Iowa weather

There wasn’t much to report last week. Just typical days. Kids to school, Joe to work, Eric to work and bowling practice and a bowling meet we couldn’t get to. I just can’t justify taking Drew out of school at 1:00 to go to a 2:00 bowling meet in a neighboring town although I hate missing seeing Eric. He understands and says we don’t need to go to any of them. But, we very rarely miss supporting the kids in whatever they are involved in. He has a meet this week in town – we will definitely be there for that one!

Joe and I did go to Coon Rapids Friday and stayed through Saturday. His dad decided after breaking his hip and being in assisted living that he wanted to stay there. He wants to sell the house and had a household auction Saturday. We went up Friday and helped set things up then stayed over to be there for the sale and to help with clean up. It went well. Joe’s dad is 91. He’s doing great – sharp as a tack and physically he does great with his walker – but he didn’t want to have the worry of a big old house to deal with. He’s living in a beautiful place where he can come and go as he pleases and has no worries. His meals are fixed for him and he has friends all around. No lawn to mow or snow to shovel.  It’s perfect for him and he’s happy. Couldn’t ask for more for him.

A page from the Joe’s mom’s cookbook. I love the well used, handwritten pages. So much more personal than my three ring binder full of printed off pages. I’m going to start writing more down on recipes cards. Printing things off may be faster but there’s nothing personal there to cherish.

We didn’t come home with much. Joe bought a couple of tools. I bought an old stool that his dad used out in his shop. Old, chippy, colorful, perfect! A handwritten cookbook of his mom’s and an old glass jar – I think it held powder at one time. I’ll find the perfect homes for them here and they will be cherished for years to come. Hopefully the kids will cherish them someday too.


Drew was sick all day yesterday and he’s still not feeling the best today. You know he’s not well when he lays on the couch all day. Yesterday he wanted to be cuddled and loved all day. Today not so much. He didn’t want me around – so even though he’s not up and moving I know he’s feeling better when he doesn’t want his mommy!

We had ice last night – and rain today – fog tonight. You never know what kind of weather we’re going to have. This was our driveway this morning:

Getting foggy.

We have a few tree branches down I noticed.  A layer of ice and then rain on top of the ice. Not fun. I was glad we didn’t have to go anywhere. School was canceled. Joe had a hard time getting up and out of the drive with the truck in four wheel drive. But – the highways were clear – thank goodness for that. I love living in the country and until recently I have wished we didn’t live along the highway but the older I get, the more I appreciate the fact that we can always get to town. If we can get out of the driveway!

Thanks for stopping by – Rhonda


Surprise visits are the best

Brrr – it’s been cold around here. For the most part I love winter, absolutely love it but I do struggle when it gets so darn cold. If only we would get some snow. I remember my childhood days – getting snowed in. Walking over the fences in the pasture because the snow was so high. I remember one year my dad walking to the highway and having a friend pick him up so he could get to work for days on end because we couldn’t get down our gravel road. Or riding home one night after a wrestling meet and dad getting the truck stuck and having to wade through snowdrifts in my cheerleading skirt to get from the road to the house. Brrrr – that was a cold night. But we don’t get that kind of snow anymore and I really miss it. I love the snow. I love how everything looks and sounds and smells when it snows. I keep hoping we will get snow like again sometime so my kids can experience it. Instead – we have cold.  Even Drew, who loves to be outside, doesn’t want to go out when it’s cold like this. We still have a lot of winter left – I’m sure we’ll get some snow. Just not the amounts I remember from the past.

The truck windshield this morning – definitely had to let the truck warm up before we left!
The sunrise was beautiful this morning . This pic taken with my phone doesn’t do it justice. Everything was pink and the sun itself was a big beautiful round ball. It was breathtaking!

We had a surprise visitor this evening. My 25-year old son Aaron stopped by. He likes to stop by for surprise visits. He’s always so busy he never schedules anything but that’s okay. I love that he feels comfortable to stop by whenever he wants. We had a nice chat while his dad was out hunting. Then we had supper and he and Joe went out and changed the oil in his car. Now it’s time to get Drew in the bath and get settled in for the evening in my nice warm house!

I always know

I always know where Drew has been. He leaves a trail everywhere he goes! This one was easy – he’s finding places where he can use magnets. Apparently he felt the need to claim the dryer! (I glued magnets on old Scrabble tiles I got at the second hand store and he loves to play with them.)

