Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Love it When a Project is Finished

Love wrapping a project with the finishing touches, tearing down the drop-cloths and tapping lids back on the cans of paint. This is little Aidan's pretty, pink room when we started.......

Taping and prep work ~ not my favorite parts of any job. I push my way through those important steps quick as I can so I can get to the fun part: sloshing around beautiful colors on a big, flat wall.

Blocking in the space, looking for homes for all of the images I want to be sure and include.

And this is her finished room. Her mom tells me Aidan talks to all the new friends on her walls in the morning when she wakes up.

Thanks, Nick and Ashley for letting me have so much fun!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer's Roadside Gifts

Our city is a patchwork of random makeshift stands offering the gifts from this year's bountiful harvest of home-grown veggies. Living in farm country and so near the fields myself, I have my favorite little stand. Situated right next to the road just a short hop from my neighborhood the corn is sweet and creamy as can be, picked fresh right off the stalks each morning. Exquisite with a little bit of butter..............ok, with a whole LOT of melty butter.......and a bit of salt.
It's a serve-yourself stand, just tuck your money into the rusted toolbox, pick a sack from beneath the stand if you didn't bring your own and pick your own goodies for dinner.

A little trivia to test bump up your corn smarts......

There are always an even number of rows on an ear of corn.
There are usually 16 rows.

Ears of corn usually have 800 kernels.

If you're not from farm country, you might not know the corn you pass mile after mile after mile as you drive through the countryside is not the corn you buy and eat. Most of it is field corn for use as livestock feed. If you boiled up an ear it wouldn't taste nearly as sweet and tasty.

Soooo....what liquor is made from corn???
Bourbon! Nearly all of it made in Kentucky, bourbon has to be made from 51% corn mash.

Sweet corn will lose 40% of its sugar 6 hours after picking.
Buy fresh! Eat it right away for the sweeeeetest taste.
Later it will still be good but that sugar turns to starch.

If you really want to impress someone, ask them the three types of corn. Y'know....like if it's a really boring evening and you're sitting on the porch in your rocker and the lightning bugs haven't come out yet.....seriously, this will be impressive conversation.

The three types of corn:

Flint corn
This is what people usually call "Indian corn" ~ the corn that you usually see in the fall with kernels that are all sorts of different colors.)

Dent corn
This field corn. It pretty much gets ground up for use as livestock feed. More than 50% of the corn grown in the USA is used for feed.

Sweet corn
Don't need to tell ya 'bout this one now, do I??
Slap on a little butter and smile.

"But Deb!!! You forgot one!" you are shouting at me from the porch rocker. "What about POPCORN!!!!"

Technically, popcorn is actually a type of Flint corn.
And you knew the reason it explodes is because it's got moisture inside it, right?

Yeah, I thought you did.

Sunday, August 08, 2010


The creeping party that pedals it's way across the State of Iowa every July is called RAGBRAI, an acronym that's taken on a life of it's own and has attracted bikers young and old to the beautiful roadsides of our agricultural state for 38 years.

An estimated 10-15,000 riders move across the state from West to East during the week-long event, camping in small towns along the way and dining on sumptuous event favorites like pork chops on a stick, fresh corn on the cob and just-like-your-grandma-made chicken and noodle dinners at the local Methodist churches.

This year my friend Jill and I, fresh from nearly two years of study to earn our graduate degrees in May, decided to hit the road with a pop-up tent and a van full of Gatorade and cool stuff we thought bikers might like to buy. We sweat buckets in the July heat, sold bandana's and beer koozies and we kept our share of the pedaling buddies hydrated with ice cold Gatorade and the occasional motivating mixed shot of Cherry/Vanilla UV.

I could tell ya all about it, but it's easier to just look at the pics, in no special order ~ just a week of (sweaty) fun!


Arrived Alive at Fifty-Five

Here I am, still breathing and closer to a hundred years old than newborn. Yikes, in printed font I sound like a dinosaur....

Don't much care, gotta tell ya I am loving the "fifties". Yup, this year I'm fifty-five and can't remember a year I've had more fun. It just keeps getting better. So Happy Birthday to me and Happy Birthday to you, too ~ whenever it is ~ remember every day is a clean slate full of awesome possibilities. Some days will wiggle along in a fairly ordinary manner, others will explode on the screen of our life's radar like holiday fireworks. Enjoy them all!!!

I have a feeling this is going to be the BEST year ever.........