Thursday, May 30, 2013

Photo Session

Business is slow, so am having fun re-taking a bunch of my pictures, making hay while the sun shines, as they say. I just finished the pictures when the blue sky went to black in about 1 minute, winds whipped up, torrential rain on top of a week of heavy rain. Last year, drought, back to floods this year. There was a tornado over in Muscatine, so far we are just stormy...

Monday, May 27, 2013

Finishing the Basement

We finished our basement, only took 7 years, but turned out pretty well in the end. My pictures are rather deplorable, with light carpet, yellow walls and white shelves, it kind of washed out in the photos. My screened pie safe is finally looking as nature intended, full of quilts and old stoneware bowls and topped with my pony. The seed cabinet has a home and the wonderful little desk with top shelves was my birthday present from my husband, I had so much fun filling it with my favorite things. Finally, the upholstered furniture was a steal from Pier 1--I looked everywhere, hated every thing I saw, stopped at Pier 1 thinking I was only going to find ugly imported crap, but that store is just the best now! I loved everything from the dishes to the pillows and lamps. I am so glad we got these, they are the prettiest couch and chair I've ever had.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Old Glory Collection

After this cold cold spring, it is hard to believe summer and the 4th will be here soon. I put together some wondermous Americana goods, the skittle set is $128, the sugar bucket the same, the 3 pantry boxes $198, the air force truck is $148, the dough bowl is $78.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Market Day

Farmer's market is back, yeah! I am surprised at how much they had, it has been so darn cold. I know the tomatoes are green house, but asparagus was plentiful and lots of flowers and herbs to buy, I love market day!

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Visit to Hogwarts and Hogsmeade

The Wizarding World of Harry Potter is equal parts wonderful and horrible. They really did re-create the castle and the village, it was perfect. The paintings talked and moved and looked very real, the butter beer was surprisingly delicious (hard to describe, but kind of a not-too-sweet butterscotch candy, only frozen and slushy), and we wanted to buy absolutely everything from pepper imps to sugar quills. The bad parts were the crowds, which supposedly were smaller than usual (if it had been even more crowded and hot summer, I think I would have hated Harry by the time I got done)--the shops are so small you can hardly turn around to begin with, then stuff that tiny space with too many cranky travellers, not good. Next was the ride---not one of the reviews I read said anything about how scary this ride is, and it was scary, a complete horror for someone with claustrophobia, which is me. First, the seats have a head rest that goes around the side of your face which started me right into panic---I sit down, it goes off, I'm repeating "Don't freak, don't freak", then a giant spider is suddenly right in my face spitting at me, followed by dementors and other things. Now it is not that the things were that frightening but that they were right in my face, something I just cannot stand. The idea of the ride was pretty great--Hermoine casts a spell on you so you can fly and you see Harry in front of you on his broom, taking you on a flight past Hagrid's dragon and the spiders and the dementors. They really need to change the too darn close imagery though. I had been certain we would go again and again like we do on the Indiana Jones ride at Disney, but not a one of us wanted to go back! Honestly, I'd do the Tower of Terror again before I'd go on that ride again. In case you don't know, the Tower of Terror puts you in an elevator and drops you about a million miles an hour about 5 times, total heart attack ride.

What I Love About the South

I am so missing southern hospitality. I always gave Iowans very high marks on the friendly scale, but must admit the southerners outdo us. I miss hearing "Ya'll just make yourself at home" and being called Honey. The girls were "Baby" to everyone! The scenery and weather were the best, a really nice trip across America. One of my new favorite places is Paducah Kentucky--the town is just gorgeous, downtown mid 1800s buildings in very good repair and antique shops everywhere (even though Paducah is the quilt capital, I was enthralled with the antique shops). The dealers were having a tough time of it, I think travelling is way down and the town was certainly empty on the Saturday we were there. Anyone with a hankering for a trip, I highly recommend a stop there.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Vacation First Stop Nashville

We are home at last, and I can hardly keep my eyes open at this point, car lag could be worse than jet lag....

Our first real part of the vacation was a stop in Nashville, a night at the Opryland Hotel (an amazing place about as big as Clarinda, it has pools and gardens and fountains and shops...), and of course we had to see the Grand Old Opry. A most wonderful surprise was the last set was Charlie Daniels, and he brought the place down when he played The Devil Came Down to Georgia. It was awe inspiring to see him play that fiddle. We had to go downtown to Gruhns Guitars, and stop at Fanny's House of Music and Vintage Fashions, as Taylor Swift mentioned that she loved the shop and my girls think seeing Taylor's fav shop is almost as good as seeing Taylor.

Love the southerners, but sure wish they'd stop with the sweet tea and get me an espresso~

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Off to Hogsmeade

I'm closing up shop for a week, driving off to Florida to visit the village of Hosgmeade in Harry Potter world...will be back with vacation photos!