Monday, March 19, 2012

On the Road

Took a road trip today . . . can you guess where I went? Here's the first hint:

Any guesses? I suppose this isn't really fair as this lamp could be just about anywhere and in any number of venues. How about if I widen out the shot for you?

Now what do you think? Is there a bit more context for you to make a guess? Perhaps you'd like to see something from the exterior of the place I visited. Ok, here you go:

Think you might be on to something? Sensing a theme? style? Let me widen the shot for you again.

That's right! You've guessed that this might be a Frank Lloyd Wright building. But which one? where?

This is Wright's Historic Park Inn and City National Bank building in Mason City, Iowa. The structure has been fully restored with the bank having been converted to the ballroom for the hotel. It is amazing! We were able to visit the first floor level with the lobby and ballroom as well as the lower level which houses a lovely bar and pool lounge. (more photos to come later!)

While in Mason City, we also drove over to the other Frank Lloyd Wright building in town, the Stockman House which is in Wright's classic Prairie Style.

Unfortunately, the home will not be opening for tours for several more weeks. (No one expects summer-like temperature this early in March!) Thus, we were unable to tour or take photos of the interior.

We also enjoyed some other stops on the way, but I shall save those for another day. So happy to be on spring break this week!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Healthy Living

We are on a kick here towards better eating. (Some of the elders have recently had cholesterol checks....and are trying to better our numbers!) To that end, DD has been helping out with finding recipes for foods on the "good" list, making menus, shopping, etc. We came up with a delicious salmon meal cooked in parchment packets in the oven the other night.

She shot this photo while we were prepping the packets to go into the oven. The recipe is from this month's Everyday Cooking. We will keep this on the list of things we would make again, with a couple of slight modifications. First, we'd slice the oranges much thinner and put only a couple in each packet. (Also, I think I would try to go for the sweetest oranges I could find, not necessarily the cheapest....especially since we would not need to buy 3 as the recipe calls for.)

Secondly, instead of placing thin strips of fresh ginger on the packets (which were a real "punch" in the mouth to those who weren't expecting them!), I think we would add just a hint of fresh ginger, ground or even a pinch of ground ginger from the spice rack.

The weather has been unseasonably warm here the past few days with temperatures hovering near the 80*F mark.

I don't think I'll be turning on the oven tonight!

Thanks for sharing your photo with me Amanda! If you'd like to see more of her work, check out my DD's blog at!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

How Can It Be March Already?

It doesn't seem like it has been over a month (and more like 6 weeks!) since I posted! How did that happen?

I hope a nice photo from Ada Hayden park in Ames, Iowa will begin the making-it-up-to-you process. It was nearly 70*F today, so we hit the road and took in some sunshine.