Tuesday, May 29, 2012


As you probably guessed from my Wordless Wednesday this past week, I went golfing. And not only did I just go golfing, I used my new, purple golf clubs that my wonderful husband got for me! Ronny and I went to the Milford, Nebraska golf course last weekend for my club’s maiden voyage.

Golf maiden voyage

Since Memorial Day was such a beautiful day, we went golfing with our friends, Josh & Brittany that we also play sand volleyball with, to the Sandy Meadows Golf Course in Waco, Nebraska.

I’m improving my game, but I’ll tell you what Ronny told  me, “You need to practice.” I’m just glad  he is patient with me and that we had a good time with our friends. :-)

Monday, May 28, 2012

The flag

Memorial Day-2I love that our town is so patriotic.

It is America’s Fourth of July City, after all!

We live right next to the city cemetery and it when I came home from New Orleans, it was adorned in red, white and blue flags.

The American flag stand for independence and is something that we take for granted every day. I appreciate this holiday as that very reminder. The images of our flags were too beautiful not to share on this Memorial Day.

Memorial Day-6Memorial Day-5Memorial Day-8Memorial Day-10Memorial Day-11Memorial Day-12Memorial Day-13Memorial Day-15

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Nawlin’s. NOLA. The Big Easy.

It’s been a little over a year since I was last in New Orleans for the U.S. Grains Council meeting. My travels there this week were for the U.S. Meat Export Federation. Both of these organizations open up export markets all over the world for corn and corn-fed red meat.


The first evening of the meeting after the port tour – read about that here - we had a river cruise with hors d'oeuvres at sunset. The weather was nice and warm, there was a good breeze and it was just simply a pretty evening.


Jessica and I. Jess is the USMEF intern and a Sewardite!

The next evening after meetings, we took a stroll to Bourbon Street to catch some local food, drinks and music.


My friend and counterpart from Iowa Corn, Carrie and I had a great time!


I did not try the “Hurricane” drink, but the group had to get one since they are famous there for obvious reasons. The fire in the back was actually part of a fountain – way cool!

This band at Fat Catz was rockin’! They played all different kinds of music from jazz to 80’s to country. We spent a good time there dancing.DSC02169

It was a fun time, but I was ready to come home. You can see more pictures here.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Shinin’ on Me

I just got back from New Orleans and I need a vacation.

What?! You’re saying I’m crazy.

I was in New Orleans for work and won’t lie…we had a great time {a blog will be coming}, but it was a lot of travel for the short amount of time spent there. This has been a busy spring for me – which I do appreciate – but with the nice weather I’ve really been needing a break and a little rest & relaxation.

I found this Jerrod Niemann song, “Shinin’ on Me” on YouTube and it just gave me a little pep talk that I need to enjoy each day.

So now, I’m going to embrace the gift of this weekend and Memorial Day.

I’m going to take time for myself and time to spend with Ronny and Hank.

I’m going to remember both my Gramps and Ronny’s Grandpa Pope, as well as all of the other military men and women who have sacrificed so much for our country.

I’m going to let the light shine on me.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wordless Wednesday | Hard Golfing

I sure can hit the ball hard….hard right into the muddy bank!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Growing greener

Since planting my garden in April, it has been loving this warm weather. I started most of it from seed this year, so it has been fun to watch everything sprout up and grow. I’ve had to replant some peas and peppers, but everything else seems to be growing really well.


I can’t wait to put some cool ranch dressing on this crunchy lettuce!DSC02098

Not everything is just green around here. My favorite little orange flowers are blooming and my daylilies are getting ready to burst all yellow.DSC02101

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Modern Maze Quilt

Last fall I started a queen-sized quilt that I wanted to make for myself. This was the first, very large quilt to attempt – so I started simple. I picked an easy pattern (out of the Modern Basics book) called a Modern Maze that was the same block organized in a different rotation for each row.
11 - 1

I’ve had the top of the quilt done since December and it was one of my goals to complete it by the time summer rolled around.

You might remember the pictures of the backside of the quilt that I wrote about in January.

I sent it to Omaha to Aimee at Splendid Stitches and she had the whole thing quilted in less than a week. I’ve had my quilt completed for a couple of months – but now that it is warm enough out, I could finally put it on our bed and I’m so happy with it!

I took it to “show-n-tell” at the local quilt guild meeting and they loved it as well. I can finally cross this off the list and move on to the next project. I have a pattern for a Christmas wall-hanging, so that is next!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

DIY | Gourd Birdhouse Tutorial

For Mother’s Day, I got a little crafty (with my beloved gourds of course – Ronny might call me obsessed!). I created fun birdhouses to give as gifts. I did quite a bit of research on how to correctly dry my gourds and store them. I wrote about that here.

I waited about 6 months until they were totally cured and dried so that I could hear the seeds rattling around inside. I decided to make my mothers and grandma a birdhouse – just in time for Mother’s Day. Here is the tutorial:

Gourd Birdhouse

Supplies: Gourd(s), rubber gloves, mouth & nose mask, bleach, sandpaper, drill & drill bits, wire, twine.

1. Start by taking fine sandpaper to the mold spots on the gourd. {be sure you are wearing your gloves and mask…you don’t want to breath in mold! I have proof that I wore mine.} My gourd had a lot of wrinkles, so I had to be a little careful with the sanding so it didn’t leave a lot of marks.

2. After you remove the mold, give the gourd a diluted bleach bath. This will help get some of the mold off. Then be sure to let it dry.

3. After it is dry, start with the bottom and drill 3-5 small holes. This will allow for any drainage of water that gets into the birdhouse.

4. Next, drill a hole through both sides of the gourd underneath the stem in order to hang your gourd.

5. To create the hole for the birds, make sure to research what kind of birds might be in your area to use it. I used this chart and decided to create about a 2-inch hole. You can use a large drill bit, but I decided to make several small holes in a circular pattern where I wanted my bird opening.  

6. Punch out the center of the hole, or use the drill bit to “cut-through” to the surrounding holes. Then sand the edges smooth.

7. Pull the “innerds” out. Some of the websites that I found said to leave a few of the seeds inside to help attract birds.

Almost done!

8. To finish it up, you can use spray paint or  just a polyurethane coating. The paint or coating will keep the gourd from rotting. Here is an example of a “hammered” textured spray paint I used on most of the gourds, but I left my favorite gourd natural and just used the clear polyurethane coat.

9. In order to hand the gourd, Ronny helped me put a small wire through the stem hole. I then tied jute twine (because that is what I had – you could use wire or any other type of hanging material) to the wire and hung from my tree.