Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined. Henry David Thoreau

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The River City

Wedding Weekend: Part II

When we arrived at Ann and Dan's on Friday night,
Jason and Lisa and the kids were already there.
Karen and Robb and their kids Garret and Malea were there too.

The kids were having a great old time playing in the sprinkling worm.
and lounging in lawn chairs.

Is this not the ultimate picture of summer???

It was the perfect thing.
All wet and cold
and summery.

Annalie decided that she did not
like the feel of the wet grass
on her feet.
Plus it was sticking to her feet.
Plus it was wet.

So she decided to chill
in the big lawn chair.
All that is missing in this picture
is the sunglasses.

One of her favorite discoveries
was the fun 
of dipping her pacifier
into Grandpa's lemonade.

She would dip it in,
take a big long slurp
and make this 
hmmmmmmmming sound
as she got every last drop
of lemonade
before dipping again.

We were all very captivated by this.

Then on Saturday morning,
we went with Ann and Dan
on a little tour of Alton.

I am embarrased to say that I got lost
at least three times
in my own hometown.

Dan drove us downtown and then
through some of the older neighborhoods
shady brick streets, beautiful old homes
built up on the bluffs 
overlooking the Mississippi River.
Ann had discovered that her either her 
dad's parents or grandparents  ( I can't remember now)
 had lived on the street
overlooking the river 
near the park we were visiting.
Here is the view looking down
a long stairway that leads to the next street over.

Here is a view of the River from the park.
It is just so big, the pictures dont give you the 
feeling of how vast it is.

Then we took a drive up the River Road.
We saw the Piasa Bird, a legendary bird painted  on the bluffs
overlooking the river.
Then we drove on to Elsah,
my favorite little river town.
My grandmother was a schoolmate
of Alice Conditt...she was the post mistress years ago.
She had a wonderful house up in Elsah
and we both had great memories
of visiting Alice at her home.

Next stop: Pierre Marquette State Park

Here are Ann and Dan in front of the lodge.

The lodge reminded me of the one at the Grand Canyon ,
huge, old and beautiful.

They had commissioned an artist
to create these fabric panels and they hang from the ceiling beams.
They are constructed of thousands of individual,
hand dyed and stitched pieces of cloth shaped like leaves, bugs, fish, birds...all of the nature of the river.


After the park, we drove north to Grafton in search of some antique stores.  I think we must have missed some main street shops, because along the river road it was pretty much eateries and bars and just a handful of shops.  I have heard that Grafton is an antiquer's paradise, but we did not find what we were looking for.  We did find a wonderful place to eat lunch, and then decided it was too hot to look for antiques anyway.  

We headed for home, ice cream and a nap before evening activities beckoned us out again.
It's good to go home, even after a long time away.
Lots of things have changed.  I have changed.
But there is something grounding about going back to the place where you were born,
where you grew up, where your loved ones are buried.

I'm glad I got to go.

Tomorrow, a beautiful wedding.

A very busy weekend!

This weekend we travelled
to St. Louis
for my niece's wedding.

Were we content to limit ourselves
to wedding festivities?

Heck no.

There were many side trips
and activities.
I tried to document 
as many as I could 
so that Kellie and Matt
could get in on the fun.

I am sorry to say that
these pictures
are not in chronological order.

This took place on Sunday morning
as we were leaving Alton
 to get to St. Louis in time
to help with the decorating
for the wedding.

Kevin had heard me tell about
Robert Wadlow,
the tallest man in history.
Robert was a schoolmate of my mom's 
and there is a life-size statue of him in Alton,
where they lived.
Of course we needed to stop in
and say hello to Robert.

As we were walking over to the statue
I noticed something dark in the grass....
Do you see it?

look closer.

Yes, I almost stepped on this thing.

Here is Kevin standing beside the Robert Wadlow statue.
He enjoys standing besides people who are taller than him!

He also enjoys finding people whose
feet are bigger than his.

Here is a replica of Robert's chair.

Here is Kevin experiencing a chair
where his feet don't reach the ground.
This phenomenon
will never happen again
in his lifetime...
so it was important
that he 
made sure to experience it.
Here he is bonding with
short people of the world.

One last picture with the big guy before we 
hit the road.

was also born in Alton.

I, his mother was also born there.
Somehow that factoid 
does not carry the same
But I love being in the company of
whenever I can.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Vegetarians need not read this post!

Who are these people 
and what are they doing standing in line
in the rain????
At a gas station
in Kansas City?

What do you think this girl is thinking about?
(multiple choice question here)

a. hair spray
b. umbrellas 
c. meat.

If you answered

 c. meat, 

were correct.

Even though she was also thinking
about hair spray and umbrellas,
she was mostly thinking about


Sweet Daughter-in-love and 
sweet daughter waiting in  line
the rain at a gas station.


Yes folks,

it IS at a gas station

Legend has it
that Anthony Bourdain
famous Travel Channel
host and chef of renoun
has eaten here
and declared it

One of the 13 places you should eat before you die.

Here's the magazine article that confirms it.

I personally really like Anthony Bourdain.
and his travel show called
No Reservations.

He tells it like it is.

and after eating here, I have to agree with him.

This place knows how to cook meat.
French Fries.
Baked Beans.
Potato Salad.

These people dont know me 
and they dont pay me to advertise
on this blog.
But if they did want to pay me
I would ask for my pay 
in gallons and gallons

Here are some of the prizes they have won 
at BBQ competitions
When they compete
they are known as
The Slaughterhouse Five.

We stood in the line for about 45 minutes

and it really was worth it.

You called it, Anthony!

I feel glad that I got to eat here before I die.
This is BBQ Heaven.


Monday construction quiz!

Good Monday Morning, students!
This morning we shall have a quiz.
The winner of this quiz

will not be selected randomly
by the random winner selector.

