Thursday Blatherskite

Last night Hannah and I went to a “one-stroke” painting class, and we had a blast. We learned alot in just three hours, and there’s two more sessions to go, so this class was a great investment of time and money. And I just have to brag on Hannah. She did a fantastic job. Her work was just as good as everyone else’s, and she picked up on the techniques quickly. She and I had already tried one-stroke at home, so she had a concept of what to do, but she really flourished in the class. Plus, before we left home she worked hard and finished all her homework. What a kid.

Now, I’ve tried one-stroke before. Some of the stuff I did OK on, but the thing that always got me was the “wiggle” stroke. You use the wiggle stroke to make lobed leaves and cottage roses, and I just could never get it right, until last night. The teacher (Deb Klouda) stood behind me and helped me do the stroke, and when she pivoted the brush in my hand, I finally got it. It took me three years, but I finally got it. Whew!

In other news, Carl and I had once again been looking at rural property, and once again we got goosed. This particular place was really nice: ten acres with a ranch house and four outbuildings, and it was already set up for horses with stalls in one building and sturdy fencing all around. However, the house was inadequate in a couple places: the galley kitchen was claustrophobic, and one of the three upstairs bedrooms was too small, so one of the girls would’ve had to sleep in the (finished) basement where there was no fire egress. We were working on trying to figure out how much it would cost to put a two-story addition on to the house, but we think it will be cost prohibitive. Plus, this farm was outside of our school district, and even though you can open enroll in Iowa, we would have had to drive four miles to meet the school bus, and Mary would’ve had to transfer from the Atkins/Norway elementary group to the Van Horne/Keystone elementary group. There’s no way we could have enrolled the girls in the Vinton-Shellsburg district: the change of routine for Hannah would have been overwhelming, especially at her age when her hormones are starting to kick into high gear. So even though this place was really nice, we’re going to tell the land agent that we aren’t interested any more. We do plan to ask him to keep his eyes and ears open for any land that comes up for sale, especially land in the Conservation Reserve program. The program ends in 2007 and now is the time to buy this type of “government” pasture because no one knows if the government will re-issue the program or not.

So that’s the latest blather. Tomorrow is Mary’s first soccer practice, and I’ll let you know how she does in another blog post. I’m pretty sure I’ll have alot to brag about with Boo-Boo, too.

See you later!

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