Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Staying in Focus

I spotted her, a delicate moth resting on a marigold in my garden.  I crept closer, camera in hand, and tried to focus, but she was not to be captured by my shutter.  She flitted off the flower, dancing to the next and then the next with speed and grace and finally--after flirting with my lenses, too slow in my clumsily amatuer hands to capture her--flying away like a fluttering dream.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Coralville Wetland Park

Sunday morning I awoke at about 6 A.M.  I could hardly wait to go outside, enjoy the fresh air, and see what the big city of Coralville looks like before people wake up.   
The cool morning was shrouded in a light, pleasant fog.  Behind the hotel is the Iowa River Landing Wetland Park; my brother, sister, and I took a leisurely stroll through it, culminating in a jog.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Iowa Open Chess Tournament 2014: Part 2

At 7:00 pm, the third round of the tournament began.  I found myself paired against IASCA President Eric Vigil (1262) who had been unable to play in the first two rounds because, as he put it, he'd been "herding cats all day." 
I had never heard that expression before, so he explained that he had been directing the RBO (U1200) section of the tournament and that was just like herding cats (imagine trying to herd cats!?) with children not coming for their games in time because they were out playing. 
I am very thankful for all the work Mark Capron (Chief TD), Bill Broich, Eric, and the other TDs did to make the tournament a success.  The tournament location was first class, and they even arranged a special hotel rate for chess players who would be needing to stay overnight! 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Iowa Open Chess Tournament 2014: Part 1

On the morning of August 16th, Papa, my brother, one of my sisters, and I started our drive to Coralville, Iowa.  On the way we stopped at Casey's (a convenience store) for donuts for breakfast.

We reached the Marriot Hotel and Conference Center where the tournament was to be held, walked in, and climbed the stairs to the second floor.  We let the tournament director know we were there and greeted our tournament friends. 

In past years I have always played in the Reserve section (U1600), but since my rating was 1637, this time I had to play in the Open.  The time control was 90 minutes with a 30 second increment; 3 games were played on Saturday and 2 on Sunday.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sunshine and Liebster Awards

Thanks to Heidi from Along the Brandywine for nominating me for the Sunshine Award and Jon and Caryln for nominating me for the Liebster Award. These awards are a way for bloggers to learn more about each other by asking several questions.  

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Cherry Raisin Oatmeal Bars

Today I'd like to introduce you to Cherry Raisin Oatmeal Bars; an easy and flavorful favorite recipe from my favorite cooking site, allrecipes.com.  The original recipe has been changed very slightly to fit my tastes. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Scenic Manor Sing and Picnic

Last Sunday my family and I sang at Scenic Manor, one of our favorite nursing homes, on their special event day.  The event also featured a hymn sing, 2 other groups, dinner, and games for children. It is attended by residents of the home, their family members, and locals.
I enjoyed singing and the crowd was a pleasant audience.  Unfortunately though, my shoulders, arms, and fingers have been programmed to hold a guitar for the duration of a 45 minute concert, so by the time our hour was up they were fatigued; my strings were starting to dig into my fingers with every chord...evidently I need more practice!