Posts Tagged ‘travel’

I almost forgot that I started this post.  You won’t see one for July because I haven’t done NEARLY as much as I did in June…..does baking count?  LOL


Each summer, I challenge myself to do at least one project around the house per day.  It doesn’t have to be big….just has to accomplish SOMETHING.  I’m also a list person but have discovered that if I make a list of the things that NEED to be done in the summer….I find myself resisting and actually do less.  Weird, I know, but that’s me!  So I have decided to make a list of the things I’ve accomplished AFTER I do them.  It’s much  more rewarding that way!  Here’s a running tally of my lists since I was out of school, May 25 to the last day of June.

1.  Painted Bedroom walls, ceiling and trim (still need to paint doors)

2.  Purchased new bedroom furniture, including mattress (this took a LOT of shopping)

3.  Purchased new linens for new bed

4.  cleaned, painted and purged bedroom closet

5.  cleaned and purged the dresser and chest in the guest room and moved into my new furniture.

6.  cleaned and purged bathroom cabinet in preparation for new counter top

7.  purged tv cabinet, music case and book case in the living room

8.  assembled new tv cabinet

9.  installed new area rug in living room

10.  Helped disassemble the old Mr. Elm and cleaned up the mess after he was carted away.

11.  Balanced check book (had not been done since December…..used cancer as excuse…)

12.  knitted 1 scarf, 3 hats and finished a pair of mittens

13.  started cleaning garage

14.  walked/rode stationary bike 423.5 miles

15.  took a road trip to Iowa

16.  Took Parents to Dr. Appt.

17.  4 dr. appts of my own

18.  laid sod on new sewer line in the back yard.

19.  Did a bit of gardening

20.  Blogged

21.  washed all the winter scarves and hats

22.  Attempted to de-flea the animals (many baths, treatments and brushing….sigh…)

23.  Kept up the Etsy store.

24.  took lots of naps…

25.  Read a book

26.  Helped interview one of my new bosses.

27.  Watched and cheered for Thunder Basketball

28.  played with Kaylore and Karver and J. W.

29.  Ironed a basket of shirts (at least a dozen)

30.  Hemmed a dozen fabric napkins

31.  Stupidly agreed to serve on another choral directors board….sigh…when will I ever learn?!?!?!?!

32.  Spent a little time in the garden.

33. carted many bags of crap to the thrift store (and didn’t even go in to shop!)

34.  made breakfast for the nephews

35.  cleaned and purged linen closet

36.  Shredded 10 years of tax records.

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Ok…..so I’m a little late with this post….but Hey….It’s summertime…and the living is eaaaassssyyyyy…..

So…On Sunday, I attended church with Bonnie.  It’s her home church, the one she grew up attending…..and it was GREAT!

After church, we had lunch at “the farm” where Bonnie was raised.  Bonnie’s Mom is a GREAT cook!!!  Lamb roast, harvard beets (that were grown on the farm) , broccoli salad and Strawberries and cake!!  Delicious!!  It was too good to take pictures!!

Bonnie’s Farm….

After a bit of a nap, we then ventured out to see the tourist attractions of Manning, Iowa!

First was the church…


The short story is that this country Lutheran church is 125 years old and the congregation was old and dying away.  They didn’t want to see the church fall into ruins so it was moved into town and is now a museum but you can rent it for weddings, funerals, etc.  The whole moving experience was on the show “Mega Movers” and there’s a condensed version of it on YouTube called “How to Move a 100 Year Old Church”  It’s worth the time to watch it.  It’s beautiful inside and out!  The move was 11 miles and it took 4 hours to complete.

Here are some shot of the inside.

Everything but the statue of Jesus was left in place for the move and not one pane of stained glass was cracked or broken.  The steeple was left in place also.  They had to take down electric lines and trim some trees.


Next was the Hausbarn.  (Here’s the link for more info and pictures German Hausbarn) It’s an old German Barn that was selected from a sister village in Germany, disassembled and shipped to Manning, then reassembled.  It’s the type of barn that provided living space for humans, animals and the loft was for drying grain.  Bonnie’s Mom, Gladys, is a docent for all these buildings, and she knows a LOT about all these buildings!

Here’s the barn..

Some of the inside…

Some of the sample brickwork…

There was also a beautiful craftsman style house and matching carriage house that was just beautiful!  Sadly, I did not take any pictures of it.  It is air conditioned and is actually still livable.  Some of the craftsman who worked on the hausbarn stayed there.

Then, I found a cornfield…of really tall corn…

and this will get a bit taller still…it hasn’t tasselled out yet!


Then it was back to the farm for Manning’s famous taco pizza and fresh watermelon!  What a truly delightful day!!!

On the way home we found one of the barns that has the painted quilt block on it.


It seems that this is a growing trend in Iowa and I just LOVE it.  Each farm (probably the farmer’s wife) chooses a different quilt block.  It’s very colorful!

The next day, I had the long boring drive home.  It was super hot and super windy and I had already seen all the scenery so it was very boring.

I had a FABULOUS vacation and FABULOUS hostesses!!!  Thanks to Bonnie and Gladys for showing me around Iowa!!!


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Last year, my friend Bonnie, retired from teaching and moved back home to Iowa.  Since I have not seen her for almost a year and since I’ve never been to Iowa….I decided to jump in my car and go!

It’s an 8 hour drive but it wasn’t bad because I was seeing new landscapes, getting out of the house….ON A ROAD TRIP! lolol

Day 1 was busy and FUN!!!

First stop was the Reiman Gardens on the campus of Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa….

They feature different artistic displays each year and this year was garden items created with Legos!!!

Here’s a few of my favorites…. (*disclaimer…Bonnie and I shared photos so some of these were taken by her.  I won’t remember which were mine and which were hers)

The Gardener….

