Posts filed under ‘Happenings’

In memory of Alice

Yesterday Alice Kipp, a woman who I began visiting in the retirement home over the summer, passed away.

I hadn’t seen her since school started – first I was busy, and then she was in and out of the hospital. I had been planning to go visit her when I head she was dying, and her sons were with her. Alice (91 years old!) loved to talk about her sons – she’d show me pictures of them every time I visited. She’d also ply me with chocolates – she loved chocolate (sometimes I think that’s all she ate!), and she loved to share. She’d tell me how she’s always give them to one resident who didn’t talk much, and how it’d make him smile.

Paper cuts by Alice
Some paper cuts by Alice.

We first met because of my roommate who works as a CNA there – Alice loved to cut paper into designs, as do I. It was suggested we could meet, and I’m so glad we did. She gave me a pair of cuticle scissors to cut with the very first time we met, and we’d go through her collection of papers and she’d gift them to me. I never went home empty handed, despite protests. I hung a picture on her wall once for her, and together we cleaned and framed a gift she’d cut for a newlywed couple.

Paper cut by Alice
A Christmas card paper cut by Alice.

Her room was always messy, and when I came to visit she’d lament about it, but we had great fun going through the piles. Papers and patterns and beads and letters – lots of letters. From friends and family, even some letters she was intending to mail in reply. And all the paper cutouts – angels and shoes and pigs and flowers and every other imaginable thing, delicately cut out with her hands that trembled behind the cuticle scissors.

Paper cut with paper Alice gave me
Alice gave me both the paper and the pattern (on the left) for this chicken.

I wish we’d had more time, but I’ll treasure what we shared. I will continue to cut paper, including the sheets of papers she gave me, and hopefully I can someday inspire someone young like she did me.


October 7, 2009 at 11:52 pm 1 comment

Doing the right thing

Same-sex couple Lyons and Franklin exchange rings

In light of Iowa’s recent ruling on gay marriage, I just wanted to take the time to honor people like Iowa’s Governor Chet Culver, President Obama, and my roommate’s dad. They don’t believe in gay marriage, and they don’t agree with homosexuality. But despite this, they are putting aside what they believe for what they logically find, and what ultimately is, the right thing to do.

That takes a lot of strength.

Continue Reading April 9, 2009 at 1:13 am 2 comments

Where’s Waldo, President style

We have a new President!

The inauguration of the 44th President of the United States was a big thing, but if you (like me) watched in on youtube, it tends to lose a bit of its grandeur. With that in mind, I call attention to this stunning photo to help remind us of just how awesome it really was.
David Bergman's amazingly huge photo

Above is a screenshot of David Bergman‘s 1474-Megapixel Photo of Barack Obama’s inauguration. If you had any doubts on how amazing cameras and their accompanying software can be, this should quell them.

Check out how detailed zooming can be!

See how far you can zoom in? Go forth and join the internet throngs in showering David Bergman with appreciative kudos for sharing this!

Try to find Yo-Yo Ma!

January 24, 2009 at 4:42 am 1 comment

05 Death and Tomatoes

May 30 – June 2, 2008

Drove to Michigan for a Memorial on the beach. Lake Michigan is… immense. It was like being beside the ocean, just without the salt and fewer critters (both dead and alive).

I am of the opinion that one can never have too many grandparents, and this is the second grandmother that has passed away before I was able to meet her. This makes me feel very unfortunate, and offers up a kind of aching regret, much like the feeling you get in your gums after hitting your teeth very hard. At least this time I was able to hear stories and pictures, personal accounts that can help me get a feel for the wonderful person I missed out on. When my great grandmother died (Seems like a long time ago. I was, hmm… very small.) I knew nothing about her, except that she had been halfway around the world, and now she was even farther. It seemed extremely unfair, and I cried lot (rather selfishly, as it never occurred to me to consider how my father must have felt).


The photo above was taken right after the memorial. He’s planting a piece of grass that he just picked. It was cute, in a sad sort of way. I like to think of it as a tribute of sorts to his great grandmother.

And lastly, a comment on tomatoes. I may or may not have suffered from the effects of the recent infection of salmonella in fresh tomatoes, but either way, please be careful. I threw up three times, slept all day, and felt like crap.

June 25, 2008 at 1:31 am Leave a comment

04 Weekend havoc, part 2

May 23-26, 2008

I really like cats. Really, really like cats. I am, however, very tragically allergic, and therefore am not often around such magnificent beasts. But I promised a friend that I’d post pictures of a cat, so here we are:


This fine feline is (according my mother) a frequent visitor from our neighbors. Her name is, I kid you not, Fluffy. Let me take a moment to speak about children naming pets. It is, in all honesty, a terrible and beautiful thing. I myself owned a large black rabbit when I was young, and in my infinite wisdom, named him Blackie. There wasn’t actually that much that I wanted to say on the subject, so I’ll summarize.

Fluffy foot

tldr: Children are TERRIBLE at naming things. And that is perfectly okay.


Moving on, hail hit home that weekend, giving both of the family cars a delicate dimpling all up and down their green and shiny Honda sides. Mini’s car, nestled in the safety of the garage/barn, missed out on the free facial. Too bad.

Clay whale

And lastly, we have my parting gift to my dearest Sisterling. Clay is tons of fun, even if my technical skills are somewhat… lacking. But hey, who doesn’t want a lopsided orange whale with polka-dots?

June 9, 2008 at 3:00 pm Leave a comment

03 Weekend Havok, part 1

May 23-26, 2008

It all started with a party. I hadn’t even intended to come home, but when I was informed (via e-mail), that there was going to be a party, it suddenly hit me that I really missed home and fishtanks and family and friends and I haven’t seen my sister since December. Oh, and that I needed to get signatures for a form that I need to turn in… tomorrow… so I get my financial aid. But heck, that was just the cement on top of the sugerglue. Anyways, home-ward I went, dragging my boyfriend along with me.


Parties require a lot of food, so Mini and I were put in charge of eggrolls. 100 of them – 50 pork, and 50 beef. In the end, there were slightly less then that, on either end, but such piffles are not to be bothered with. There was much help from my sister, and a slight hold-up having to do with oil taking forever to heat up, but overall it was a smashing success.


So here’s all your really need to know about the party. It was lots of fun, a large garden, tadpoles, Resident Evil 4, tons of food, warm hugs, and watermelon.


And this was the aftermath.

May 29, 2008 at 2:07 am 1 comment


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