Wednesday, September 28, 2011


What a fun little town we are in tonight and tomorrow night.  We arrived in Eureka Springs and had lunch before we took a ride on the tour bus with a narrator telling us the history of this unique little place.  There is only one industry here....tourism.  The town is built in several hollows or valleys and up the steep mountain sides and connected by narrow streets that curve around and climb up the mountain and plunge down the mountain.  Fun in September......I don't know about January or February after an ice storm!

Eureka Springs wasn't established as a town until after the Civil War.  The homes are all in either the cottage style or the painted lady style.  And I took a few (few?) pictures of them to share with you.
There are narrow, curving streets,  filled with little unique shops all along the lower level of the town.  Tomorrow we plan to do some walking and check out those little shops.

 A very nice mural on the wall of one of the old buildings.
 A very large home, owned by one of the original town's richest citizens.  Railroad, I believe.
A lovely hotel, which at one time was a ladies college.  The gardens were beautiful.
 Below that hotel, on this street, is the roofline of a church which is below this street yet. 
 And when you get down to the church, you can look back up at the beautiful hotel on the top of the mountain.
 The church is modeled after a church in Europe.  A very nice little chapel.

I thought this corner between the priest's quarters and the church looked very inviting.
Almost looks like it was decorated by HGTV!
Across the hollow, on the top of the mountain on the other side, is The Christ of the Ozarks, reminiscent of The Christ of the Andes in South America.
A painted lady in shades of pink and rose and red.
One of the oldest homes in the town.
Another pink home.  Actually we saw about 5 pink houses on this tour.
The mayor ordered this house from the Sears and Roebuck catalog and put it together from a kit!
A large lovely lady which was moved here to Eureka Springs from Branson.

I love old houses, so today was a lot of fun for me.  I also love churches, so a little trip we took this afternoon was also fun.  We drove just a few miles west of here to Thorn Crown Chapel.
The road to the chapel was a pretty drive.
See the chapel there just ahead?  You don't?  Really?  Look closer.
See, it's there!  Fits right into the forest, doesn't it?
The windows looking off to the right.  Imagine a service at night, during the winter, with the lights from the chapel shining on the pretty white snow outside.  Wouldn't that be lovely?
Lots and lots of glass in this chapel!  A company from New York comes to wash the windows once a year!

There was soft music playing and people would come and sit awhile, some in prayer, some in wonder, and some in pain.  It was a moving time in a lovely place.  And where does one feel closer to God than when  surrounded by nature?  It was beautiful.

Monday, September 26, 2011


We waited for you yesterday morning, but when no one showed up by 6:30, we took off on our roadtrip.  We had a lovely day for traveling.  The sky was blue and the clouds a fluffy white as we passed from Minnesota into Iowa.
 We pulled over into a roadside park with nothing but this old school painted red.  No table or anything, but it was called a park.
I made sandwiches out of the cooler in the back of our car and we ate while walking around and stretching our legs.
Our dinning companions stayed on the other side of the highway.

Soon we crossed another border.
And the scenery became very hilly......
.....and even hillier as we approached Branson.
We found our motel and I cooked our dinner in my rice cooker which I had brought along.  It worked very well!  I used a risotto gluten free mix and added canned chicken and cooked carrots on the upper layer.  Good meal for nothing!
This morning we drove around a bit, and found the quilt shop to end all quilt shops.  And there were signs all over saying "no photos" so I obeyed!  But I bought some pre-cut fabrics.  Yes, I did.  Camille's Ruby and Joanna's Butterscotch to name a couple. 
We enjoyed looking at the different buildings and signs for the shows.  And after lunch we headed to our first show...............
WOW!  I loved it!
They did some traditional Irish songs, Irish folks songs, opera, Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Queen, Glenn Miller and music from Les Miz.  Oh my goodness, they are good!  And energetic!  I don't know how they could do a two hour show and be just as energetic at the end as they were at the beginning.  I'd go again.
They signed autographs in the lobby after the show, and I got a picture of one of the stars of the show.  This guy was funny, a big flirt, an incredible singer, and an awesome dancer.  So it was a fun afternoon. 
Hubby is grabbing himself a nap, I'm blogging, and soon we'll have dinner at the little place across the street.  Then we're off to see the Acrobats of China, which should be a fun evening.

I'm sorry you guys didn't get there in time to go with us, because you would be having fun, too!

