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Thursday, May 26, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Bard

Although no one can go back and make a brand new start 
anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending. 
Carl Bard

Monday, May 23, 2016

A BIG Hike

MiRV was planning to do a little hiking while we camped at the Frank Russell COE. Since it was only a 2.5 mile jaunt I thought why not tag along...after three hours and change we returned to find out that obviously the signage was WRONG and it was a whopping 8.7 mile hike. I hope I can move tomorrow. I also made the trek UP the hill to the shower house.
 MiRV got a chance to try out his hiking poles on a real trail.

Thank goodness there was shade...oh, yeah AND snakes! Someone may or may not have screamed like a girl. Hmmm, wasn't me, I didn't even see the darn thing til I had passed it and MiRV screamed. Since MiRV is in training for his AT he was packing with a 30 pound or so pack and thankfully we had plenty of water and snacks on this longer than we thought walk in the woods!

The reward was steak on the grill. Pretty sure I will sleep well tonight or maybe that's the wine that he also got to go with the steak! Yeah, he's a keeper! And speaking of this COE it's a quiet one! Not sure what it would be when they are busy but right now there are less than 10 of us and the park has 113 or so spots. Good shade, too. Shower house is average but you can't have everything. Night!

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Back in MO

We left Iowa and have passed into the state we call home MISSOURI! Before leaving Iowa we stopped in at Fort Madison. Unfortunately, they had a break in overnight so we did not get to go to the Fort. However, unbeknownst to us we were in for a real treat when we decided to stop into the Historical Society Museum. The gentleman there gave us a personal tour and shared a wealth of knowledge on the town. It was educational and entertaining. We were sad to learn that the town is not on board with saving local history, historical artifacts and buildings. Sure it's gonna cost some money but some of these things are national treasures. It boils down to money, no way to pay for it. A shame; many small towns are facing the same issues.

 MiRV for President!!!

Glad we had time to stop at the old train station turned museum, it's fun to learn about the local area. This town definitely has a rich history, hope the historical society continues to preserve the neat items they have and hold their own with the town naysayers!

After leaving the Fort we headed for Quincy, IL to do a little shopping. We made a much needed Aldi stop and also procured coffee at BB&B as well as had a Starbuck's coffee treat along with a little Kohl's coupon/sale/clearance shopping for Trigger! We definitely found her a few deals and it was just fun to look too!

Our stop tonight will be a COE on Mark Twain Lake. We have some options so not sure which one we will end up at but I know one thing, there will be a shower house! I am looking forward to that! We will be staying a couple days to chillax since we have been on the go, go, go for the past 6 days! Gotta rest up so we can be ready to see Trigger! Then she and her momma will join us on a roadtrip to see family for a few days. Can't wait!!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Iowa Road Trippin'

So back this Iowa trip. A couple years ago we came through on I-80 and stopped at the Amana Colonies, it was fun, then I learned about another Amish community that was just down the road and wished we would have gone there, too. Not to mention wanting to see the covered bridges. However, we were working with a little bit of a limited time frame on that trip so we skipped on in to Nebraska. This little trek was in part to take in the bridges and Kalona, IA.
We have had a good time trekking through Iowa the last few days. Iowa is really not a state I think of as a tourist mecca but let me tell you it's been great just traveling the back roads and toodling (that's a word in my world) around. It's so green right now. Everywhere you look is lush with every shade of green you can imagine interspersed with the yellows, too. Then there are the splashes of color from the many wild flowers. It's been incredibly pretty.

Imes Bridge and Clark Tower

We started off in Winterset, IA where the Bridges of Madison County book put this place on the map. Let me just tell you that getting to these bridges included gravel/dirt roads. While I loved seeing the bridges I DID NOT appreciate traveling dirt roads to do it. After our self guided dirt roads bridge tour we headed back to town for ice cream and the city park. We needed something to perk us up after the much needed car wash and before hiking to the Clark Tower. The city park was really nicely maintained and there was a relocated covered bridge in the park as well. Since we are always up for a little walk we hiked the 1.5 or so up to see Clark Tower which also afforded a view of Madison County. After that we checked out the city campground which was full so we headed on eastward. We explored a few overnight parking options before settling on Hickory Hills County Park. Nice overnight spot that was FREE. While it is off the beaten path, scenic and FREE, it was a Friday night and I think had a bit more traffic than might have been on a week night. Nonetheless, we got some rest and took out the next morning for Kalona via Pella.
 There were sooooo many treats to choose from...but that apple bread was the winner.

Watching the klokkenspiel

Pella was the jackpot on this trip. Lovely, lovely little town with a neat town square to wander complete with working windmill, klokkenspiel and an awesome Dutch bakery. Goodness that Dutch apple cinnamon bread loaf did not last long, it was so light, fluffy and good. I know why my pants are so tight...anyway, Pella is also home to Pella windows. Pretty neat, great friendly little town that has much to offer. I was sad we had just missed the tulip festival. On our way into Pella we stopped at the Cordova Observation Tower. It's the tallest tower in a public park. There are 170 steps to climb to make it to the top which affords you a spectacular view. You will need 50 cents to climb the tower, as in 2 quarters, no change machines available to my knowledge and no attendant on duty. We just raided our laundry quarters and started climbing!

