Thursday, July 30, 2009

July 27 Bent River Brewery

July 27 Bent River Brewery, originally uploaded by NedraI.

Replic Ale & Uncommon Stout
Besides having favorite eateries we also have a few favorite beer pubs we like to visit when we return to the Quad Cities. This one has the best tasting beer in my opinion. The Uncommon Stout was made with coffee and was like having an iced coffee minus the ice. I'm not a big fan of stout beer but I really liked this one. I love the copper counter at the bar.

July 26 Bishop Hill, IL

July 26 Bishop Hill, IL, originally uploaded by NedraI.

My husband was excited to go to a car show with his corvette today. We headed to Bishop Hill, a lovely historic town. A few times I took the camera from him and took a few pictures of flowers and buildings, but for the most part he was taking pictures of cars, zooming in on the hood ornaments and other details. It was fun seeing new cars and they were beautiful. I wish our son could have been there. There were new cars and lots of muscle cars he would have enjoyed drooling over. It was a beautiful summer day and on the way back we found a winery and stopped to sample several varieties.

July 25 Tammy's Horses

July 25 Tammy's Horses, originally uploaded by NedraI.

We spend quite a bit of time with one of my husband's best friends when we visit Iowa. This time he asked if my husband would come out to the farm where his wife boards her three horses and shoot some pictures of them. We had an enjoyable morning at the farm. My husband got some good shots and we even got to witness a horse fight! I was amazed at how Tammy kept calm and took care of the situation.

July 24 Happy Joe's Pizza

July 24 Happy Joe's Pizza, originally uploaded by NedraI.

When we return to Iowa there's always a list of mandatory stops for our favorite treats although it's hard to get to all of them! One of our favorites is Happy Joe's Pizza home to the saurcrout and Canadian bacon pizza. I know if you haven't tried it it doesn't sound too good but it really is great! Another topping I like is taco so we got a half and half. Our only disappointment was that we didn't get a bigger one. We're used to a much larger small pizza in NY!

July 23 John o'Donnell Stadium

July 23 John O'Donnell Stadium, originally uploaded by NedraI.

We went to watch the Quad City River Bandits play ball on Thirsty Thursday night. The team was raising funds for Autism by auctioning off special jerseys they wore tonight. We even got a bobble head doll of Hilary Clinton wearing one of the jerseys as we entered the park. It was a beautiful evening to sit out and watch the game as well as the barges passing by on the Mississippi River. That's the Centennial Bridge in the background.

July 22 Buffalo Ranch

July 22 Buffalo Ranch, originally uploaded by NedraI.

My husband was excited to go to a car show with his corvette today. We headed to Bishop Hill, a lovely historic town. A few times I took the camera from him and took a few pictures of flowers and buildings, but for the most part he was taking pictures of cars, zooming in on the hood ornaments and other details. It was fun seeing new cars and they were beautiful. I wish our son could have been there. There were new cars and lots of muscle cars he would have enjoyed drooling over. It was a beautiful summer day and on the way back we found a winery and stopped to sample several varieties.

July 21 Illinois Landscape

July 21 Illinois Landscape, originally uploaded by NedraI.

We were on the road early this morning to head to Iowa. This picture pretty well sums up what IL looks like along I80. It's hard to believe anyone should go hungry when we see so much farm land all along our travels.

July 20 Chicago

July 20 Chicago, originally uploaded by NedraI.

Last night we stopped in Indiana for the night. Today we headed to Lake Zurich, IL to visit my niece, her husband and my sister and her husband who happen to be on their last day of a visit there. Instead of using a map we relied on my new phone's GPS. It worked fine but it took us on 90 right down by the heart of Chicago on a Monday morning. Since we're driving my husband's corvette which is his baby, he was a little anxious with all the stop and go traffic. I on the other hand enjoyed the view! It was slow going but we finally made it there with no incidents.

July 19-Ready for Europe

July 19-Ready for Europe, originally uploaded by NedraI.

Nine months ago this day seemed like a long ways off. That was when we made the commitment to let our daughter join the People to People group for a trip to Europe. It's been a bit of an emotional roller coaster for her. First the excitement that she was actually going, then the disappointment that she wasn't going to France with her classmates over April break, then the excitement returned in May and this past week was a little crazy for her trying to buy presents for her host family and other last minute details. This morning she surprised me when she cried as she told her brother and dog good-bye. But there were no tears as she said good-bye to us at the airport. She doesn't know anyone in her group but it was good to see her chatting with others in the line waiting to go through security. My wish for her is to have the time of her life seeing all the fabulous sites they have lined up and trying new foods and meeting new people. I'll be anxious to hear all about her adventures 19 days from now.
We left the airport and started our trip to Iowa to visit my husband's family and attend his 35th high school reunion.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

July 18 Ready to Go

July 18 Ready to Go, originally uploaded by NedraI.

Today was a busy day. we had three events to attend plus finish getting my daughter ready to leave for Europe in the morning. She finally went to bed a little after 11. Her bags are packed and I think she's ready to go!

