Sunday, April 29, 2012

Your Sunday Best, 29 April 2012

Thomas Park, Marion, IA

This week's "Your Sunday Best, #14" entry, taken with an iPhone using the Instagram application.

"Your Sunday Best" is hosted by A Rural Journal. Please click on the button below to view the rest of this week's entries.

The Mississippi River

Upon looking through some "old" photos the other day, I came across this photo I took in 2007. I was in Illinois, having just crossed the Mississippi River, and had stopped for a 15-20 minute driving break at the first rest area in Illinois.

You can see the Mississippi River, with the bridge going across (east/west), which is actually I-80. The far side of the river as seen in the photo is Iowa, somewhere between the Quad Cities (Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa, and Moline and Rock Island in Illinois) and  Le Claire, Iowa.

Click on the photo to see a larger view of it.

Friday, April 27, 2012

A Few More Random Views

Okay, so it's one of those blustery, sort of overcast days. So, of course, I've been daydreaming about the Southwest . . . which made me feel like looking through some "old" photos I'd taken when we still lived in the Southwest.

Here are a few that I haven't shared, yet, that I thought I'd share today. (Liv's 15-16 months old in the first two photos.)

Liv's in El Paso, TX, in her great-grandparents' backyard.

In El Paso, TX, again, looking out at the backyard.

Our back yard view in Alamogordo, NM after a rain.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Random View

A random view from downtown Iowa City, IA (a.k.a. "I'm procrastinating"):
Near the Hotel Vetro, Iowa City, IA

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Spring Land, Unused

An Iowa corn field, currently unused, via iPhone camera.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Liv's Earth Day Activity

Yesterday we were fortunate enough to have some great springtime weather. So what did we get to do? We went out to a local trail at the park down the street, and enjoyed the outdoors. Not only was it a great day to be outside, but it was also "Earth Day." What better way to spend "Earth Day" then by walking and biking in the sunshine and fresh air?

Off she goes on her bike!

She'd spent plenty of time on her bike, but also took time to get off her bike to chase butterflies, or look at various aspects of the stream (like how some parts seemed deeper than others, or that some parts had clear water and some had muddy water, etc.).

"Mama, that stream is attractive."
She had explained to me that the stream was "attractive" because it attracted her attention and made her want to jump in, "because I love water!" as she put it!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Your Sunday Best 21 Apr 2012

South side of Schaeffer Hall, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

I used my iPhone to take this photo, using the Instagram application.

I'm taking part in this week's "Your Sunday Best" (#14) hosted by A Rural Journal. Please click on the button below to view the rest of this week's entries:

Monday, April 16, 2012

"Squirrel Habitat"

Today, Lisa from over at Two Bears Farm e-mailed me to suggest Livie and I enter the Annual "Tissue Box Challenge" because she knows Livie loves doing artsy things.

I've been swamped with school work lately (since we've got just under a month left in the semester).

But I desperately needed a break this afternoon, so after picking Livie up from Kindergarten, she and I raided the recycle bin to see if we had any empty tissue boxes. I figured we should have a bunch, since I've finally been getting over "flu like" symptoms; plus, both Livie and I have been hit hard by seasonal allergies (ALREADY!!) this spring, complete with constantly sniffly noses.

But the majority of tissue boxes I thought we had in the recycle bin had already been . . . well, taken to the curb and recycled. But I was able to find one empty small, square one and an empty box that had once contained plastic lunch baggies.

And since we had a bit of construction paper (and an empty paper towel roll), glue, scissors, and a stuffed animal squirrel, we figured we'd make a tree fit for a squirrel!

Here are the photos of the final result:

"Jumpy Squirrel" is in the treetop, along with a flying bird (on the box).

"Jumpy Squirrel" won't get hungry because the tree has apples.

Livie's taking the opportunity to pet "Jumpy Squirrel."

This fun arts-and-crafts opportunity/challenge is hosted in part by Two Bears Farm (and JDaniel4's Mom):
Two Bears Farm

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Your Sunday Best - 14 April 2012

Details of a Pow Wow dancer's regalia, 7 April 2012, The University of Iowa's 19th Annual Pow Wow, Iowa City, IA.

I'm participating in this week's "Your Sunday Best," hosted by A Rural Journal. Please click on the button below to view the rest of this week's entries.

Friday, April 13, 2012

One of Those Weeks

Sometimes you just have one of those weeks. You know what I'm talking about - multiple days of 29-hours' worth of stuff to accomplish in each 24-hour time period.

