Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mas Musica!

I think the title means More Music! Just brushing off my Spanish II brain cells.  Not that Spanish has anything whatsoever to do with this post. More Music! does though.

So my Dad has been in a nursing home for over a year now.  As a family we have wrestled with this choice, and though we feel have made the right decision, I think we still think through the "what-ifs  and "if-only's".  It is not easy to have your Dad/Husband/Grandpa in a nursing home at age 73, but that doesn't mean the nursing home is a horrible place.  I refuse to call it such.  Parkinson's is a HORRIBLE disease, and that is where the problem lies, not in the nursing home. At least not Dad's nursing home.  

I know we have it good here.  Most nursing homes leave a lot to be desired.  But here, we have pretty darn good nurses, a nice facility, good doctors, fresh popcorn most hours of the day, and a large basement where the grandkids can all get together and play hide-n-seek or sardines if they choose.  Oh, and we also have Judy.

Judy. Judy. Judy.  She can call a Bingo game like nobody's business.  She dresses up like Mario for her grandson's birthday party ( I know this because I work with her daughter and have seen the photographic evidence). She also directs a pretty mean handbell choir and makes us cry like babies whenever she puts on a special program for the residents and their families.  So this past Saturday she did both.  My dad plays in the handbell choir and he does a great job.  They all do.  It amazes me how good they sound!  They played some traditional hymns, and ended with "I Love You Lord." Not a dry eye in the place - let me tell you.  I'm sure it was a sweet, sweet sound in His ear.

And so the nursing home provides me with an experience that I probably would have never had.  I got to see and hear my Dad perform - to loud cheers and clapping no less! I am so proud of him! Maybe it is just the smallest opportunity for me to repay the countless hours of concerts, track meets, basketball games, and school plays both he and mom attended in the years we were growing up.  They always let us know how proud they were of us too.  Sometimes you find your blessings in the darnedest places.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Good Music, Good Light, Good Life

Marissa had the chance to play in the NW Iowa Middle School Strings Concert the other day.  As you can see, I took my camera along.  As you can see, I could use a little zoom in my lens.  But you get the gist. Really, why do you bring a camera to a music concert anyway?  I should have brought a recorder of some sort because she, and the rest of the kids from our middle school, totally rocked the house church.  My goodness. I seriously get teary-eyed when I hear them play.  Even when they just warm up, it gets to me.  I thought I was the only one, but the Captain said he had the same thing. We're weird that way.

So after a wonderful concert, and dinner out with some friends afterward, we forsook Best Buy, Target, and Lowe's and headed home.  School night you know.  Besides, that, the light was really pretty as only it can be on an autumn evening in rural Iowa.

Actually these pics were from the trip down to the concert.  Love the different textures of the fields as they are harvested. And catching that telephone pole right in the middle of the photo as I was hanging out the car window at 67 miles per hour - well, that's raw talent I tell you.

I'd like to live on that hill.  I'd put my horses out back.

Oh dear, I have become my husband.  We can add this to his cloud picture collection. The Captain's a sucker for a good cloud formation.

We can add this one to the side-profile-of-the-Captain-as-he-is-driving-collection. Seems like we have a bunch of those shots too. But this one is special because here I am experimenting with creative sun flare.  It looks like a golden sneeze. (HER-RUSSIA!! That's a joke only the girls and the Captain will appreciate.) And that large piece or radioactive green bokeh bursting forth from his right frontal temporal lobe, well, like I said. Raw talent.

Then we saw this little rainbow-ish thing.  It was more like a rain-cylinder than a rainbow.  But it was pretty cool looking.  Turns out we were the lucky ones getting a nice little rain shower back in the OC.  

Wish this one hadn't been so blurry 'cause the light was pretty neat-o keen. Like I said, 67 mph hanging out the window of your car never does much for the sharpness of your pictures.  Your hair either, for that matter.

And here's what it's all about in NW Iowa this time of year.  I still love the sight, smell, and sound of a good hard fought harvest being brought in.  There's something very good and right about it.  Like hearing your girl warm up for her orchestra concert.  Ahhhh.

  It's a good life.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Big Benny...

Big Benny is turning one on October 8. How fast did that year fly by?

Why do we call him Big Benny?  Well, it could be in reference to his rather large, rather blue eyes.  They are big and blue, alright.

Or it could be in reference to his "big" personality.  He definitely has one of those too.  

But no, it really has a lot to do with the fact Big Benny has a rather large noggin. Truth.

Don and Michelle have decided to capitalize on this and plan to dress him up for Halloween as, well...guess...

When Don told me they were thinking about it, I think I laughed until I cried.  

Oh Benny, we love you so much!!