Thursday, April 30, 2009


This bag is pink and brown, much more colorful than this picture shows. And on the pocket is a bit of pink bling. This was for granddaughter Katie's 22nd birthday. Hope she liked it!


Children of the same family, the same blood, with the same first associations and habits, have some means of enjoyment in their power, which no subsequent connections can supply...... ~Jane Austen, Mansfield Park, 1814

Tomorrow is a day I have been looking forward to for several weeks now. My three sisters and I are doing a "Sisters Day"......Sister Betsy is coming from the south, Sister Lois and I are coming from the west, and we are meeting at Sister Ruth's house for a quick cup of coffee and potty break, and are then taking off for a day of fun. The first stop is a giant book sale in a college town not too far from Ruth's place. All of us sisters love to read and a huge book sale is one of our favorite shopping trips. Just think, if we would each buy ten books and pass them around when we're finished reading them, we can each have forty new books to read!

Then we have to do lunch, of course. I'm guessing we'll be looking for a women's luncheon destination, some place unique where we can find something not offered at the fast food or chain restaurants. Somewhere that makes a great cup of coffee, maybe a tasty cup of soup and a delicious salad or nummy sandwich. A place that doesn't play rap music as we dine or where teens aren't texting on their cells as they dip their french fries into ranch dressing. We want the kind of place that you don't go to every day, a place that our men probably wouldn't want to take us to, the kind of place that women gather at and sip lattes or cappuccinos and eat scones and tirimisu.

Then off to another shop for bargains. We found out that our favorite T-shirts are on sale at the outlet mall located a few miles in the other direction from Sister Ruth's house, so we'll be off to see what colors we don't have or to replace the dingy looking ones we're currently wearing.

But most of all I am looking forward to spending a fun day with my three sisters. It's about a year ago that our mom's health began to go downhill much more quickly than we expected it would. It's about a year ago that I began to rely on my sisters more than I ever had before in my life. These past few weeks I have become more emotional when thinking of my mom and my sisters and I know the next couple of months will be even more emotion filled as we approach the one year mark of mom's death.

I am so thankful I have my sisters.

I am also extremely thankful for my one brother, Paul, but he doesn't drink coffee, eat scones or wear pastel colored T shirts, so we didn't invite him!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Remember that last November I wrote about our daughter going into treatment for alcohol abuse? I just wanted to let you all know that she has been sober for 6 months! Thank you for your thoughts and prayers. And thank God with me for this milestone, and pray it continues.

Friday, April 24, 2009


We have returned from our short trip to Omaha, safe and sound and tired. Just in time for the weather to change. There is a front coming in, and the temps of yesterday of 84 will be reversed by tomorrow the 5 o'clock news said. 48? You gotta be kidding me! YUK!

We had mail for five days piled up so I began to look through it and noticed a couple of exciting envelopes. But I opened the other things first. I always save the best until last just like I do with a meal. Eat the least favorite first, then eat the food I like the most! But I digress. I opened what looked like an advertisement and found a coupon for five dollars off on a pair of shoes from a local shoe chain store where I had bought one pair of shoes and signed up for their rewards program. The year is up and my one pair of shoes earned me five bucks. If I buy another pair. Then I spied an envelope from the periodontist that I had seen for my tooth problem last year. I over paid. They sent me a refund. Two bucks. Well, at least this is real money. I don't have to go back and buy another tooth treatment to get this!

Woohoo! An envelope from the restaurant where I and six others of my family had eaten last week and were treated like crap. Enough said about that experience. But, I received seven gift cards worth ten bucks each, one for each of us! YAY! Then hubby reported that he had also written them, except to the regional office, and he received a gift card worth twenty-five bucks for the two of us to dine. YAY!

AND. Social Security sent me a notice that my stimulus or reinvestment money, or whatever they call it, will arrive at the end of May. And that's two hundred and fifty dollars.

A pretty profitable day from the US Mail! Thank you Mr. Postman!

Thursday, April 23, 2009


We had lunch in this tiny cafe. I had a wonderful squash soup that had small pieces of some kind of sausage in it. To die for!

Those last two are my favorites.

I'm guessing this wall with the half open door would look really neat when the perennials planted on both sides of the door are in full bloom.

