As many of you know, I now live in Pleasant Hill, Missouri.  Years ago, I lived in Pleasant Hill, Iowa.  Monday we returned to the Iowa version and camped at Yellow Banks Park.. the county park is situated on the Des Moines River and the river is up…actually there is a lot of flooding in the area.  The camp ground sits pretty high up from the river, so the flooding didn’t affect our camping other than:




Katy and Adam visited Tuesday night – it was a lot of fun.  Adam and I love fire, sparklers and s’mores and we did all of them!  The two of them along with him walked down to see the flooding – I’m still recovering so I offered to drive down to get them so they didn’t have to walk up all of the huge hills back to the campgrounds.  It was Kate’s first time in the back of a pickup truck on steep hills.  She loves it when I take pictures like this.


I’ve talked about Brett in many posts.  He was my girls band director and one of the most inspirational and motivational people in their mother’s life.  We became very good friends and spent a lot of time camping, fishing and drinking coffee together.  He passed in 2010 after a lengthy battle with lymphoma.

Brett didn’t like all of the cutesy lights that everyone put on their awnings…and I loved them…his opinion did not deter me and we always had some good natured disputing about my pink flamingo lights.


I have one string left….and it always brings a tearful memory of the Brett/Nina friendship when I hang my pink flamingos.  As I hung them Monday night, I felt like he was standing right behind me – saying …GGUURL WHAT ARE YOU DOING!


That’s it for tonight….

Until next time….

Nains in Pleasant Hill…..

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‘Nain  may not be the first word he said…but it was the first word that we were positive about what Jaxon was talking about.


It has become the sole mission of the adults in his life to help him surround himself with trains.  Friday, Papa and Nina took him downtown Pleasant Hill to visit the caboose and walk around the town square.  It is such a joy…he is ready to go….





…and we did this for close to 2 hours waiting for a real train to go through.  Surely if we get something to eat downtown, we will hear it and be able to walk out the door so he can watch it.  I had no idea that the Big Creek Diner was all decked out with train motif.  It was awesome.




and the train did go by….about 20 minutes after we were home and he was snuggled down for his nap….and about every two hours after that….

Until next time….

Pleasant Hill – full circle

Jen from the bank just called to tell me we will be signing papers on Thursday with closing on Friday then we will own a house in Pleasant Hill, Missouri.  Ironically, I grew up just across the cornfield from Pleasant Hill, Iowa and lived in Pleasant Hill, Iowa for about 3 years prior to marrying him.  I'm so looking forward to returning to Pleasant Hill as my return address.  I've never felt permanence in where I have lived.  I'm not going to say I haven't been content in most places but I've never felt like…ok…this is it…this is where I"m planted and this is where I"m going to bloom.  I've always known that I didn't want to always live where I live now.  The history is irrelevant  for this post but suffice it to say that in the past, I've been just happy to go with the flow; but recently, have been restless and have been experiencing a lot of discontent — probably because both girls have moved away from Newton.  I used to run, run, run volunteering for this and that but as the community has changed, so have I and I just have no desire to continue giving myself here.  The promise of a new place and new community has given me a lot of hope.  Moving closer to my only grandson was the catalyst I needed to make the move to get the hell outta dodge.

…and speaking of Des Moines…squirrel

Knowing I'm moving away from the proximity of my birth city, I've been a lot more aware of Des Moines.  It's kind of a new look at a fresh,  vibrant city.  I would have probably been reasonably content to move back to the Des Moines area – actually while I was contemplating this, I realized what I really enjoyed was the fresh new downtown area with the living in the city, walking to and fro, being able to attend concerts along the Des Moines river…but if I were to stay in Des Moines, I know that I would probably live in the burbs and only occasionally visit the city which I can do now, probably just as much as I would, with  Katy now making her home in the downtown area.  The other moment I had thinking about leaving Des Moines was coming off of 235 onto I80 west, coming around the curve just before E 14th St took my breath away the other day.  The tree line…the city rising up, the beautiful capitol to the east…I had not noticed this momentary view at 65 miles per hour before.

That's it ….. until next time