Sunday, May 24, 2009

Milestone Passed

Today was Commencement.

The graduates filed across the field to the traditional Pomp & Circumstance.

The Superintendent congratulated them and encouraged them to continue to learn and make good choices along the rest of life's journey.

The two valedictorians shared one speech, which only lasted about 5 minutes and was very well done.

The diplomas were conferred on approximately 300 graduates.

The tassels were moved.

The senior class president's farewell address was brief and ended with . . .

. . . hats in the air!

A few tears were shed, hugs were shared and lots of photos were taken.

We're so proud of her!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Eighteen years ago as I write this I had been in labor for 61 hours.
I had a little over 2 hours left to go.

Amanda was born on a Tuesday, at 7:36 p.m.

This is what she looked like at 24-36 hours old:

And at 9 months:

She is my first born and she came in her own sweet time. Although we started labor on her due date (May 19), she wasn't born until the evening of the 21st. She defied the nurses' goal of keeping her swaddled and would calm down the moment she had room to stretch her legs. I must keep remembering this as she turns 18 today. I suspect that she will always resist the attempts of outsiders to keep her confined and will always need a little room to stretch her legs a bit.

She is a beautiful young woman and I am very proud of all that she has become.

I have been and continue to be very blessed to have her in my life.

I love you Goose! Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Back From the Edge

Yes, I took a trip to the edge, both metaphorically and literally.

First, the metaphorical....

I had a bit of a rough patch at work last week, and while I thought blogging might help, I ultimately decided to delete the posts. In hindsight, I'm sure this was the prudent (if not kind) thing to do.

'Nuf said.

As for my literal trip to the edge, we traveled to the edge of our state this past week end in order to attend three family graduations.

While this may look like an ordinary graduation memory, it's really quite a special and extraordinary moment. This is my baby brother (who is a good 6" taller than me!) and his wife. They graduated with their accounting degrees this past weekend. What the first photo doesn't show is the reality of how they did it . . .

. . . while raising two little ones and working full time as the night manager of a local hotel. I couldn't be more proud of them!!!!! They deserve a TON of accolades and kudos and bravos on a job well done.

Love you guys!!

Also, my nephew graduated from high school this past weekend as well. He's off to finish up some military training with the army this summer and will graduate from AIT at the end of the summer. He is a fine young man and I'm very proud of him as well. Way to go N!!!!!!!

To top off an already joyous weekend, I received my Reducio Swap package over the weekend! Look at these goodies!!!!!............

It arrived all the way from Connecticut and had some WONDERFUL stuff tucked inside!

A mandrake (passed out a couple times before I got the poor thing potted!) per the herbology assignment.

A cute pedicure/sandals sock in Ravenclaw colors. (Love that it goes with summer! It's 90* here today, so the open toe is well appreciated!)

Some lovely hand-made stitch markers.

An uber-cool Gryffindor bag which is now my knitting tools/trinkets bag!

Some delicious chocolate in favorite flavors.....(also handy if dementors attack!)

And la piece de resistance . . . some mohair roving procured at a local fiber festival and tucked in for me to spin on my spindle!! (How totally awesome is that?!?!!)

I can't thank my swap partner enough!!
Knitters are such great people!!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


Youngin's aren't going to understand this image.

I'll be back soon, I promise.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

EZ Blanket

(In the interest of full disclosure: it's very possible I haven't laid this out correctly! This photo is for demonstration purposes only and should not be confused with whatever the finished object looks like. Thank you.)

Here's what I have so far on the baby blanket I'm knitting from Elizabeth Zimmerman's The Opinionated Knitter. I am really loving the feel of the organic cotton yarn from Knit Picks. And the colors.

While I was knitting with my knitting pals this morning one of them was looking at the thing quizically. When I showed her the design sketch for the finished project, she drew in a quick breath and said, "That would be perfect for my autistic grandson! A puzzle piece is the emblem for autism and that looks like a puzzle pieced together to me!"

One regret. I wish I had gotten the worsted weight yarn rather than the sport. Other than that, it's good, mindless knitting whenever I get a few moments. (May is VERY busy!)

Happy knitting!

ps...I also find "vacuuming" with photoshop highly entertaining!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

All In A Day's Work

So yesterday I had one of those days r.e. my job that puts a smile on my heart.
I found myself almost laughing aloud at the thought I was getting paid to do this!

Assignment #1: 10:00 a.m.

One of the restaurants here in town closed down for a remodel. They've gone with a historic theme from the early days of the building in which they are located. It's really nice! And I get to photograph it!

Assignment #2: 1 p.m.

The Sertoma group here in town is putting together a really inspiring Veterans Memorial Park. It features a scenic walkway lined with blooming trees and stones dedicated to men and women who have served in all branches of the armed forces. There is a small amphitheater area and lots of flags. All set in the beauty of a local park with a lake.

Assignment #3: 6:30 p.m.

We have a historic cemetery here in Fort Dodge with thousands of graves. Most of the founders of the city/area are buried here. For the past few years a group of active citizens who work to preserve the cemetery have hosted a Ghost Walk. I'm doing an article about the walk for the June issue of Fort Dodge Today. One gentleman does a lot of research into the lives of those buried there. (He drove to four seperate county courthouses to track down minutes from a trial that had several changes of venue. The trial took place in the 1800's and court clerks had to find the records in warehouses!) It's a very interesting and informative event. Plus there's homemade ice cream for sale by the youth group of a local Lutheran church when you get done with your tour! (A real treat on a June afternoon in Iowa!)

Anyway, I had such a varied day and each place I went was interesting. It was fun talking with the folks involved with each project. (Their enthusiasm was infectious!)
I enjoy meeting people. And getting paid to take pictures??? PLEASE! I feel so lucky!