Monthly Archives: September 2008

And another thing…

In my last post about community, I forgot to mention that I’m also now on the board for Friends of the Storm Lake Library, which means helping with their fundraising efforts. The biggest of the year is an early December auction of themed baskets. I’m working on one centered on jewelry making, with a book of instructions, two murder mysteries centered on jewelry, little packets of beads and findings, and a couple of finished pairs of earrings. Lots of fun and I’ll post pics when finished.

Other than that, life just goes on. I’m pretty sure my colleague and I did not get enough students to go to NYC again during the January interim, which is a big disappointment. On the other hand, that means I’ll get 5 weeks off between fall and spring semesters, which is tough to complain about.

Today I’ve already walked the dogs — 4 people stopped to pet them, so Violet had a fabulous time — and we’ve had breakfast and I’ve brushed Ricky. Now I’m going to work on sewing some strips for a quilt, grade three papers, crochet on a child’s vest for charity (almost done), grade four papers, work on fiction, walk the dogs, and finally, go with friends to the nearby town of Hanover for a German dinner. Oh, and there has to be a shower somewhere in there, too. Busy Saturday!

Community: I has it

My readers have been clamoring for a new post (translation: one person emailed me once), so here it is.

I’ve been living in my house for two years and a few months now. The neighborhood is pleasant and neighborly; people wave when I’m out walking the dogs, we recognize each other at the grocery store and chat even if we’re not sure of each other’s actual names — that sort of thing. I haven’t enjoyed this level of neighborhood belonging since leaving my hometown at 18. Well, the three or four years ex-hubby and I lived in a duplex in Reno’s Old Southwest area was close, but people in the midwest are just *a bit* more friendly in general than westerners. Anyway, it’s a neat feeling.

Neighborliness met mystery last week when I walked up my driveway and noticed two chunks of broken clay pipe deliberately left on the stone edging of my new rock garden, right where I’d be sure to find them:

What’s the big deal about broken tile, you ask? (Go ahead and ask; I’ll wait.) You see, I’ve been using broken terracotta pipe in the garden because I love the color and because rocks are so darn hard to come by in every-inch-is-farmed Iowa. Below, you can see the terracotta edging a planting of chives and also being used bed edging:

What this means is some unidentified neighbor came across a couple of broken tiles, maybe while cleaning their garage or doing yard work, and thought I might like them for my garden. How cool is that? Plus, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the two neighbors I associate with the most, because either of them would have used the gift as an excuse to have some coffee (the older couple) or a beer (the younger folk who helped with my fence). So yeah, I live in a very nifty neighborhood!

Oh, here are the gifted tiles in my garden, hiding an ugly rock:

A friend noted that the mystery tiles gift marks my integration into Storm Lake and Iowa and that I must now stop explaining that I’m really from Nevada when I meet new folks. I think she’s right.

And what does Ricky think of this neighborhood mystery? He says “wake me when they leave food.”