I woke up yesterday with a tremendous headache. Not something that happens often – thank goodness. I started with a headache and then my neck started hurting. I had bought a pork roast the day before and thought it would be a great time to throw it in the crockpot. Then I wouldn’t have to worry about fixing supper. All day I kept thinking it smelled awful and blamed it on my head. Then when Joe got home I asked him if he thought it smelled right and he said it smelled awful. We decided it wasn’t safe to eat it. So much for trying to think ahead and save myself and my poor head. We ended up going to town for supper. A chicken sandwich and cheeseballs – not healthy but oh so good. And I didn’t have to do dishes after supper!

When we got home we settled in and I worked on my blanket. It’s coming along nicely and it’s getting just big enough that it helps keep me warm while I’m working on it. Perfect!

Did anybody have one of these when they were little? I loved making potholders when I was little and when Drew saw this in the store the other day and asked for it – I just couldn’t tell him no. Now he’s enjoying making potholders. So far he has given one to Grandma and one to me and this one is slated to go to his teacher, Mr. Kingrey. I’m sure he’ll love it! I do wish I still had my old loom. It was metal – these are plastic and have spots that snag. They just don’t make things like the used to.

The best part of the day – I got to start a new book. This is a series that I absolutely love. The Bellingwood Series by Diane Greenwood Muir.

The fun part about these books is Diane grew up in small towns in the Midwest and one of those towns was my little town in southwest Iowa. She was older than me but I remember her. Her series is based around a one wonderful character, Polly Giller, and her family and friends who live in Boone, Iowa. So when Polly visits Ledges State Park – I’ve been there or when she stops in Madrid, I have just visited my sister-in-law who lives there! It’s fun to read about people that remind me of my neighbors, friends and family and my little town life here in the Midwest. The covers of all of her books are beautiful photographs taken by Diane’s very talented photographer husband. The cover of Book 2, A Big Life in a Small Town, showcases the office building where I worked for approximately seven years. Book 16 just came out in December and it’s great to know that there will be another coming out in March, then June, September and again in December. It’s such a special series – every new book is like catching up with old friends. You literally feel as if these people are a part of your life. I love a good series but this one is just so special!

Days like this

This big guy enjoyed his day – first day back to school after Christmas for Drew so no little terror to interrupt his naps!

It’s been one of those days. You  know it can’t be good when your five year old asks you why you’re so grumpy first thing in the morning when driving him to school. In my defense – he was a bear this morning – I had to jump through hoops to get him up and out the door without being late. Then when I went to pick him up from school – I have to sit for 30 minutes waiting for him to get out – I realized my Kindle hadn’t charged right and was almost dead, I forgot my phone at home, and I didn’t grab my yarn because I had planned to read and not crochet. So I got to sit for 30 minutes doing nothing. Then while making supper I tripled the amount of chili powder I put in the stuffed peppers stuffing and had to start over. Not good on the budget or on my time. Then Drew spilled his glass of milk all over the table and floor. It seemed like everything was against me today. But now, supper is over, the dishes are done. I’m in my jammies and robe, cuddled up with Drew who’s had his bath. Getting ready to work on my blanket because while I was gone picking Drew up from school, my yarn I had been waiting for was delivered. It’s perfect blanket crocheting weather – cold, cold, cold. It was a throw another quilt on the blanket night last night. Now all will be well once Eric gets home from a friend’s house where they are working on their short film for Speech competition. Days like this always end and tomorrow will be a fresh new day!

First stitch of the new year – I Carry the Key by Country Rustic Primitives – Jenny Hoffman
Soon to be a warm and cozy blanket – I hope!

Thanks for stopping by – Rhonda

Trying new things

Last day of Christmas vacation for the kids. Eric slept in. Drew enjoyed his day – he was loud, full of energy and into everything. He spent a lot of time this morning playing with his Legos and his Dinosaur Play Mobile. While he played away – I taught myself a new crochet stitch. Gotta love You Tube to learn new techniques.

He brought the cat bed and tower in with him in hopes that Pierre would come in and join him!