I don't understand weather that goes from 28 degrees to 88 degrees in a matter of a couple of days. Isn't there a happy median? I like somewhere around 68. Today was too warm.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Okay. First of all I highly recommend this zoo. If you are ever anywhere near Omaha, heck, make a special trip!, and visit this zoo. It was wonderful.
You wonder what God was thinking when He created the peacock with that huge tail. But it sure is beautiful, isn't it.
In the river, below the bridge, are thousands of koi competing for the feed pellets that the kids throw to them. And I may add: also the Cheetos, chips, cookie pieces, and the occasional PB&J.

Because the lion doesn't live in the jungle, I would say this guy is the king of the jungle.

I love, love, loved the butterfly pavilion! You go through two sets of glass sliding doors in order to get into the home of the butterflies. And you need to dodge them sometimes as you walk along the pathway through the bushes and flowers as they are free to fly; you are in their cage! And you go through two more sets of doors to get out. And attendant checks you over to make sure none of the butterflies are hitching a ride out on your jeans or shirt.

Aren't those "eyes" on their wings almost real looking?

More than one set of eyes here.
I usually don't do bugs, but this guy was so cute! He almost looked fake.
There were beautiful orchids in several of the more tropical buildings. The hot, sweaty, buildings. Like the one in the next photos........the jungle building. I have decided for sure that I'll never do a jungle trek. I couldn't stand the heat and humidity. ICK!
But we did go on the jungle walk at the zoo. See the rope bridge on the right side of the picture?

Yes, we did. We crossed the river on the rope bridge. And it was very slippery from the waterfall on the left of this picture. In real life, in a real jungle, you wouldn't get me to cross a little stream on one of those rope bridges. Not if it were more than three feet off the ground!

I think these are called the peace lily, aren't they? Very beautiful.
Don't know who this guy is, but his address is the jungle.
The only picture of these guys that was half way clear doesn't show their long colorful tails. Sorry.
Notice I didn't bore you with lions and tigers and bears. Oh my! And I only posted 15 of the 315 pictures that came home with me from the zoo. And my camera battery is charged and ready for the botanical gardens tomorrow. It will be fun. Love to take flower pictures!


We had a wonderful day at the zoo. Almost 7 hours, temperature of almost eighty, and me with skin cancers in my not too distant past. The sun was bright, and I had on no sun screen. I know, I know. I should know better. I will remember to pack it next trip!

Just wanted to warn you that I took a few pictures. Well, actually, it was more than a few. Like, ummmmm, around 315 or so. Oh, you can't read this? Well, I took about 315.........still can't see it? Okay, I admit it. I took 315 pictures at the zoo. OK? Are you happy now? 315.

Just remember. You have been warned!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


We stopped at an information building, got some info, and were off on our sightseeing day. We first headed to the Old Market. It's three blocks long, cobblestone streets, old warehouses and other old buildings, and lots of quaint shops and eating establishments. This flower shop had some of the pretty blooms out on the street .

We ate lunch at Spaghetti Works. I had tortellini which was nummy.

Ernie had lasagna which he said was very good.

The restaurant is in an old warehouse and is decorated with lots of old stuff, ranging from beautiful chandeliers to old advertising signs, to a salad bar in the back of a delivery truck to these really neat booths. They were phone booths taken from the old railroad depot, and now they are serving as cozy booths to dine in.

The next two photos remind me of Italy and the stone window openings, and narrow streets and passageways with the businesses pouring out of the doors of the small shops, onto the streets.

We visited the Mormon Trail Center, which was the winter camping grounds of the Mormon wagon trains. We also walked through the Pioneer cemetery which is the final resting grounds for many of those who didn't make it through the winter, nor to their goal in Utah. I took pictures but they didn't turn out the way I wanted.
Then we went to the flower gardens, but because it was only about an hour until closing, we decided not to pay the $$$$ for just a short tour. We may go back tomorrow or Thursday. I did take some pictures on the walk from the parking lot to the front door.

This bumble bee was busy, busy, busy. He had thousands of pansies to pick from!
I liked the red and yellow of this unknown to me flower.
Pansies always remind me of Walt Disney's Fantasia and the flowers that dance and twirl in their petal skirts.
This is my version of a Monet. Kind of sick, uh?
And we were treated to another beautiful sunset tonight. Tomorrow it's off to the zoo.

Monday, April 20, 2009


After dinner I walked across the road to the little lake and snapped a couple of photos. It sure was pretty out there, and the birds were singing their good night songs to make for a very pleasant walk.


