Life is Often Too Seriously Taken, so for that reason, I'm going to post a silly poem from time-to-time. These first several will each be taken from a small booklet entitled, Lighten Up! 100 Funny Little Poems, compiled and edited by Bruce Lansky.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Jigzone - A Puzzle A Day

Here's another puzzle for you to try! :-)

Click to Mix and Solve

Monday, December 1, 2008

I'm So Excited! (And Honored!)

Remember last Summer when I painted a couple of banners for our city?
(As did 27 local artists)

Here's the press release I just received by e-mail:

Selected Fairfield Street Banners have now been made into full color postcards. The Original Art Banner project "Celebrate Fairfield - A Cultural Garden" by the Fairfield Beautification Commission and the Fairfield Art Association earlier this summer featured 27 local artists. The public was invited to vote for their favorite banners and that input along with reproducing quality and local subject, decided the winning postcards. It was first planned to produce only 6 designs, but selection was very hard due to all the fantastic designs and 8 ended up being selected.
The artists and their banners that have been made into postcards are: "Fairfield Bandstand" by Susan Noll Thicke, "Leapfrog Sculpture" by (me - "Shady" Kathy T), "Victorian House" by Cindy Travers, "Fairfield Cloudscape" by John Preston, "Country Road" by Bonnie Jaye, "Jefferson County Cow" by Elaine Duncan, "Sunshine & Golden Domes" by Ann Shook,and "Courthouse Cow" by Cindy Travers. Photos of the banners were taken by Julie Johnston and transferred to postcard format by Barb McMahon.
Hot off the press, these eight colorful Banner Design Postcards will be available for purchase at this Friday December 5 Art Walk, at the Fairfield Art Association Studio Sales Gallery from 6- 9 pm. Postcards can be bought in ribbon packaged bundles of 8, which includes one of each design for $6, or individually for $1 each. Proceeds from the sales will be jointly shared by Beautification & Art Association for their many community projects. Limited postcards have been printed. The Fairfield Banners have been so popular, it is being discussed how to do more - we just need to locate more banners to re-cycle!

Again.... I am so honored and Thrilled! :-) Just thought you might like to know!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Thanksgiving? Family Secrets

Click on this to be able to read it! Thanks Aunt MEA! :-)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

These scarves were sent to Kathryn of Plant Whatever Brings You Joy. This is what she called her "Scarf Initiative." Please follow the three links to read her posts. It was a joy to be able to participate! Post #1, Post #2, and Post #3.

My scarf - you can click on any photo to enlarge it.

A "study in contrasts"

A close-up

Sunday, November 9, 2008


The first- and second-graders came up with this list describing friends.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Home Grown Tomatoes!

This seems to be a two-fold tribute! :-)


Apples falling!
Perhaps you'd like to try this game.

I tried. I missed more than I caught.
Perhaps I'd be good at making applesauce? ;-)

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Can You Resist This?

Click on this and enjoy!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Fireworks and Fanfare in Burlington, Iowa

Saturday night,
July 5, 2008,
We traveled to Burlington, Iowa for our first
"Symphonic Blast!" experience.
(Absolutely Free and open to the public!)

I may be wrong, but I believe we were told this was the 14th annual concert.
It takes place in Crapo Park.
The SE Iowa Symphony entertains the crowd with several numbers.
Here are a couple of short video clips.

A very good friend of ours plays in the SE Iowa symphony, which is conducted by Robert McConnell. They hold three Classical Concert weekends (each weekend performance is played on a Friday night and repeated twice on Saturdays, all in different locations: Ottumwa, Burlington, Mt. Pleasant and now in Fairfield). They also support three "kidsymphany" performances (all on one day) in November, a variety of educational projects in the schools, Pops concerts and a Messiah Sing. Tickets are Very reasonable. Members of the symphony travel from many, many points in SE Iowa to play together. And, now, let me sell you YOUR membership tickets! ;-)

At least you might want to plan to attend next year's concert!

Definitely not a "shady deal!"

Saturday, June 28, 2008

This is the Only Way I'll "Jump" from a Parachute!

Two very special people just jumped out of airplanes for the first time.
Not me!! This is as close as I'll get to that endeaver.

I wonder how they'll do at THIS? :-)

You should try this, too. It's kinda fun.

Friday, June 13, 2008

It's Up!

My banner is up!

In downtown Fairfield.
This side depicts the sculpture of "William Coop and Friend"
by Christopher Bennett
This side depicts "Leapfrog"
by Christopher Bennett
who commissioned the front figure to be done by
Dale Divoky (his daughter was the model).

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Beginning with the first weekend of April, I asked (and organized) our Sunday School classes, grades 1 through 8, to paint pieces of a banner about Jesus.
The banner is entitled Jesus - Miracles and Parables
This is a photo of the banner.

It needed to be finished by the end of April.
I also sewed the paintings and sashing to create the banner.
It was hung, with other banners created by Sunday School classes
over the years.

This short video shows the various banners hanging in the sanctuary.

The next week was so busy that I was unable
to work on the other banner that was originally intended to be finished
by the first Friday in May.
The original banners were purchased for hanging in town a few years ago.
Rather than purchase a complete set of new banners this year,
it was decided to purchase a partial set and have volunteers
paint the blocked-out design on both sides of the old banners.

These photos show the banner I painted.

This depicts the William Coop and Friend sculpture
by Christopher Bennett.

This sculpture is found in Central Park.

