Friday, October 28, 2005

A little bit of Iowa - Boone

A couple of weeks ago there was an article in the paper about a survey on what other people in the US knew about Iowa. According to the article not very many people know where Iowa is. And a lot of the people that do know where it is assume it is flat and boring with nothing but cornfields and farm houses. So I've decided to show everybody a little bit of Iowa each month. I agree some of Iowa might be boring, usually when your traveling on the Interstate. But hop on a side road or travel the Scenic River Road and you'll probably find something interesting.

Today we went to Boone County. We visited the Ledges State Park for a little while. It's a very neat park just south of Boone IA. It starts out on top of a hill and you drive one way down a winding road. Close to the top there is a lookout spot where I took this picture. When you get to the bottom there are very tall rock formations that your not supposed to climb but some people do anyway. A small stream winds through the valley floor so there are about 5 places where you drive through the water. The kids really like that part. There are lots of trails and lots of hills to climb. It's a real nice place for a picnic and a great place to take pictures. Of course I only took a couple because we had other places to go.

We hopped into the car and drove for 5 minutes to Boone IA. We went on the Boone Scenic Valley Railroad. The fall colors are almost done but the mighty Oak waited for me so I did find some color. The trip takes about 2 hours and some of the views are pretty cool. You can bring lunch with you and eat it on the train. If I could have gotten here a week earlier mother nature would have been showing off her best colors. But Iowa weather does have a habit of being unpredictable.

Other places in Boone that we didn't have time for was Mamie Doud Eisenhower's birthplace and the Iowa Arboretum which is south of Boone. My friend Jodi, Austin and I had a real nice day even if it was kind of spur of the moment. If you ever go be sure to check departure times beforehand. We almost missed the train.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Trees & Babies

Last night I went to bed thinking today I would plant all my bulbs and flowers that need to go in the ground. But of course when I wake up this morning it's raining. Not a lot of rain just a nice steady drizzle. I'm thinking well I could still plant some, the dirt's not even wet yet. But then JR & JM show up with Michael. I forgot I was babysitting. Looks like the garden has to wait again.

The leaves are finally changing colors around here. Before my dad sold us the house he planted 2 trees 1 in each yard. He has never been very clear as to what type of trees they are. Some type of oak tree he says. I believe it's an oak tree because the leaves don't fall off till the middle of winter. From the very beginning they were strange. The one next door grew really fast. In about 2 years it was a big tree. The one in my yard seemed to not be growing at all. We have lived here for 9 years now and our tree finally got as tall as the house 2 years ago. Now it's growing tall and pretty. But there is still something weird going on. The tree next door is aflame with color and my tree is mostly green. Go figure.

Austin spent the night with his mother last night so I'm trying to catch up on cleaning. My friend Jodi is helping us waterproof and paint the basement. That will be a relief to get done. I've been seeing a lot of spiders so it looks like I'm gonna have to break out the bug spray. I don't get spider bites but I don't want them around the babies.

Well here I am again many hours later. It looks like someone has been spoiling my grandson. He wants to be held when he sleeps. Every time I try to put him to bed he wakes up. Austin came home this afternoon and he wants to be held all night too. So here I sit with 2 babies on my lap and my legs are going to sleep. Guess I'll try to blog some other time. Maybe when I find the time to garden.

Saturday, October 08, 2005


We've been rearranging flowers this week. Dug up almost all the flowers in one bed. Some of them were in the way and some of them needed to be moved so they could grow better.

I put a path in the bed that wraps around the mystery tree and eventually will go up some steps along the fence line. I bought 3 variegated hosta's to put in the shadiest part. Added a cream colored mum and some white daffodils. I'm turning it into a moon garden. So far the only other color in there is yellow so maybe it will be a sun and moon garden.

I have a cute little trellis that has a moon on it. A moonflower would look perfect growing on it. There is white liatris, daisies, queens anne lace and a couple of white iris. So I have a pretty good start. I went to move some lavender plants but they had mold on the roots so I tossed them. That's probably one of the reasons they were not growing well. I'm about halfway done so it should be finished this weekend as long as the weather stays nice.

Took the awning off of the gazebo and doused myself with mold spores. Here's hoping the antihistamines work. Note to self; have someone who is not allergic to mold take down awning next year:)Well I'm finishing this post as the sun is rising so I better get to work. TTFN...