Family Day Out

Saturday is our family day out. Today we decided to try a bowling alley we hadn’t been to in a nearby town.

I’m not what you’d call a very good bowler, ha ha. But, tonight I broke 100!!!! I got a 119! I think that’s my all time high. I was so excited, I took a picture.

I’m the M

Before the bowling alley, we went to a Missouri Department of Conservation area called Otter Slough. I love that place. In the winter, it’s filled with snow geese. In the summer people fish the ponds.

a pond at Otter Slough
Otter Slough
even these guys were hanging out there

We’ve had a really great day. Love Saturdays. Love summer. Love my family.

Thanks for reading!

Jessica

Summertime Swim Party

Well, I pulled off a surprise party! For over a month, I’ve had a surprise swim party planned for my husband’s 50th birthday!

A month ago, my invitations went out to some of his work friends, his bowling friends, neighbors, and some local friends.

We were all able to keep it quiet! Even me, which was a bit tricky, ha ha. I almost slipped up a few times.

Because we live near the river and lots of families go there for the weekends, and kids have baseball games, etc, I made it a come and go open house.

Yesterday morning, my husband still had no idea!! About noon, my son and I gave him a gift to open. In it was party blowers and an invitation to his own party! He was very surprised!

We had a great crowd. Everyone brought a potluck dish and we had a ton of food. The temperature was 102 degrees, so the swimming pool was full.

We all had a wonderful time.

Here’s to friends, life’s big celebrations, summer, swimming, and surprises.

Hope you have a glorious day!

Jessica

our pool this morning

Farm Fresh

This morning my friend and I went to our local farmer’s market. For a small town, there was quite a selection. The different booths had:

  • canned pickles and canned vegetables
  • embroidery towels
  • earrings
  • plants
  • wood art
  • t shirts
  • crotched items
  • vegetables
  • fruits

I went in search of cucumbers. I saw on a recipe on a blog this week for refrigerator pickles made with rice vinegar that I wanted to try.

There was a really nice seller from Arkansas who had cucumbers and potatoes. Another gal had organic home grown tomatoes! Yum!

I also got two bags of fresh lettuce and some Campbell, Missouri peaches. Around here, Campbell peaches are a big thing.

Here’s what I got and I had a little of each for lunch:

farm fresh

I also met a gentleman who makes wind chimes and can tune them to different songs! How cool is that? He said he’s done the Westminster Chimes, Pink Floyd, and Deep Purple songs. I asked him if he could do Fleetwood Mac. My momma LOVED Fleetwood Mac. I was raised on Fleetwood Mac.

Oh how I would love to hear Fleetwood Mac from my porch! I’m going to see about getting some.

What a wonderful morning out with my friend. We got to support some small businesses, meet some local artists, and get some farm fresh food.

Hope you have a great Saturday!

Jessica

Bollinger Mill and a Covered Bridge

Today we got to do 2 pretty cool things. Saturdays are our family day out. We ventured over east of us and started our day at a 100 mile long yard sale.

We did a lot of looking, but not much buying. It was fun to look at so many different things for sale.

At the end of the 100 miles, we stopped at Bollinger Mill State Historic Site, near Jackson, Missouri. I love that place. Why?

There’s a 3 story mill and a covered bridge, in one place. They are gorgeous!

Bollinger Mill
covered bridge at Bollinger Mill

I wish I could’ve gathered up the smell somehow of the bridge. It was antique and woodsy. Imagine stepping into a really old rustic barn- that! That’s what the bridge smelled like.

initials carved inside the covered bridge
reflection of the mill under the covered bridge
my view from a knothole in the covered bridge
the river side of Bollinger Mill, the covered bridge sits to the right

What a wonderful day! If you are ever in southeast Missouri, Bollinger Mill is definitely worth a stop.

PS I wrote a post about our 100 mile yard sale adventure on my other blog, if you’re interested, it’s https://jeweledagainbyjessica.com

Thanks for reading,

Jessica

Ideas on Creating an Art Fundraiser Donation Basket

I love to make art. My roots for doing so lie in watching my grandmas and mom make beautiful stuff out of a variety of things.

My grandma Irene was the queen of mixing together flour, sugar, eggs, to artfully create masterpiece-worthy pies and bars. Rhubarb especially.

My grandma Wilma held the honors of crafting her own wardrobe. She made multiple dresses and two piece pant sets in various materials, with piping to boot. In fact, I have the outfit she made and wore to her 40th wedding anniversary party.

My momma’s quest for her creative self expression led her down many avenues. She did everything from making dolls to knitting sweaters, sewing curtains to home decor items. Eventually, she added jewelry making, acrylic painting, and stained glass to her list of talents.

My art is like a combo pack- some of each of them, I suppose. Bits of each, that when combined, equals something layered and unique.

