Photos from Iowa:
A couple of weeks before I went to Iowa I went to this event called Tulipfest with Amanda. Basically it's a big festival in a park where there's a few bands playing and they have a bunch of vendors and a lot of pretty tulips and other flowers out on display. I never got around to writing about it or posting pictures, so here's making up for lost time. Cold War Kids performed there, and we got to get pretty close, maybe the second or third row from the stage.
[How's it gonna feel when summer ends, Out of money, out of friends]
Last weekend I went on an overnight excurison with Tom and his family to one of their family and friends gatherings. They call them "Sapperknackers," because Tom's dad and his friends grew up in the whole hippie era, and these are continuations of their get together's from their youth, basically, so it's a bunch of friends from highschool and their families. I think the name comes from what they called themselves when they went hiking and stuff growing up, or something. I've gotten to know most of the people there pretty well because I've gone to so many, and a lot of them are related to Tom and Julie, so I've seen them multiple times. It's pretty nice to go to these events though, since my own family is so small and we never have parties like that. It's like an extension of family. It's cool being older too because us "kids" can be more independent.
^ Which reminds me, I'd really like to ride in a hot air balloon. It just seems like it would feel cool. My uncle used to have a balloon, but of course he got out of it shortly after I came along :P, just my luck. It's just something that's on my long list of things to do.
Roadkill breaks my heart. Or worse than road kill, road-injured :/. I went for a run last night, and I saw this little black bird just chillen' in the road. As I approached it closer I noticed the blood, which is why it didn't fly away from me in the first place. The calm expression in its eyes really got to me. It's the look of the acceptance of death. I wanted so much to help it, but there wasn't much that I could do.. I finished my run, and on the way back it was still there, even though a few cars had gone in that direction. I went back to my house and decided maybe I should get my car, it was only a short ways down the road.. I thought that if it was still there, the kindest thing to do would be to put it out of its misery. But I didn't see it on my drive past, and I turned around and it had somehow dragged itself out of the road and onto the grassy shoulder. I didn't want to try to drive that close to the ditch, and I thought maybe if it could get that far, then maybe there's hope for it yet---but I imagine it's just dragging itself into the ditch to die. It's just so sad. Fortunately, I haven't really hit anything in my own car. I know I've hit those toads that flee across the country roads at night, and I might have hit a chipmunk, but I really try to avoid it. It's such an unnatural way for an animal to have to die. It happens, and most of the time the people who hit it feel terrible, and they certainly aren't to blame, but I just think alot more animals would make the trip across the road alive if the people who aren't observant or careful stepped it up a little. And if you hit an animal that you suspect is somebody's pet, do not just flee the scene.. I see cats just left for dead all of the time and I wouldn't be surprised if it happened to dogs too. Sure, plenty of them are barn cats, but it's just the considerate thing to do to stop by the nearest house and let them know.
Yesterday I went grocery shopping and started a little experiment. My dad has been hearing for years that his sodium intake is through the roof. He salts everything. Like, he doesn't even taste it to see if it needs salt or not first, he just sprinkles it on out of habit. And most of the food my mom buys is frozen or processed food that ALREADY has more salt than a person should be eating. Plus he uses salted butter on everything too.. It just makes me worried about his health. He isn't even like, "heavy-set," he's not scrawny either, but he's not really in the overweight category, because he does so much farmwork, but still. He has really bad cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and nothing is really being done to help it. So I bought "lite salt" which supposedly still provides the nutrient iodine, but it also has 1/3 of the sodium and less calories than regular salt, and isn't quite so harmful. So I filled up our salt shaker with that as it was getting empty. Let's see if anybody notices the difference ;). Kind of sneaky, I know.. but I really don't think him or my mom will even NOTICE the difference, and it's better for their health, his especially, with the way he uses salt in such excess. I even did a taste test first, and it tastes like salt to me.