There is triumph in each and every sunrise…
The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge spans the Missouri River, joining Omaha, Nebraska with Council Bluffs, Iowa. If I straddle the line in the middle of the bridge, I am on the edges of two states at the same time.
It is Thanksgiving time…time to reflect on all the things we have for which to be thankful. For Jim and I, it is family. Our children and their families are the most treasured gift we have, and we are so thankful they are ours.
Traveling is one of our other most treasured gifts, and because those five children chose to live in five different states, we have lots of reasons (and excuses) to be on the road… a lot.
So, this Thanksgiving I thought I would focus on the things for which we are grateful to the north, east, south and west, in the spring, summer, autumn and winter. Here are some of the things I came up with, though I have so many photos it was hard to choose my favorites.
To the north, east, south and west
It doesn’t matter what season it is, we love them all! Now that we are retired from teaching, we can take trips in autumn, winter, and spring. too!
We discovered Pumpkin Fudge on our recent trip to visit our daughter in Arkansas. It is delicious! I knew I had to find a recipe to make some myself with the pie pumpkins we picked at the pumpkin patch near her home. This is the recipe for the fudge I made, slightly adapted from a recipe I found at https://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/143188/spiced-pumpkin-fudge/.
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed light brown sugar
- 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
- 1-5 oz. can evaporated milk
- 1/2 cup pumpkin puree’*
- 2 tsp. pumpkin spice
- 2 cups white chocolate morsels (12 oz. pkg.)
- 1-7 oz. jar marshmallow creme’
- 1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Bring the sugars, the evaporated milk, pumpkin puree’ and spice to a rolling boil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.
Stir constantly for 10-12 minutes or until the mixture reaches the soft-ball stage on a candy thermometer (235-240 degrees F).
Stir in the white chocolate morsels, marshmallow creme’, vanilla extract, and nuts (if using). You will need to stir vigorously for two to three minutes making sure all the morsels and the marshmallow creme’ are melted.
Pour mixture int a foil lined 9×13 pan. Let stand for 2 hours. Cover tightly and refrigerate.
* I use pumpkin puree’ that I have made from pie pumpkins, but you may use any commercially canned pumpkin, as well.
My father served as a Navy Seabee in Ireland during World War II. He did not speak much about his experiences in the war, but he was so proud of this sugar bowl and creamer he brought home with him for my mother. It is made of the very thinnest china, called belleek. It has been mine since I got married, and I treasure it dearly. I am only surprised, and grateful, that it has traveled across an ocean with my father, and across several states as my own family has moved over the years.
One of the most beautiful places I have ever been is Antelope Island State Park situated in the Great Salt Lake. Until last summer, I had never heard of it, but on a recent trip to Utah we noticed it on our map and decided to check it out. It is nothing short of spectacular, incredible, magnificent…my pictures can certainly not do it proper justice.
It is reached by a causeway that all by itself offers great views, many reasons to stop along the way, and a great number of shorebirds to see.
Not so long ago I caught this “swarm” of white pelicans at Riverlands Migratory Bird Sanctuary in West Alton, Missouri. Riverlands sits near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers.
Rolla is a small town in south central Missouri. It is also the county seat of Phelps County. Over the years, the county government has occupied three different buildings. We are fortunate that all three buildings are still standing and still in use by the people of Phelps County. They are all located across the street from one another.
The three buildings have definite differences in architecture based on the eras in which they were constructed.
The first Phelps County Courthouse was the John A. Dillon House, built of hand-hewn logs in 1857. Today it houses the Phelps County Museum
The Old Courthouse was built in 1859, and was used for county business from 1860-1994. It was built of sand-mud brick, the first brick to be made in Rolla. The Old Courthouse was built at the cost of $7,975.00, of which $2000.00 was denied the builder due to a claim of poor workmanship.
During the years of the Civil War, the Old Courthouse was used as a hospital, and at one time, as a storage building for horse’s hay.
The courthouse in use today was built in 1994 with a distinctly modern architectural style.
Three eras, three distinctly different courthouse architectural styles, one county seat. I am glad we have chosen to preserve all three of them!
I saw this barn on our drive into St. Louis today, and thought it was perfect for my post today. It is truly a burst of color in this otherwise white and brown landscape.
I did some research to learn why barns are painted red. European settlers brought this tradition to America when they arrived here many years ago. Linseed oil was applied to barns to seal and protect the wood of the barn. These farmers found that if they added ferrous sulphate, commonly known as rust, to the oil, it caused the oil to take on a red color. They also believed that it gave protection against certain fungi and molds, which, if unchecked, allowed the wood to deteriorate sooner. So there you go, a pop of color and a bit of information!