Friday, August 27, 2010

Day Trippin' (revised)

There's something about Iowa's landscape that always keeps me in awe. Rich greens, silver silos, red barns, white fences, golden hay.............The rolling hills provide visual interest. A creek here, a glorious house there, frisky colts, content cows, and the architecture of small towns. Small, rural towns maintain (or try to) the original structures of their communities. So much brick detail, tall windows framed by intricately set stone. There's so much to say.......................

So why am I gettin' all drippy and nostalgic? My husband and I took an amazing motorcycle day trip today. The weather was perfect! 186 miles, 4 watering holes, interesting people, two states, and numerous small towns.

In order to get to our first stop, we had to drive through Salem, Bonaparte and Bentonsport. Our first stop was A.J.'s Bar and Grill in Mt. Sterling, Iowa. If I stood on their outdoor deck and threw a frisbee, it'd land in Missouri! Now this place has character! It's got that "hunter lodge" look. Sort of. If you don't mind dining under the watchful eye of a giant taxidermied turkey or deer head, then you should definitely check this place out. But don't ask for a margarita or any of them other fancy drinks! No sir! Beer, beer, or beer. I had a can of pop. I also had a tenderloin the size of a dinner plate. I'm not kidding. The Christmas garland is still hanging above the faux pine log bar and racing flags and beer ad posters cover the walls. "Does" and "Bucks" identify the restrooms, so you may want to brush up on your deer gender names. Yes, my friends, this is a date night destination. (The food was excellent!)

From there we headed to Missouri. We were so close - why not? Kahoka (home of the Clark County Mule Festival), Wayland and Alexandria gave us more interesting buildings and we shared stories of when we used to stop once in awhile, many years ago, just for something to do. On this trip, however, those stores were either closed or gone or no longer an interest. F.Y.I. Alexandria has a fireworks store that is still OPEN!!

Back in Iowa, we followed the Mighty Mississippi through Keokuk (the City of Stoplights) and into Montrose. We like to take this little two lane rode because there are grand homes (old "river money", I've been told) overlooking the river. There is also a section of road that is nearly dark, even when it's sunny! There's a canopy of green that's created by trees on either side. It's like driving through a tunnel. Crazy. Cool. This summer's onslaught of rain caused a couple of issues on this road, however. One of the great stone retaining walls gave way to trees and dirt and closed one lane. The water (I think) proved too much for another section, simply washing the road completely down a steep embankment. In Montrose, we stopped at Kinnick on the River. Interesting name. One would expect a serious football theme inside, right? (Kinnick Stadium is where the Univ. of Iowa Hawkeye football games are held.) Maybe painted all black and gold? Nope. Just a bar/restaurant. Ho hum. Montrose has, like, maybe 150 people, and they have a Casey's!! (Not fair! My town needs a Casey's!)

Montrose is known for their Watermelon Days and The No Wake Cafe. Unfortunately, the No Wake is No More. But that's another post...................

From Montrose we headed to West Point. There are some cool houses on the way to West Point! This lilttle community has 4 bars! Must be thirsty people there! Inside The 4th Street Bar and Grill we talked to 3 other bikers about their rides today. Everyone was just out to enjoy the view and the weather. West Point is known for their Sweet Corn Festival. (All the free sweetcorn you can eat! It's fabulous!!!) They were gearing up for a BBQ Cookoff or something the next day. It was part of their pre-rodeo countdown. (The rodeo is in Ft. Madison on Sept. 8!!)

People talk about going to the mountains and being captivated by the view. I've been to the mountains a couple times and to me, they all look the same. (Sorry, mountain lovers.) While we saw fields and fields of corn and soybeans and newly harvested round bales, they were all the same, yet different. The corn stalks were different heights and at different stages of development - you could tell that by the color. Some of the round bales were lined up in neat rows near the barns while others dotted the fields, not yet taken to their final resting place for the season.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Couple of Cards

I haven't been very good about posting my cards lately. Here are a couple I made last week. Super simple. The dotted one needs ..........."something".............but I don't know what. The file folder is cute. I just glued it on to a piece of green cardstock. The front of the file folder drops down for the message.

