Thursday, February 26, 2009

The "Before" awaiting the "After"

These are two pieces of canvas I silkscreened on down at UNI a couple years ago. They aren't necessarily subject matter/screens I would have chosen, so I'm torn at what to do, to make them "mine". I consider them unfinished art, they're awaiting something... What is it? Paint? Stitches? Adornments?

I always thought I'd make them into a bookbag, but it could be a pillow, stretched on a frame, part of a quilt, a... something. Of course this helps the procrastinator in me, if I post them here, I'll have to finish them. Any ideas? I welcome all suggestions in the comments below!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Treasured Cabinet

This cabinet was once in my Great Grandparents, Andrew Peter (Anders Per Jönsson) and is wife Albertina (Gustafsdotter) Johnson's home. We don't have many items from my Great Grandparents, so this is a treasure to me.
They immigrated in 1881, from Ljung, Östergötland, Sweden to North America and settled on a farm near Canton, Lincoln, SD, in Dakota Territory, in June 1881. In 1903 Andrew and Albertina, with 3 of their children (Carl, Lena, & Joe), moved to a farm near Tea, SD.
The cabinet was known to have been at the Tea farm. It ended up in our big garage, one of the first buildings on our farm and in my lifetime I only knew it to hold antique car parts. It was painted white. I always told Dad I would like it restored someday and some years ago he took on the job of restoring it, stripping the paint and paper inside on the shelves, and gave it to me as a birthday present! It is quite old, as the shelves are supported by wires that run along the side which the shelves sit on.
I was lucky to fit it in the back of my stationwagon to transport it across the state to my home here in Denver. (It barely fit in, with the back seats down, and helpful neighbors got it from my car and into my house.)
Displayed in it are my red dishes. Some are the Avon Cape Cod series, a red pitcher and glass set I purched at the Rejmyre Glass Factory in Sweden when I was an exchange student and other red pieces I picked up here and there. The two carnival glass vases, on the center of the center shelf, I picked up at an auction in Waverly.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

A Teenage Machinist

My Dad left Washington High School in 1942, to attended NYA school in Sioux Falls, SD, where he received training to be a machinist. (The National Youth Administration (NYA) operated from 1935 to 1943 and was part of the New Deal agency in the United States.)
After graduating from NYA, 17 year old Cal and his neighbor Axel Bonander Jr. went to work in the Glenn L. Martin - Nebraska Company in Omaha, NE, January 1943 - March 19, 1943. Dad was offered a job in the Machine Shop at the starting rate of $.60 per hour with the regular work hours of 12:45 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.. Employees were expected to work five days in a row then take off the 6th day and start again with the five day cycle. He worked on the W strut of the B-26, part of the landing gear, testing it for hardness.The Glenn L. Martin Company in Nebraska was established on February 14, 1941, upon the signing of a contract with the U.S. government for the construction and operation of an aircraft assembly plant at Fort Crook (now Offutt Air Force Base). The huge aircraft assembly facility was built just south of Omaha and built 1,585 B-26 Marauder medium bombers and 531 huge B-29 Superfortresses – including the "Enola Gay," the plane that dropped the atom bomb on Hiroshima. The plant reached peak employment in November of 1943 when 14,527 persons were employed at the Fort Crook facility. The plant closed in September of 1945.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Among the Angels

“And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with Me in paradise.” Luke 23:43
Embraced by God, my friend, JoAnn Butler, was welcomed to into Heaven early this morning. She is free of the pain and struggles she had here on earth during her battle with cancer the last two and a half years. Her husband and three adult children were with her as she peacefully passed away at home.
In 2007 a group of teachers at school walked in the Cancer Relay for Life walk in Waverly, IA, honoring Jo.
L to R: Carrie, Dawn, Jo B., Diane, Alicia, Jo D., and Jamie in our “Team Butler Cleaning up Cancer” t-shirts and aprons.
I met Jo when she interviewed me for my job here at Denver 20 years ago. She was my middle school principal for 19 years and is being remembered by many students, Denver staff members and friends.

