Fall

Fall is my favorite season. I love putting on a long sleeved T shirt. That slight chill in the air. Sitting outside in the evenings with no bugs. Oh yes I am excited for the month or two that is before us. This fall is busy like all others but there is an enthusiasm that fills my soul. Both kids are back at school and growing like weeds. 

Greta is in 8th grade and Henry is in 3rd. Where have my babies gone. They are both so busy. Henry is in football this fall. He plays two times a week and we can see improvement each practice. He loves it and one of his many goals is to play for the Seattle Seahawks. 

 

Henry loves when dad gets out there and plays with him. He is my sports kid. He loves them all and has 5 million questions when we watch any sporting event on tv. I am not a football person but I better start to be. 

Greta is in full swing of school. She has joined FFA, Speech and WE Day. She went to a WE event in the cities this past week. She came home so energized and ready to make a difference. She reminds me so much of me at that age. I so wanted to change the world. I didn’t get that accomplished…yet but I still try to make a difference. 


Fall is my time to get busy. I am still working as a PCA. I love the girl I watch like my own child. I am also back at the school. Time to get out the calendar so I know where to be each day. My garden is also doing wonderful this year. Best ever if I say. I have done relishes, pickled veggies, pizza sauce and salsa. My tomatoes are on overdrive. I have so many they are overtaking my freezer. Tomato juice may be next on the list. 


My cabbages have been picked and turning into sauerkraut. This is a first for me so hope it will turn out. So pretty


Chad is busy at work like always. This fall he would like to start welding some ornamental things. 


I also am starting on a new endeavor. I have been hired as a deaf/hard of hearing role model. I would describe it as a mentor for families that have a child that is hard of hearing. I am excited to learn more and pass that information on. Always a new chapter to be written. 

So fall is busy but I love every moment of it. It is crisp and cool. I think apples and fires. Sitting by the fire drinking a chai tea sounds heavenly to me. Bring on fall!!

The County Fair is done

The summer is wrapping up. School is around the corner, getting dark a tad earlier and we are getting those cooler evenings. We are emerging into fall my favorite season. Another way to know that summer is almost over is the fair. It is a time to enter projects and to see friends we haven’t seen in a while. We entered our projects last week. 


Henry as a cloverbud he receives a ribbon for every project. Greta did well also. She got all 1st place ribbons besides 2 2nd place ribbons that came from canning. We used brand new Walmart canning jars but she was docked because not name brand. That really upset me but I guess we know for next year now. Must be name brand jars. We left our projects in the judges hands. The next night we were going to be back and we could hardly wait to see how we did. 


We worked the food stand. The kids always have fun with this task. If it is taking orders or cleaning tables they enjoy it. 


Of course we had to check our projects. Greta earned a grand champion and a state fair trip. Very proud of her. Henry loved seeing his projects on display. When we went to open class I was very happy with what I saw also. 


I saw a few 1st, 2nd and 3rd’s. I saw a reserve champion also. It sure made my night. 

Sunday night back to the fair and had some family fun. Food, fun and checking out the animals and music. 


It was a good fair. Already talking what we should do next year. 


I got home and tucked everyone in bed. I took inventory of my ribbons. Just wish they gave real ribbons still. 


Now the fair is done. The birthdays are done, and the family reunions. I must focus my attention on back to school and also subbing a day or two a week. It makes me think what we didn’t do this summer. We didn’t camp, or fish but we have time. We have the beautiful season of fall. 

Summer canning 

It is summer and August which means hot and lets start canning. I am waiting for my tomatoes to turn red. I have plenty of green ones but not one that is even turning a yellow or orange let alone red. I bought a new pressure canner when we were moving. It has been staring at me. 


I also bought an outdoor two burner stove that runs on a propane tank. 


So the two items together means I NEED TO CAN. I bought 3 dozen ears of sweet corn. I was able to get 7 pints and 1 quart. It was fun and brought back the joy of why I do this fun and productive hobby. 


This is the time I enjoy. Canning, ripening of tomatoes, and the county fair. Next weekend is fair time and I am bring a bunch of my canned items. I can’t wait and I can’t wait to see if maybe someday I can get a grand champion. 

For now I just enjoy the dance of life. Just like this corn. Doing the dance. 