Monday, August 16, 2010

MogoOrganic Veggie Wonderland

Okay! Who wouldn't love getting this basket of yumminess! The skinny little bundle to the left is celery. Yep. Smells like celery, tastes like celery, so it must be celery! Just skinny. More cabbage, green beans and fresh basil. And what goes well with fresh basil? Fresh tomatoes, of course! The heirlooms finally made their debut. They have all been delish, but I think my favorites are the sweet peas! See how little they are? Barely bigger than a pea! What they lack in size they more than make up in taste! They snap when you bite them and fill your mouth with some serious tomato taste. Yummers! Sweet corn, potatoes, a "candy" (yep, that's the name!) onion and a spaghetti squash. Many thanks to Morgan and her crew for all their hard work!!!!

Sunday, August 15, 2010


My postings need to be more random. I need to get over the idea that every post needs a photo.

For example, I think one of my favorite questions someone (a mother) asked me this summer was, "Do you have any books that aren't like this one?" I resisted the urge to say, "Well, um, since I only have one copy of that book, any other book would fill that request. (She was disgusted by the "adjectives" used to describe some of the characters.) Made me laugh and still makes me smile. (Library humor.)

Moving along. I have Mogo pictures to post from last Tuesday, but they are on the other computer. Maybe later..........

I would like to show off my new card, as of about an hour ago. It's for an anniversary. I found these great vintage playing cards at the What Cheer flea market last weekend. They are adorable and in excellent shape! Perfect for cards. These little numbers are in "party mode"! Cosmo Cricket made the perfect background paper. I rarely get a card made before an event, so today is a special day! lol

Monday, August 2, 2010

So Much To Share!

First of all, let me share my goodies from my last MoGoOrganic basket. A cucumber, tomatoes, blackberries, peppers, green beans, new potatoes and sweet corn! Everything has been delicious!!

The other thing I want to talk about is my day at the Papa Clutch open house. I met the couple (Tim and Dana) who own this business as a result of going to Leroy Brown's in Ainsworth and then later, because they were a sponsor of Bike Night in the same town. Dana and I hit it off that first time we met. As I got to know her, I learned that they were going to move their business "down the road" and have an open house to celebrate. I offered my assistance and they took me up on the offer. Sooooooooooooooooo, that's what I did this past Friday and Saturday. On Friday I went to the new location (awesome redecotrating job!!) and helped get a few things organized, namely their apparel line. Lots of people were in and out, so I had an opportunity to meet some new people.

One of the guys I met on Friday was Jeff Cochran. He was talking about his last photo shoot. When I got home that evening, I found the issue he was refering to and read the article. What an interesting man! If you'd like to know more about Jeff, bike builder and photographer, check out his website. On Saturday, when I saw Jeff again, I told him that I'd checked out the magazine article and visited his website. I think he was quite surprised that I would do something like that. Quite frankly, it was very interesting and it gave me something to chat with him about!

I met two other guys, one was Justin and I didn't ask the other man's name, but he was a bike builder from Muscatine, Iowa. Justin was up from Phoenix. He kept me laughing. He showed me his bike that had been recently used for an ad for Sucker Punch Sally.

The rest of the open house was filled with meeting people from all over Iowa and Illinois. It's an interesting network these bikers and bike builders have. They seem to have a tremendous respect for one another. The event seemed well attended, the food was outstanding and the bands were great. I hope my new friends were pleased with the success.

Working at an event like that is something that I really like to do. It's so different from what I do at my "regular" job. It's like working at the Gift Mart in Atlanta or on the vendor floor at a scrapbooking convention. If anyone is looking for help at a similar event, please let me know!!