This week presented a pretty cool opportunity for me. My husband’s weekly bowling league had a tournament to raise money for a local family who lost a loved one. It was a chance to donate some of my art to a raffle.

Ooooooo!! What should I give and how should I do it? Individual pieces or something combined?

I decided that several items together could be impactful. I mean, if we’re going to share our art, let’s share it.

After staring at an empty basket for awhile, ideas started trickling in. I thought it’d be fun to share them with you.

my art donation basket coming together

Ideas on how to create your own art donation basket:

  • Try to choose a basket size that will hold whatever you’d like to include
  • Dress the basket up, if you like- I added a piece of jewelry and an artificial flower
  • When filling the basket, maybe start with one piece – I chose the sparkly rhinestone necklace on its velvet stand, with a pink flower that I glued on
  • Stick with that piece’s theme- mine was ‘sparkly rhinestone’
  • Maybe consider a color theme as well- I picked pinks and blues, with yellow floral accent colors to draw the eye in
  • Consider adding fillers such as tissue paper and doilies
  • Use a hole punch on your gift tag or business card, attach it to a piece of twine, and tie it to the basket/ handle
  • Think about who is going to be bidding or buying those raffle tickets- I thought about how the women bowlers might really want to help that local family out, so I included different items that might appeal to many
  • Also, consider who the fundraiser is for- sometimes people will buy fundraising items, then gift the item back to the person/family- I thought about what the woman that lost her husband might like to receive if she ended up with my art basket
a jewel and flower added to the basket
added a business/gift card to the basket
the finished basket

My husband was so excited when he got home from the bowling tournament. Apparently, my art basket donation was well received. There were 24 bowlers total, and my basket sold 58 raffle tickets! (insert huge smile here.)

The other donated items included 8 gift cards and a handmade afgan. Total the raffles brought about $500 for the family. Isn’t that amazing??

Some pretty extraordinary things happen when people get together to help someone. Even in a tiny town and even on a Tuesday.

I am thankful I was able to be a part of that. Maybe your art donation basket/ gift basket will be a part of something heartwarming, too.

Hope you have an awesome day!

Jessica

Carnival Rides

I love an old fashioned county fair. We went to one today, over in the southeast corner of Missouri. We saw some exhibits, watched a little barrel racing, got a snow cone, and spent a good chunk of the afternoon in the midway.

PS Don’t let that round Ferris wheel looking thingy fool you– it is fast! We were way up on the top and that thing started rockin’ and rollin’! I actually heard myself say out loud, “It’s ok, look at all the physics that when into building this thing, we’re going to be all right!”

Hilarious.

When I stepped out of the seat, the guy working there asked me if I liked the ride. I said “yes, but I didn’t know it was going to be SO scary.”

And, we both laughed. Loudly.

County fairs. The tail end of summer. What a great way to spend the day, riding carnival rides.

Kansas Sightseeing

Our trek to Colorado from home is leading us through 982 miles of the midwest. This Kansas roadside has been sprinkled with fields full of sunflowers. If we had time, I’d pull over and take a thousand pictures.

But… all I have to offer is one field shot from my back seat view.

We just left a stop at the World’s Largest Easel in Goodland, Kansas. I’m a sucker for the World’s Largest things. In May, on a trip through Iowa, we saw the World’s Largest Working Windmill and the World’s Largest Ball of Popcorn.

If you like these kinds of things, the easel is definitely worth a look. Roadside America has some interesting articles on its history.

Just crossed into Colorado!! Wahoo!! Give me some mountains!

Morning Drive

After dropping one of our pups off at the vet today, we decided to take a morning drive. An old, crooked gravel road led us to some beautiful pines and an vintage country church. The outhouse has seen better days, I think, but I love the way it quietly shows it’s age.

A Pink Truck and Paintbrushes

A few weeks ago I saw that there was a painting class being offered in our new town. I loved the picture of an old truck with a Christmas tree in the back, so I signed up.

Last night, I walked into a building that was nearly bursting with people the class was so full. And, there I was, knowing absolutely no one, looking for an empty place to sit…

Eeks! Have you ever been in that position? Trying to find an empty seat and feeling like there’s a flashing neon sign around you that says, “I came ALONE!!!”

Finally, I spied two empty chairs right up front, so I headed in that direction. As I stepped past one to grab the other, I heard someone say that I could sit there.

Whew! Relief! A seat!

Oh my gosh, you guys! I’m pretty sure the night couldn’t have gone any better. The gals I ended up sitting by were fabulous, kind, and funny. I had a total blast and genuinely laughed at times I wasn’t even expecting to.

After I got home, I showed my painting to my husband and Little Bit, then reflected on my lessons learned:

  • trying something new is an adventure worth taking
  • walking into a place where you know no one is worth the risk
  • alone isn’t necessarily alone
  • kindness lives, it really, truly does

Here’s to small towns, random Monday evenings, a pink truck and paintbrushes.