July 17 Olympus Camera

July 17 Olympus Camera, originally uploaded by NedraI.

Yesterday my daughter went to the lake with some friends. Late in the day she sent a text letting me know her camera wasn't working correctly and I could tell she was stressing. She leaves for her People to People trip to Europe on Sunday and not having a camera was not a choice. I did my best to calm her down with a series of text messages. Today we agreed it was better that the camera stopped working now rather than a week from now! I ran out during my lunch break to Best Buy and then the local camera store. I left the camera store sold on this one-waterproof and shockproof. I had my daughter meet me at the store after class so she look at it and get some instructions. We did buy a little case for it to give it some extra protection and it has a spot for her extra memory card. Now hopefully she'll not only come home with wonderful memories of her experience but some great photos to show us as well.

July 16

July 16, originally uploaded by NedraI.

This afternoon is hot and humid. Finally feeling like summer. But with the humidity comes frequent bursts of rain. So in between showers today I tried taking some macro shots. It was hard to pick which one to post for my picture of the day. That was a good problem for a change!

July 15 Flying Bison

July 15 Flying Bison, originally uploaded by NedraI.

This photo was taken by my husband today. I had planned on taking picutures during a walk on the nature trail. But when I got there the battery was dead and the spare was at home on the charger.
My husband had an appointment in Buffalo today. A former student knew he was coming out and invited him to stop by the Flying Bison Brewery. This student does the art work for their labels. This picture shows a banner of one of the labels. My husband enjoyed seeing the work and loves knowing that another successful person got his start at our local community college.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

July 14 21st Birthday

July 14 21st Birthday, originally uploaded by NedraI.

My oldest turned 21 today! My husband brewed him his own batch of beer complete with a custom label. He also made him a t-shirt and a mug to match the label. I think it will be a birthday to remember for him. He had 6 Facebook friends that also had birthdays today, 3 of them are RL friends, and when my husband and I went out tonight there were 2 other birthdays being celebrated. Popular day!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Middle School Quote

Middle School Quote, originally uploaded by NedraI.

I'm attending a class at this school this week. As I've gone in out of this school in the past I had never noticed the quotes on the outside of the building. When I mentioned them to my children they were surprised by them as well. This quote is on the far right side on the front of the building.

With the emphasis our state is placing on test prep, testing and test scores I worry about the foundation of our state. I see our children being taught step by step how to answer tests questions but not being taught how to think for themselves or how to solve problems. I hope by the time our state/country figures out that testing the kids to death is not the answer it won't be too late.

July 12 Courage

July 12 Courage, originally uploaded by NedraI.

The Boilermaker Road Race is a huge community event for the Utica area. You can feel the excitement in the air as the big weekend approaches. Thousands of people are involved as planners, sponsors, volunteers, walkers, runners and spectators. It takes them all to make this such a special event. The 15K race involves elite runners that finish the course in just over 40 minutes to community members who just want to say that they did it, even if it takes them longer than the official two hour cut off time. It also involves a special group of people that complete the race in wheelchairs. The wheelchair racers begin before the runners and the top racers fly to the finish line before the first runners cross the line. But other wheelchair racers soon find themselves mixed in with the runners. The Boilermaker is a hilly 9.3 mile course. I can't begin to imagine how difficult it must be to navigate this course in a wheelchair of any kind but especially a standard chair and then to be surrounded by runners and having to call out warnings must be especially challenging. As these athletes pass by they get an extra loud cheer from the spectators. Each year there is a wheelchair challenge. If a participant completes the race in a regular wheelchair in under 2 hours and 15 minutes the person is given a racing wheelchair. This year's winner actually took 2 hours and 18 minutes but that didn't stop the committee from awarding her the new chair. It's nice to see the rules bend. The rider was a woman from Ohio. It was the first time someone came from out of state to participate in the challenge. I believe these riders show great determination, spirit and courage.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

July 11 Clematis

July 11 Clematis, originally uploaded by NedraI.

After a day of storms I went out and took a few photos just before it got dark. I picked this one for my photo of the day because I like the curve of the leaf tip and the drops of water.

July 10 Empire Beer Fest

July 10 Empire Beer Fest, originally uploaded by NedraI.

My husband and I attended the Empire Brew Fest in Syracuse tonight. I was a little hesitant because of the price but my husband really wanted to go and I haven't been home much this summer so I decided to go along. It was a perfect summer evening for it, The music, food and beer were all great! This photo was taken my husband.

July 9 Birthday Party

July 9 Birthday Party, originally uploaded by NedraI.

This was the first time our daughter has been home for her birthday for at least two years. She invited her group of friends over for a cookout, volleyball games and relaxing by the fire. Such an easy party! They are a great group of kids and I think they all enjoyed the evening. Another positive note was that most of the gifts were low cost. and many were food-a cake, a chocolate covered strawberry, a pepperoni roll, and a cup of chocolate pudding, an inside joke on that one. My daughter gives everyone homemade cakes for their birthdays.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

July 8 Keys to Learning

July 8 Keys to Learning, originally uploaded by NedraI.

