4/29/13

Greetings from a bright and sunny West Des Moines IA!

After dealing with two weeks of rain and cold temperatures, we had a really nice weekend.  Temps were in the upper 70’s with a nice cooling breeze.  On Saturday morning we had A & G Carpet Cleaning here.  They cleaned the carpeting in our apartment and in the apartment building’s hallway.  It took us 40 minutes to get things up and off the floor, the kitchen table/chairs moved into the kitchen  and to vacuum the carpet one last time before he arrived.  It took him two hours to get everything cleaned.  The carpeting in our apartment is old and will soon need to be replaced, but he did a really good job of making it look good again.

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John getting the apartment ready for the carpet cleaners

Around 12 noon Mitch stopped over and we had a quick lunch at the Waveland Cafe – a little dive bar about 7 miles away from the apartment building out in the country.  Did not know it was there…  Then we went flower shopping around town.  Between Wright Outdoor Solutions, Hy-Vee Garden Center, Lowes we were both able to get some nice plants and flowers.  I picked out some perennial grasses and plants for the front flower bed.  Also picked up 20 bags of stone and landscaping fabric.

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Mitch power shopping the Hy-Vee Garden Center

This is how it turned out after 6 hours of labor and going back for a total of 36 bags of stone:

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The plants are all by Monrovia and here is a list of what they are:

Back row is Zagreb Threadleaf Coreopsis – each will be around five feet wide and a few feet high

Middle Row is First Love Cheddar Pink and Heavean’s Gate Tickseed – pink flowers that should get 12 to 18″ hight.

Front row is Goldkugel Basket of Gold and Tomato Soup Coneflower – gold ones get 6 to 10″ tall and the red ones will grow 30″ tall.

Will be interesting to see how it turns out.  They were a bit expensive at $10.95 a plant, but they should come up each year… The stone was a pain to put in place, but should help keep the soil in place and make the flower bed lower maintenance.

Took me until 7:00pm to get everything done, so was tired and in no mood to cook – so we dined out at Maxie’s Restaurant – a local supper club type place.  Started out with a yummy Lemon Drop martini and then had their breaded shrimp entree.  They start you out with a house salad, then a small plate of spaghetti before the shrimp arrived.  Thought serving the pasta was odd – guess it is like how the supper clubs in Wisconsin always serve a glass of tomato juice…  I was tired and hungry and everything tasted “just fine”….

On Sunday morning we hung out around the apartment building and I got laundry done for the week.  We propped open all of the exterior doors so the hallway carpeting could continue to dry.  I then went shopping to K-Mart to get some combination soap and wax to wash the RV with along with some other household supplies.

On the way back stopped back to Lowe’s to pick up four more bags of stone.  Want to “top off the stone in front and fill in a space under the back stairs.  Got all of that in place by 1:00pm.  John was still washing the RV so I went to Chipolte to get some burritos for lunch.  John likes their barbacoa meat – it is “Spicy, shredded beef, slowly braised for hours in a blend of chipotle pepper adobo, cumin, cloves, garlic and oregano until tender and moist.” I had the same as John and did not remember it was quite so spicy.  I usually have either the chicken or vegetarian fajita burrito……

Then Sunday evening I had ice skating lessons from 5:05 until 5:35pm.  Only have one more class left in this session.  I don’t expect to test out of level 3, which I’m fine with.  I have a majority of the skills down in some capacity, but not very comfortable with some of the backwards crossover moves and doing then in succession in a circle.  Will give me lots of things to continue to work on over the summer. They will also be having a series of 30 minute “Power Class”.  You show up, pay $12 and then work on many of the basics with the coach in a large group to music – children and adults combined.  You need to be at least at a level 3 to participate – so it a way to build a strong foundation for the more advanced skills – things like forward stroking, forward and backwards swizzles and pumps on the circle and crossovers.  It should like fun, but suspect everyone else will be more advanced then I – but oh well…  Thinking it may be like “Zumba on Ice” 😉

The Southridge Mall in Des Moines, IA is having a “Synthetic Ice Rink” installed.  You basically skate on sheets of a plastic polymer that is 90% as slipper as real ice.  It will be interesting to try and may be a new place to go and practice skating during the week.  From the articles I read online it does work, but it can dull the blades on your skates quickly because of dirt and dust on the plastic.  Does not sound like that big of a deal…

Went for a nice bike ride this evening after supper.  Went around the Raccoon Lake twice – first time this year going around twice.  Previous weeks I was either too sore or it was too windy and cold.  Tonight it was perfect and my butt is not sore or anything.  In a few more weeks will be ready for the evening trips to Gray’s Lake and back.

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Things are starting to become green around bike trail

Not much else going on…  going to play Minecraft for a bit, read, watch TV and fall asleep around 10:30pm…. typical night… 🙂

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