There’s no place like home

I’ve been thinking lately just what makes a house a home. I mean – you say things like ‘It’s good to be home’ and ‘I can’t wait until I get home’ – but why don’t you say stuff like ‘It’s good to be back to this house’. It just doesn’t sound right does it?

Well the reason that I was thinking about this was because of what I saw on the way home from work this week. I even stopped and turned around to check it out again and snap a quick picture. IMG_2274Now granted this little house when it was standing had the chimney leaning more to the right than any Republican that I know,  and the sides of the house .. well they weren’t good at all. But still it was someone’s home at one time wasn’t it? About 28 years ago I was just starting to sell Tupperware and this was one of the houses that I went to and did my sales pitch. And if I remember correctly – it was an awesome party! But time had taken it’s toll on this little house and maybe it needed to be put out of it’s misery. It was too small for today’s standard of houses because I’m sure that there isn’t an open concept floor plan or a chef’s kitchen in it either. So maybe it was time.

But that led me to think about our house and when do you stop thinking it as just a house and it becomes a home? I had heard the best compliment from one of our kids some time back. I was cooking in the kitchen and since we live in a farm house,  when you walk into our house you walk straight into the kitchen. I’m not sure what I had in the oven and I’m sure there was something on the stove cooking when he came into the room. I apologized that it smelled and he said that it smelled really good and it smelled like he was home. See.. kinda cool right?

So as I’m thinking about the little house that looks more like a missing tooth on the landscape than anyone’s home, and I thought about all the things what makes our house into our home. Is it when you open the front door you have about 1 second (or less!) before 2 little orange kitties are rubbing against your leg inside the house? Or how about the neighbor that spends about an hour at your kitchen table having a beer with you to explain what his plans are for his farm this upcoming year? Could it be that when you get packages delivered that you’ve ordered – it’s like Christmas because they’re on your kitchen table when you get home from work? Or how about when you are done with a long week and you sit down in the living room and see the peacocks looking at you from outside the french doors and realize that even though the stuff decorating your rooms don’t really match and you have peacocks staring at you .. well life’s not perfect. But for now, you really wouldn’t want it any other way.

I got a birthday email yesterday from someone and both her and her husband have been gone for these past couple of months visiting friends in a much warmer climate than Iowa. They’ve been doing just tons of fun things and are planning to go on a cruise before they are heading back to colder weather. Now even though I’m positive that they are having the best time ever, at the end of the letter she mentioned that it will be ‘good to get back home’.

I believe the saying is true: There is no place like home.

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Mystery Photo 1-28-15

Here is this weeks photo challenge. And the clue is that it is something that is used outside and usually on the farm. Can you guess what it is?



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Mystery Photo 1-21-15 results

This one was a little challenging.

Here was the clue and I mentioned that it was used in the kitchenIMG_2270a

And here is the answer. It’s a kitchen scraper for your cast iron pots and pans. Seriously, how did you not guess this? :) DSCN9537

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How does the diet go?

Since I’ve been talking about my diet and running so much lately, I’m sure you’re thinking to yourself..’Man I bet that girl is getting really skinny by now’… Well – you are sooooooo wrong! For some crazy reason I’ve been on the ‘See Food Diet’. You see the food and then you eat it! Last night I had made a large pizza that was in the freezer. And since it was fresh when I bought it and then I took it out of freezer – it had this layer of greasy oil on the top when it was done baking. So you would think it wouldn’t be appealing right? Ya, well I ate one, two, and then three pieces and said to myself – STOP! But then I ate another one. And when I was cleaning up the kitchen there was one piece left so I ate that one too. I have no idea what in the world was wrong with me, but I think I ate 3/4 of that large pizza! Thank goodness Daryl was home so at least I didn’t eat it all!! He didn’t say anything that it was all gone, but I did notice that he later nuked a hot dog.  So when I woke up this morning my belly kind of hurt and I thought that I shouldn’t have trouble staying away from the food today. Well… wrong!! At lunch I went downtown and got me a fresh mini taco pizza. I had good intentions of keeping 1/2 of it for tonight but check it out. So not cool!  IMG_2277

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Where did this come from?