I'm obviously at that "crunch time" of my semester with lots of papers to write (a 20-25 page paper, a 7-8 pager, and a 10-12 pager), books to read, and research to finish.

But before I wear myself down completely, I think tonight may call for a little break to recharge. Luckily, my mom's in the area today for some intense ballroom dancing lessons. She'll wrap up in time to pick up Livie from school; then she's taking us to dinner before she heads home on her 2.5 hour drive.

So I think I'll allow myself to order a margarita at dinner, like the one below, on the rocks (which I had last week after a day at the Pow Wow).

And then after Livie goes to bed, I've got two of my favorite shows on TV, back to back.

It's a necessary few hours' respite before the semester's last hard-hitting month.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pow Wow Update

Okay, so the other day, I mentioned that Andrew, Livie, and I had gone to Day 1 of the University of Iowa's 19th Annual Pow Wow. (Here's our trip report.)

Anyway, on the University of Iowa's website, they have a photo and a video by Bill Adams (from the University's Communications and Marketing department). (Click here to see what the University posted.)

Here's the video he posted:

Monday, April 9, 2012

The Way to Spend a Sunday

Yesterday, we had a wonderful spring day - not too warm, not too cool (in the low 60s), and perfectly sunny. So what did we do with our sunny, breezy Sunday?

Livie and I flew our jellyfish kite!

I'd gotten it high in the sky while Livie watched. She actually enjoyed just watching for a while . . . about 5 minutes (or even a little longer), before she tried her hand at flying it herself.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Your Sunday Best, 8 April 2012

Mexican tile, local restaurant, taken via iphone, 7 Apr 2012

I'm participating in "Your Sunday Best," hosted by A Rural Journal. Please click on the button below to view the rest of this week's entries:

Saturday, April 7, 2012

19th Annual Pow Wow

Today was the first day of the two-day 19th Annual University of Iowa Pow Wow. Andrew, Livie, and I went, and we had a great time. (We went last year, too. You can read that report here, including some photos and short video clips.)

We'd gotten to the university's Recreation Center just before noon after a 40 minute drive, (hit the rest rooms), and Livie and I set out to get something to eat.

She'd been talking and talking about fry bread, something typically found at pow wows and Native American gatherings. It's very much like a sopaipilla (which you may be familiar with if you've ever eaten in the Southwest).

She'd gotten just the plain fry bread. And I got the "Indian" taco, which is fry bread topped with taco stuff (ground beef, grated cheese, lettuce, tomatoes). We were both so hungry that I completely forgot to take a photo. As a matter of fact, I hadn't realized until just this moment that I never even thought to get a photo!

Anyway, around 1:15 PM, they had the drummer role call - each group of drummers played their drums for a short while. Then they had the "Grand Entrance," which is when all the participants line up in their regalia and dance into the center dance area, accompanied by the drummers and singers who do their thing. The vibrations from the drums are an incredible feeling, which you can feel going through your body to a mesmerizing beat!

They'd had a couple opening songs (about victory and also one honoring veterans) and then they started the dances (with numerous categories for type of dance, age, and so forth (specifics like, girls', boys', men's, women's).

Okay, so I'd wanted to take a lot of photos, but with the way seating was set up around the dance area, as well as how the vendors' booths were, it was hard for me to get a clear shot, so I didn't get too many. But I did get a few using both my new iphone and my trusty little digital camera.

Here are a few of the photos I captured today. Okay, keep in mind, they were taken with either a Canon PowerShot or iphone, in less than adequate lighting. So some of them came out grainy. And some, which I tried to fix, didn't come out how I'd wanted. Others, I used Picnik (for one of the last times) and its special effects.

A dancer is ready and waiting for the start. 

Herky the Hawkeye, the University of Iowa's mascot.

Ladies in motion.

Dancers are waiting.

Regalia details on a waiting dancer. 

A young man, mid-dance (and a judge looking on).

More dancing.

Friday, April 6, 2012

More Photos on Friday

Okay, so I've been enjoying the camera app on my new iphone. I've been taking quite a few photos with it the past few days.

Here are a few of the photos I've taken with it. These are from Thursday, April 5, 2012.

Exterior, view from South Entrance walkway, Marion Public Library, Marion, IA

Exterior, view from south side, Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Interior, Main Library, Asian Collections section, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Spring Shot 2012

Here it is! It's "The Spring Shot, 2012"!

The Spring Shot, 2012, taken outside the University of Iowa's Main Library between 2:30 and 3:00 PM, April 5, 2012.

Just to refresh your memory, here's "The Winter Shot, 2012."
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