September 29, 2010

the last of our trip/Custer park

On our trip to South Dakota we went to Custer state park. The plan was to see buffalo. Well the buffalo had a different idea. We saw traces but none of the really big herds we wanted to see. In the distance we could see them but that was all, until just as we were ready to leave the park
there was one lone buffalo standing by the side of the road grazing in the grass. He was just waiting for me to take his picture.

We saw a few other creatures.Prairie Dogs and some kind of deer.

We did see donkeys. They were a hoot! If you had a snack for them in the car they would stick their head right in to get that snack.
We got out to feed them.

Mr. T thought it very funny to put a treat right close to my shoulder so the donkey came up behind me and gave me a nudge and made me jump. They stood in the road for as long as they wanted. No moving them until they were ready to move.

We went to several towns on our day trips.
We had to go to Sturgis just to say we had been there.A town called Leads.Pronounced "Leeds" where there was a big open cut mine.

Dead wood. Where Mr. T lost his first $5 ever gambling.

The scenery was beautiful from the top of a very tall hill.To me it seemed a mountain but they are called the Black Hills.

September 27, 2010

Quilt block

I finally finished the first quilt block offered on The painted quilt blog site. I have her banner on the right side towards the bottom of my blog home page. I love Americana, fabric with stars and homespun fabric. I have quite a collection and decided to use it in this quilt. We have been busy and I have not started the 2nd block but have it and the 3rd block printed out.The first rainy day I will start on those blocks.
I will post a bit more about our vacation in the next post. The corn palace and wall drug.
Have a great week.

September 24, 2010


We had a really beautiful day at Mt.Rushmore.
It is amazing to see the place in person.
No picture can really capture the wonder of it.
I did take a lot of pictures.

The Iowa flag and plaque.
The state is exactly 100 years older than me.

We took the left path to see the MT. up close.No one told us there were a lot of steps if we went out on the right side. I thought I took a picture of the steps.I must not have but this pictures gives you an idea how far down we had to go then---- we had to go UP. See the building we needed to get to there through the trees? Well the only way ,to get there ,was to go back or go ahead.We were over half way so we went ahead. I didn't count the steps but in the last batch before we got back to that building was 54 steps.If it had been 55 I don't think I would have made it.Thank goodness they had lots of benches.

I have sculpted faces from clay and it is not easy to get proportions just right. How it was done on such a scale and out of stone is really an amazingly wonderful thing. Just look at the detail in George.

On our way back there is a building that holds the models for the actual finished works.
They are also just as amazing to see.
I keep using the word amazing because I can't think of another word that describes what we saw.Well enough pictures for today.I hope you enjoy them.j

September 22, 2010

Face book

I am new to the facebook thing. I check once in a while.This morning by chance our grandson was on and we had a chat.It was nice and I learned a few things about the workings of FB.
Here is a great picture of 2 of our grandsons.The oldest and the youngest.

Grand children are our special rewards from having children.

A grandchild fills a space in your heart that you never knew was empty.

Love you guys

September 21, 2010

Dolls and bears in South Dakota

We did have a really great trip.Here are more pictures of things I found interesting. I have to tell you I whined and complained a lot the day I took the bear country pictures. Yes I did!
My small nikon just would not do what I wanted it to. I missed so many good shots of the bears because it just did not have the ability for continuous shots. After all my complaining Mr.T. figured I needed a new camera. Bless him. We went looking for a best buy.

I love my new nikon colorpix. I took over 500 pictures with it and no I am not going to post them all here. But I am going to share some.

I am always on the look out for cloth dolls and I found a few on this trip.At the Crazy horse site there were hand made dolls on display.

I also found 2 dolls at the Clay County fair. i believe one to be from an Edith Flack Ackley pattern. The other has a mask face drawn with colored pencil.

In Hill City there is a shop that holds a guinness book of world records for the most stuffed cloth bears---- Largest collection of teddy bears
The largest collection of teddy bears belongs to Jackie Miley of Hill City, South Dakota, USA, with 5,029 different teddy bears, as of 1 May 2007, which she has been collecting since 2002.
She now has over 7000 bears in this shop.

I did not think to ask her if I could take a picture inside.

In Wall Drug they have life size dolls.Check this one out. Mr.T was a good sport.
I am not sure of the history of Wall drug.Why so many go there but we went just to say we did.
Mr.T found FUDGE so he was very happy.
I am looking a bit travel worn wouldn't you say?

The plaque tells who started it all.

Bear Country was wonderful.The day was perfect and the bears there were very busy.

I was very surprised at the number of bears that live in bear country.

Mr T. was such a good sport.
Well enough pictures for today. Have good day j

September 19, 2010

South Dakota trip

Hi everyone.We are home and it feels really good.
We did have a great time on our vacation.
We were gone 9 days.
We left on the 6th of Sept. going out we ran into a very strong wind and rain after we were in South Dakota. It was the only bad weather we had until the last day coming home.

To begin I have to say I admire, even more, our ancestors that traveled this country in covered wagons and horse back. It is amazing to me that they found their way across this very vast land.
Other places we have traveled the land seems to change gradually but not this time.

Leaving Iowa/Minnesota we went from, corn and bean, fairly flat fields----- to flat ground with sun flower,millet and sorghum crops to very round hills ----with field upon field of round bales,hundreds of round bales.

There were also a lot of bee hives.

The winter wheat had been harvested.The fields had a beautiful pattern to them.

When we got to the Missouri river the land scape changed drastically. This is the highway we traveled on.The cars and rv's look like toys from the rest stop/information center.
They warned of poisonous snakes there.
It was an interesting place.A place, Lewis and Clark stood and, Lewis wrote of in his journals.

I hope this is not boring you all.It is a place I have never been.I had no idea what to expect and was surprised at how much I enjoyed more of this beautiful country. I will share a few more pictures in the next blogs.

I love to take pictures of our flag.The large flag was out in the middle of no where at a small gas station where they had soft serve ice cream.The 2 in the middle were at Mt.Rushmore. The last on the road.

God bless America.

September 3, 2010

Coffee cake

We will be headed out for vacation soon.I will post when we get back.

Over on Prairie Flower Farm Linda shared a recipe for coffee cake.
It is very good.I did change a few things.I added more almond flavor from 1/2 to 1 teaspoon.
I did increase the fresh squeezed lemon juice from 2 teaspoon to 1 table spoon.I used hazel nuts/filberts instead of walnuts.I did sprinkle cinnamon/sugar on the top.
It is moist and would be really good served with lemon curd or whipped cream.

I just went back to re read the recipe and see something I did not pay attention to yesterday when I copied the recipe.Linda made a streusel for the center. I will try that next time.

  • 16 Servings
  • Prep: 30 min. Bake: 50 min. + cooling


  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 teaspoons confectioners' sugar


  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in the lemon juice, lemon peel and extract. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with sour cream beating well after each addition.
  • Transfer to a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan. Bake at 350° for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely. Dust with confectioners' sugar. Yield: 16 servings.

It is a wonderful 57 degrees this morning. I love the fall in Iowa. The smell of walnut trees, the crunch of leaves as you walk, apples off the tree, the last green tomatoes-- fried up crisp and brown, a big pot of chilli or vegetable soup made with the remaining garden produce.
Have a great weekend. j