Cedar Valley Botanical Gardens

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Another place Yai and I visited in August is the Cedar Valley Botanical Gardens in Waterloo.  Admission was only $3 per person.  There were all sorts of gardens, goldfish ponds, and little waterfalls, and there was even a section for children. Everything seemed well-maintained.  
“My prayer for today is that we will feel God’s loving arms wrapped around us,
and we will know in our hearts that He will never forsake us as we trust in Him.” --Billy Graham

Winter's Gale

Friday, December 23, 2016

Winter's gale is icy and chill.
For summer's sun I do so yearn,

Interview with Grandma Siripon Schunk (ยาย)

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

As I've mentioned in earlier posts, my maternal grandma, Siripon Schunk, visited this summer.  She and I had a delightful time as travelling companions visiting neat places throughout the state.  She lives in Nevada, and I hadn't seen her since she last visited when I was 16.  So, we had a bit of catching up to do.
I call her Yai (ยาย), which is the Thai version of Grandma.  My late grandfather, Raymond Garrison, was a merchant marine and construction worker.  Shortly before she left in late August, I asked Yai if she'd be willing to do a quick interview to share about her very interesting life with my readers.

A Few of My Favorite Bloggers

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

One of my favorite parts of blogging is the wonderful people I've met while blogging.  So, today I'm taking a moment to share about my recent meetup with long-time blogging friend Cryslyn, her husband Andy, and baby Emilia, my meetup with Kathleen and her husband Gordon, and an awesome giveaway I won from Carrie!  I'm also going to answer a few questions from Paige.

Meetup with Kathleen and Gordon Franck
I met Kathleen indirectly through blogging, as she was at many of the same campaign events as I when I did my series on the presidential candidates.  I later interviewed her here.  She's also shared a recipe for Coffee Time Cake, which I posted on my blog.

St. Luke's Methodist Church in Dubuque

Thursday, December 1, 2016

In Dubuque, we visited St. Luke's Methodist Church, known for its Tiffany windows. This building was built 1895-1897, and with the windows and altar furniture included, cost over $100,000 to construct.
The church features Richardsonian Romanesque architecture and is built from Indiana Bedford limestone.  Each stone is hand-cut, and some have embedded fossils.

Grandma's Seven-Layer Salad

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Here's another family favorite Grandma graciously showed me how to make.  It's on the complicated side for a salad (at least for someone who usually just sticks with plain-old lettuce), but it sure is good!
Grandma's 7-layer Salad

2016 Model Train Show in Hampton - Part 2

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

One person we were surprised to see at the model train show in Hampton was Helen, who was there with her husband Ed Shecklman.  They own Sidetrack Hobby in Iowa Falls, but we only knew Helen as our faithful supplier of running shoes!  She works at Shoe Sensation, which we frequent.
Ed and Helen Shecklman
You can visit their website at www.sidetrackhobby.net and their Facebook page here.  They have a wide variety of products.  The bridges looked neat, but the cornfield kits really caught me eye.  I'm sure some farmers would wish their cornfields could be as easily installed!

Delaware County Courthouse

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

On a day trip to Northeastern Iowa and Wisconsin last month, we stopped at the Delaware County Courthouse in Manchester.  Delaware County was established in 1837; formerly, it was a part of Dubuque County.  
The citizens of the county wanted the seat to be located near the center of the county, but there was no water or timber available in that area to make for a suitable location.  Finally, at a spot near Dehli, the selecting committee saw a deer jump up and run.  They decided to kill the deer and build the first courthouse there.

eShakti Review

Saturday, November 12, 2016

A few long-time readers may remember my debut as a model in March 2015 when I did a review for eShakti, an online women's clothing store based in India.  I haven't done any more modeling since then, preferring to leave fashion blogging to...my favorite fashion blogger, Paige.  
And...you should probably thank me for that, as I am one of the most boring dressers in the world.  When I find an outfit I like, I stick with it; and I still haven't figured out why when a celebrity wears the same outfit twice, it's newsworthy.

