Saturday, May 28, 2011

May in West Central Iowa

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(Jan) The old fashioned iris are blooming profusely here in west central Iowa as Chuck and I spend time here at the farm. We’ve been sorting through boxes and boxes and boxes of photos. 001What fun it has been to walk down memory lane; our HS, college and Army years, business and farm pictures but most fun are the photos of our families & friends and our son’s baby pictures, birthdays, school years, weddings and their children-our grandchildren. Our plan is to scan many of them to a digital format.005

We’ve gotten to see my mom several times and help attend to her needs.  She will have out patient cataract surgery next Wednesday and then return to Swan House where she is very content. It’s good to see her again and be with her.

Going out to eat with cousin Jerome and wife Dolores, attending a friend’s daughter’s HS Graduation party and spending a day with friends Ron & Edna and Pam & Butch at Prairie Rose have been other high lights.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Chicagoland with the Moores

002(Jan)Luckily we have found a wonderful place to be when we visit our son Eric and family when we are in the Chicago area. For the last several years we have stayed at Paul Wolff CG just twenty minutes away from their house in Lake in the Hills. Last year PW CG expanded their CG by 50 sites and the new part is a very nice improvement.007 PW is in the Burnidge Forest Reserve so Chuck and I had a marvelous time biking the trails while Eric and Cheri were at work Friday and the kids were in school. Friday was a hot humid day before becoming wet and windy for the rest of the week-end.

We had such a wonderful visit with Eric, Cheri, Ryan and Jessica! It was awesome getting to hang out with them at their house; great conversations, lots of laughter and delicious food! Friday night Eric and Jessica came to visit and play Phase 10! We also got to go to Jessica’s school open house Thursday night and her soccer game on Saturday morning. Saturday evening we attended Ryan’s HS Musical ‘Promises, Promises.’  Ryan had a part as a Freshman, as well as being in the main choreographed group song. What fun it is to be a grandparent to these two talented kids. After another fun day visiting at their house on Sunday we were ready to hit the road on Monday.


Our middle son Eric, our oldest grandson Ryan and Grampa Chuck

Granddaughter Jessica, Gramma Jan and D-I-L Cheri

Monday found us headed south and east on I88 in Illinois and I80 in Iowa. We pulled into Saylorville COE CG at about 6; we are in Prairie Flower, Coneflower Loop. Today we rode bikes on the bike trails over past the Marina towards the Mile Long bridge. Chuck got out and did several other solo rides as I spent part of the day still recuperating from this awful cold/flu.  Next year we are definitely getting Flu Shots!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Ames & Gilbert and Chuck’s ‘old guy pass’

002We found a great place to boondock in Gilbert, just 3 miles north of our son’s house in north Ames. And with Stephen and Katie in the Gilbert school district and the younger kids playing and Brent coaching Little League in Gilbert, we were within blocks of Stephen’s track meet and Michael & Brent’s baseball game. Saturdays events were rousing successes; a first place for Stephen’s track team and a 9-4 victory at the ball field.

Sunday was our granddaughter Anne’s First Communion at St Cecelia’s followed by a celebration at Brent and Donna’s. I was wonderful spending the day with our sons Brent’s & Eric’s families as well as Donna’s parents and her brother’s family. Couldn’t have had a nicer Mother’s Day!

013 019Brent & Donna and Anne at left. Gramma & Grampa above with Katie, Anne, Madeleine, Libby, Michael and Stephen.

Gilbert has a nice walking/biking trail in and around the grounds of their elementary school as well as nice paved streets to ride on. We rode bikes to get around town to the sporting events as well as using the bike trail.  We also took the bikes down to Ada Hayden in north Ames and rode the trails around the lake.  We’re sure enjoying our bicycles.010

004Chuck headed to a ballgame with Brent and Michael in Jewel Monday night. Stephen had summer job orientation which I got to give him a ride to and then Katie and I took Anne and Libby to their spring concert. Mom and Maddie stayed at home to catch up on rest after the busy week-end and recuperate from colds. It was so much fun for Chuck and I! After a delicious Casey’s Taco Pizza for Tuesday lunch with Brent, Donna and Maddie, Chuck and I hit the road.

Our first order of business was to purchase a National Senior Pass for Chuck at the Neil Smith National Wildlife Refuge near Prairie City, Iowa. Yes, he is finally ‘of age’ to get his ‘old guy pass’. The Refuge and Learning Center teaches about the prairie and is home to a herd of Bison. We didn’t spend a lot of time there though. Chuck has shared his ‘horrible chest cold’ with me, so we will go back at another time to explore.

The Corp of Engineer’s Campground at Coralville Lake is our home for the next couple of days. We have a great place by the lake, internet & TV reception is good and w/Chuck’s ‘old guy' pass’ it’s $9 a night. We’re taking time to get well and then we’re on our way to Lake in the Hills, Illinois to visit Eric, Cheri, Ryan and Jess.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Back in Iowa

(Jan) More than any other place we’ve been, the place with the largest population of birds is our farm in west central Iowa. The air is filled with bird song. The variety is amazing. Below are a pair of cardinals that particularly like sitting on our pick-up.

035 A male Northern Cardinal to the left and the female below.018
There’s also an abundance of rabbits to watch and lots of deer tracks but we haven’t seen any yet. So far we’ve seen two cats that are making our machine shed their home. One is a sleek black & white, the other a long haired carmel colored. It’s been fun watching the menagerie in between picking up fallen branches & sticks and cleaning out the flower beds. Chuck’s horrible chest cold is finally improving. We’re hoping to go to Ames to be with our family this week-end.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Riesselman Family Visit

(Jan) While Chuck stayed in KC, Linda and I picked up Ron and son, John at the KC airport and drove the 200+ miles up in to Iowa to visit family. We stayed at Glen & Mary Ann’s and had a marvelous time. From our base in Templeton we were able to spend time with mom at the Swan House. She was also feeling well enough this time to go out to eat at the Family Table on Thursday before her eye appointment and for a trip to our hometown of Halbur on Friday. While in Halbur we visited my dad’s grave, ate at the local tavern and visited the house we grew up in.

Eating at the Halbur Inn. Front; Linda, Mom and I, Back;020 Glen, John & Ron 017

At dad’s grave in St. Augustine’s Cemetery John, Ron, Linda and Mom
At the Riesselman family home. Jan, Mom, mom’s sister-in-law Betty Riesselman, Betty’s daughter Julie Hoffman and Betty’s grandson Matt Riesselman who will be making his home there. Matt is recently returned from Afghanistan.024 029

The siblings at Glen’s Templeton Hardware Store. Glen, Jan, Ron and Linda

027Staying at Glen & Mary Ann’s house is always a culinary adventure!  Mary Ann, had Linda and I cooking with her and we had great fun preparing some delicious new recipes and feeding the guys. Some of our favorites were a sweet & sour sauce for the grilled pork and an apple green bean dish with a bacon/brown sugar dressing! Choosing a favorite between strawberry shortcake, lemon cheesecake and brownies with a cookie drop topping was too hard; we just enjoyed each one of them! Evenings of playing Sequence and the Whole Enchilada were topped of with watching the royal wedding of William & Kate. What a fun time. I loved spending this time with mom and my family!

Linda, Ron, John and I got back to Kansas in time for Linda’s grandkid’s Nick and Maggie’s confirmation celebration. It was fun for Chuck and I to be with Linda and Richard’s family at our niece Tracey’s house.

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