Monday, September 30, 2013


I love when you can find something different and exciting on a road trip!  We drove into the little town of Weston, MO--heard a lot about this town from sister-in-law--we walked Main Street, poked into some of the antique shops, had a malt at the soda fountain and had some tastings at McCormick Distilling Company--I have never seen so many flavored vodkas in my life!  But, they also have a nice whiskey too
And then there was this shop--Polish Pottery Shop--there was no way I could pass this colorful shop by without buying something! 
After an overnight stay in St. Joseph, Missouri to visit with family, we headed north through Iowa.  Can't say I've spent much time in Iowa, but there are some very interesting things in each state, if you just know where to look for them.  Here we come across Amana Colonies-- seven villages off the beaten path of I-80

In Amana proper, we had to stop at Amana Woolen Mill--I'm in heaven anytime I see the word MILL.

Warping threads beamed onto the loom

One of their looms shown with yards of woven cloth

I like to see the tensioner on the right keeping the cloth at the proper width

A warping reel on the right with yards of thread ready to be measured

Whoa!  yards and yards of finished cloth just waiting for the right customer

And any shade of wool on the bobbins ready for the shuttle--fun stop! Since we are in Iowa why not stop at another Presidential Library and Museum?

Herbert Hoover, President during the Great Depression

In this small Iowa town comes this big presidential museum loaded with information about lifestyles in the 1920's.  While we were visiting there was several busloads of school children waiting for their turn to walk through the galleries--wonder what knowledge they took away?

I really liked these photos of Hoover as he grew up

Mrs. Hoover encouraged women to learn the art of lace making

Samples of bobbin lace making and a sample of table cloth that was made by lace makers during 1920's. 
Our trip continued across Iowa into Wisconsin where we spent the night in Madison--this was a diverse from a regular trip--just to say we spent time in Wisconsin--onward we go--a short drive across Illinois (Chicago area), along the lake, into Michigan--missed Detroit so went across the state to cross into Canada at Port Huron.  Our first night in Canada we stayed in London--Okay, we must rest before we hit our next stop..........................

Niagara Falls!!  This is the view from our hotel room of the horseshoe falls and the casino that sits right at the edge of the falls

Off to the north is the other falls of Niagara--what a beautiful sight!  I could sit there all day long just watching the water flow over the falls!

When in the area, we must visit the ice wine makers of Niagara-on-the-Lake--sample, sample, sample!
Niagara at night

Niagara Falls at sunset

Niagara Falls at sunrise---


Thursday, September 26, 2013


We are taking a road trip!  I love road trips!  Our schedule has us taking short drives of less than 5 hours each day, allowing us time to stop in quaint and off road locations.
Traveling across Kansas you would think that there was nothing to see what rolling hills, corn and farm houses, but with an app on our phone, we found some interesting places to stop and view.  Here is the latest easel--and painting.  Too bad it was such a rainy cloudy day--the notes say when the sun shines on the sunflowers, they sparkle!

Down the road or up the road, whichever fits you, we find this lovely Cathedral of the Plains, located in Victoria, Kansas

German immigrants statue on the corner across from the Cathedral--interesting to learn the history of these small towns

We are stopping at Presidential Libraries and Museums along our route--one reason we took this path--here we are in Abilene, Kansas where we visited Eisenhower Presidential Library/Museum

Here is the resting place for Ike and Mamie

Inside Eisenhower's birthplace home, we peek into one of the bedrooms to view two quilts that were made by Eisenhower's mother

In the opposite bedroom, we can see a handwoven blanket woven by Eisenhower's grandfather--

Quite an interesting entrance to the museum, where a special exhibit about WWII was on display

Back on the road, another off road visit--food!!  good cheese made from local cows--we have our nibble bits

Independence, Missouri--Truman Presidential Library/Museum--I remember visiting here when I was younger, but this mural is all I can remember about that visit

Whistle stops train with Bessie, Margret and Harry 

We were so close to Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery--we detoured to visit my father's gravesite.  I visited here last in 1974 when we had the burial service, so before we went I did some research online to find the location of his grave.  All I remembered was a tree!

Do you know how many trees there are in the cemetery??  But, we found it with the grave number--S995--way in the back of the last row of the S's

Sunday, September 22, 2013

"Catalyst: Colorado Sculpture"

What better place to exhibit landscape sculpture than Denver Botanic Gardens?  Lovely gardens dotted with stone, resin, metal and ceramic works of arts--a nice walk through the gardens on any day is a delight.  Walk with me as we stroll through these paths to view these twelve artists' work.  "Catalyst:  Colorado Sculpture" is at the gardens through January 12, 2014.
How about 15,000 handmade ceramic leaves?

This wall is created by Kim Dickey
"Mille Fleur"

We pause to take in the beauty of the border flowers.

"Spiral Dance" painted aspen tree trunks

Nancy Lovendahl is the artist

Carl Reed is the artist for "Ring for outliers"

Three related forms along the waterway

Patrick Marold designed "Stepped Mound"

created from cable wood spools

Yoshitomo Saito "Colorado Loop"

Emmett Culligan

"Crew #4, Crew #5, Crew #6 were on display a short distance apart

Pard Morrison "Schneewitchen"

I like the contrast between the frame of the sculpture and the building in the background

In the prairie area, you will find this interesting piece by Patrick Margold
"Shadow Line, Fall Equinox"

Nancy Lovendahl with her "Fractal Echo"

The Lily ponds had added interest with three lovely works of art.  This one by
James Surls--perfect location!

Another wonderful piece by Yoshitomo Saito is located in the Bonsai garden

Linda Fleming's "Refugium"

Looking between the lines..........

"Marker's Mark" by Terry Maker

Another wonderful piece by Linda Fleming greets you at the entrance to the garden

super walk through the gardens