Sunday, October 21, 2007

Iowa trip

Last weekend, I went to Iowa for a craft festival. The festival was held in Van Buren County Iowa which is in southeastern Iowa on the Des Moines River near the Missouri border. This is the part of Iowa my step-father grew up in and he and my mom go every year. For the last four years, I have gone with them. The festival mostly consists of various craft and antiques/junk vendors who set up in the towns of the county. The towns themselves organize some events, including a parade and covered wagon rides and, in my step-father's hometown, a lunch consisting of bean and ham soup slow-cooked in a big black kettle over a bed of coals and cornbread baked over coals. And homemade pie. Yum.

None of Kelly's (step-father) family lives down there anymore (his parents have migrated to Arizona and his sister lives in Des Moines) so we stay at an inn/bed and breakfast in the town of Bentonsport. Bentonsport is home to about 35 people (and that's if you include the people up on the hill). The inn is less than 100 yards from the banks of the river has been there a very long time and on the side of the inn; there's marks on the side of the inn commemorating various floods and how much of the inn was under water.

While trying to navigate the roads to Bentonsport on Friday night, I got a phonecall from B who now lives in South Carolina and who I haven't talked to in quite some time. This is how our conversation went:

The usual hi, how are you's and what's going on, then

Me: Oh my God, that's a deer!

B: What?

Me: A deer just ran out in front of the car, oh wait, there's another one, is it going to cross the road?

I successfully navigate past the deer and we talk a little longer, then

Me: Wait, I think I'm supposed to turn here, but it's so dark, I can't see the road sign.

B: I feel like this is the beginning of a bad horror movie.

More driving and talking, then

Me: Hey, I'm in a town I recognize, I guess I'm going the right way.

B: Is it deserted?

Me: No, there are people here.

B: Are they zombies? (B has an obsessive fear about zombies)

Me: No, they seem to be perfectly normal people.

We continue talking and then I'm really close to Bentonsport.

Me: Okay, I'm getting close to town and in the past I haven't gotten any cell phone signal in town near the inn, so if you suddenly don't hear from me, that's why.

B: Where the hell are you?! Is this some sort of Bermuda Triangle of Iowa???

Me: No, it's just a really small town and the only way to get cell phone signal is to go out on the bridge in the middle of the river--Ben, Ben?

I had lost the signal. So, I go in to the inn, check in, then walk out onto the bridge, call B and leave a message saying that I'm fine but I have no signal in town. I'm wondering what he thought of this whole conversation.

It was probably a good thing I didn't tell him that the inn is haunted.

Cute Baby in Jack-o-lantern Hat

Last weekend, when I was in Iowa, I got to see my little nephew for a very short time and he graciously agreed to model the hat. But the flash hurt his eyes (his grandma was snapping pictures every few moments) so he closed them. The little mittens he has on have ghosts on them.

My sister has gone back to work so he's been going to a sitter where he seems to be doing well. He is a little bit bigger, of course, but still so tiny, although he has very big feet. I've got to get working on some socks for him--can't have my nephew going about in store-bought socks! My mom has made him a little sweater and is in the process of making a matching hat. Between me and my mom, the kid will never have to wear a store-bought hat.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Not that there was ever any doubt

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

Literate Good Citizen

Book Snob

Fad Reader


What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

The code doesn't seem to be working right on my blog so you can't see the little bars for how much I am each of those choices. I'm probably about 90% of a obsessive-compulsive bookworm and 10% of a fad reader.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Who knew?

My blog is worth $3,387.24.
How much is your blog worth?

Not as much as some people's but still a respectable amount. Sadly, the labwork blog is only worth around $500. I guess knitting pays better than science. Who knew?

Monday, October 01, 2007


In honor of the first day of October I bring you:

Pissed Off Black Cat with Jack-o-Lantern Hat

I almost laughed myself silly when I downloaded this picture. I didn't see Ghiradelli's expression when I took it because I was too busy trying to keep the hat on him.

The hat is actually for Benjamin. A slightly better view of the hat: