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.