For lunch I tried out a new recipe – Honey Garlic Shrimp. It was yummy. Next time I’ll add some veggies and it will be a perfect meal to make for the boys when Joe is gone. I try to fix meals that the boys like and he doesn’t when he’s gone. Then I tried my hand at making homemade dinner rolls. I’ve never made homemade bread but have been wanting to try. I came across this recipe and thought it sounded good. I always remember my grandma’s homemade rolls. She brought them to every get together and they were so good. I surprised myself – they turned out great. Next time I’ll spend more time making them pretty though!

They aren’t very pretty but they sure taste good!

Eric had a bowling meet tonight. That kid – he’s always trying new things. He’s a senior this year and never really bowled and all of a sudden he decides to go out for the team. He’s on JV of course but does pretty good. He’s having fun and that’s all that counts. I know very little about bowling and am a little lost at the meets but that’s okay. I enjoy watching the boys compete and have fun.

So – a day of new things. New crochet stitch, new recipe, first attempt at baking bread, watching Eric bowl. I fun day of firsts!

Thanks for stopping by – Rhonda


Photo #1

It occurred to me one day that I get so used to seeing the same things everyday that I really don’t see them anymore. Does that even make sense? I walk out my back door every day and I don’t see anything around me. There are times I take notice but I’m usually so focused on what I’m doing, where I’m going, what my day is going to be that I just don’t pay that much attention to my immediate surroundings. So, I decided it would be fun to stand in the same spot outside once a month and take a picture so I could see how my immediate world changes around me. I’m going to mark my calendar so that I don’t forget and once a month I’m going to stand out on the deck and snap a photo. And here’s today:

Not the prettiest day that’s for sure. Your typical rainy, overcast, chilly winter day in southeast Iowa. Not the prettiest view either – but this is what I see when I get in my van and back out of my drive. I look forward to seeing the changes on a monthly basis!


It’s 2017 – a time for new beginnings. And keeping this blog up to date. I don’t know why I stopped – life I guess. And not knowing exactly what I’m doing – it’s a lot easier to just not do anything than it is to figure it out! Anyway – our New Year was quite low key. Joe got a deer and spent yesterday getting it cleaned and in the freezer. Then a quick drive over to Dad and Mom’s. I took my camera along and took a few pictures:

A view of the sun setting down in the timber. Always beautiful!
A view from the timber towards the house.

On the way home we decided to go out for supper. Drew and Joe wanted to go to their favorite barbecue place in a neighboring town. We got cleaned up and headed out only to discover they were closed! So Drew decided Arby’s sounded good. Then home it was – for a little crafting, TV and bed around 10:00. We definitely didn’t see the New Year in. I’m not sure when was the last time I have seen the New Year in!

Today I’ve finished my craft project I started yesterday. I needed something to hang on the backdoor and didn’t want to spend any money. So Pinterest it was and here is the finished product.

So simple – clothes pins, scrapbook paper, an embroidery hoop and craft glue. I used some old weathered pins and liked the look so I kept some of them plain. The rest I glued strips of paper onto the pins using craft glue. I also put a coat of glue on the top of the paper for extra sealant.

And for Valentine’s Day I cut out a heart using cardboard from a cereal box and glued matching strips of paper on. Then clipped it on using another clothes pin so I can take it off later and maybe add something different. I might use different paper on the back of the pins and then I’ll have two wreaths in one. Maybe some Easter or springy colors. The best part – this didn’t cost me a thing. I just dug around in my stash (think hoard!) of old scrapbook supplies and I always have clothes pins lying around the house. Perfect use of old supplies!

The rest of the day should be quiet around here. Eric has to work. Joe is cleaning his shop and hauling wood in before it rains. Drew is going to Grandpa and Grandma’s for a sleepover. I’m going to finish putting Christmas stuff away and settle in with a good movie and some stitching. Either a new Jenny Hoffman pattern for Valentine’s Day or crochet some dishcloths. That’s a new one for me – crochet – I taught myself how a couple of months ago and gave dishcloths and hot pads for Christmas. Now I can’t seem to stop! I have some yarn ordered and am going to start on a blanket. I have way too many dish cloths now! I may never have to buy another one, ever! But they are so great to use. So much better than anything you can buy! They are the perfect project when I’m sitting in the van waiting for Drew to get out of school.

Just a small handful of hot pads and dish cloths. Nothing matches – just grabbed the clearance yarn at the store! I’m thinking I might make a few sets for some camping friends of mine – maybe try and color coordinate with their campers. A nice little gift on our next camping get together.

Thanks for visiting!