Monday, June 28, 2010

Tunes on Tuesday

Adele - Crazy For You

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tunes on Tuesday

Rodrigo y Gabriela - my favorite song - Juan Loco. They're truly magicians with guitars. My favorite driving music.... especially long distances.

Dubuque Arboretum

We visited the Dubuque Arboretum for Father's Day.
It was a wonderful park with lovely gardens and the ever-important playscape which the boys loved.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

big storms

Did you know that last summer an Iowa woman discovered a new cloud type? Wild!

This photo was taken on Friday on our way home from Dubuque. We got caught in the storms on the way home -- crazy lightning!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Friday, June 18, 2010

more Iowa sky

it's just so big!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A walk with Grandma

Guttenberg, Iowa, walking along the Mississippi River

Stagecoach Yarn Shop

Today I took a short trip to visit Stagecoach Yarn Shop in rural Manchester, Iowa.... the setting in the country is quiet and quaint. Check out the yarn art that the owner has crocheted for her property!

The interior was gorgeous. The owner had the hanks of yarn unwound and hanging on pegs... a wall of Cascade 220, a nook of Malabrigo, and shelves and cubbies full of Noro. In another room was a great selection of kid-friendly yarns, another room had a kid sitting area with chairs and books as well as a good selection of sock yarns.

There was plenty of seating both inside and out. And, the owner was very pleasant and helpful. She showed me all around her property and also pointed out a birds nest that was entirely made up of yarn! The birds had snagged off some of the yarn from her yard art and made a nest out of it. How charming!

If you're ever up for a road trip or are home for the weekend in eastern Iowa, make a point to check out Stagecoach Yarn Shop. It's definitely worth going just a little bit off the beaten path.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


The mighty Mississippi River at Pike's Peak looking towards Wisconsin.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

back in Iowa

So much sky!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Tunes on Tuesday

The Planet Smashers - Change

Long ago, I was a scrawny little punk rock girl skanking around at Pearl Street in Northampton, Mass. with my future husband. We spent our days working at his pawn shop (no joke!) trying to just make enough to go to the next big show. I wore plaid pants, doc martens, bleach blonde hair with a purple streak, smoked peppermint cigarettes, and lived on dunkin donuts coffee and ketchup sandwiches. We saw just about every punk or ska show that came through for a somewhat short amount of time. Very quickly life changed with marriage, baby, reality kicking our butts. We moved to Connecticut and got on the track we're on now and haven't looked back since. Still such great memories.

Back then, this was one (of many) of my personal theme songs. I still like to crank it and sing along and pretend I'm that scrawny punk rock grrrl. Long live betty crocker punk rocker.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A visit to Nezinscot Farm

The morning the babe and I took a little field trip to Nezinscot Farm. They offer a wonderful selection of organic meats, dairy, baked goods and ... wait for it... yarrrrrrrrn. Now, farm yarn is pretty much my absolute favorite yarn. It's just more sentimental ... or something.

Anyway, the farm store was incredibly charming without trying to be. Everything was functional but also so picturesque if you know what I mean. I quickly grabbed a loaf of freshly baked bread and then hunted around for the holy grail... where were they hiding the yarn? When I inquired I was lead in the direction of the stairs ... ooooh the excitement mounted as I helped my son up the steps.

We got up to the top and I was taken aback at the sight. The wall in front of me was lined with bins and bins of wool yarns... natural... handpainted... all the squishy lovely skeins quietly beckoning to be picked up.

Nobody was in the shop but it was truly full of life. The shop was the entire second floor loft of the farm store. Every nook and cranny had fibery goodness tucked in to it. It was the type of shop a knitter walks in to and gets a little weepy at the sight.... rocking chairs, comfy couches, spinning wheels, tables and tables of gadgets, tools, notions, books, patterns, baskets, hand written signs, notes, suggestions. Handknit mittens and hats everywhere. It was a virtual knitting candy store.

I had a hard time choosing some lovelies to accompany me back home. I ended up choosing three hanks single ply medium brown/grey wool. I can't believe I didn't leave with some of the amazing creamy cormo. I'm a sucker for cormo. But I left it there as a promise to come back and visit again.

It was sort of strange being in such a lively environment without anyone else there. It was so full of life. The sounds of the farm outside, barking dogs, laughter. The smells of something yummy cooking downstairs. It was a fun experience.
We eventually made our way back down, the babe selected a treat and we were off. Over the hills and through the woods on the way home. We'll definitely be back.

To plan your own visit to Nezinscot Farm, please visit their web site by clicking here.

It's lupine season again!

The Maine Lupine has actually been in full bloom for a couple weeks now... far ahead of schedule at least in comparison from last year (the only year I can use as a reference). I do not mind this at all because we're heading back to visit Iowa soon and I was actually fretting about missing the Lupine! Yes, I'm loopy for lupine.

Anyway, this photo is from last year but it's a good representation of the splendor of lupine...

Lupine grows abundantly in the ditches, through the forest, across the rolling meadows, and is well represented in cultivated gardens as well. I love it. When it blows in the wind it sort of wobbles and jiggles all around in a goofy fashion. I absolutely love the blues but there are also pink, red, and white varieties as well.

Mainers pronounce it "loopin'" ... I can't help but say "loo-pine" which  makes me sound even more like I'm 'from away' but I don't mind if Mainers don't.

I'm so glad I didn't miss the lupine before we head back to Iowa! I used to feel this way about missing the crabapple blossoms in Iowa... we always seemed to be out of town when our huge amazing crabapple tree in our back yard was bloomed out.... and also during the 10 day span that Iowa seems to be in peak fall foliage.

I guess I'm just attached to my surroundings and it feels good to be getting that way with my new home as well. It's fun that we now can look back on 'this time last year' which we constantly seem to be doing.

All that said, we're beside ourselves excited to go home to Iowa in a couple weeks. As much as we love Maine and are happy to be here, there's just simply no place like home.