Grandma's Goulash

Thursday, November 10, 2016

I don't particularly enjoy cooking, but I do enjoy eating.  And being a family history buff, I've talked Grandma Carson into showing me how to make a few of her other delicious recipes: the family culinary tradition must be preserved.  [In other words, I must not go hungry!]
Grandma is always very gracious, and here is her latest wonderful recipe:

The Grand Finale - Election 2016

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

It was August 2015 when I met my first Presidential candidate of the election, Bobby Jindal.  In the more than a year and two months since then, I've attended rallies for and met just about every candidate, listened to every debate, considered the opinions of family, friends, and complete strangers, read countless news articles, read a book by Clinton, and interviewed two minor party candidates.  Exploring every viewpoint has not expedited decision-making.
Faced with the prospect of voting today, yesterday I was still deliberating between Trump, Hoefling (America's Party), and Castle (Constitution Party).  Clinton, Stein, are Johnson are too liberal to be compatible with my beliefs.  I could go into details, but I won't waste your time, especially since I have discussed Clinton in previous posts.

America's Party: Tom Hoefling

Friday, November 4, 2016

A third party Presidential candidate I was privileged to interview over the phone earlier this year is Tom Hoefling of Lohrville, Iowa.  Mr. Hoefling and his running mate, Steve Schulin, are the candidates of America's Party.  
Tom Hoefling originally hails from Nebraska and is a political activist, writer, publisher, organizer, and consultant.  He founded America's Party in 2008, and has since been the party's chairman.  In 2012 he ran for President of the United States, representing his party.  In 2014, he competed in the Republican primaries for Iowa governor.  And now again, he's seeking votes for the Presidency.  

2016 Model Train Show in Hampton - Part 1

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

My paternal grandparents have been vendors at model train shows for years, though of late they've narrowed it down to two shows a year.  In 2014, they recruited my sister and I to help at our first show--in Hampton--where I ended up coming home with a pan full of left-over cinnamon rolls (delicious)!  Last year, I only joined in at Dubuque.  So, after a two-year hiatus, I was excited to be back at the Hampton show again.  
The whole family started everything off on Saturday evening setting everything up.  Then we went out for dinner together at a nearby restaurant.  Grandma helped with the set-up, but didn't feel strong enough to spend the whole next day at the show.  Sunday morning, Grandpa, my sisters, and I got an early start at about 5:30 A.M.

Book Review: It Takes a Village

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A few months ago, I checked out It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us, by Hillary Clinton from a local library.  I decided to read the book because I figured my best bet on persuading myself to vote for Donald Trump would be to become thoroughly appalled by Clinton's way of thinking.
It takes me a long time to finish a book when I'm reading it just because I dislike the author.  And It Takes a Village was anything but a captivating thriller.  The only thing making me excited to flip each page was the prospect of being that much nearer the end.  

2016 Survey and Giveaway Results

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Thank you to the 30 readers who answered my survey this year, and the 11 who joined the giveaway!  Enrique Bracamonte, a long-time reader from Peru, was randomly selected as Winner #1.  He will receive the five cards featuring Charity's artwork.  Winner #2 is Linda.  She blogs at Linda's Peaceful Place and regularly shares inspirational quotes and videos.  Linda will receive the twelve cards featuring Grandma Carson's art.

Question 1: How did you find my blog?
Eight of you found my blog by browsing the blogosphere.  Six cannot remember l̶i̶f̶e̶ ̶w̶i̶t̶h̶o̶u̶t̶ ̶m̶e̶ how they found my blog.  Five found Liberty or Death because I commented on their blogs, four from my favorite chess server (FICS), and four because we've met.  The other results are from one person who found my blog through busuu.com (a language-learning site), the mother of a friend of mine, and someone who visited from Martha's blog.

Iowa Open Chess Tournament 2016 - Part 2

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Going to sleep early Sunday morning I was so exhausted it would have been impossible for our room at the Marriott to feel uncomfortable.  I enjoyed a pleasant repose, and the hotel curtains blocked the light of dawn out so well I could have slept in for hours.  But...I had an unfinished mission!
Charity, Daniel, and I stopped at McDonald's for breakfast, and then we pulled into a convenience store where I purchased pastries and *cheap* granola bars.  All day Saturday I had been eating granola bars from the hotel's concessions (above).  And believe me, they are as expensive as they are delicious!  

