Thursday, June 30, 2011

Good morning sunshine!

I looked out my window this morning and this is what caught my eye.


I’m off early to my last day of work for the week.  Yay!  I even get to leave work early today, using up a little bit of leftover comp time before the fiscal year switches tomorrow.  Smile  Then I’m off late this afternoon to the “big town” near us for a grocery run and the start of a jam packed list and schedule for the four day weekend.

I may be back on here or maybe not, so have a fun and  safe Independence Day weekend all!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

It’s a golden birthday!

Today these two little monkeys turned 28 on the 28th!




It’s hard to believe that it’s been 28 years since our world was turned upside down by twins!  I wouldn’t trade a minute of it for the world.  Well, maybe a couple minutes during the teenage years but not too many. Smile

Now, they’re all grown up with wives and families of their own.  It seems like those years went by in just a blink.


They still need us though or how would they tie their ties?  Smile


You are two young men that any parents would be proud of and we are!  Love you!

Monday, June 27, 2011

E-Reader opinions wanted

I've been looking at Kindles and Nooks for the past few months now.  Do any of you have either?  What is your opinion of what you have?  What has worked well and what hasn't? 

I've been leaning towards the Kindle Wi-Fi.  I'm not sure that I need the 3G version.  I have Wi-Fi at home and at work.  Do you have the 3G and if you do what are some benefits of the 3G? 

Would the Wi-Fi capabilities suffice to travel with and be able to use it as an internet connection for other things as well?  such as weather?  facebook?  checking email?  Also, can I respond to email on it then?  It would be nice to take just one device and not drag the laptop along when we go.

If you have a Kindle, did you get the less expensive version with the ad sponsored screen saver?  How much of a pain is it?

So many questions....let me know what you think.

Happy Monday to you all!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

A reminder of God’s promise

Rainbows excite me.  As a kid it was such a treat to see them and as an adult it still is.  We were eating supper, when my friend Joyce, texted me and said she thought the rainbow ended at our house.  She lives 15 miles away from us.  I was oblivious and hadn’t even looked outside.  So, I grabbed the camera and ran.  It wasn’t very bright but it was still beautiful!



This is looking across our backyard and field to the farm I grew up on until 7 years old.  Still love this view.  I wish my parents were alive. They would appreciate that we could see it from where we live now.

Thanks for the text Joyce!

Lori, Lori, quite contrary how does your garden grow?

I’m so glad you asked! 

I took a walk through the yard last night and snapped a few pictures – between swatting skeeters and gnats, that is.  My, oh my are they ever bad this summer!  I’m not sure why Noah didn’t shut the door a little sooner to that ark.

Anyway, here is a little of what I have growing.

I love this wire planter.  It was a gift to us ten years ago when my Dad passed away from DH’s family filled with an artificial plant which I loved but then I got the idea to set it outside with real plants in it and I love it even more now!  It’s resided in the corner of our front porch for the last few years now.


Can you tell I have a thing for red geraniums & wire planters?  The red looks so nice and bright against our yellow and white house.


This hanging basket looks the best out of most of my plants and where did I get it?  Wal-Mart for $10!  Go figure!


The spirea are just starting to bloom.


I found the King Tut grass above last year and absolutely love it with it’s big spidery heads.  I have to buy it yearly as it’s not hardy enough to winter over here.  It hasn’t taken off much yet but should get 4 – 5 feet tall before the end of the season.  A friend of mine gave me the birdhouse our first year in our new house.  12 years later is still stands guard in the corner.  Thanks Leeza!


More reds! Smile  I like using old things like this metal trough to plant my flowers in when I can.


The flower bed above was just that – a flower bed until this summer.  We tore everything out and planted a small vegetable garden.  It looks just as pretty to me.  We’ve already picked lettuce and everything else is coming along nicely.  We ordered some funky Dragons Tongue green beans seeds (which I can’t wait to be ready) from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, as well as a lettuce mix, carrots and cut flowers.  We also planted a couple of different kinds of tomatoes and peppers.  We used an old bed frame for the tomato supports and old garden gate for the peas to climb.  It would all look even better if the AC unit didn’t sit in the middle of it all, but I’d rather be cool so no complaining here.