I will hand pick the winner myself.

I myself will determine
whether you deserve to win or not.
Because this is my blog 
and I can do what I want.

The first two questions are to be answered in as many words as you would like to use, but 
dont be verbose.
Just get to it.

What it the "construction world" name for these tubes?

What are they used for?

Question #3

What unique and useful craft project do you think I could use them for?

These can be sliced into sections, are made of waxed cardboard and 
are about 14 inches in circumference and about 4 feet tall.

If you fail the first two questions, 
but have a good answer for 
question #3, I will put your name at the top of the list of 
potential winners.

Good Luck to all!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Playing in the Dirt - My story

Do you ever wonder what I am up to 
while the guys are slaving
pouring and

This my friends
is what I have been up to.

see this?

and this

Look here

And over here...

are those thorns?

and poison ivy???

and ticks and chiggers and mosquitoes?

Yes my dainties,

all of the above.

In between each pile
of debris

hand dug
and tossed out from under
the lovely 
cedar trees,

I stagger over to my recliner
and snarf down a
granola bar
and a quart of water.

And scratch my poison ivy some more.

And thank the Good Lord
for life
 and good hard work...

and shade.

Playing in the Dirt

Here's the latest view of the back of the house.

On the upper level you can see the holes where the
three big windows and transoms will go.
The part sticking out a little farther
will be our bedroom.
Under that is the door and two windows
that will be the walkout from the basement.
We will put a  patio just outside that door.
There will be giant rocks on either side 
on either side of this patio
and hopefully lots of pretty plants 
all around.

This however is some real hard dirt
and some real strong brave men
spent the biggest part of yesterday
several really deep holes
so they can fill them with concrete
to form support platforms to
hold up the big

Covered Porch.

Here is one of the strong brave men.
Even though he is smiling in this
do not be fooled.

This is very hard work
and they got very tired.

My husband is agitated at me
for waiting until they took a break
to take this picture.

He wouldn't look at the camera.

Today there will be more pouring of concrete
There will be several new vocabulary words for you to learn.
There will be a quiz.

When this is finished, it will undoubtably
be my favorite
room in the house.

Covered Porch.

No other words are necessary.

Front Porch

Well followers, 

the front porch is poured.

All is well with the world.

Isn't it lovely?

Just big enough for 

two people

to sit out in the morning

and drink coffee.

To gaze into the woods and

listen to the whiporwils

in the evening.

A porch is a wonderful thing.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Yes,  I have been gone

 a wandering.

Blogging and blithering.

Two years ago, 

I didn't even know the word


I am through wandering

around blogworld

entering giveaways

and commenting

to total strangers

about their blogs

so I could win some

of their fabulous stuff.

I quit.

I have entered a twelve-step program

to cure me of this ill.

I am back to work

updating you on the house

and the marvelous progress that is

being made.

Here is today's installation:

Front Porch Ready to Be Poured.

Much bracing and boarding up


there is nothing under the hole where the concrete will go.

My husband calls it "The Chicken Room".

It will be a tornado shelter under the front porch.

Concrete on all four sides...top...bottom.

Take that, Kansas.

Anyway, the concrete is drying and

I will have pictures of the drying concrete later today.

Try to control yourselves.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Farmhouse Wares

oops!  sorry about that people, 

It's Farmhouse Wares.

drat.  now my chances of winning the giveaway have dropped to nil.

nil I tell you.

Go over and look around anyway, knowing that I will not win.

It's Monday ok?  I'm just killing time here until I have to get dressed and
go get a cavity filled.

Can you believe that?

Everybody in my family comes home from the dentist gloating,

"great home care"  ______! (insert family member's name here)

Not me.



Enjoy Home Wares and think of me in the dentist's chair, because that's what I'm gonna be thinking of .
One of my favorite links (see right)
is A Soft Place To Land
and she pointed me to a fun site
called Farmhouse Goods

FG is having a fun giveaway
and I am telling you
about it on my blog.
Now I am going to go over there
and report 
that I told you about it
so that my chances of winning
this giveaway
has increased from
one in a million
to one in 3/4 of a million.
I do what I can.

I liked the looks of their goodies
and what the heck,
I won a magazine subscription

Good luck out there.

A Day of Rest

I'm tellin' you something that is true.
The Good Lord knew
what He was doing
when he set up
The Sabbath.

It felt good to do nothing yesterday.
We went to church.
We went to the deli.
We took a nap.
We watched a Lonesome Dove marathon.

We took a break to go look at these.

These are yuccas.

Yuccas up close
and personal.

I've never looked at one up close.
This is a different setting.
Doesn't the sky look dreamy?
I feel like a real photographer now
that I've found this setting.

Then we went home to watch the rest of
Lonesome Dove.
While we were gone
the gambler apparently
got himself hung.
Who knows what else we missed...

It was good to get home and watch
the conclusion.
I was a little disappointed at the ending.

I was expecting something a little more
than Tommy Lee Jones walking
over a bridge
looking very sad.
Oops, sorry to all of you who didn't see that.

I guess I wanted him to go back to Nebraska 
and live with the women folk.
I think I need to get Jim that DVD 
for Father's Day
so I/he can watch it
without ten million commercials.

And we can pause it if we need to go look at yuccas.
or Whatever.

Hope you had a restful nothing doing weekend.

Now back to regularly scheduled programming.

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." Ralph Waldo Emerson

About Me

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Welcome to my happy place. A place where I can share ideas, projects, and dreams. I am a nester, a crafter, a creator and a dreamer I hope you will find inspiration and encouragement for the journey you are on. I am a Jesus follower, wife, mother and nana. Blessed beyond measure, just trying to live my life gracefully and make a difference in my small world. Join me!