The hummingbird

The Lawnmower….actual sized….

And the rose…..It was really tall!!!

There were LOTS more and I have pictures of all of them on my Flickr page (look in the left margin at the top of this post…)  They are worth seeing!

They also had interesting garden art that is permanently installed…

A giant Gnome…

Here’s Bonnie and her Mom, Gladys..

You can visit their website and it will tell you all the details of the lego sculptures and how many legos each piece used…..It was WAY cool!!!

Reiman Gardens

They also had a display of bird houses built by people of Iowa….Here’s a couple of my favorites..

They also have a butterfly house….with BEAUTIFUL butterflies…

It was really hot so we cooled down while having lunch at Hickory Park BBQ….It was YUMMY!!  You have to visit the link….it’s a huge place and has some interesting history!!

Then we did some shopping….and I found a fun little yarn shop…..Rose Tree Fiber Shop .  It was a great yarn shop with great service….and I came home with a couple of gems…. 🙂

A little more shopping then…..wait for it…..DINNER ON A TRAIN…A REAL LIVE TRAIN!!!

It’s called Boone and Scenic Valley Railroad

It was very fancy, elegant and a real treat.  Now I can say I have ridden on a REAL train!  LOL  (I figure subways don’t count)

Here are some highlights…

The High Bridge

It was a wonderful and fabulous day!!!  Thanks Bonnie and Gladys for being such wonderful tour guides!!

The next day, Day 2, Bonnie and I spent close to home….shopping, eating and ended the day with a few hours of Wii…..which was why we were so SORE the next couple of days!!

Final Day of vacations coming up tomorrow!

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NYC 2010

Well, vacation is officially over…..but WOW! what fun it was!!!!  Rather than bore you with days and days of pictures that mean absolutely nothing to anyone but me, I’ve put together another movie.  Some disclaimers….1.  If you don’t know what is in the picture, ask…i’ll tell you if I remember..lol..but didn’t want to add text.  2.  Any picture of me falls into the category of  “Jerry made me take this picture”!  3.  Thanks to my awesome friend, Jerry, for giving up a week of his life to be my tour guide.  We had been planning this trip for 2 years and oh, my….it was so worth the wait!


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It Worked!

I was promised that the new tree I planted would give me beautiful fall colors……



It happened!  I can’t wait for the tree to grow and fill out. How pretty it will be!


Took a driving trip a few weeks ago.  Found this sign:



When I first saw it I thought it was “J’s Ranch.”  I have nieces and nephews that call me ‘Aunt J’ so I was excited that a ranch would have the same name.  But seeing it closer ……I’ll have to settle for it being my initials!  Works for me either way.



On the same trip found another sign I liked…Reminded me of my niece and nephew-in-law, whose last name is…. GRAHAM!


It’s a beautiful sign and nicely landscaped…..



I’m sure they will wish they had one also….


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Oklahoma Beauty

Yes, I have changed my blog design again. I can’t help myself sometimes!

The new picture is actually one I took on vacation. When we went to Ft. Smith, we drove through the Ouachita Mountains. (yes, believe it or not, OK has mountains……at least large hills!) The mountains are at least high enough that my ears popped as we were driving through them.

Here are a few more pictures I took of the beautiful landscape of the Ouachita Mountains.

(yes, that’s a lake in the far distance. I have no idea which lake it is….Oklahoma has so many!)

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The Great Escape

Last Week, Pete and I went to a little cabin in the woods of SE Oklahoma. You can see more here.

We stayed in this one:

It was really quite nice….all the modern conveniences but REALLY secluded. There was satellite TV but no cell service on my phone and no internet hook up. Truly “in the woods.”

I spent most of my time doing this:

and (I thought I took a picture but evidently not…) Pete spent his time reading books on the porch. The weather was great.

We were adopted by all the animals.

This cat was the first to show up. We called him ‘Scrub’. He was missing his tail. He was friendly as long as you didn’t try to pet him. We gave him food scraps and he was happy…..until the dogs showed up.

“Mama” came first and she and the cat got along great. They spent their time sleeping on the porch in between meals.

The the other dogs showed up as well.

The puppy came on the last day. He was SOOOOOOO cute but I paid for this photo. I came home with a lap full of flea bites. Not pleasant!

We drove into Ft. Smith, AR one day and I got to go to the yarn shop. It was fairly new but had some wonderful stuff I had only seen on the internet.

We cooked all our meals. Pete did breakfast and I did the rest. We ate really well. Pete assigned himself dish duty. He has this weird attraction to doing dishes. Worked great for me!

I made Pete go hiking through the woods with me. There were great trails. This was the bridge we crossed to get to Eagle Creek. I slipped and almost broke my camera!

We could hear water from our porch and finally figured out where it was coming from. The second time we went to the water, the dogs came along. They truly know how to cool off.

It was fun having them along for the walk. They love being in the woods.

I decided to bring home some rocks for my garden. There were so many to choose from….

and I really wanted this one …

but it would have taken a crane to pick it up so I settled for these.

At the fishing pond they had there was this weird thing. Have any idea what it is?

It’s a bat house. We had noticed that there weren’t any mosquitoes and this must be part of the reason. We didn’t see any bats, thank goodness.

Here are some random photos I took in the woods. I was so taken by the many different types of moss. Most of my pictures didn’t turn out very good but I got a few. I also liked all the different mushrooms. We didn’t eat any!

On the way home we stopped in Henryetta and bought some additional ‘rocks’ for my garden. Across the street from the factory they have a rock shop and you can buy chunks of discarded glass by the pound.

I could have spent a fortune there. Now I will get a piece every time I go that direction!

We had a great time. I hated to leave!

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