Monday, September 22, 2014

Amish and Mennonite Country

Recently I went on a bus tour in Van Buren County, Iowa.

 Our first stop was Dutchman's Store, an old-time general store run by Mennonites. This store sells everything from groceries (bulk, produce, meat, canned goods, health and beauty items) to ice cream cones to fabric to greeting cards to model tractors to clothing...quite an interesting place. I bought a pie bird and a journal. The staff women wear long dresses and bonnets.

 They had a lovely front porch.

 Pumpkins for sale - it must be autumn!

 Our next stop was an Amish home for lunch. See the pies? Mmmmm!

 Over 50 people were served "poor man's steak," potatoes and gravy, corn, salad, bread, and dessert. We also drank "Garden Blossom" tea, which the homeowner made from various plants in her garden. It tasted minty and refreshing!

 Dessert was strawberry shortcake, apple crumb pie, and hickory nut pie.

 This is how the Amish travel.
We also took a drive through a gorgeous state park, then visited a house on the underground railroad; next, we went through a museum of Indian artifacts and then had a shopping stop in the historic district.

 Queen Anne's lace pottery is made by placing the actual flower onto the clay. When fired, the flower pattern becomes part of the design. Every piece is one of a kind!

 Mugs for coffee or tea

I adore this tea set!

We had a nice trip to Van Buren County - good food, good scenery, nice people!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

We are a Monarch Waystation!

 A few weeks ago, there were six monarch caterpillars on milkweed in our gardens. Today 4 monarch butterflies were flying in the gardens. I suspect they just completed their metamorphosis from egg, to larva (caterpillar), to butterfly - somewhere in our garden. So glad to see them!

 They seem to love the Verbena bonariensis best!

 I also saw them on Kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate (above), phlox and cleome (not pictured), and zinnias (below).

Interested in helping monarchs?  Interested in certifying your property? Click here for further information.

I'll be joining The Maple Hill Blog Hop and Fertilizer Friday.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Notecards for Mosaic Monday

I don't know about you, but I've missed the Notecard Party hosted by Vee! I understand that Vee is not planning to host the party this month, but I still wanted to share my summer-ish notecards.

I decided to share them with Judith at Lavender Cottage for Mosaic Monday.

All of these were taken in my gardens this year.

I had a lot of fun making these notecards (and, in fact, taking the photos)! Love the "critters" in my gardens.

And my mosaic (box cover):

Last but not least, recently several of my high school girlfriends and I met for lunch. Last year we had a class reunion celebrating the big 4-0; that's right, 40 years since we graduated!  Photo below:

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Animals for Mosaic Monday

 It's time for Mosaic Monday, a fun meme hosted by Judith at Lavender Cottage. Be sure to visit Judith and join in on the party!

My theme for MM today is "Animals."

Pelicans - just passing through on their journey south. What a treat to see them!

Mollie and Callie, no longer with me but I have always loved these images.

Swimming with the dolphins, Jamaica; petting Susie the koala in Australia, and a nest of robin's eggs (not nearly as exotic as the first two, but the photo of the alligator was too "green" and just didn't look good in my mosaic).

See what I mean? On a plantation in the Charleston, South Carolina area

Have a great Monday, and a great week!


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