Coming to you live and in living color, ummmmm, black and white, from Omaha, Nebraska! We took off this morning in drizzly rain and cloudy skies, at about 9 o'clock, and it didn't get much better until after two. About 30 miles out of town we noticed that the awning on our trailer was coming unrolled. Just the fabric was coming undone, the braces were still up. It was extremely windy so we pulled into a big grain elevator and got out of the wind to unfurl the awning and reroll it, hoping that was the problem. Nope. About ten more miles down the road it happened again, so we pulled off again and Ernie wrapped bungee cords around it to hopefully hold it in place.

Well, it worked for awhile, about ten more miles, and then we noticed it was coming undone again. So we looked for a business that looked like it may have a ladder! He found one, first try, and got way up to the top and bungeed it tighter, right on the top. It worked! Two hundred miles later it is still tightly rolled and tightly in place.

The skies stayed cloudy until about two, when we were well into Iowa. We noticed the trees were just a bit fuzzier green, and the grass was greener, and the fields were blacker, meaning the farmers had been out and in the fields. The wind kept on, however. As a matter of fact, it it extremely windy here at our campground, but with the sun shining, it is a pleasant evening.

Offutt AFB campground is by a lake, and is fully equipped with wireless! Yea! Right from our campsite! The campground is small, but very clean, with nice level sites that have sewer, water, and electricity. We will be spoiled! Right now the Kashi 7 whole grain pilaf is cooking way on the stove, and Ernie is outside grilling a couple of steaks! Sounds like a pretty nummy meal to me.

Tomorrow I will get out there a take some pictures to post. We have plans to go to the zoo and a couple more touristy sites around the area, so stay tuned for photos.

Oh, the title. Iowa has wireless internet at their rest stops. We pulled into the first one and I took out my little Acer to look up the address of this campground. Their signal was very low. The guy at the desk couldn't even pull up google! So we drove on and pulled into the next rest stop only about 20 miles away. I just sat in the truck and tried my computer, and it came up right away with a strong signal, and I got the information we were looking for. As Ernie was pulling out I yelled "stop!" Told him I was reading a blog and I needed a few seconds more to finish. So as we drove by the next rest stop he asked if we should stop, or if I could just do a "drive by blog!" Called me the Drive By Blogger!

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Tuesday afternoon we headed out to the State Park in our area. We've spent many, many nights out here and really love this park. There is a great hiking trail that leads from the camping area along the edge of the bluff that overlooks the river, across the prairie to a hill where there is an old mill that is prominent in this area's history, and back across the prairie to the woods and the river bluffs again. We have hiked many, many miles in this park. There were no other campers there. We did see a couple of cars drive through, and a couple of women walked through the campground yesterday morning, and a couple occupied the camper cabin on Tuesday night, but otherwise we were the only people there.
See our truck and camper through the trees below? Pretty alone, uh?

And quiet enough for Ernie to take his first nap of the season in front of the campfire.

The trees and shrubs are ready to burst into leaf. I love watching the buds swell and break open and unfurl into shiny new green leaves! And I swear you could almost watch them doing just that on Tuesday afternoon in the 65 degree sunlight. What a beautiful day it was!

I walked around the loop enjoying the birds and sunshine. The robins were very at ease, and posed for photos.

But the cardinals and the
blue jays were still very skittish and stayed pretty much hidden. The sunlight shining on the red cardinal shows him much clearer than the jay who is hidden in the shadows. But you can see the head plume clearly shows it's a jay.
My friend Judy came out to join us for dinner. We had the third run of the Easter dinner and finished it off. Leftovers never tasted so good as they did around the picnic table in our private state park! As the sun was setting Judy had to leave but we sure enjoyed having her out to help us try out the new trailer. We found the trailer to be exactly what we wanted. It seems like it's a perfect fit for us and we are anxious to try it on a longer trip, out on the highway. So, Ernie has a plan. He's suggesting that we should take off next week for four days or so and maybe head southwest to Omaha Nebraska and the campground at Offutt AFB. If we do so, I want to stop in northwestern Iowa to visit my dad's siblings that still live there. So, we'll see what goes on this weekend, and if we think we can get away for a few days next week. Would be fun to take it on a longer trip to make sure our ideas and plans will work.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


It is over 60 degrees! If we can get a couple of kinks worked out, we are going to head out to our local state park for the night, just to see if the new trailer works, if we need to fix anything, if we like it, and mostly just because it's spring!

Have camera loaded! No internet connection though. Talk to you tomorrow.

Monday, April 13, 2009


Dishes aren't such a horrible task when I have scenery like this to look at!