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. ~From a headstone in Ireland

Monday, February 16, 2009

Tech Troubles

Our school has been having problems with our internet and e-mail connections for a couple weeks. First it was just things running slow but now we haven't had use of our computers since last week Wednesday, right after students were dismissed from school. Needless to say it's been tough. For years they urged everyone to get on the technology "band wagon" and now that we depend on it so much it has been difficult, to say the least, when we don't have the use of it. We can't get to our files, e-mail, grading system, attendance records, printing, let alone programs our students rely on for some classes. Mid-term grades were supposed to go out last week, ha.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Collecting Art Supplies

It's not odd that an art teacher would be a collector of old art materials. My house is decorated with art and art supplies along with other eclectic items I treasure. I've gotten many of these art items from family members, friends and even former students, along with purchasing a few myself. Most people don't notice the old box of chalk or jar of dried up paint as being something anyone would want to have.
I haven't added to my collection for a while. Have you ever collected something and at some point it's too easy to accumulate and it's not as much fun anymore. Of course, once I see that unique piece I'll be all excited again!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Prayer Request

We all know someone who has battled cancer, which opens our eyes to others struggling with this ugly disease. Recently, three high school classmates of mine (out of a class of 80) have been diagnosed; Barry has brain cancer, Doug has colon cancer and Stephanie has breast cancer. Two former co-workers of mine have been battling this disease for over two years, Penny and Jo. Jo is currently in the hospital and tonight I found out her children have been called home from across the country to be with her. A faithful reader of my blog, who is a distant cousin in Sweden, has a brother Christer, battling brain cancer. A cousin back in South Dakota, a neighbor's daughter,... the list goes on...
Sadly from my own experience with seeing Steve through his battle with cancer, I know cancer can also bring you closer as you face the challenges together, that is a gift and a joy that brings comfort in the face of pain. The love and support of family and friends is a powerful way to gain strength and no one can face the unthinkable without God's will and promises before us.
My heart aches for these people who have touched my life. Join me in sending out prayers for all who have cancer and their families who love and support them.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Grandview Wordle Fun

I've become addicted to Wordle, an on line program that rearranges text, URLs, poems, whatever you want to give it.
Here are some I made for Grandview Covenant Church, the church I grew up in and still hold a membership with.You don't have a lot of control over it, so it is very random, but oh so fun. You can change colors and fonts and randomly rearrange. Give it a try by clicking on the link above.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Collecting Watercolor Tins

Do you ever wonder how people start collecting things? I do. I collect many things. Here is a sampling of my watercolor tray collection. It all started with my Great Aunt Mable's, Prang No. 2 tray, approximately 90-100 years old. It only has three colors in it, primary colors of course. Since I'm the art teacher in the family, I claimed it easily. I had my sets from my childhood and then started seeing some at garage sales, then antique stores. I've even gotten some in boxes at auctions. Since I have so many, I'm picky of what I'll buy and how much I'll pay. They bring back memories of me painting with my sister at our kitchen table and of course I wonder about the original owner and what they painted.

I have duplicates of some of these and many other antique art supplies. (more photos another time perhaps) I even have a pamphlet on how to make jewelry out of asbestos!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Happy Birthday Mom!

