Friday, September 30, 2011

Wines 101

Here is a picture of all the wines we bought on our winery trips. Read about our trips below. I don't know if we're wine connoisseurs, but we know what we like.

Bicycle Trip at Okoboji and Little Swan Lake Winery

We picked the most beautiful autumn day to take our bike up to Okoboji to ride their bike trail. The colors were perfect for me, still a lot of green, but patches of reds, oranges, and yellows. We had lunch at a restaurant on the lake and enjoyed good food and a nice view.

Close by is the Little Swan Lake Winery. We had to go. This lady serving me is from Australia and her accent gave her away. She had quite a story to tell, and she made sure we got some good samples to decide which bottle to buy. I decided on one with a nice label with a nice swan on it.

This is their old elevator on their property which they have converted to a bed and breakfast. Interesting.
They also had buffalo on their property and sold buffalo meat which we did buy.

We also visited Little Swan Lake which is right next to the winery property. It is not developed. I didn't see any swans either. Maybe it's in the shape of a swan. : )

Winery Trip

We took a winery trip today and visited several wineries in this area. One is Calico Skies just east of Canton. It's up on a hillside on the Iowa side and it's new and very neat. They give you free samples and they had some tasty wines.


Then we went to Falls Park in Sioux Falls to eat some lunch. It was a gorgeous day.

Then we went to Strawbale Winery.
It's also where I've gone for the quilts and vines event that I've put on my blog.

Then we went to Crook's Winery which is very close to the Strawbale Winery. The guy there is trying to sell his house/business maybe/or whatever. But we had a really nice visit with him.

Then we visited an apple orchard nearby but didn't buy anything.

Then we went to a winery just north of Brandon called Wilde Prairie Winery. It was interesting to visit with them too.

We bought wine from each of the wineries. The Calico Skies gave free samples, but the other three you have to buy samples and a glass for $5. One place if you do that and buy a bottle of wine they discount the wine $2. That was nice.



Saturday, September 24, 2011

Another Omaha Visit

Bob had a magic club meeting in Omaha so we drove down a little early to visit with the Cardonas. We were going to go swimming at our motel, but, unfortunately, the pool was under construction and was closed. After a few tears, we went to a park and out to get a bite to eat. I guess the only pictures I got were of Logan, Aly, and someone even took a picture of me with Logan.

Next time we drive down to Omaha, we'll be able to take I-29 all the way to Council Bluffs/Omaha because they were supposed to have opened up the flooded area of the highway last Friday night. That'll be nice.

Update on Roof

Here's the roof in the middle of the repair. Notice the roof supports which held a board for the guys' support while they were up there.

The finished roof.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Roof in Need of Repair

We have a portion of our roof that needs repair. It's this side of the dormer. The shingles are curled, and it's because they were defective shingles. There was a class action suit, but it isn't really worth the trouble to pursue that so Bob is planning to repair it. Oh wait!! Bob bought all the supplies, and then he is hiring someone to get up there and do the work, and he'll help. As you can see it's a little steep up there, and he didn't really want to do the work up there. But that's OK with me.

Dry Grass Here

I know that our "drought" problems are not as bad as other parts of the country, but as you can see from these pictures of our lawn, there are definite signs of dry weather this summer here at our house. We had a pretty dry and hot July and August. We have gotten a little rain here and there especially the first part of Sept. and, of course, during the spring when the Missouri River flooded, but here we see that we still need rain to make our grass green. Hopefully it will recover when it does rain here.

This is what the ground in our garden looks like. I've also heard farmers around here say that their fields have ridges like these from the ground being so dry. This ground will probably recover once we get rain.

I don't envy the farmers who will have to clean up the flood debris and recondition their soil, etc. following the receding of the waters of the Missouri River.

I also don't envy the people who have had to recover from tornadoes, hurricanes, and wild fires.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-11 Ten Years Later

All over the country we are remembering and honoring the people who lost their lives ten years ago on this date and all those who have lost lives to defend our freedoms since then. On our way to church this morning we discovered that our town did our part to remember that day. The fire department put up this flag that flew in the middle of our main street through town. It was very dramatic and very effective.

Clay County Fair

Probably the biggest and most well-known fair in Iowa, besides the state fair, is the Clay County Fair in Spencer, IA. It started this weekend so we decided to go. It was a nice warm summer day, perfect for the fair.

We mostly enjoyed the free entertainment and had to plan where to be and when. We did go by the animal barn, but the smell keeps me away. We looked at all the commercial booths and lots of the fair entry booths, and that's all very interesting, but no pictures.

The sign to show we are at the fair.
Our favorite performances were the magic/comedy acts. Here is one of them.
Before the last performance that we attended, we struck up a conversation with one of the members of the band who expressed the fact that he had been to several Iowa events and had found no corn on the cob. So while he was performing, Bob went to get him some and presented it to him after the performance. He was delighted.
We did not ride this, but after walking all day, it might have been welcomed.
We didn't overdo on the food, but we each did get a nutty bar sold by the Spencer Y. Mmmm good.

Visit with Friend, Vera at Okoboji

It's hard to give up good ole summer days. That's what my friend, Vera, and I thought. Vera is a friend with whom I went to Costa Rico in the 90's and is a recently retired school counselor. It was time for us to get together and catch up on our lives, and we did that at her place at Okoboji and while enjoying her boat on the lake. I think we talked non stop, never running out of things to talk about. It was beautiful weather and a great time.

Relaxing on the boat.
Before we took off on the boat, Vera warned me that it might be a little extra work to get the boat on the lift, but not to worry. Well, when we got back to the lift, everything was going smoothly. Vera was in the boat, and I was pulling the automatic lever to lift the hoist. All of a sudden the hoist started tilting and the boat was about to go into the water stern first. Not good. So I grabbed the lift to try to keep it level. Then Vera got out, and we had to decide what to do. We called her husband when we determined there was not electricity going to the hoist. We took turns standing, sitting, or just keeping the hoist level while the other one did things to check out possibilities. Finally her husband said to check to see if there was a reset button, and luckily that was the magic we needed to be successful getting the boat on correctly. We worked well as a team to figure out and solve the problem. I was just glad I didn't have to spend the night standing on the lift to keep it all level. All's well that ends well.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Art Splash in Sioux City

Every year (for a long time)Sioux City has ArtSplash. It is usually held at a park along the Missouri River, but not this year because of the aftermath of the flood. The waters just receded about a week ago so there's still a lot of clean up to do.

Instead, ArtSplash was held at Grandview Park, which is a nice park if you don't mind not being along the river. It is the park where they hold the summer municipal band concerts and other events that require a nice stage which this park definitely has.

There is usually an entrance fee, but this year it was free. In addition all the entertainment volunteered their talent so that helped to have the free event this year. They did this because of the hardships people in the Sioux City area have had because of the Missouri River flooding. People are nice.

The weather was perfect, sunny, not humid, and in the 70's with a little breeze.

Here are the vendors who are all artists. This event is sponsored by the Art Center of Sioux City. Notice the graffiti art on the structure in the back ground. It's always there.

The kids' area where they got to create things. This is a rose garden.

The stage (band shell) where they held all the entertainment. Performing now is Tonic Solfa which is an acapella group.

Performing below the stage were the Dueling Duo. They were very entertaining. They took requests from the audience and played things from Lady Ga Ga or Elton John, the Beatles, and even stuff I had no clue what it was. They were a very versatile group and appealed to everyone.
I loved the fiddler. He came out into the audience and made it even more fun.