Last Year in the 30’s

keep-calm-its-my-39th-birthday-5

This past week was my birthday.  I love my birthday, who doesn’t.  My birthday often goes by without much fuss at all.  There have been many years there is no birthday cake but I really felt the love this year.  I was able to stretch out my birthday for a few days so that is always a special thing also.

This past weekend we travelled up to Hinckley MN to the Casino.  We had a Spoors’ reunion.  That would be my paternal grandfather’s family.  Grandpa was an only child so the reunion is cousins of his.  We have a great time together, laugh and eat.  Kids playing in the pool together.  It is a time to see people we see once a year, but we really need to make time to get together more than that.  Won a little at the casino so that is always a great part of going up there.  My mom made a German Chocolate cake just in honor of me.  I felt the love, thanks momma.

On our way home we knew that the next week would be busy.  Chad was back to work after a 3 week break.  Greta was off to her grandparents for the week.  Henry was finishing up summer school.  We stopped at Olive Garden and had my birthday meal with the 4 of us.  It was good and fun to go to a place that is a step up with the kids.  They loved the attention of the waitress.  Henry loved his big meatball.  Greta loved the chicken gnocchi soup.  We did some shopping and Chad surprised me by telling me he was buying me a ring.  We picked out a beautiful diamond and black onyx ring.  I love the little bit of bling on my finger.  I also like that we picked it out together.  It was a great weekend together and celebrating my birthday with family.

Monday I met with my mother in law and we had lunch with the kids.  I love that I am close with my family and my in laws.  I don’t understand when I hear jokes about your in laws.  I love mine and enjoy being with them.  A fun lunch together, again celebrating my birthday.

The 19th was finally here.  I woke up to texts from family, a call from Greta, and messages on facebook.  I felt the love.  Henry and I worked around home for the day.  Trying to get the garage a little more organized.  Found some old pictures to display.  It was a quiet day and it was perfect.  That night Chad, Henry and I went to the Mexican resturant and I got my fajitas.  It was a perfect ending to a great day.

This is my last year in the 30’s.  I really don’t dread hitting that 40 mark.  I sometime think what have a done in my life, not much.  I wonder if I am doing what I want to do in life.  Again a big unknown.  I may have a couple things coming up in the future.  Still unknown and uncertain but on the horizon.  I can just pray, work hard and pay it forward.  Those are the things I am trying to focus on right now.

Next year I might need to make a big deal about my birthday.  Maybe a party will need to be in order, I doubt it but you never know.  I just want this year to count.  I want to make a difference and make my mark on the world.  12 months till 40 time to make some waves.

Iowa Family Vacation- Day 5

Today is the last day on the road. It has been a good trip but I was very excited to get back to my house. We packed up the van, for the last time. Chad was very excited about this fact. 


We travelled north and soon crossed back into Minnesota. Our destination was Harmony. We were going to visit the Amish. We went to three farms in all. We could have visited many more but I think we all had that inner drive to get home, and the van was full! The first farm had a little of everything but the biggest thing was furniture. Oh wow I fell in love with the jewelry boxes. They were beautiful. Henry got a wooden tractor. Greta got an Amish doll. I found a collapsible basket that thought would look great on my table. We also bought some hot pepper butter. No idea what is all in it but sure sounded interesting. 


Our second farm we bought some homemade noodles and sauerkraut. I did snap a couple pictures at this farm. 


The 3rd farm just my mother in law bought a basket. Chad struck up a conversation with this young man. I am guessing early 20’s for his age. He was a welder also and does custom hay baling. I know Chad wished he would have asked him more questions. 

We made our way to Rochester for our last lunch on the trip. When we left we saw a storm was blowing in and we hoped we would miss it. 


A few drops and we were sparred. We finally made it back to the farm. We were tired and sore but unpacked that van so quickly. Bags were tossed in our van and we were off towards home. 

It was a great week away. It is a great bonding week for the kids and their grandparents. I want to publicly thank them for letting us travel with them. We are a great team together, I believe. We saw lots, enjoyed a lot and laughed a lot. Till next year

The Lundquist Family 

Iowa Family Vacation- Day 4

Yesterday was such a full day. To tell you the truth I didn’t want to get up and be on the car at 8:45am. I would have loved to sleep, yes just lay in a bed and sleep. But like all other days we were up and going and gone before the clock struck 9. 

Today we had a few things planned as we made our way north. Our first stop was the National Farm Tractor Museum. Chad, Ron and the kids went into the museum. They enjoyed it a ton. I am glad they had the chance to tour it. After the museum we went to the Tomy toy outlet. Chad got the tractors and sprayers he had been wanting to get. Also got Henry some Pokemon toys for his birthday. Nice knowing that is bought and done. We had one more stop in this sleepy little town. We visited The Field of Dreams. It really did have this magical look to it. A real oasis in the middle of corn fields and rolling hills. We all had fun playing catch, walking out of the corn. It was a fun place to be. 


From the Field of Dreams we traveled up the river some more. We had a picnic in Guttenberg. Very pretty place to have a classic PB&J. 


We continued driving. The roads were very curvy today. There was no straight part at all. Our final stop of the day was Spillville. We stopped at the Bily Clock museum. I wasn’t very excited to go this museum I will admit. We got in the museum and joined a tour. I couldn’t understand near a word of the tour guide. I was discouraged at first, then I started looking at these carved clocks and reading the cards next to them. It was amazing and I am glad I experienced the Bily Clocks. Two brothers carved these clocks and never sold one. Henry Ford offered them 1 million dollars for one and they said no. These brothers never traveled more than 35 miles from home so everything was carved from postcards and books. Really a neat place. Upstairs was occupied by the Czech composer Dvorak. That was interesting also that a famous composer would come to this tiny town in Iowa. There were pictures and personal affects on display. Here are a couple of my favorite clocks. 


We left Spillville to continue on to Decorah. Our last night on the road. We ate at Happy Joes and took a drive through town. A full day was had by all. 

Iowa Family Vacation- Day 3 part 2 

Day 3 was a big day. We did a ton of travel and seeing things. We did tractors and trucks the first part of the day. When we left Moline we started north. We followed the river some. The land and terrain was up and down. Big hills and large valleys, reminded me of Wisconsin by Spring Valley. Our next stop would be LeClaire, Iowa. It was a while before we would reach our destination. The kids napped. We visited, sometimes I just had to tune out. I hate to seem rude but try to listen in a car is very hard. It is like trying to play a constant puzzle game to piece together what is being talked about. I loved the rolling hills and the cattle grazing in this stretch of road so easy to gaze out the window and zone out. When we reached LeClaire we were excited. We visited Antique Archaeology, the American Pickers store. We hoped to see Frank or Mike but no luck. The shop was so tiny but it was really a neat place.  I just loved it, a highlight of the trip. Could have stayed there longer. Greta was hoping to see any of it, and Henry wanted to see the clown shoes they had bought on an episode. Low and behold the shoes were there. 


From LeClaire we continued to Dubuque.  Dubuque was a very pretty town right on the Mississippi River. We drove around town and decided on Tony Roma’s for dinner. 

Tony Roma’s had live music when we were dining. Although the singing was good it was so loud. I am very thankful my hearing aids have a program that decrease sound. I happen to have an app that measures sound in dB.  The live music was at 92-93dB a level where damage to your hearing is very possible. Still wondering if I should write an email. Just to educate. 

Finished our evening driving over the river to Illionis one more time. We slept well knowing another full day was infront of us. 

Iowa Family Vacation- Day 3

This was a busy day and we did and saw a ton. Not sure of the miles but we traveled many this day. We were again on the road by 8:45am. I have to do a shout out to my husband, he packed and unpacked that pod everyday with out a complaint. If you know my husband there is always a smart remark made but nothing on this trip. He was our muscle of the trip. 

We started out on the highway but quickly stopped at President Herbert Hoover library and birthplace. We were there before it opened but we still took the opportunity to walk around and take in the site. That is a first for me, seeing a presidential library. Chad being the hard core republican is showing us the sign language R in the picture. It was a very neat thing to see. 


From the presidential library we continued east on I80. We drove till we saw a big oasis on the side of the road. It was the biggest truck stop in the world!!! This place was huge. There is a bowling alley, movie theater, chiropractor, numerous places to eat and of course shopping. 


There was a print shop. You could design your own shirts or hats. Greta decided she was going to make a shirt.  What says Iowa like an unicorn. 


Henry really enjoyed seeing The Blue Ox truck. His t shirt choice was the big truck he feel in love with. 