Friday, February 6th, is my Mom's 78th birthday! Here are a few photos of her through the years, full of memories and love.
Born Donna Lee Hanneld to Alice Hanneld and Adolph Aaro, Mom was boarded in Sioux Falls until being adopted in October of 1933, by Adolph & Cecelia (Barnes) Wettestad. (The adoption was final 10/15/1935) The Wettestads changed her name to Darlene Evelyn and welcomed her to their home with love. The Wettestad family lived in Colton, SD, where Adolph was manager of the Farmers Coop Elev. He was transferred to elevators at Faulkton, SD, 1 year and Primghar, IA, 6 months, before moving to Brookings, SD, in 1935.
Darlene started school in Brookings. Her Dad passed away from a heart attack on March 8, 1939. Darlene and her Mom moved to Sioux Falls for 18 months in 1940-41. They returned to Brookings the fall of 1941 and remained there until moving to Glasgow, MT, in October of 1946. Grandma Wettestad remained there 9 yrs. until back trouble forced her retirement from her job of cooking at the Deaconers Hospital in Glasgow. Darlene attended H.S. one year in Glasgow and returned to Brookings where she graduated from H.S. in May of 1949. She enrolled at Nettleton Commercial College in Sioux Falls in June of 1949, leaving school for a job in February of 1950 at E.J. Gustafson Company, a Philco Distributor.
On February 15, 1950, she went on a blind date and met Dad/Calvin and they were married on December 10, 1950. Four children followed and the rest is family history.
Mom was reunited with her birth Mother on her birthday in 1993, when she received a phone call from her. I had started a search in trying to find information on her birth families the month before. Growing up as an only child, Mom now finds herself a sister to three brothers, as in the past few years, she has met her brothers on both of her birth parents sides. Her birth Father and two sisters passed away before she met them.
Mom is known for her dedication to get the job done. A hard worker, she has found jobs of bookkeeper, gardener, chauffeur, newsletter editor, hospice worker, historical society work, tour guide, and church work to name a few titles. She cared for and allowed all kind of animals into our lives, cats and dogs are her favorites. She collects and is quite knowledgeable of antique glassware and loves dolls, having her Mother's (Celia) collection along with her own to treasure. She even made a porcelain doll herself. She has shared Dad's love of antiques and antique automobiles and has washed and polished her fair share of cars through the years, as they've traveled with the old cars. In 2001, Mom and I accompanied my aunt and cousin on a trip to Sweden and England, a wonderful experience. Mom loves to travel.
Special memories I have include when my first grade class visited the farm to see our antiques. I was so proud to drive up in our school bus to see my Mom standing at the door, waving to our group of excited classmates. She was always there for our school events and encouragement in whatever we did or do. Of course there are the aromas of cooking and baking and how she always makes sure our favorites are there for special occasions. There are many more memories and more photos to scan... maybe they'll get done for next years' birthday Mama.
Happy Birthday, Love, Hugs and Kisses, Diane
This wish for you Mom
is straight from the heart.
With more special meaning
than words can impart...
May your day hold pleasures
that you're fondest of...
And remember each day
you're thought of with Love.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Deb's Belated Birthday Post

Right: 1958, Four year old Debbie.
It was my sister's birthday last week and I had wanted to post a bunch of photos of some of her early birthday parties but got distracted with tech problems and who knows what else. I love looking back in time... It's fun to see all the neighbors and friends in their youth. Click on any of the photos to see them enlarged.

January 1957: Three year old Deb with her cake, and Deb, Joe and Steve along with the Dieters and Bruce Bonander over to celebrate.
January 1958: The party hat crowd. I see kids from the Johnson, Viereck, Swanson, Bjork, Hansen, Bonander and Dieters families.

Below, January 1962: The birthday table and playing dress up.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

The Spirit at Mesa Spirit

Wintering at Mesa Spirit in Mesa, AZ, Mom and Dad find numerous activities that keep them busy and active. Last week was Western Week and Mom and her friend Joann got their photo taken with "Almost Willie" after his music concert one evening.
Mom and Dad play on a bocce ball league together, the Hawkeyes of course, along with friends Jim and Joann from Sioux Center, IA. Dad's been walking, hitting the exercise room and going to therapy for his shoulder and they've both been swimming when their schedule allows. Mom belongs to Song Birds a singing group, Bookworms, teaches Swedish weaving at a craft time, sings in the church choir and and is the treasurer of their church at the park. Wednesday morning there is the Larchwood breakfast where friends with connections to Larchwood meet for breakfast and chatter at a restaurant where they know them all by name. There are street coffees, Iowa picnics and of course Friday mornings they go to the Country Store where there is delicious soup, hot dogs, ice cream cones and sundaes and a mini flea market set up at the main community room. Saturday night is bingo night where they play for cash prizes and so far this winter Mom and Dad both have gotten their chance to yell "BINGO", Dad got his last night!
They have a grapefruit and orange tree off their patio and so far this winter have had fun giving away over 175 grapefruit, many in a box they have labeled "help yourself", by their front door. They have friends and neighbors from Iowa, Illinois, South Dakota, Canada and many other states. This year there is even another couple (Marv & Sharon Lape) from Larchwood at the park!
A golf cart adds to their vehicle count, as some days they find themselves coming and going. They get to escape the ice, snow and cold of Iowa and stay active with new and old activities. There's much more going on among these retired folks, what'd I miss Mom?


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