Iowa Open Chess Tournament 2016

Monday, October 24, 2016

The Iowa Open is the most popular chess tournament in the state, with more than 200 participants.  And it is one I never like to miss--and haven't missed for four years.  Like last year, it was held in the Conference Center at the Marriott Hotel in Coralville, Iowa.
August 27th, Charity, Daniel, and I ate breakfast and then left home at about 7:30; we arrived in Coralville with time to spare.  The rest of the family had left earlier than we to go to a 10K and half marathon at Beeds Lake in Hampton.  

Franklin County Courthouse

Saturday, October 22, 2016

In late July, Yai and I visited the Franklin County Courthouse in Hampton, Iowa before meeting with my friend and fellow-blogger Nela at Plaza Veracruz.  Franklin County was formed in 1851, organized in 1855, and named for Benjamin Franklin.  The city of Hampton was originally called Benjamin, but was renamed since there was, apparently, another city named Benjamin in the state at the time.
The Hampton courthouse features Romanesque Revival architecture, and is one of the most beautiful courthouses I've visited so far.  Completed in 1891, it cost $60,000 to construct.  

2016 Survey & Giveaway

Monday, October 17, 2016

Another year has gone by, and it's time for the 2016 Liberty or Death Survey and Giveaway!  I always appreciate your feedback, and I'm grateful for the time you've taken throughout the year to visit, read, and/or leave comments.
I'd love to learn more about you and what you like.  My five-question survey is below.  Your answers will be anonymous.

Grandma's Chili

Sunday, October 16, 2016

My all-time favorite of Grandma Colleen Carson's recipes is her chili.  I've eaten it on chilly winter evenings at Grandpa and Grandma's ever since I was a little girl.  So...I asked Grandma if she'd share her recipe with me and my readers.  (Seems if I want to remember a recipe, it's best to post it here, so I can Google it later!)  She kindly agreed.
Chili Soup

Answers: Life & Death

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

With this final post I'll have my bases covered from the cradle to the grave.  Many thanks to all who participated in making this series happen.  Next week I'll be g̶e̶t̶t̶i̶n̶g̶ ̶m̶y̶ ̶r̶e̶v̶e̶n̶g̶e̶  hosting my annual survey!  I hope you'll join in.
Debbie says: I have always wondered how old you are? 
BJ says:  I would be very interested in knowing your age.
I'm 22.

Answers: Music, Chess, Pets, & More

Monday, October 10, 2016

We are nearing the end of my series of answers in response to questions posed by readers.  In this post I will answer all the questions about hobbies, pets, and random topics, before going on to my final post Wednesday.
Martha asks: What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? 
Ashley asks: What are your hobbies?
Playing chess, running, blogging, photographing, visiting neat places, hiking, singing and playing instruments, watching Studio C and old tv series, volunteering as an admin on FICS, occasionally doing genealogical research, visiting cemeteries, and creating websites.

Parkersburg Historical Home

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

One of the places I had the most fun visiting with Yai this August is the historical home in Parkersburg, Iowa, built in 1895.  The home is open Memorial Day through Labor Day on Sundays 1:00-3:00 p.m. and once a year serves as a haunted house for the Rotary Club.  Admission for a guided tour is only about $3 per person, if I recall correctly.
 Upon entering, we were greeted by a couple very nice ladies, Kate Durbin and Chelsea.  Kate, who gave us our tour, was full of interesting information.  Her love for history was obvious, and her ebullient personality was contagious.

Vice-Presidential Candidate: Mike Pence

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Monday, September 19th, we went to the Music Man Square in Mason City, Iowa to attend a Mike Pence rally.  Governor Mike Pence of Indiana is Donald Trump's running-mate.  We wanted a good seat, so we arrived just a few minutes after the doors opened at 1:00 pm.
The Secret Service was on duty, so we had to go through a metal detector and have our purses searched.  Inside, we ran into Chris Hupke, an awesome guy who works on the Trump campaign (and to whom I will always be thankful for rescuing our Trump photos from the Secret Service at another rally, so we could have them autographed).

Answers: Politics and Blogging

Thursday, September 29, 2016

It seems like courthouses and answer posts are the easiest topics for me to actually get posted these days.  I have so much more to write about, but for now I'll answer the awesome questions posed to me about blogging and politics!
Summer asks: What inspires your writing?
The places I visit, things I do, books and articles I read, what I think and pray about, and the people I talk with.  I'm also inspired by the five years of posts I already have on this blog, my love of writing, and the kind comments I receive.

Black Hawk County Courthouse

Sunday, September 25, 2016

On August 1st, Yai and I visited the Black Hawk County Courthouse in Waterloo, Iowa.  Just over the Cedar River and a couple blocks down in East Waterloo, the current courthouse, built in 1964, features International Style architecture.
Coming in to the building, we had to go through security and have our bags checked.  Unlike most of the courthouses I've visited in smaller towns, this one was very busy.  Waterloo, with a population of 68,406, is the sixth-largest city in the state.

Answers: Faith

Friday, September 23, 2016

A few people asked questions about faith in response to my Your Turn post.  Victor Hugo once said, "The greatest happiness in life is the conviction that we are loved; loved for ourselves, or rather, loved in spite of ourselves." 
And that's true.  God loved us so much even in our miserable human condition that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  I've found the greatest happiness in the world in the conviction that Jesus loves me.  I never deserved His love.  I never was good enough to earn it.  But he loved me in spite of myself.  He's changing me, so I can behold the beauty of Himself.  

Cerro Gordo County Courthouse

Monday, September 19, 2016

We were in Mason City, Iowa for a political event today, and just had enough time to find the Cerro Gordo County Courthouse ten minutes before it closed.  We walked inside and up the stairs to see a courtroom...and barely managed to leave before the building was locked.
The court administrator, a lady named Deb, kindly unlocked the main courtroom for us to see.  And she told us a little about the courthouse's history.

Answers: A Confession of Humanity

Saturday, September 17, 2016

You know, sometimes I may not like to admit it...but the questions asked in response to my Your Turn post have forced me to confess: I too, am human.  I had fun figuring out how to answer these!
Martha asks: What three personality traits do you admire in people? 
#1 Kindness
#2 Intelligence
#3 Diligence/reliability

Butler County Courthouse

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Would you like to visit a county without any stoplights or fast food restaurants?  Head to Butler County, Iowa! This July, Yai and I visited the Butler County Courthouse in Allison, Iowa.  Butler County was formed in 1851 and, like Hardin County, was named for a Mexican-American war hero.
General William Orlando Butler first served as a private in the War of 1812.  During the Battle of the River Raisin, he and his comrades were under such intense fire that afterward he found his clothing was riddled with bullets.  He was captured by the Indians and held as a prisoner of war by the British till he was released on parole.

Answers: Travel

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Today I'm back to answering questions asked in response to my Your Turn post.  Our topic?  Travel, one of my favorite things to do--in Iowa!  We'll also cover languages and general knowledge of the world.
Anonymous asks: What do Americans know about Europe? What do you learn at school only geography connected with continent or others, too?
I was homeschooled, and I learned a lot of European history.  The history of Europe is the history of Western Civilization, so it was very important in my studies.  

Hardin County Courthouse

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

The Hardin County Courthouse in Eldora, Iowa is a particularly special courthouse to me because William Lockard and his wife Elizabeth Steinbarger Lockard, my great great great great grandparents, moved to Hardin County in 1852.  They came from Ohio in a covered wagon, bought land from Greenberry Haggin (the first white man to settle in Hardin County, in 1849), and broke up the virgin soil.  
They lived in a log cabin, where, as Mrs. Lockard reported, they could not stand up straight, and where she did her cooking for eight to ten years in an old-fashioned fireplace.

Pho 515 in Des Moines

Monday, September 5, 2016

My mom's favorite food is pho, a Vietnamese rice noodle soup.  With my grandmother's visit ending, my mom decided to take us out to a pho restaurant for a farewell dinner before seeing Yai off at the airport.
My mom is a pho expert, and she wanted to make sure she got good authentic pho.  We went through the reviews of several of the Des Moines pho restaurants on Trip Advisor and Yelp, and she decided Pho 515 would be our best bet.

Answers: My Favorite Things

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Thanks to everyone who participated in my Your Turn post and asked me some very interesting questions!  I will be answering in one post a week.  Today I'm covering the bases on all the questions asked about my favorite things.
Martha asked: What is one of your favourite words? Sesquipedalian

Prohibition Party: Jim Hedges

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Since many people seem dissatisfied with the choices offered in the Presidential election this November, I decided to do a little research into the alternatives offered by third parties.  A couple of the candidates agreed to phone interviews, so I will have the pleasure of introducing them to you!
First, let's meet Jim Hedges, candidate for the Prohibition Party, the oldest existing third party in the United States.  Mr. Hedges is a native Iowan, who currently resides in Pennsylvania.  He was a professional tuba player in the Marine Band.  He also has been a science writer and editor, serving 11 years as the editor-in-chief of the National Speleological Society Bulletin, the most widely circulated journal in the world on the science of caves.

