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.