I love Easter! Have I ever told you that? I really love Easter. The reason is this: HE IS RISEN! HE IS RISEN INDEED! In the liturgy of the ancient church the pastor would proclaim from the pulpit: HE IS RISEN! And the whole congregation would answer in one voice: HE IS RISEN INDEED! As we repeated that ancient practice in our church service early on Easter morning, we joined with Christians of all times in confessing our belief in the Risen Lord and the salvation that belongs to each of us if we believe and are baptized. Thank you Jesus!

As we opened the door to our home, we were greeted with the wonderful smell of ham slowly cooking away in the oven. The huge seven layer salad had been made on Saturday night, and Kari was bringing potato salad and home made buns and Ernie's favorite apple pie. I cut up veggies for a veggie tray and cut up fruit for a fruit tray and prepared the strawberries and whipped cream for the strawberry shortcake. Yes, we had enough food. Way too much, in fact but isn't that what it's all about? Leftovers?

We had a pretty quiet day. Most of the family had other places to go or had to work, so we only got to see six grandkids. We missed the others, but enjoyed those that were here. The place was empty by mid afternoon; the last to leave was my sister Lois. We were so full from the huge dinner that supper was a bun for me and two plates full of 7 layer salad for Ernie, and we basically sat on our rear ends until bedtime!

I love Easter!



Friday, April 10, 2009


When I survey the wondrous cross

On which the Prince of Glory died,

My richest gain I count but loss

And pour contempt on all my pride.

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast

Save in the death of Christ, my God:

All the vain things that charm me most,

I sacrifice them to His blood.

See, from His head, His hands, His feet,

Sorrow and love flow mingled down.

Did e'er such love and sorrow meet

Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Were the whole realm of nature mine,

That were a tribute far too small;

Love so amazing, so divine,

Demands my soul, my life, my all.

The hymn is by Isaac Watts and is #308 in the ELH

The painting is by Brunelleschi, and is in Santa Maria Novella in Florence Italy.

Monday, April 06, 2009


I finished another bag, and this one is my favorite so far. I made it one square narrower, so it is actually a 3 block by 3 block square instead of the 3 by 4 block rectangle. It's a better purse size as opposed to the original which is called a tote bag. So those of you who have already gotten a bag will have to complain if you want this size, and then wait in line! This is also a birthday gift, for a daughter-in-law who had a birthday last week! I gave my two sisters each a bag yesterday for their birthdays. Two more birthdays this month, so I'd best get back into the sewing room!


Okay, I know it's small, but, hey, it works! You have all heard me complain about my laptop and all of it's current health problems. It is dying a slow death and driving me crazy in the meantime. So, I bought this 8 1/2 inch Acer notebook for $300. Good Morning America had a piece on it last week, and it was rated very good. So, I'll use this one for on the road, and later on, when the old laptop completely dies, I'll get a cheap desktop model to use at home.
And for the best news of all. This teeny tiny notebook runs on XP, not Vista! That alone is worth the cost! I'll just use it for mail, blogging and pictures. So far I am happy with it. I just have to train my fingers to type a bit closer to each other because of the teeny tiny keyboard, but hey, if the kids can type 70 words a minute on their cell phones, I should be able to handle this!
We had a wonderful Palm Sunday. April fifth is my sister Betsy's birthday, and April second is my sister Ruth's birthday. In the company of our husbands and my baby(!!!) sister Lois, we went out for brunch after church and then came to our place for cake and ice cream and gift opening. We had such a nice time. Is it just me or do the rest of you value your family more the older you get? My siblings are so precious to me and we just don't get enough time together. We are talking about a couple of sister weekends and including sister-in-law Carolyn, of course. We've talked about a big outlet mall for one, and an antique shopping destination for another. I'm really looking forward to those plans coming to actuality. Sounds like fun, doesn't it?
Blessings on your Holy Week and on your meditations on the life and death of our Savior. My mind is already singing my favorite hymns that we'll be singing this week in our worship services remembering the passion story. And I'll more than likely be posting some of them here.
Ride on, ride on, in majesty! In lowly pomp ride on to die.
O Christ, Thy triumphs now begin, O'er captive death and conquered sin.
Ride on, ride on, in majesty! In lowly pomp ride on to die.
Bow Thy meek head to mortal pain, then take, O Christ, Thy pow'r and reign.
Palm Sunday hymn by H.H. Milman
ELH #280 vs. 2&5
postscript: What's with the no space between paragraphs? Gotta check that one out because it bugs me a lot!