Sunday, October 02, 2005

Art at Dillon Nature Center

Sunday afternoon, Greg, Mia and I went to Dillon Nature Center for an Art Walk. Mia came out to do the Bethel College Fall Festival on Saturday. I had reserved space but couldn't use it because my studio is still stuffed with furniture. So, she used my space so it didn't go to waste.

Anyway, Sunday was an art walk that Jocelyn was in. So, we all went out to Dillon Nature Center.

A few of the artists had cancelled out at the last minute, but it was still a very nice show. I ran into Debbie B., as well as Teresa and her sister in law.

Dillon Nature Center is an incredible facility. It's 100 acres, and is designated a National Urban Wildlife Sanctuary. You can find more than 300 species of woody plants, hundreds of varieties of wildflowers and native grasses, 200 species of birds, and a large variety of other wildlife along three miles of National Recreation trails.

I really need to get out there more often and take advantage of it. It's less than 10 minutes from my house and an amazing place. We always have it as one of the sites on the garden tour and it's a great mix.

Jim Smith is the director out there and he does a great job. We're very fortunate to have this facility.

Lots of people volunteer their efforts to keep things going there, not the least of which are James and Betty Taylor who plant tons of flowers each year. Many of those attract butterflies and bees all summer long.

Today was a beautiful day - cool, breezy, beautiful. The only problem was that it was hard to get photos of things as the wind was blowing them around.

One unexpected thing we saw today was this little snake. He slipped across the walkway, right in front of Greg. Mia and I were walking along behind Greg. I saw the snake making his way - very quickly - toward the water. Greg managed to snap a photo of him before he plopped into the pond.

An unexpected, very pleasant, part of my day was running into Jeanette Mull. She's a local artist and someone I've known for a very long time - practically since I moved to town. But, we'd kind of lost track of each other over the years, other than to say hello when we run into each other.

Today we had a chance to visit for a few minutes and it was lovely to reconnect with her. She tells me she's a reader of this blog, so I guess she has the advantage on me as far as keeping up.

I'm continually flattered to learn that people read along.

Jeanette asked me today if I ever got rid of all the wallpaper. And, the answer is yes. I now live in a wallpaper and carpet free home. It's very exciting!

We made the circle of the artists along the trail and when I got back up to the visitor's center, I ran into Cleta and her hubby. He's doing much better and it's always good to see her. She's someone who's always in a good mood. I love that.

We helped Jocelyn break down her booth and headed to Skaets for a burger before Mia had to leave town.

Jocelyn has her booth down to a science, so it didn't take long to get things torn down and loaded. She took most of it and I took a couple of things in my vehicle. She came over tonight to pick them up.

This is Joyce, who is the cook extraordinaire, at Skaets. I had to go buy grout, so Mia and Greg beat me there tonight. But, Greg snapped this nice photo of Joyce before I arrived, and I didn't want to let the opportunity slip by to add it to the blog. She makes the best moonburger you can imagine!

NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner

Last night I attended the NAACP Freedom Fund Dinner. It was their 25th year, but the first year I've been.

One of the ladies at the Democratic Women's Club mentioned it and I bought a ticket. Teresa did, too. So, we went together.

When we arrived, we ran into a number of people we know from the democratic party, as well as others. I was a little surprised that the only state representative there was Mark Treaster, but it's hard to get everywhere you want to be when you're a rep. I've learned that from Mark and Jan.

Judge Greg Waller was the keynote speaker. I had seen him in January at the MLK celebrations here. You may recognize his name as the judge who presided over the BTK case with Dennis Rader.

He spoke about that last night, and invited questions. He said he thought it was obvious that Rader was "a man possessed." I found that a powerful statement.

He's an eloquent, accomplished man. He spoke about the recent situations in the south east and said that he thought it was economics even more than race related.

One of the things he talked about last night, that I had let slip from my mind, was how the civil rights movement of the late 50s and early 60s called an end to the "gradualism" of civil rights. This concept has been holding people back for generations, and it still continues.

I'm so very glad I was there last night to hear this, because I had forgotten this very important change in our approach. The idea that things will change gradually - wether in the case of civil rights or our country improving - is very flawed. The only change that can really occur must happen more quickly.

He is originally from Hutchinson, so many people here know him. In fact, when Jocelyn was over tonight she was mentioning that she remembered him when they were kids.

The NAACP was founded in February of 1909 by a group of black and white citizens who thought everyone should be treated fairly. Finally, last night, 96 years later, I got around to joining. I was overdue.

Tile in the Sun Porch

I'm getting my downstairs sunporch floor done. It had hideous carpet on it, which I ripped out before I moved in. That left this subfloor, which although it was good quality plywood, was not that attractive.

I've considered various options. Finally I decided on tile. Three different people told me that new hardwood would not make me happy if I could see old hardwood from it. And, I can, since this is right off the living room.
Anyway, the consensus is that new hardwood looks cheap and plastic next to old hardwood. So, I decided to go with a tile.

Of course, you have to decide what type you're going to use. I chose natural materials - a slate - so I'd have some variations of color and texture. Each of these packages has 5 tiles. I bought extra because I might break one and I want some in reserve. They are HEAVY.

To prepare the surface, you have to put down cement board. Apparently you can't just slap slate down over subfloor. This is another example of a good reason to hire a professional.

Step two is to lay the tile. Apparently if you get a good tile person, they don't need to use spacers. They do it by feel. Having done layout for years, before computers did it for us, I understand that completely.

Each time a cut is required, there's a special piece of equipment to use that runs water over the tile while it's being cut. Chris's helper was in charge of that. Even though the tiles appear to be even across, the ones on the far wall required about a quarter inch cut.

This is Chris Miller, who has done a lot of work on my house. I am so fortunate to have found him. He does fantastic work and is very fair with his prices. He is a treasure.

His business has grown a lot since I first met him over three years ago. I'm so glad he still finds time for smaller jobs, inbetween building houses.

I've hired a lot of people to do a lot of different things. Chris is always my number one "go to" guy.

This weekend I'm going to seal the tile and Monday Chris is coming to grout it. An important thing to remember is if you use natural products, you have to seal them before you grout or the grout gets into all the crevices and you have a huge problem.

After I seal, the next big decision is grout color. I'm leaning toward a wheat color. We'll see what I end up with.

Ah... the joys of home ownership. I just keep doing things that I have no experience or knowledge with.


I stopped in to see my favorite baby Friday. I have been so busy I haven't gotten to see Lily much lately.

She has some new favorite things - one of which is rolling around on the floor. Few things can compare with the excitement this offers.

However, one thing which does rate is my purse. I love the pink purse - it's the perfect size and shape.

Lily loves it because I let her take everything out of it, examine it, drop it on the floor, then get in the floor and look at it all again. Yeah, I know, I'm permissive. It's not hurting anything and it makes her happy.

We do pay attention to make sure there's nothing she can get hurt with, but mostly it's just paper and such. She seems very fond of paper. Maybe she's going to be a writer or artist.

She's learning things at a tremendous rate, as would be expected. She's not crawling yet, but she is close. She just can't quite coordinate the arms and legs yet.

She stands up with some assistance. And she's examining everything in her world with intense curiousity.