The ditch lilies are getting ready to bloom as well.  I can’t wait to see the orange burst out.


We also planted a few herbs at the corner of another bed.  The parsley and cilantro went crazy but the basil hasn’t done much.  Not sure why.  I need to replant more cilantro.  We’ve used more of it than I thought we might.

And this little bugger has been taken within inches of its life a number of times already but we water it more and it’s off and running again.  I think the shot of Miracle Gro last week is what really did the trick. 


I love Miracle Gro!  It makes plants thrive and me look like I really know what I’m doing.  I love digging in the dirt, planting and weeding but a green thumb I really don’t have.  At least outside plants stand half a chance when it rains which we’ve had a lot of so far this year so I look like I know something. Smile

How’s your garden growing?

Monday, June 20, 2011

Oh my soul…

these are some of the best green beans I’ve ever tasted.  I found the recipe over at Southern Plate.  I’m a huge fan of steamed fresh green beans with just a touch of butter and salt but these may have just won out.


Christy’s Sweet and Sour Green Beans have a tiny taste of sweet and even less of the sour.  The bacon is what really makes them if you ask me but then you didn’t but I’m going to tell you anyway.  My blog-my rules!  Smile 
I guess you could leave the bacon out and sauté in olive oil but for this first time, I went as the recipe says.  Oh darn! 

So when you pick those fresh green beans from your garden this summer, give these a shot.  I bet you’ll love them as much as we did!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Fathers Day helmet-cam

Fathers Day started out rainy here in Northern Illinois, as in heavy drenching rainy, but by 11:30, the skies cleared and we were on way for the afternoon.
We’ve had very timely rains lately so everything is very green and lush.IMG_7275
This old barn is one of my favorite spots on our rides.  Some time we’re going to have to find a way to drive back to it and take a picture with the bike in front of it.
Not all of Illinois is flat.  The northwest corner is hilly and beautiful.
Do you ever wonder who decides what color a bridge will be painted?  There must have been aqua paint on sale is all I can say.
We always seem to end up on a gravel road.  We’ll be riding along on a beautiful blacktop and crest a hill or round a curve and “blip” it turns to gravel. 
If you’re ever driving on gravel and meet idiots who shouldn’t be there motorcycles, please slow down.  Not only will you dust them but good, the stones that get thrown will not only chip the paint on the bikes but could injure the motorcyclists as well.  This particular truck was very considerate and pulled off onto the shoulder a bit and drove slowly past us.
One of my favorite roads in the area is Airport Road near Stockton, Illinois but once again, it’s gravel. Sad smile  Once the bikes dirty, I guess it really doesn’t matter after that, does it?
The road runs between and under a canopy of trees for almost a mile.  Cool, lush and beautiful!
And to throw in a bit of randomness.  There is a reason to pay the kid at Home Depot $$ to put things together for you.  Ahem, 5 hours later and I was finally done with it but we can’t wait to try it out. 
(whew, ignore the helmet hair in the window reflection :( )
It’s a charcoal grill and a gas grill all in one.  I love the convenience of a gas grill but it just doesn’t substitute for that charcoal taste.  So it’s gas for weeknights when we need supper quickly and charcoal when we have more time on the weekends. It’s also has a firebox for a smoker.  DH has always wanted a smoker and now we get to give one a try.  If you have a great smoker recipe or any tips, I would love to hear about them.
Have a great week everyone!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

What a deal!

I read different blogs and posts about some wonderful deal someone got somewhere.  All the while knowing I’ve never nor will I ever run across anything like what I see.  I either don’t have an eye for them or am in the wrong place at the wrong time, that is until the other day.  It was finally my turn!  oh yeah!

