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September 21, 2012

Do people vaca in Manning, Iowa????

So we just got back from this amazing road trip - it involved 1600 miles, over 500 head of cattle, major interstates, dirt/gravel roads, 3 states and the best of small town America - according to Chris and I quote:

"This is the most fun we have ever had!"


We left Thursday around 6pm and got back Sunday evening around 7pm - it was a lot of time with the 5 of us in the cab of a truck, we walked a lot of pastures & cattle lots, stepped in a lot of cow pies but we did have fun - so much so that my kids have asked if we could buy a vacation home in Manning!  Some people vacation by the ocean, some in the mountains but not my kids they were dead serious about a vaca home in the middle of a cow pasture!

After leaving the World's Largest Truckstop Friday morning we rolled into Manning around noonish  - ever been to Manning? Not a lot of choices in the restaurant area so after two trips around town we parked on the main drag and all jumped out - Emi Lou climbed in the bed of the truck to I don't know what she was getting but I said to her discretely could you please get in the side pocket of my bag and hand my a feminine hygiene product.  As I was waiting I saw a lady come out of a place across the street and as she walked my way said to her "Could you tell us a good place to eat here in town?" - she pointed right down the street to a place called Third and Main, she said it had just opened up several months ago and was a pretty popular place in town!  We had a nice but brief conversation and then just as I said thank you so much to this completely wonderful stranger and turned to go she politely says to me "Umm I think you dropped something" only for me to look down and realize during my conversation with her I had recalled that the middle child in the bed of the truck had interrupted and said "MOM" to which I simply held one finger up in her direction (my pointer as to say please wait a minute - not the finger some of you think I held up) to which she must of ignored and tossed the feminine hygiene product at me where it proceeded to land on the street between us!!!!!  She was so polite and giggled and said "Oh don't worry I have been there" - I was beginning to love the people of Manning!

Third and Main was the neatest, friendliest place - of course like any small town place the minute you open the door to walk in everyone looks up and when they don't recognize you there is the awkward staring and then some whispering - but I have said before we love local places and small towns so stare away!  This place had a great room in the  back that had a couple of leather couches, foos ball table, fireplace and one high table so it was like eating at home - only nicer, cleaner and someone else did the cooking so basically nothing like eating at home - and because we had the room to ourselves and the kids had been pent up in a truck cab for so long I am sure the whole place was glad we were alone!

So the waitress came back to welcome us - Julie (yea we are on a first name basis now-well at least I am with her), she took our drink orders and proceeded to tell us what was on the menu today - by the time she came back with our drinks she knew we were from Indiana, who we talked to on the street and had recommended we come in and what we were doing in Manning - small town communication at its best - she went on to share with us a farm that we needed to visit and their phone number.  While waiting on our food we made some calls and plotted out our afternoon rounds and listed the farms we wanted to visit and the best order - and on our way out the door we were offered homemade cupcakes for dessert, seriously people of Manning I love you!   I won't go on and on about the food - let's just say that yesterday on Facebook they listed their special as homemade lasagna and cinnamon rolls and we all were just about to jump in the truck and head there for supper - when I texted the oldest what the special was all I got back was a text that said "homesick-can't we go back"!

Once we ate I gathered my freak show and exited Third and Main with waves of good bye's from the locals that now knew several things about us: where we were from, why we were in town, how long we would be in the area, the farms we were visiting & least we not forget they also knew what time of the month it was for me!!!!

So if any of the 3 people that read this blog are ever in the area of Manning Iowa may I suggest that you stop by Third and Main - just tell Julie that I sent you - basically she will have no idea who I am but it will make me feel special!

FYI-the very small fine print is my whispering-if all CAPS is SHOUTING isn't tiny letters whispering?

September 18, 2012

Checkin' one off the list!


I have been past here at least a hand full of times but never stopped - this trip my dream became a reality!

This place was huge and amazing - they had anything and everything you could think of - there was a dentist, a chiropractor, a Verizon dealer, dolphin t-shirts, trucker boots, knick knacks, it was multi-level - they had at least 2 full size semis inside this wonderful redneck mall!  They had underwear and socks!  They of course had a whole section devoted to truck parts - all the chrome you could imagine, seats, a wall of lighting for your truck - the oldest compared it to Build A Bear - "look Mom it's a Build A Truck"!

We of course ate breakfast here - this is a man who would walk into a Starbucks and ask for the closest thing to truck stop coffee they got so was in heaven with 100% truckstop coffee by just ordering "a cup of coffee" and they even had a breakfast on the menu call 'the usual' - so he could walk in, sit down and say to the waitress "I'll have a cup of coffee and the usual" - ingenious absolutely ingenious!

Posing in a semi inside!

and there was no way I wasn't going to do the same!

I am not kidding in the least when I say I can officially cross this off my 'to do' list because yes folks it was definitely on there!

and don't worry if you can't make it there yourself - you can shop on-line people - I am crossing people off my Christmas shopping list right and left now that I found this site!

And to think this was just the beginning of the fun on our weekend get-away-Manning Iowa here we come!

September 3, 2012


Yesterday morning when I was hunched over again picking someone else's crap up off the floor and mumbling to myself I was forced to implement the 3 good things rule on myself!

The 3 good things rule:  In this house when I have had it up to here with someone's persistent complaining they must list three good things that they have experienced in the last 24 hours!

So while my 3 things didn't happen in the last 24 hours they did happen within the last 5 days - 3 of my favorite people doing things that amaze me - while these 3 can destory a house in a matter of minutes, don't always put their plates in the sink after supper, never have clean rooms, leave dirty clothes all over the house, don't take their boots off in the garage, leave 4 wheelers sitting outside instead of in the garage, roll their eyes and moan when I ask for help in the house, can't use a trash can to save their lives - their work ethic is amazing!

We weaned and brought this steer home a week ago off pasture -every night after school, homework and FFA commitments she rinses, brushes & dry's him - she broke him by herself!

Friday night at 10pm Chris calls from the hog barns and says he has a sow in trouble giving birth - Chris and I both try to help her but our arms & hands are too big to do any good - my 13 year old girl grabbed a sleeve and never hesitated one second!

After school the other day the boy was helping get the combine ready to go and Chris looked at me and said "I need you to help me sweep out a bin"!  The boy jumped off the combine and said "I'll do it Mom you stand outside and listen for the buzzer!"

It's amazing the life that I'm living today and I count my blessings every day for the gifts that God has given me.