Friday, September 28, 2012

The Miracle Lady

I was introduced to a wonderful lady today while getting a pedicure.  She was an older woman with a big smile on her lovely face.  While chatting with other clients about general things, someone asked her to tell me about the accident she was in.  It was a near death experience and I never would have guessed from looking at her.

She had just moved to Arizona and was traveling on the I-17 early one morning.  Her daughter was getting married the following week and she was driving to a dress fitting.  Her last memory before the accident was looking at the "Bumble Bee" exit sign and thinking "what a cute name for a road".  Her next memory was of being air-lifted to a hospital.  

Later she had gathered information from people who were on the scene.  Some of these nice helpers followed up with her weeks later.  It seems no one knows what caused the accident.  There was a small red truck that left the scene, large tire remnants were on the highway and her SUV had rolled several times.  

When a trucker and another man stopped to help, she was hanging from the window still strapped in her seat belt and they noticed gas leaking around the vehicle.  The trucker had the in-site to spray a fire repellant.  Other people showing up at the accident site thought she was dead.  But the man who kept in contact with her said he knew she was alive because her eyes were following him around.

She didn't give me all the details on her injuries, but I know she had a spinal surgery, a broken jaw (and now missing a bone), shoulder and collar bone surgery.  

I'm sure she must have endured many painful months and to top it all off, missed her daughters wedding!

I was really struck by her positive attitude, winning smile and friendly demeanor.  I don't know if I will ever cross paths with her again, but I will never forget her miracle story.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Thursday Serenade

Tonight I feel full of gratitude for the little things.  As I sit here typing I am serenaded by one of my son's bands, practicing in our garage for an upcoming gig.  My heart wants to burst with the pleasure music brings.  I am so proud of these young musicians with their talent and dedication to music.  A little bit envious also, wishing I could play or sing.

I'm grateful to my husband for picking up pizza and wings for these guys, since I worked today.  It was nice to come home and just relax.

I'm so happy to live in our little town with our nice weather.

And I love Thursday nights because Project Runway is on.

The above photo is from my trip to NYC in June.  I wanted to post these beautiful dresses because I am in the Project Runway mood.

Young men practicing in my garage.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Welcome Home

I do not have a "green thumb", so I was pleasantly surprised to find my squash plant was thriving.  I guess we had a lot of rain while we were gone.  This plant by the way was an accidental miracle.  It must have been a remainder from the previous year when I had a little garden.  I gave up on it this year because every time something would ripen, a wild animal would eat it.  Most likely a javelina.  The guy below was on my back patio last fall and I took the photo from inside.  Scary!

Other nice things to come home to:  my 3 cats (who missed me terribly) and my children.

Remember Cary's Quote!

The drive home was not enjoyable!  We took the quicker way (1400 miles instead of 1500 ha ha) through a portion of Missouri, all of Kansas, pan handle of Oklahoma and Texas to New Mexico then Arizona.

The GPS unit led us through the weirdest highway.  During the night, we felt like we were in the Twilight Zone because each little town we drove through looked the same.  It would have a big industrial building on the right and small shacks on the left.  I don't know what the industry was but it sure was smelly.  These town would appear about every 30 miles.  Each time we stopped for gas, it was creepy.  We drove until 3:00 in the morning until we found a decent town with a nice hotel.  

We left early in the morning, so I think I had about 3 or 4 hours of sleep.  For me, I knew the worst part of the trip was coming up........New Mexico.  I'm sorry but I think it is the ugliest state I have driven through.  How can anything survive in that rocky desert land?

Sorry Cary Grant but I think I might cry because it's over!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Amana Colonies

By far The Amana Colonies was one of my favorite areas to visit in Iowa.  It was founded in the 1860's by German immigrants who had a great concept.  Every family was given a house, meals were provided in a community kitchen, textiles were made in the weaving mill, etc.....  Everyone worked either on the farms, schools, churches, mill or furniture factory.  Everything was provided for everyone.  They would send a few young men to college to become doctors or businessmen.  During the depression, times were tough and they restructured the colonies.  Some of the younger generations wanted to make money and this was the start of their changes.  

The town is so quaint with old brick buildings and beautiful tree lined streets.  I noticed most of the buildings have trellises with grape vines growing.  There are antique stores, German family style restaurants, the hand made furniture/clock shop, tours of the mill, brewery and nice little boutiques.  I was impressed with the modern style of clothing and art in the shops.  

We had two great days enjoying Amana.  Someday I would love to go back. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Bike Night

Yes, he loves his bike!

Bike night in Iowa has a good turn-out.  They have music, contest, food and drinks.  In Arizona, bike night might mean there are 6 bikes.  A lot of Chuck's old riding buddies showed up for the event.  It was fun to meet the guys I've been hearing about for years.  Afterwards we all road to another bar for some real drinking!

Sloppy Joe

For some reason while in Iowa, I was craving a sloppy joe.  I thought I saw a sign when we were looking around LaClaire that said "Sloppy Joe's" and I told Chuck I wanted to eat there.  When we found the building it was really called "Happy Joe's" a pizza place.  He teased me about needing new glasses for the rest of the trip and told everyone the story.  Dave suggested that I would probably like "Maid-Rite" sandwiches.  So on our girls day out, Tracy took me to a "Maid-Rite".  It's a cute 50's style diner and they make the sandwiches with chopped meat without sauce.  It was really good and cheap!  I think I satisfied my sloppy joe craving.

HOT or Not!

There is only one word for this night HOT!  In the temperature that is.  After antiquing all day, we rode the Harley to the fairgrounds for the motorcycle races.  So I'm wearing my riding boots and jeans to make me even hotter.  It was very humid and under the pavilion no air was circulating.  Chuck however is so excited for the races he doesn't notice the heat.
He's jumping up and cheering (which he never does for any other event).  I look around.....gear heads everywhere.  Taking their shirts off, drinking beer, shouting.  If a woman was looking for a man, don't bother.  These guys are into one thing, motorcycles.  

Sheer Heaven

Three days of just me and my GPS adventuring out while Chuck went to an antique motorcycle show/swap meet.

So many antiques, stores and flea markets = sheer heaven!

Great prices and really different items than what we can buy in Arizona.  I had a blast!  The first day I almost filled the backseat of the truck.  

Fred and Ethel's

Cutest store with 1950's kitchen housewares
Vintage clothing & jewelry
I loved all the retro lamps
At a store in LaClaire
an original Egg Chair

Pictured above are a few of the items I purchased for my antique space in AZ.  I was happy when my daughter Jennie wanted to keep the lamp for her dorm room.

American Pickers

                                                 American Pickers store in LaClaire, Iowa.

Dave and Tracy took us to the American Pickers store.  Cool signs and motorcycle antiques.

Jim's Rib Haven

Jim's Rib Haven located in Rock Island, Illinois did not let me down.  Chuck has been telling me about this place for 25 years.  I couldn't believe I was finally eating there.

How much did we like this place?  Well let's just say we had ribs 6 or 7 times during our stay!  I wish I could have brought home a gallon of the sauce.

Iron Horse

After crossing the Mississippi River, we stopped at the Iron Horse saloon/bar.  Inside it is like a museum with so many bikes and motorcycle memorabilia.  Upstairs is a chapel where bikers actually get married.

                                                 The last photo is of the wedding chapel.

                           Of coarse, Tracy and I enjoyed our Bloody Mary's for lunch!!!

A Beautiful Ride

We spent the day with our friends Dave and Tracy riding through beautiful country roads, over bridges on the Mississippi and through quaint towns on the Illinois side of the river.