The truck stop was a fun place to visit and see.  After lunch at the truck stop we were back on the road. I used some time on the road to try out the neck loop I had bought this past winter. It is a simple black cord that plugs in a headphone jack. If you have hearing aids with a T Coil it picks up the sound. So the music or my audio book goes right to my hearing aids. I continued on with my Derrick Coleman Story. I did finish the book on the trip and it was pretty good. 

We crossed over the Mississippi River and entered the state of Illinois. Henry had to send a text to his godmother, he was in her state. Our destination in Moline was the John Deere Pavilion.  There were tractors to see, climb on, and play with. 


When we were done at the pavilion we went up the river a tad to the John Deere Harvester Works. More tractors to climb on and be amazed by the sheer size of these machines. Grandpa showed us the pictures of the first corn harvest machinery they used. 

I think I will end this post in Illionis. We had a big day on day 3. I think I will start a new post for the excitement we had on part 2 of day 3. 

 

 

Iowa Family Vacation Day 2

We are efficient travelers. I think we were up, ate breakfast and packed ready to go by 8:45am each and every morning. We left Fort Dodge and we headed towards Waterloo. Our destination in Waterloo was the John Deere Factory. We knew the museum was closed on Mondays but there were a couple people in our van that still wanted to see it. We got to Waterloo found the factory and drove slowly around the plant. We also found there were tractors outside we could visit. 


One tractor that was on display was my father in laws first tractor he bought. That was a picture needed moment. 


One fun fact I learned that you could buy pull tabs at a gas station. I tried but no luck. Henry had to double check. 


We left Waterloo. I was a little shocked at this city. Very run down and I don’t think it is somewhere you would feel safe walking alone in. We did find a little park and had a picnic then back on the road. 


While on the highway we saw a sign for the Amana Colonies. We decided to veer off and explore. What a neat area. There are 7 colonies that were settled by Germans that were escaping religious persecution. We spent the afternoon in Amana the biggest of the colonies. The buildings were all the old stone buildings. I have never seen buildings like this. They were like the original colonial buildings you see in history books. The vibe of the town reminded me of Stillwater. There was a fudge shop, boutiques, gift shops Etc…  We explored, shopped and drove through all the colonies. 


Back on the road towards Iowa City. This is where we would lay out head for the night. We found our hotel and headed for supper. I looked online and we wanted a place to eat that was local and highly rated. Ate at The Bluebird Cafe. It was trendy, unique flavors and delicious. I had to try pork tenderloin since I was in Iowa. 


We were tired but the 4 of us still took a swim and had some fun family time. 

Day 2 another success. Day 3 we continue east. 

Family Vacation Day 1

Once again this year my little family paired up with Chad’s parents and we hit the road on an old fashioned American road trip. This year we went south. We were to explore the state of Iowa. Now many might think Iowa is not the hotbed of tourists, myself included, we found tons to see and had a fun filled trip. I am not just writing this for others to read but as a record for our family. 10 years from now when we are sitting at the dining room table this can be the record, no debate of what we did or saw.  We were pod people again, traveling with the pod on our roof. There was no question we were tourists.  Going slow through towns and a giant pod kinda gave us away. 

We started out heading south. Van was packed. Everyone had their seat and we were officially on the road. Heading south was the game plan.

Our first stop was in New Ulm, MN. We stopped at Herman the German a large monument that is perched on a hill that overlooks the German town. Chad and the kids were going to go to the top. This is high and the kids were excited. Almost instantly Henry started crying. He was scared and didn’t want to do it. I urged him from the sidelines and Chad kept telling him that Daddy was right there. Henry conquered his fear and they climbed to the top. 


From our short stop in New Ulm we headed south and crossed into Iowa. We entered into the small town of West Bend. Our destination was the Grotto of The Redemption. It was like an oasis in a desert. Here is this little town, kinda run down and dusty. Turn a corner and bam there is this beautiful beyond words castle of rocks and gems. 


After being wowed by the Grotto we were tired and hungry. We continued on the Fort Dodge. We ate at Mineral City. One thing that was a little odd at this restaurant was instead of just fries as a side you could have pasta. So Chad had a Reuben sandwich with a side of spaghetti. We drove through town, found a hotel, swam and slept. Day one was great, full of beauty. Day 2 we would travel East through the state.