This depicts the Leapfrog sculpture
by Christopher Bennett.

This sculpture is found in front of the Carnegie Library building
(the first Carnegie Library built west of the Mississippi River)
which now houses the Indian Hills Community College's
Fairfield Service Center.

Many of these banners are now hanging around the central part of Fairfield.
I'm sure the goal is to have them all hanging for June's First Friday Artwalk.

This has surely been a "Banner Month!" ;-)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Who Is It?

Borrowed from the Dellits' site:

Hmmmmm? :-)

Friday, May 2, 2008

This is from an e-mail I received today

These photos were taken at a beach in Ocean City, MD. Randy Hofman's creations wash away at the end of a day, due to the ocean tide.

Check out his website for more information, not only about his sand sculptures but about his paintings and ministry.

I thought this was amazing. I can't think I'd do anything fancier than a "sand castle." ;-)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Who said a the song has to be perfect? Who said the tempo must be exact? Who said you have to be trained?

Put innocence and gusto together and what do you get?

This! :-)

Couldn't have done it better myself.
What a sweet blessing! :-)

Monday, April 14, 2008

Just Perhaps...

I'd thought it might be time for a Trade.
To trade in Winter for Spring.
But just then I noticed a small little thing -
Like song of a bird, a butterfly wing,
green sprout from a bed, bud on a twig...
and it seems the decision's been made.

What a relief! It's not up to me.
I can simply enjoy "being out."
Walking, and raking, playing the scout -
A tiny brown snake gliding about,
sunken mole hill, a bee-proclaimed tout...
Now 'tis the season of sweet mystery!

And then some...

Tantamount to being not lazy,
I fantasize having a snooze -
a gentle sway, shady glen, wanting to choose
a rocking-forth, read-a-book hammock-for-use..
Hand-knotted, cotton rope, got enough clues?
but 'scuse me, this vision's not hazy!

(check out my "wish list!") ;-)

With a Little Disjointed Happiness!

Speaking of happiness, speaking of glee -
Speaking of grandiose wishes...
I'm seeking the lovely, the truly fantastic,
extraordinarily wonderful --- swishes!
of color and texture; size, shape, and other...
whatever may e'er soon appear.
Perhaps softly diminutive, sweetly compliant -
dimpled with stripes, spots and more.
Seeking completeness, and - if you please -
more help with my dishes?


Was that Shady? ;-)

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Our Annual State Reading Conference

Our Iowa Reading Association's Annual Conference was again held at the Convention Center with meals and a variety of functions at the Rennaisance-Savery Hotel, all in downtown Des Moines.

The conference is sponsored by the Iowa Reading Association, one of the 50 state reading associations which are a part of the International Reading Association. This organization is comprised of teachers, educators, administration and anyone concerned with teaching reading and impacting the "state" of literacy.

I've been on the State Board for slightly over 4 years and "passed two torches" yesterday. I've been the State Creative Writing Chairperson for two years. In my opinion, this is one of the most important things we do! And I've been "Zone I Director" for a little over 4 years.

The Creative Writing Contests and Poetry contests are a way to involve and recognize our talented young people. Any school district in the state, desiring to participate, can find the guidelines and rules on-line as well as through their local councils. Entries must be submitted to a local council. They each promote a contest, open to students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Their deadline would most likely be the end of November. They judge their entries, picking a first-place winner at each grade level. All first place winners, from each local council around the state, are submitted to the State Creative Writing Chairperson by January 20.

Each story at each grade level is graded and ranked by three different judges. First, there are a number of criteria that must be met, including word limits, double-spacing, no student identification on the front of the story, and identification labels on the back.

The judges critique each story with regard to creativity and originality, "flow" and "making sense," the components of each the beginning, middle, and end, and finally the writing mechanics that include spelling, punctuation, etc.

Each judge also ranks their choice of first-, second-, and third-place winners.

My job was, then, to record the scores and rankings of each judge at each grade level. As all three judges of any grade level returned their packet of stories, I was then able to add and average the scores, note the rankings and discern the top three winners.

The State first-place winners, their families, and their teachers were all invited to attend a Young Authors' Award Ceremony in Des Moines Friday afternoon. The event began at 1:00 p.m. and ended around 3:15 p.m. The students were divided into three groups. The K-4th grade winners of Creative Writing and Poetry met together, the 5-8th grade winners met together, and the 9-12th grade winners met together. Each student in each group read their winning entries to the group.

Every year, well-known authors (and sometimes author-illustrators) are invited to this event. There's always one author in each group of students. Consideration is given in the selection, as it would be most appropriate to invite an author of books that would appeal the the students to whom they are speaking.

At any rate, yesterday Cheryl Harness was the author in the Kindergarten through Fourth Grade room. And what a treat THAT was! :-) You can catch a glimpse of her right here.

The state of Iowa is divided into 9 or 10 zones (I always forget). I've been Zone I director. That only means that I attended 4 board meetings a year and kept in contact with each local council in my zone (of which there are five). I attended their meetings periodically, passed along information and answered questions - if I could. ;-) I've met a lot of wonderful people due to these positions. I will miss them.

What Color Are You?

You Are a Green Crayon

Your world is colored in harmonious, peaceful, natural colors.

While some may associate green with money, you are one of the least materialistic people around.

Comfort is important to you. You like to feel as relaxed as possible - and you try to make others feel at ease.

You're very happy with who you are, and it certainly shows!

Your color wheel opposite is red. Every time you feel grounded, a red person does their best to shake you.