Thursday, May 31, 2012

Sunrise- May 31

Hey, I know you all are used to this, but I love getting these gorgeous sunrises in the morning.  I have to NOW walk all the way out to the road (which is a bit of a hike!) to GET to these sunrises, as the sun has shifted so far to the north, (or if you want to be technical- the earth has shifted so the sun appears farther to the north) I can no longer get them from the field by my house.  I am apparently motivated by these so, off I went.  Pretty cold this morning, I don't think it frosted, but it was in the 30's.  I covered the tomato and baby bean plants last night!  Brr!

So enjoy your morning shot of pretty.....   Should bring you a moment of joy!  :) 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Project weekend- a beginning and an end

Projects: we always have a few of them going on!  

I won't even get into the ones that have gone on an embarrassingly long time- ahemcoughcabin- or even ones that I get so much "advice" on that I don't know what to do- that would be the giant hand project.

So here is the end and the beginning of projects from Memorial Day weekend. I like to start with a mission accomplished!  I recently started working on my mom and dad's old patio set.  I really like the look of this set, it is well made and pretty cool, it is just that sitting in the incredible heat of my parent's cement porch, it had degraded.  The strapping had broken down, the paint was peeling, the cushions are kind of disgusting.  But the curves of the frame are cool.  So, I decided to rescue it and refinish.  Last fall I ordered some repair straps from a patio furniture online place, and I picked up some spray paint at a home center. I also picked up some new cushions on sale last fall, but am  not convinced they are right... At any rate, I finally convinced the MA to FIND the freaking metal brush already, so I could start removing the old paint.  I used sand paper for a while, but the metal brushy thing worked better.  Thanks, toots!

Sanding and sanding

Starting the spray painting

Side by side

Most of the straps applied to first chair

It took several days of sanding, scrubbing, spray-painting, painting some more, retouching the paint, flipping it over and finding more places to paint, and oh yeah, moving the crazy things in and out of the garage about a million times.  Then the "fun" job of putting on the new strapping.  The plastic straps get applied with the use of a drill, boiling water, a minimum of 2 people and the patience of Job.  It was not a difficult maneuver, but it was tricky.  I want it known that since I actually read directions, I was right!  You do not need to know what I was right about, but let's just let that be known!  HA!  After the MA and I survived the replacement of the straps on one chair (actually, the remaining 3 had not been painted) the rest of them were completed with the help of one of the kids- the eldest Mad-son to be exact.  Good thing, too, cuz, seriously, that fake patient voice about makes me want to....       oh never mind.  It's all good!  :)
Jon, Sarah, Fred and of course Ruger

The straps are cut about 2 inches short, then they are boiled and stretched. CRAZY!

With the painting done, the plexi is applied to the table frame. 

HAHAHA, Ruger was exhausted after all that work

BUT, it got done and that is what counts.  Turns out that 3 people work out even better than 2 for putting on that crazy strapping stuff.  Glad Jonny and Sarah were kind enough to pitch in!  And you will notice the wayward dog or two as well!  THAT was a satisfying job well done!

Also, as I noted on Facebook, hell has frozen over and the garden shed that had been a dug out pile of gravel for 2 years is actually underway!  There is actual fill and concrete forms.... shut the front door!  There was a transit involved!!  And there is talk of bringing in a cement truck!!!!  GASP!  Stay tuned for further updates..... now if I could only get some interest in finishing off the actual house!

I always think of my dad when the tractor is running!  

Things always seem to get done quickly when the Builder Joe shows up!

Spreading and shoveling!

Sarah Jane running the transit- it is easier to do than I thought!  

Surveying the job so far 
So the forms are up and it is almost ready for a concrete pour!  My giant hand is almost ready for concrete, too, I should get it ready so I can steal a few buckets for the base.  Well, we now know what my first summer project is going to be!  Along with some closet cleaning, some weeding, um socializing with my dear friends, working out, walking, running.........  Hmmmm, I have to start a list!

This is how far the hand is!  Just gotta add some rebar and finish some wiring
Until next time, don't forget to be a joy-giver!

Beautious night

I had a busy day on Tuesday! 

Beautiful yellow "flag" iris by Smith Lake

School was a mad house!  (Love finding these mad references- heh!)  However, the day went fast and I was relieved to be able to get on with other things.  I took a lot of pictures at several different locations, which was a pleasant surprise for a Tuesday.  In fact I have so many pictures that need to be dealt with, I am hoping that people aren't sick to death of my postings!  If you are please just smile indulgently and pat me on the head.  My art brain is in high gear in anticipation of not having it cluttered up with school events.  And my exercise brain is also in high gear to clear some of the goop that accumulated in me over the Memorial Day weekend......  Oy

I was SO excited to get my "Girls With Guns...... Courtesy of Triple B" tank top yesterday!!  This has been in the works for a few months and it is flattering that I was included in the initial group of recipients! We had such a good time getting these pics, the whole gym was watching us ham it up for the camera.  GUESS who always ALWAYS has her camera in her purse for just such incidences????  LOL.

I seriously think I should get in the sun more!  Lol

After a quick weight lifting session (can't wait until next week when I can spend all sorts of time lifting) I sprinted home to go to a little school gathering at Northern Pines for my friend Diane.  I got there a little later than I liked, but got to see people who I rarely get to talk to these days.  This crew of people here worked together for many years before most of them went and retired on me!!!  I miss them so much.  So I took a few lake pix as well as getting the bartender to take a group shot!