Thursday, September 22, 2011


I keep saying that we're done.  The flowers are all planted, the bark is all surrounding the transplants, the pergola is finished, and has lights on all the overhead slats, and all the bushes have been cut down, dug out, pulled out, or trimmed.  Well, almost all.  I have two in front and three along the garage that I'll get trimmed out in the next few weeks, but we're pretty close to finished.  And then I remember the vegetable garden that we plan to make on the slope in back.  The slope that leads down to the wetlands area.  We pulled the bushes and have tilled it up, but we need to build the tiers into the little hillside.  So I guess we aren't done.
 Obviously there are a few rocks to pick around this newly planted rhubarb!  But I am excited!  Haven't had rhubarb since before 2006 when we sold our home.  We had rhubarb there, unless hubby or one of the boys got a bit excited with the lawnmower and chopped it up before it had a chance to grow.
I will also put some of this wonderful compost around that rhubarb.  Hubby got two loads of this beautiful black gold, so we're hoping the gardens do well.
After some of that beautiful compost had been applied, we spread some lovely wood chips.   I knelt on each and every one of those cement blocks and I now have the ugliest knees you can imagine.  Black, blue, yellow, brown, purple, and stiff and sore!
 We planted hostas and lilies around the two trees.  Some from my friend Charlie, some from BIL Ike, and some from DIL's friend Christine. 
 This back corner has phlox from Charlie and grasses from DIL. Molly.  There are also some coral bells along the front.  Those, and all the rest of the plants came from dear Charlie.
 With the cooler weather and the little bit of rain, my two huge Boston ferns are looking better than they have all summer.  They like hanging in this tree, I think.  I had them on the pergola for a few days, but the sun was too hot and direct there. 
This area that was ugly bushes now is the home of phlox, sedum and 11 colors of iris among other things. 
We ran out of chips so hubby had to make another quick trip to the compost place to get another load to finish up.  In the past couple of weeks we have planted about sixty plants that were gifted to me.  Oh, I hope I can keep them alive!
And my beautiful purple planter is slowly going down hill.  I cannot believe how the couple of dollars worth of flowers I planted in there have given me so much pleasure this summer.  I'm hoping I can find the exact same plants next year.
And my bright red geraniums have new buds growing!  They seem to like the south end of the patio at the outside of the pergola. 

So, anyone want to come and help put three tiers of beds on the slope?  I have nice compost to work in, and I'll make you a nice cup of French press coffee if you'll help!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


I had an email from a friend this morning, wondering if the reunion was too much for us old folks.  Asking if we partied too much and were recovering.  No, to both.  We survived just fine.  But I have been digesting and remembering and thinking and reliving...............

It was an awesome weekend.  No other way to say it.

It all started on Friday evening at 6 pm.  We had reservations at a nice restaurant in the downtown area, in a spot that used to be a furniture store, I believe.  We walked in the door right behind a gal in a brown jacket, and when she turned around as we came in, I recognized Margie right away.  She has pretty brown eyes, eyes that you don't forget.  Margie didn't spend her senior year with us as her family moved, but I am so glad she came back for the reunion.  We were good friends, and she lives part way between here and Grand Forks where our son lives, so I think we will be renewing our friendship.

After we were shown to the table we found that we were the first ones there, but it didn't take long for others to arrive.  Ruthie!  Mel!  Dale!  Jimmy!  Marlene!  Bruce!  And all the rest.  I am proud to say I knew everyone!  We talked and laughed, and talked and laughed some more.  Stories were told.  Stories about a stolen jeep.  Stories about an illegal car (students at the boarding school were not allowed cars).  Stories about learning how to smoke.  Stories about having one beer and not being allowed to participate in choir or cheerleading.  Oh, boy.  Those were the days!

I had purchased a dozen roses in our school colors of red and white, and I had come up with a list of questions to see who would win a rose.  Mel came from the farthest away, St. Petersburg, Florida.  Mel has been married the shortest time.  Mel has the youngest kid.  Mel made the first reservation for the reunion.  So, he won a third of the roses!  Marlene is the proud great grandmother of a little girl and has also been married the longest time, 49 years.  Margie still has her class ring and occasionally wears it.  Bruce has earned a PhD.  My friend, Ruthie, won the rose for being closest to her high school weight.  50 years after graduation and she is still a zero, I think.  Awesome!  And yours truly and hubby have the most kids (7) and the most grandkids (15).

We left the restaurant and headed to the motel where most of the gang was staying.  The management kindly let us use the breakfast room and we talked until after midnight, kinda late for us old folks.  

Notice that it turns out that I am not the only person with white hair!  Oh, everyone seemed to enjoy the booklet I had put together from the answers to my questionnaire and the graduation photos room our yearbook.  And most of those coffee cups contained a bit of wine, not coffee!

Saturday morning we all met at the college under cloudy skies and gale force winds, and posed for a group picture in front of the class project for the reunion celebration, a water feature on campus.

There are 14 of us pictured here.  Actually 3 others joined us a bit later, so we were 17 all together.  Not too bad after a graduating class of only 24 and this being 50 years later.  We spent the day together on campus, touring the new buildings and renovated dorms, eating in the cafeteria, and visiting with a couple of favorite profs.

Saturday night we had dinner reservations again at a nice restaurant.  This time there were 17 of us, with numerous spouses and a few guests also joining us.  The dinner was very nice.  I had broiled walleye....remember this is Minnesota!   I didn't see a single person overdo it on the alcohol.......I had two glasses of wine, not overdoing it for a 6 hour get together I don't think!  It was so nice.  I love these people!

These gals are some of my dearest friends......and all were cheerleaders.  Looking good, don't you think?
We decided that we'd meet again in 5 years.  We had 2 volunteers to head up the festivities next time.  And I'm guessing that we won't get any older in the next five years.  Forever young is the class of 1961!

My friend Sonja had a copy of the class last will and testament and the class prophecy.  These things were hilarious!  I had forgotten that my prophecy was that I would marry Troy Donahue!  I did have a crush on him,  I guess.  Loved the movie Summerplace. 

So, we survived  the big celebration.  Now if I can recover from the allergies this horrible wind is bringing me, and unstiffen from the bending and digging and kneeling on cement, I will be fine.  Pictures of the backyard project that is almost completed will come tomorrow, and then we're all going on a road trip.  Are you packed?