Bremer County Courthouse

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

On our way to visit the Little Brown Church, we stopped at the Bremer County Courthouse in Waverly, Iowa.  Built 1936-37, the building features Depression Modern architecture, and was funded in part by the Public Works Administration.  
Bremer County was established in 1853, and its first courthouse was a small frame building, which cost $147.50 to build.  This was replaced in 1858 by a two-story 43x63-foot brick building, which cost $23,000.  All of the material used in its construction--brick, stone, and lumber--was produced in the county.  The current structure cost $139,000; over $60,000 of this was supplied by the PWA grant.

Your Turn!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Every year I check out readers' preferences on my blog (and in candy bars) with a survey.  The next annual survey is coming up in only a couple months.  But in the mean time, I've decided to have a little fun with an Ask Me Anything post!  (Since I always love joining in on Martha's Q & A series!)
So, feel free to ask any questions you wish, either in a comment or (if you prefer to ask anonymously) in the form below.  I will attempt to answer in upcoming blog posts.  Ask anything that comes to mind...serious or trivial.  Have fun!

St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Waverly, Iowa

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

On one of my site-seeing trips with Yai this summer, I took a couple wrong turns in Waverly, Iowa and ended up at St. Paul's Lutheran Church.  "It looks like a pretty neat church," I told Yai.  "Do you think we should see if the doors are open?  Or should we continue to our next stop?"  She replied, "We're here.  We might as well see it."
We walked up to the front door...and it opened!  The church is attached to a more modern building (right), which is a Christian school.  So, I headed down to the office, and the folks there gave us the go-ahead to take a tour!

Manly Drug Store: Grundy Center Soda Fountain

Monday, August 22, 2016

Above my desk, I have a bulletin board with several lists.  One list is filled with suggestions of neat places to visit.  Another is my to-visit list, and the final list notes everything I've already done the foot-work for and just need to post.  The Grundy Center Soda Fountain spent a long time on my  "I really should stop there sometime" list.
So, toward the end of July, Yai and I stopped for sandwiches!  I ordered a sliced turkey sandwich ($2.50).  Yai ordered a tuna salad sandwich ($2.50), and we both ordered Green Rivers ($0.80).  

Distance Running

Friday, August 19, 2016

I've run seven 5K races this year...and I'm still alive!  Last year, I reflected on my parents and sister running--and my effort at joining them in a practice, that "running/walking a 5K without any training is a nice, slow, painful way to die."  But I've been training!
My whole family--parents, two sisters, and brother--runs.  We train together, and often run 5Ks together.  My mom and sister are perhaps the most serious runners.  They do half marathons.  And you'll never guess what my sister did to celebrate her birthday...she ran 15 miles!

Thai Basil Chicken

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

At the risk of this becoming a food blog (considering six of the eight posts this past month directly involve food), I'd like to share one of my grandmother's wonderful recipes, Thai Basil Chicken.
Can you guys imagine how heavenly it has been to eat authentic Thai food on a regular basis for the past couple months?  I asked Yai to show me (and my readers) how to make one of my favorites of her delicious dishes.  She graciously obliged.

Waterloo Chick-Fil-A

Monday, August 15, 2016

On a shopping and site-seeing trip in Waterloo, Iowa, Yai and I decided to stop for lunch at Chick-Fil-A.  I had only eaten at a Chick-Fil-A once before in my life--and loved it.  So, I was excited to try another chicken sandwich.
I couldn't remember what I had ordered last time (years back), so I went for a grilled chicken sandwich meal, which included waffle fries and a drink for $7.39.  Yai ordered the same.  With my sandwich, I had honey mustard sauce.

Book Review: The More of Less

Friday, August 12, 2016

Do you want more money, more time, and less clutter and stress?  Blogger Joshua Becker's The More of Less: Finding the Life You Want Under Everything You Own, published this year, may be the book for you.
Winning The More of Less in a giveaway at Cheryl's blog, Homespun Devotions, came as a big surprise.  I had commented on her giveaway post about minimalism without giving it much thought, so when Cheryl wrote to say I had won, I did a double-take! "Wait...I entered a giveaway?!  Oh, come to think of it, I guess I did."  A few days later, I received it in the mail.  I was a skeptic, but decided to read it through. 