While I was at NECC I had the honor of meeting Kevin Honeycutt. He is a very energetic person with lots of ideas concerning education, students and teachers. Not only does he have ideas he puts them into action. Kevin and his wonderful wife and son took a train to NECC. While on the train, Kevin Skyped into the Edublogger smackdown session to share his new key chain. ( ) I met Kevin and his family at the opening keynote and right after that he shared a key chain with everyone that was in our group. The key chain has sites that have been recommended by thousands of teachers. I'm taking this key chain to the class I'm taking tomorrow. When we have some down time I'm going to start investing the new sites. Then I plan on stealing this idea and begin making a key chain for the teachers in my district. Thanks Kevin!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

July 7 Garden

July 7 Garden, originally uploaded by NedraI.

I was so busy with the end of the year school year stuff and getting ready to go to NECC I forgot my garden picture at the end of June. Too bad to because there was lots of pink when I left. When I returned a week later I had lots of dead-heading to do and very little pink left. We have branches and garden waste waiting for town pickup piled in front of our house so I took a little bit different angled shot this time. It's nice to see all that green. With the cool temps and rain we've been having the garden is doing well.

Monday, July 6, 2009

July 6 Beer Bread

July 6 Beer Bread, originally uploaded by NedraI.

Two summers ago our kids spent the summer living with my brother in Oregon and working full time in his restaurant. My daughter actually returned last summer as well. One of my son's jobs was to make the beer bread each day. The recipe calls for a 6-pack of beer and it makes 5 loaves. My son makes it several times a year for me. It is so delicious! We always give some away and freeze a loaf or two as well. It's a wonderful treat.

July 5 Orange Annual

July 5 Orange Annual, originally uploaded by NedraI.

I bought this flower for a pot that sits on my arbor out front. I love the orange bold color.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

July 4 The Baker

July 4 The Baker, originally uploaded by NedraI.

My daughter loves to bake and her friends and their parents love that fact! She makes cakes for her friends on their birthdays and on the weekends when they get together to hang out she frequently supplies them with cookies. Tonight she made two batches of cookies. She took a few with her to tonight 's gathering to give to a friend that won't be going to the lake with rest of the bunch tomorrow. Everybody else has to wait. Her payment comes in the form of riggies and sausage roll from her friends' parents. At the grocery store today she picked up this free recipe magazine and bought the ingredients to try this frozen strawberry yogurt. If it ever gets hot here I think that will be really tasty.

July 3 Polish Dinner

July 3 Polish Dinner, originally uploaded by NedraI.

This afternoon we went down to the sidewalk art show where my husband, my daughter and I all have a photograph hanging. After looking at all the art work and casting our votes for our favorites we stopped in at a Polish church serving dinner. We enjoyed perogies, sauerkraut, kielbasa, rye bread and stuffed cabbage rolls. It was cheap and very tasty.

July 2 New Haircut

July 2 New Haircut, originally uploaded by NedraI.

I got home from NECC and hit the ground running. First I went with my husband to a photo show where he won best of show for his pictures of eagles along the Mississippi River last winter. When I got home from that I went with my daughter to get her hair cut. She was very nervous. She's had her hair long and one length for a long time. Today she went for lots of layers and bangs. So far she really likes the new do. I like it as well but think it makes her look even older!

July 1 Roosevelt Memorial

July 1 Roosevelt Memorial, originally uploaded by NedraI.

I hate to admit this but I left NECC a little early on the last day and skipped the final keynote speaker. Instead, I went to lunch with my friends. Some people had to leave after lunch but the rest of us went to the Holocaust Museum and then walked to the Washington Monument and Roosevelt Memorial. I was happy to have my good camera for a change. But unfortunately I didn't have something set correctly so the quality of the pictures is not great.
I enjoyed this memorial. There were many quotes on the walls, bronze statues, and waterfalls.

June 30 Andrea

June 30 Andrea, originally uploaded by NedraI.

The highlight of NECC this year was meeting online friends face to face. A little over a year ago when I was thinking of starting a Ning for elementary tech teachers Andrea assured me that she would join and that she thought it was a good idea. I knew Andrea through our blogs and Twitter. So, I set up the ning and it now has over 500 members. But if I hadn't had assurances from Andrea and two others I probably wouldn't have started it. When I asked on the Ning who would be at NECC this year Andrea responded and said she'd be on the exhibit floor with Tech4Learning. So, I made sure I made it to one of her presentations. It was great to finally meet her and get a chance to talk. And as a bonus for watching her I received a copy of the software for free!

June 29 Nightime Tour

June 29 Nightime Tour, originally uploaded by NedraI.

During the conference today Kim sent out a Plurk asking if anyone wanted to go on a Nighttime Tour of DC. Seven of us took her up on the offer. I was so glad that I did. It was a great way to see so many sights and it was a perfect evening weather-wise. We all enjoyed it and then we had a late night dinner afterwards. The only bad part was that I didn't have my good camera. It was back at the bed and breakfast which was too far away to go and grab it. Oh, well....