watch The Tuition Daddies and they invited me to the stage to perform three songs with them - - yikes, it's been two years since I sang with them! But it was fun and I didn't get too nervous. We were back in Iowa by early evening.

Sunday was the "day of reckoning" and we had unpacking, laundry, gardening, lawn mowing, and watering to do. Even though my mom & Uncle George harvested twice the week before, I still had 7 buckets of cucumbers, 2 buckets of beans, and a 5 gallon pail of zucchini. Froze 3 gallons of shredded zucchini to be used later in breads & cakes. Yesterday, I invested in an 18 quart pressure canner and hope to can pickles and green beans this weekend. Also, neighbor David called and said that the sweet corn was ready for the taking . . . so, it'll be a very busy weekend!

All in all, glad to be home!