Debi, Nettie - the tattoo show-off , Diane (not a retiree!), Amy, Ginny, and Carol

Butternut Lake- at Northern Pines Resort

I REALLY want to still call this place Bob's Northern Pines!  :)

After a half of a mediocre Margarita, (I apparently have become a bit of a tequila snob!), I decided I needed to DO something.  I took a really fast walk back towards the cabin, discovered the MA cutting up some wood for his mother, and continued on to the creek farther along the trail.  It is so gorgeous and it was a great walk, in spite of the mosquitos that were pervasive.  No wood ticks, though!  After a short wood unloading session, we set off to the campground down the road, there were several photographic treasures waiting to be uncovered.  I hope you enjoy them, too.


The trees are dead from the year plus that they were flooded by a beaver dam flood.

Changing seasons from spring into summer

wild flowers

Woods road- you can hear the mosquitos and the tree toads if you stand still and listen

Smith Lake beach

Evening at the flowage

A picture that frames itself

Like I said, I have a few posts left in me, so don't be surprised when more pop up!  :)

After all, they give me a lot of joy- and I sincerely hope you find a little in them too.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

And it's ON!

Many of you will know exactly what this means!!!

Summer is ON BABY!!!

Game face!
Find your joy and get ready to GO!

Memorial Day photos

A fitting end to the Memorial Day weekend is to visit the grave sites of our loved ones.  I am rarely able to visit my own family's sites, but do a lot of thinking while at the 2 cemeteries up here.  Fred and I always get to both the Park Falls and Butternut cemeteries- for the Oswald and the Bruch family burial sites.  Hard to imagine that Grandpa Oswald has been gone for 20 years.  My own dad died, what, 8 years ago??  I can hardly believe it.

The hard one to see this year is Aunt Doris- even though it has been over a year, she was part of my day to day life.  Though I miss my dad, the truth is that I only saw him a few times a year.  His death affected me deeply, but it comes at irregular and frequently surprising times.  Aunt Doris was someone I saw certainly weekly and sometimes- daily.  I remember Doris every time I drive by the house she shared with her son, every time I visit the library.  Every time I see her Bobby.  I treasure her spirit, her intelligence, her humor, her ability to converse for hours- and her love for me.

I hope your Memorial Day was filled with the joys of having friends and family near you, and also with the poignant memory of the people you loved the most.

Clouds- Nola Cemetery 

Flags for vets in the old part of the cemetery- Park Falls

Guardian tree

St. Cecelia Cemetery- Butternut

Monday, May 28, 2012

Graduation Saturday- Before, during and after

I want it known right away that I am incredibly attached to my students.  I may complain, privately and not so privately, that they can be messy, selfish, inconsiderate, and at the end of the school year- LAZY!  Yes, lazy, you all know it- so no arguing!  Anyway, I also find them incredibly funny, smart, talented and so awesome.  I have know most of them since they were little bitty things- Kindergarteners!  That is the joy of living in a small town and working at a small school, you get to see the majority of your little kids through their school age lives!  So to say I am attached is a bit of an understatement.

Graduation is kind of hard for me, I appreciate the uniqueness of each student, know a lot of their personal story and what makes them happy and sad.  It shows in their art, it shows in their daily interactions.  And so to have these relationships come to an end, such as they are, is a heart wrenching affair.  I've had so many fantastic students through the years, and what is amazing is the phenomena known as facebook!!! I can keep up with them and their lives after hs on FB, which is something I really enjoy.  It is so cool to know what they are doing through their college/tech/jobs after school.  AND I have gotten 16 friend requests in the past 48 hours- all from former students, and in a few cases, kids I never even HAD as students in the art room.  Which is cool.

At any rate, there were a few tears shed by me this weekend, I have several special children graduating.  BUT WAIT, I guess the aren't children any more.

So while I don't have an extensive selection of photos from the parties, there are a few here, along with my carryings on the Thursday before graduation day- that is when the real goodbyes were said.

Billy H., Tim L., Mary P., me, Brooke, Lisa D.

I've know Lisa since she was a baby!  

Brandon,  Amanda, Belle, Emma, BrianS., Corey H., me, Ryan, Kaylee


Belle, Brandon, Brian

Noelle, Ryan,Amanda, Kenray, Kayla, (Bo- the official mascot), Nicole, Tiffany, Harli, Mariah, Allie


Sarah and I

Kenray and I on graduation day

My stars-  Sarah and Kenray
Part of the choir during the ceremony

FUNNY pic- Jon and John, Debi and Debbie Oswald
 Jon is my son, John is the MA's cousin's son- who is a teacher here, Me and Debbie Oswald who is John's wife.  AND she used to live in the house that I live in now!  At Brooke Sommerfeldt's party- yet another "Mad-realtive"!
Brenda Oswald- the carpenter's wife

My buddy Maia Oswald

I found Erica at Mark and Renee's house- at Lisa Donner's party.
It really was a lovely graduation day in spite of the spotty showers.

So it will all start over again next school year with the next batch of awesome students.  And we will find some joy.