Sunday, April 29, 2012

Harvest Cafe

A few weeks ago, these beautiful ladies came down to my neck of the woods to meet me for lunch at the Harvest Cafe.

Harvest Cafe is a farm to table restaurant. They proudly feature fresh produce from farmers throughout central IL. Their menu includes a list of farmers and their locations.

  1. Meadow Haven Farms, Sheffield, IL
  2. Dillon Farms, Dillon, IL
  3. Prairie Pure, Belvedere, IL
  4. Hartz Produce, Wyoming, IL
  5. 5 Point Chicken Farms, San Jose, IL
  6. Jenkins Farms, Low Point, IL
  7. Prairie Fruit Farms, Champaign, IL
  8. Crave Brothers Farmstead, Waterloo, WI
  9. Hintz Family, Delavan, IL
  10. PB&J Produce, Delavan, IL

Sorry I don't have any photos of our delicious food. I was too busy catching up with everyone. It had been awhile since I chatted with them.

But I had the Fish and Chips. Fresh Alaskan cod and hand cut fries. The tartar sauce was homemade and oh so good. I think it had fresh dill in it. 

My CFA had a great cup of coffee. They get their coffee from Thirty-Thirty Coffee in downtown Peoria.
I'm not a coffee connoisseur but the sip I had tasted good. It sounds like the coffee shop not only has tasty coffee, it is also a cool place to hang out. I'll let you know if and when I go check it out.

If you would like to go enjoy a delicious meal at Harvest Cafe, give me a call. I would love to go with you!


I edited some photos this weekend. My baby cousin is dating a military man and they were all dressed up for a military ball. So they had her sister take some photos of them before they left. She got some great shots, but there was just some minor changes needed. So when I was hanging out with them this past week, I asked if I could use my magic wand, also known as Photoshop, on her favorite photo.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

I've missed you

InDesign, you are my friend.
I have missed you very much.
I'm sorry I ignored you for 7 months.

I tried to convince myself that I could make it without you.
I tried to convince myself that Publisher would be just as good. That was just crazy thinking. 

I missed your classy style and your broad scope of knowledge. I'm glad to have you back on my computer. I'm looking forward to spending lots of time with you.

I will try to make new friends but keep the old.

One of my recent "outings" with InDesign. :)

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


I had to start a bunch of blog posts and just save them as drafts.
The ideas are bouncing around in my head, but the challenge is getting the words to fall into place.
I decided to just get them started with a title and some photos.
You'll know if my plan worked or not when you see the posts. :)

Do you know how many friends I have whose names start with J? I was going to write a few quick stories about this past weekend and realized that it would add two more NEW J names to this blog. I may have to come up with some cool nick names for everyone :).  There are currently 7 blog characters who have been introduced with a J name. I must come up with plan B. For now, I'm just going to leave that part of the story out.

This past weekend I got to hang out with several of my dear friends from Henry.

I took this young lady out for pizza at the happenin' place in Lacon....maybe all of Marshall county. Pizza Peel
Several weeks ago, we set a date to hang out. So I knew that I needed/wanted to save my gluten intake for that night. The pizza is soooooo good. It is totally worth the pain. But you won't have pain when you eat it. It will be pure joy. You should go there for lunch or dinner as soon as possible. :) I recommend the calzone with chicken, onion, garlic and green peppers. 

From there we headed back to her house to hang out with her brothers and parents, but I needed to make a quick stop first to settle my Egg debt with Insurance Boy (IB). We ended up staying there catching up with him for a little while. The stories from that portion of the night are just too hard to explain - asparagus, hanging pictures, butt prints in the furniture and a TV that turns its self off. You just never know where the conversation is going to go with IB.

When we finally made it back to her house, brother #4 and dad were in bed. Brothers #1 and #2 were hanging out with some of their Livestock Judging buddies in the front room. So we got to sit and catch up with her mom til after midnight. Her mom is one of my roadtrip buddies. The photo above is from our 2012 trip. (For this year's trip, we are heading north :)

Are you still with me??? I'm getting a little long winded here.
At midnightish, I left and head to my CFA's apartment to spend the night with her. Both of us had some prep work to do for programs we had that weekend, so we worked and caught up with each other until 2 a.m.


But it was totally worth it. 

Saturday I got to have tea with my Character Counts! friend. She got me caught up on all of the Henry happenings. They are talking about spending $8 million (is that right?) on building a new gym at the high school and possibly one at the grade school and an indoor pool. Oh my!

The rest of my weekend was filled with 4-H programs and church. Both very exciting topics, but I'll save them for future posts.

Oh one more interesting tid bit. Those livestock judging buddies I mentioned a few paragraphs ago. They just happen to be some of my new 4-Hers. My new 4-Hers are friends with my old 4-Hers. Small world.

I'll try to make the next post a little bit more interesting. No promises, but I'll try.

Happy Wednesday

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Office Redecorating

I've slowly been redecorating my new office and helping wait redecorating the main office space. When I first arrived, my little office was FULL of old furniture that reminded me of a college dorm. It has a mix of old furniture that filled it up. There was one little path that led to my desk chair. And even though there were two chairs for visitors, only one person could fit comfortably. And when anyone would sit in that chair, I had to move my chair over so I could see them around the computer monitor.

I kinda wish I had a picture to show you. But it was a little overwhelming so at the time, I wasn't thinking of blogging about it.