Kalona was our next stop. How shall I put it? Little disappointed. Not really sure what I was expecting but I was expecting what we got. We did drive out (on a dirt road mind you) to the local Amish bakery and secured rolls for our late lunch. Oh, my, they were tasty, they were wheat yeast rolls and made great ham rolls! We also indulged with a cinnamon roll...each. Yeah, about those tight pants...ugh! Since I am also hunting neat little wooden toys for Trigger we trekked on over to the country store (MORE dirt roads). While they had some neat items, and about 22 styles of black women's shoes they did not have any quality handmade wooden toys so we left empty handed. However, it you even need a BIG bag of lime jello powder this is your store! They had the BIGGEST bag of lime jello mix I have even seen! LOL

We found another county park for the night which was overpriced but quiet. Seriously, we paid $20 for an electrical hookup with water at the site and no shower house only vault toilets. I was miffed but MiRV was tired and we had already tried another park with no joy so we sucked it up. The other park was cheaper with a very dirty shower house on the river but it just wasn't for us so we motored on to Pollmiller and found ourselves just shelling out the bucks to be done and tuck in for the night!

Tomorrow will take us back into MO. It's been a fun trip, Iowa is much more than I imagined! In fact I think we may need to return...there are some other areas that sound like they would be fun to explore!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Batter Up

Ball season is well under way. We have been to practices, a scrimmage and this weekend was a tournament. Night and day difference in the weather for the two day event. It was much more enjoyable WITHOUT the wind and sprinkles!
Unfortunately, the Sluggers did not see any Ws but lots of valuable lessons were hopefully learned. I know they are a young team but there is room for improvement for each player on the team. Here's to a better outcome next time...#11 is our player!

It's been another BIG weekend in MO and we have enjoyed every minute! I think it will be early to bed for us! Currently, we are catching up on computer time and enjoying a fabulous plate of cheeses, nuts, apples, olives and chocolate...yep, life IS good.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Busy Week!

It's been another busy week in MO...

There has been plenty of yard work to include mowing, weedeating, trimming, tilling and grass planting. We have also gotten in a little physical exercise. MiRV is still trying to work out the bugs while he preps for his "hike". I even joined him a couple days as he started out though i did not go as far as he did I did get some miles in. If you are interested he is blogging about this new adventure here.
 Ughhh, I wasn't ready for his selfie!

We were also Little pickup people which resulted in a after school adventure. They enjoyed a little time in the country and then it was off to more batting practice. We, thankfully, did not have any out of town trips this week so it was nice to be around. A little work was done down at the farm, too. We also spent another evening around the fire pit with the family. THAT was a good evening...It's been quick a productive week I do think! 
 This tiller was a beast to run. It is 40+ years old and shook MiRV all over. It's the tiller my dad had when I was little and my cousin brought it by for us to use near the fence row we cleaned out last year. Now there is grass seed planted!

And now we are trying to decide an itinerary for a quick little jaunt up north for a few days...stay tuned there may be covered bridges to see!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Buscaglia

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

Leo Buscaglia

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Mother's Day


This year our daughter will enjoy her first Mother's Day. Her journey has not been long as a mother but what a challenge it has been...she has already proven she is up for the task. She is meeting each challenge and overcoming. Every day, sometimes minute by minute as is often the case with a newborn there are struggles and hers are real. Someday she will, as most seasoned moms do, look back and realize it was such a small blip in her child's life but right now she is living and breathing the harder part of parenting. Well, that is until the teen or tween years begin...

And thank you for making me a grandmother, it is AWESOMENESS!

Friday, May 6, 2016

New Adventures

There is a new adventure brewing and the prep has begun...more detailed details to come later but suffice to say a 12.5 mile or so "hike" with a 26.5 pound pack started the initial trial phase. Success will be in the details so lots of trial and error before next spring will be needed. Many, many product reviews have been read and will be researched and then purchases will be made. The right gear is essential.

Starting out on this first "test walk" was none other then a spontaneous decision...probably not well thought out but it was a good learning experience while being local! Snacks, they are important and should have been in abundant supply, just sayin'!
The pickup was definitely welcome as walking in the heat of the day was certainly warm; another learning experience. Get your miles in early!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Einstein

Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving.

Albert Einstein

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Shaken NOT Stirred

We are back with Trigger for a few days and it's funny how you get to know her current likes and dislikes. This girl likes movement. She is definitely taking after her mamma in that respect. She loves to be in motion, so we find ourselves shaking her so to speak and she is very satisfied with that! If she's happy we're happy. She is so full of smile especially when getting a new diaper!

This girl enjoys her nap time and LaLa and I have been enjoying them with her!

Love that girl!