As you probably know by now that I like to do laundry. You could almost say that I’m a Laundry Connoisseur.  (OK, maybe not) But if I’m stressed, bored, or if the house is too quiet I like to get the old washing machine going. But I was totally amazed tonight when I was standing in front of the washer. I saw something that I don’t think I ever saw before. I saw that I have a ‘Wool’ setting on the machine. Now maybe my brain did see it and I never really cared before –  but it’s time to give this a setting a shot. So I grabbed a wool winter coat that I have and decided instead of taking it to the dry cleaners (the tag in the coat said it was my only option!), I thought let’s try this out. So into the machine it went along with some soap and a prayer. To be honest if this coat came out like 3 sizes too small I was even OK with that. I’ve got enough around the place that I could spare one or two. When the little chime went off and said that the load was done, I reached in and pulled out my coat. Guess what? It looked like it was going to be OK. Maybe a little fresher than it was before it went in but it didn’t look like it shrunk at all. Whooo Hooo!! I’ve got to find me another wool coat to wash! DSCN9533

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Still Celebrating Mom’s Birthday

Well if you read yesterday’s post you know that it was Mom’s birthday yesterday. So today after dinner, any of us kids who could make it to Mom’s for birthday cake came over to help celebrate with her.

So with a house full of kids and grand kids, we had a great afternoon celebrating her birthday. Of course you can’t go to Mom’s without her having just tons of food too! Now how in the world do you think I’m going to meet my running goals with all this good food? But it’s a sin to leave it go to waste, so I guess I’ll have to figure something out.

We beat it home early from the party so we could do our weekly Skype with the boys. We were able to catch Kyle in Korea, but William ended up calling a little later to talk. Both kids are doing well and it’s so nice to just touch base with them every week to hear how their week went.

And so with all this going on this weekend, we talked about staying home tonight and maybe just vegging out by the fireplace. But instead .. off to town we went to go see a movie. We haven’t been to a show for a long time and tonight’s movie ‘American Sniper’ was really good and I was glad that we didn’t do the sleeping thing on the couch tonight instead.

Now it’s time to get things organized and ready for the upcoming work week. I’ve got a lot to do around the house that I want to get done and I also need to get stuff ready for our upcoming town’s Irish Fest. Whew! I better make some good ‘to do’ lists tomorrow.

But for now? Well it was a fun weekend and Happy Birthday Mom! DSCN9531

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Happy Birthday Mom!

It’s Mom’s birthday today and we have a full day planned. First things first though. Since it was her birthday and everything, I thought we needed to snap a quick picture for her Facebook page. I mean if you’re going to celebrate your 85th Birthday – you might as well start out with an updated Facebook picture. So after I kind of forced her into the photo op in the morning, we got into the car and we were off to the Amish. I was hoping to get there this weekend and I was glad that we did make it after all. I only needed a couple of things and I stuck to the plan of only picking up those things. I can get carried away in the bulk grocery stores, but seriously that’s just has bad news all over it if I bring everything home that I want to. Now you would expect the Amish Community to live on gravel roads and this community isn’t any different. We knew where we needed to go to get to the store there, but finding our way to the ‘right’ highway was another story. After a lot of gravel travel, we finally saw some taller buildings off in the distance and figured it was a town. Now what town was it? We had no clue at the time, but it was at least a town. Seriously sometimes you just can’t be too picky!  Finally we saw on the Post Office that it was a town that was actually not that far off our travel to the town we were headed to and now we were back in business. The only thing that took the worst of it from all the gravel travel was the little car. It started out black in the morning and once we got the the highway.. well let’s just say that I had to wipe off the license plate and the back break lights so you could see them. They had a nice dark brown color of mud (it actually was mud).

We finally made it to town and I had a return that needed to be brought back and then off to the consignment store to drop some more stuff. I have a pretty aggressive money goal that I want to make at this store and if you have something in our house and not being used – well you better grab it quick before I do and sell it at this consignment store!

Next on our travels was to go to my sister’s for dinner. She heard that we were going to be in the area and she only lives about 30 minutes from where we were shopping, so that’s where we were off to next. All their kids and grand kids were home for the weekend so it was a houseful when we showed up. When we got there she was just finishing up in the kitchen and she had the table full of food! I don’t know if it was because we were coming for dinner or if she always cooks like this – but man I think I better be prepared if she stops by our house! We had baked potatoes, chicken cordon blue, steamed broccoli, corn, baked beans, warm apple crisp with ice cream, and for dessert Scotcheroos with chocolate frosting. See.. I told you that she had a lot. Well after our bellies were full and we sang Happy Birthday to Mom, we got back in the car and we were off again.