So as soon as I got the most critical work caught up, I started the redecorating process.

The hutch and two bookshelves got donated to Goodwill.

Then I switched the hard wooden chairs with some more comfortable chairs. 

The biggest part of the redecorating was fixing the many holes and painting.

Since there are no windows in the office, I wanted something bright and cheerful.

Before I started this project, I had gotten some mixed reviews on painting the 1974 paneling. I grew up with this exact paneling and two years ago, I helped my dad rip it out of their basement. I could not go back to having it in my office. I was either going to tear it out or paint it. 
I must say, painting it was much easier.
And it turned out beautiful.
My brother helped me put on the second coat.

It was painted Thanksgiving weekend.

It took another month to move to the next step of getting a new/different desk.
I found an L shaped desk at the surplus warehouse on campus. Even though it is old and nothing fancy,  I love having more desk top space than the metal rectangle one that was there before. I love to have my piles. :)

With a little Old English most of the scratches disappeared.

After a trip to Menards and a little construction work. These old handles got updated to 
these black ones. 
I donated the old ones to the Old House Society. 
 I also added a keyboard tray that replaced the pencil drawer. I wish I could have kept the pencil drawer, but my back said a huge Thank You when the keyboard tray finally arrived.

I believe it was February when I finally got the second book shelf moved in (stolen from the reception area) and my photos and bulletin board hung.

See those Incubators in the corner. They are only there March and April. 

I can't wait to show you the redecorated reception area. We are still looking for a few more items to finish it up, so it might be a little while. 

If you just can't wait to see it, you are always welcome to come see it in person. I love to have visitors.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Favorite Easter Photos

 Look at those freckles! Between his sweet personality, long eye lashes and those freckles, I think he is going to have lots more than his aunt wrapped around his finger.

We tried to get a "nice" photo in their Easter clothes. This one fits their personalities so much better than the "nice" one. Plus they actually look like they enjoy having their picture taken.
 The new baby bunnies were a special attraction at our family gathering. You might think that the bunnies were for one of the little ones. But you would be wrong.
They are actually my Uncle's. He named them Häschen and Fras.
OK - I've just spent the last 15 minutes trying to figure out the correct spelling. He said it was suppose to be German for rabbit/bunny. But I can't find anything that resembles Fras. International J, can you fill me in on this? Aunt B, can you correct the story?

So back to the story. Uncle S spent the last 15ish years helping his girls raise and care for their 4-H rabbits. Even though his girls are growing up and almost all moved out of the house, he wanted to continue his rabbit caring duties. So when the girls' last rabbit died, he mentioned that he kinda missed them - the rabbits, not the girls. (He really misses his girls!)
So my aunt bought him two new baby bunnies. They are super cute!
My grandmother eats lots of her meals at a little family restaurant in her home town. She had them make this fancy cake for her to bring to the family gathering. It was one of 10 desserts we had.
One of which was Gluten free - thanks mom!
Little J had fun playing with his bubbles. When I took this photo I was suppose to be playing with him, by chasing and popping the bubbles. Eventually, I got smart and switched places with him. Blowing is much easier than popping.
Later in the afternoon he recruited my Aunt (his Great Aunt) if she would come play with him - chase and pop the bubbles. I love that he didn't think twice about her age. She was smarter than I was and immediately switched places with him :).

This crazy crew is always cracking me up. Can you see what they are using for sun reflectors? See the box on the table.
The front porch was way too windy. So the back deck was the "hot" spot for the afternoon. But after so  long the house starts blocking the sun. They kept moving back to stay in the sun as long as possible. I'm not sure when the redneck reflectors came out. We found them that way when we came out to start hiding Easter eggs/prizes.

This "monument" stands in their front yard. I've added this photo to my "waiting for the perfect quote" collection.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

38 things


    38 things I have done
  1. witnessed the changing of the guard at Buckingham palace
  2. been on a crazy cab ride in Paris
  3. walked across the Brooklyn bridge in NYC
  4. walked across the Murray Baker bridge in Peoria (Interstate 74)
  5. flown in bi-plane
  6. done a barrel roll in a plane
  7. steared a plane
  8. changed my own car oil
  9. driven a boat
  10. climbed to top of the tower at Koln Cathedral
  11. been inside castles in Germany and France
  12. been to the Louvre in Paris
  13. seen an original Claude Monet, the Mona Lisa and a VanGogh
  14. stood on the Continental divide
  15. been to Mount Rushmore
  16. climbed up a waterfall
  17. cut someone else’s hair
  18. photographed a wedding
  19. been to both East Coast and West Coast (Atlantic & Pacific oceans)
  20. relaxed on a beach
  21. seen dolphins in the ocean
  22. petted a stingray at Sea World
  23. driven a car at 100 miles per hour
  24. been on an island (actually I’ve been on 2 different islands)
  25. have picked a lemon fresh from the tree
  26. seen the white cliffs of Dover from a ferry boat
  27. driven stick shift
  28. published 14 books - they were just 4-H show books and the WCHS alumni book, but I'm still counting them :)
  29. designed and made a dress
  30. made a tailored jacket
  31. seen the Liberty Bell
  32. been to a third world country
  33. taught a class
  34. had a MRI
  35. been to Space Camp
  36. won a prize from Pioneer Woman – Kitchen Aid mixer
  37. started a blog
  38. shook the hand of Aaron Schock (just in case he becomes President some day)

What have you done?