Liscomb Church of Christ

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Sunday evening, my family and I went to Liscomb Church of Christ to hear friend and fellow blogger Phil Gould sing.  Phil used to sing as part of the country duo Sugar and Spice.  If you have a very good memory, you may recall his observations on eating sweet corn that I posted about in 2014.  I also mentioned having his autograph in my collection and hearing him sing in 2012 after shoveling a grain bin.
Stepping out of the car a few minutes before the concert, I realized, "I should post about this church!"  Built in 1911, it was one of two churches in Liscomb, Iowa, a town of 301 people.  The second church down the road--which also must have been beautiful in its day--had become a home for raccoons, and recently was torn down.

Rite on 175

Monday, August 8, 2016

Right on Highway 175 in Eldora, Iowa, there is a little diner called Rite on 175.  Since I live near Eldora, I've stopped there before for ice cream treats; their ice cream sandwiches are particularly refreshing on a hot day!
This June, we had to take a vehicle in to the tire shop next door.  Since this diner was on my list of places to blog about, my brother Daniel (who had to take care of the tire), grandma Siripon Schunk (who is visiting for the summer from Nevada), and I decided to go out and have lunch together.

Meetup at Plaza Veracruz

Friday, August 5, 2016

Nela Holmes, who blogs at Beloved Star, and I have been friends for the past six years.  Occasionally we meet up to chat and review a restaurant.  Recently, when I asked her out, she recommended the Plaza Veracruz in Hampton, Iowa as a great place for some authentic Mexican food!
When we arrived shortly before 5:00, we were apparently the first customers to show up for dinner.  A lady showed my grandma (Yai) and I to a table, and brought us menus, water, chips, and salsa.  Nela soon joined us.

Serendipity Ice Cream

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

St. Louis Trip, Day 6, Wednesday, July 29, 2015
Wednesday evening in St. Louis, our friend Kate, Karen's rommate, said she had noticed an ice cream shop on her way in to town, and suggested we stop there.  So, we walked the few blocks from our dorm to Serendipity Ice Cream.
It had been very warm all week (except for whenever it rained), so ice cream was a welcome treat.  We had spent the evening before at the volleyball court, which was a lot of fun--but had left us drenched in sweat.  Eating ice cream was a much less strenuous activity!

Coffee Time Cake

Monday, August 1, 2016

Some of you may remember my friend Kathleen Franck, whom I interviewed last year in November (you can read the interview and see Kathleen's amazing photography here).  I first ran into Kathleen on the campaign trail, as she and I both were stalking presidential candidates.
Recently she gave me a copy of her church's cookbook, Let These Gifts to Us Be Blessed by St. John Lutheran Church and Preschool, and told me it had a couple of her own recipes in it.  Neither Kathleen or I particularly love to spend copious amounts of time cooking, so I figured her recipes would be safe to try.  

The Little Brown Church

Friday, July 29, 2016

My favorite fashion blogger, Paige, recently asked me to guest post on her blog Sunday Best and All the Rest.  What better place to wear your Sunday best than at The Little Brown Church in the Vale?  I decided to share my visit there!
"There's a church in the valley by the wildwood, no lovelier spot in the dale;  
No place is so dear to my childhood as the little brown church in the vale." 

Travelling through Iowa in 1857, Dr. William Pitts noticed a beautiful wooded spot in the Cedar River Valley.  He thought it would be a lovely place for a church, and the thought would not give him rest until he wrote the hymn "The Church in the Wildwood" upon his arrival home.

Amatuer Radio Field Day

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A couple years ago I decided to get an amateur radio license.  So, I bought a couple study guides, learned all about radios and their components, antennas, bands, and all that good stuff, and passed the test to get a Technician's license without a problem.  Then I bought a radio, and it has patiently sat in my desk for two years waiting for me to program it.
To be honest, there are a lot of other things I'm much more passionate about, and I'm *very* rusty on everything I learned about radios.  But...my name is in the FCC database with my call sign KE0BCA, so my interest in amateur radio is public record till at least 2024.