Sunday, November 1, 2009

Kalona, Washington County, Iowa

What a fun way to spend a weekend day! Hey, that rhymes! Sherry and I met Carla at her home in Iowa City mid-day on Saturday, October 24, 2009. Our next stop? The historical village of Kalona, Iowa, home of the largest Amish settlement west of the Mississippi. The Iowa Mennonite School is located just a few miles to the northwest. We enjoyed a scrumptious lunch at Tuscan Moon and strolled through several antique stores. The ladies manning the register at the old hardware store chatted for a spell and made us feel welcome in the community! Our visit to Stringtown Grocery led to the purchase of Chocolate Raspberry Mocha and a dry potato soup mix which will, most likely, come in handy on a cold, winter day this season! Despite the high gasoline prices, Carla drove around the country roads in order to catch a glimpse of Amish life during the peak of Autumn. Out of sensitivity and respect for Amish beliefs, I did not attempt to photograph individuals; however, I will hold onto the memory of the mother and daughters raking leaves in front of their farm home, the horse-drawn buggy carrying a father and son, and the wife hanging a multitude of dresses, shirts, and pants on the clothesline to dry in the strong country breeze. It was an amazing day!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

534th Engineer Boat & Shore Regiment 2009 Reunion

We began our journey to Grand Rapids, Michigan on a clear, windy day, stopping for a quick, hot breakfast at McDonald's! After driving several miles, we enjoyed box lunches purchased at HyVee (the local grocery business who sponsored the Honor Flight) on a picnic table at the Interstate Rest Area! While driving through road construction near the Chicago area, at least two cars swerved into our lane . . . yet, we traveled without incident. We finally purchased a Road Atlas after losing our way on two occasions! Also saw at least 20 Highway Patrol and Sheriff's vehicles, but completed the entire trip without receiving a ticket! During our adventure, we toured Frederik Meijer Gardens and Sculpture Park as well as the Gerald Ford Museum. Grand Rapids is a beautiful city! If you ever have an opportunity, drive through the small town of Mt. Carroll, Illinois. Their Historical Society researched records and posted signs in front of several beautiful, old homes. We traveled across Lake Michigan on the Lake Express! See the photo of the Milwaukee Clipper and Lake Express, side-by-side! The most memorable part of our trip, however, was visiting with the World War II Veterans and families. While sitting in the Hospitality Room, discussions ensued regarding War times and current events. This year, the Veterans honored a Silver Star recipient by presenting him with a tie.

To the Veterans of the 534th EBSR~WE THANK YOU AND SALUTE

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Rest and Relaxation!

Finally! A time for rest and relaxation. After leaving work at 3:10 p.m., I raced home (just a bit over the speed limit), poured a glass of smooth soy milk, and got comfortable on the back porch! Toby is watching the activity from his "tube." As folks returned home from school and work, we began hearing the buzz of lawn mowers, the clatter of silverware on patio tables, the sweet summer song of the locusts, and, interestingly, the song of a pileated woodpecker! I had been hearing that particular song throughout the summer and finally identified it through Google! My home is in an older, established neighborhood with older, established trees lining the streets and backyard fence lines. Pileated woodpeckers choose forest areas and are known for keeping their distance from humans. This guy (a little bit of red identifies this one as a male) finally swooped low enough for me to catch a glimpse. The down side to this story is that pileated woodpeckers consume CARPENTER ANTS. Yikes! Well . . . at least the ants will be consumed, which, hopefully, will keep them away from my home! Now . . . back to my rest and relaxation!
Until next time . . . On The Back Porch

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Congratulations, Doc!

Dr. Stuart Mitchell of Springer Professional Home Services, Des Moines, Iowa; Oliver Exterminating Corp., Miami, Fla; Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions, St. Louis, Mo; Wanninger Pest Solutions, Omaha, Neb; and PestWest Environmental, Sarasota, Fla., has been awarded the prestigious Board Certified in Integrative Medicine, BCIM, credential by the American Association of Integrative Medicine. The BCIM designation is reserved for those who are able to meet the stringent requirements of AAIM in the areas of knowledge, skill, education, training, and experience in their health care specialty.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The Greatest Generation

According to Wikipedia, The Greatest Generation is a term coined by journalist Tom Brokaw to describe the generation of Americans who grew up during the deprivation of the Great Depression, and then went on to fight in World War II, as well as those whose productivity within the war's home front made a decisive material contribution to the war effort.

The World War II Memorial honors the 16 million who served in the armed forces of the United States, the 400,000 + who died, and all who supported the war effort from home.

Honor Flight provides a safe, memorable, and rewarding tour. The initial Honor Flight took place in May 2005. Six small planes carried World War II veterans to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.

The HyVee-sponsored Central Iowa Honor Flight allowed 350 World War II veterans the opportunity to travel on a 747 from Des Moines to Washington, D.C., on August 11, 2009, to see the memorial dedicated to them in the nation's capitol. The veterans also saw the Iwo Jima Monument, the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Korean and Viet Nam memorials, and Arlington Cemetery. My father was among those 350 veterans. We thank HyVee, Central Iowa Honor Flight, Northwest Airlines, and KCCI as well as the many volunteers and unknown donors who made this trip possible. I thank my father, whose service in the Army during World War II helped pave the way to the liberties I experience today. I also thank all veterans for their service to this great country ~ the United States of America!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Welcome To The Back Porch News!

Please sit and stay a spell. The
coffee is percolating at this moment so that we may enjoy a steamy cup of java as we experience the stillness of the morning. This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it! Psalm 118:24
Have you had a busy week keeping up with projects at work, caring for children, and performing chores? Sit and take a load off! The coffe is ready . . . cream and/or sugar? Now let me introduce you to some of our friends on the Back Porch. Toby is the red persian who "owns" the Back Porch. He is intrigued while watching the squirrels, rabbits, stripies, cardinals, blue jays, robins, house finches, juncos, purple martins, brown thrashers, woodpeckers, and the sole hummingbird! As we keep the neighbor cats, BK and Zoey, well~fed by offering Royal Canin, there have been no casualties so far. BK has tiger stripes and Zoey has a dark coat. Is it time to get on with our day already? Please stop by again for good conversation, rest, and relaxation!

Until next time . . . on the Back Porch!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Just Another Tuesday!

Hi folks!

This is the first post to my new blog. Special thanks to Deb for getting me started. As the title indicates, it was basically just another Tuesday. I arrived at work quite early and stayed late. Picked up lunch at HyVee and picked up photos at Walgreens. My photos of the Shawn Johnson & Friends show turned out "so~so." The show, on the other hand, was fantastic! I will be meeting my three high school friends for dinner tomorrow after work ~ that should give me some "scoop" for my next post! Thanks for visiting.

Until next time . . . On The Back Porch.