For over a year I’ve been looking for a new rug for under our desk.  Oh, I’ve seen rugs I like but frankly I’m too cheap conservative to pay the price tags I’ve seen.  However, a few days ago as I was wandering through JCPenneys, I decided to take one more spin through the rug department.  As I was walking down the aisle, I saw a pink clearance sticker.  I looked at the “now price” and looked yet again.  This can’t be, it’s not possible that a 5 x 8 rug that was $220 is now $9.97?!?  It was bigger than what I could use at the desk & probably not a pattern that would have been my first pick but for that price, I can adjust and make it work somehow. 

It didn’t take me long to stake my claim and drag this big roll of rug to the cash register just knowing that they were going to tell me it was  a mistake but they didn’t!  Unbelievable!  Plus, the checker had a coupon laying there for another 15% off, so I ended up with an overpriced $220 rug for $9.26 with tax.  I haven’t been that excited with a purchase for a long, long time.

Where did I end up using it? 


In our sunroom and the rug that was in the sunroom fit perfectly at the desk.  Now that’s a good deal!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A heart for the hurting...

If you remember a few weeks back, DH & I took a team from our local church to Hackleburg, Alabama to assist with tornado clean-up.  You can read about it here if case you missed it.

Jim went with us and when he returned home, he shared stories of what he saw and did with his wife, Shelly and their three sons, Jamie, Corey & Riley.  The boys were so touched by what Jim shared that they wanted to do something more for the people of Hackleburg who lost everything in the tornado that struck their town on April 27th. 

They brainstormed and came up with the idea of a lemonade and cookie stand.  Mom got busy and baked her little heart out making 15 dozen Peanut Butter and Sugar cookies.  Last weekend between a garage sale and a local parade they made over $200 for Hackleburg Helping Hands. How cool is that? 

With that going so well, they've decided to step it up even more and get a booth at the Winnebago, Illinois 4th of July celebration.  Shelly plans on making 100 dozen cookies!  I can't begin to get my head wrapped around that one!  If you're in the area, make sure you look them up on July 3 or 4th.

If you're local and would like to help in a tangible way, Shelly will be baking cookies at our church kitchen in Freeport, IL the next two Saturdays and could use many extra hands. 

Or if you're not local and would still like to help, she is taking donations of $$ towards supplies.  Leave me a comment with your email(if you're a "no reply-comment blogger") and I'll send you Shelly's mailing address so you know where to send your donation.    Even $5 helps buy flour, sugar and chocolate chips.

What a great example of servanthood for parents to teach their children and what a great way to involve the kids!  Be sure to check out the last couple of posts on Shelly's blog to read all the details.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

First “Helmet-cam” of the season

We finally had our first real ride on Sunday.  We had made 3 short trips into town for something or another but not the leisurely ride we’ve been longing for.  Sunday was the day!



Every ride needs a good walk-about at some point to ward off TB.

Our friends, Kerry & Kim


just bought their bike 3 weeks ago and already they have 750 miles on it.  They’re putting us old-timers to shame!

No ride towards the Mississippi River


is complete without lunch at Poopy’s.IMG_7221DH & I split the “Big Poop” burger and it was still almost too much for the two of us to eat.  We passed on the “Poopy sauce” though. 

Let me just say, I couldn’t make this stuff up if I wanted to! Smile

While we were waiting for Poopy’s to open for lunch, we took a drive through the Savanna Army Depot (now de-commissioned).  This Depot was one of the largest munitions depots in the country during WWII.


One can only imagine how busy this base was during the 1940’s when ammunition & bomb production was at it’s peak.


I don’t remember much about it but I stayed in these barracks for a week while I was in high school.  I was part of a summer work program which included a week of “training” here at the Depot.  They taught us interviewing skills, resume writing, etc.  That was the summer I worked at a local library.  If you know me in person, you would know that I’m not probably as quiet as a person in a library should be, so needless to say it wasn’t a job I wanted to stick with. Smile

The Depot has been de-commissioned since 2000 and now leases out office space and facilities for some light manufacturing.   The rest of the buildings sit empty.IMG_7207

This little guy seems to have taken up residence though.  IMG_7197