This time we stopped at the Mall to see about a couple of wedding gifts that Mom needed. We had great luck and what was our next stop? Well supper of course. It was going to be too late to start cooking when we both got home, so we stopped quick for a bite to eat.

At the end of our Birthday Road Trip, it was around 7 pm when we finally walked into the house for the night. What a great day just to drive around and kind of do just whatever we wanted. A little shopping, a little gravel travel, a little visiting, and a lot of good food. Score!

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The Secret Garden Musical

It was girls night out and we were off to find a good supper and then a Musical in town. DSCN9526After I ate more than I probably should have, we were off to tonight’s adventure. How come when you go out for supper (or any meal) with your friends it seems to always taste so much better?

Well we found the address for the musical and because none of us had been there before, we really wasn’t sure what to expect. The building was built in 1894, but if you know much about Decorah Iowa at all, well you know that there are a lot of old buildings in that town. I was excited to be able to check this out tonight because I’ve been to more high school musicals and plays than probably can be counted, and we’ve been to other performances – but nothing in a small community setting. This was going to be fun! We walked in and soon found our seat. And the first thing that you notice is that it’s a small more intimate setting. I didn’t take a picture inside the hall, but I did find one out on their web site that I copied. Below is the seating for the guests.

These seats came from a local school and are around 70 years old

These seats came from a local school and are around 70 years old

I counted 45 seats and after the play started – you know what? I think that this was just perfect! They were having the musical a couple nights and I’m sure will have full crowds all the nights. For tonight’s show – it’s a sell out crowd. And how fun for the performers to look out and to literally see everyone’s faces. Even though it sounds like this little theater has had it’s own share of troubles with the building, the community has been there in the past and I’m sure will always be there in the future.

As I was sitting there, I was trying to figure out just how I could describe this theater. Because where we sat, we were close to the piano and flutist, and it really caught your attention that they were a big part in this production. So for me, I kind of felt like the old black and white movie picture days (and NO I didn’t see them first hand!) when you had the piano player on the side keeping the story going and creating the mood. Now I don’t know if this is how every play is in the theater and I’m kinda guessing not. But tonight it was so much fun just seeing how this community puts on a great show and such a personal one at that! Definitely something to see if you are able to while visiting Decorah.

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Bringing it back

I had an appointment after work today at the Chiropractor’s office in a nearby town and for some totally weird reason .. I was early. Ya, can you believe that one? So I was just driving around checking out the town just killing time and then I saw an Amish buggy. Honestly it also looked like he was just driving around too! It was just really lightly snowing outside and with my car being an electric car, I could hear the horses hitting the pavement with their hooves in front of me and making the clickity clock sound that horses make. For me this just instantly makes me smile. I don’t know – maybe I was Amish in my previous life or something. So now to see if I can snap a quick picture for the photo of the day. I don’t know if these buggy’s have rear view mirrors are not – but I’m guessing if he saw me behind him,  then he really thought that I was stalking him. The reason I’m thinking this is because I took a picture at the first stop sign by just sticking my arm out the window and well it didn’t turn out so good. So I followed him again and then took another picture. OK, this one wasn’t so bad, but I really wanted a better one you know. So I kept following him through town and honestly my little ‘oh this is such a relaxing sight’ turned into .. I MUST AND WILL GET A GOOD PICTURE!! Finally I quit following him because for one reason the town wasn’t so big and we were running out of streets and another reason is  that I should get to my appointment before I ended up being late. So when I looked at the pictures that I took,  guess which one I used? Yup, I used the first one that I snapped. But this whole Amish escapade did remind me that I haven’t been to the Amish Community not far from us for awhile and maybe I can sneak a trip there this weekend. You know.. just check it out. And I promise – no more stalking!

So here is my picture of the day IMG_2268

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Mystery Photo 1-21-15

OK, so this weeks mystery photo is something that’s very old and was used in the kitchen. And even though I’ve only used it once – it worked very well!

Here is the photoIMG_2270a

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