Saturday, May 28, 2011

David City, Nebraska - a Day Trip to Bone Creek Museum to Celebrate FAMILY

An afternoon trip to celebrate family and it's art history.....

Here is the route we took to get there, a route we've driven more times than we can remember.  It was a pleasant drive past James Arthur Vineyards, sleepy little towns, cemeteries with flags waving in the wind for the Memorial Weekend, rolling hills with lush trees and terraced farmland.  One area especially was full of life:  four hawks circling and a crane flying right along with us as we drove past.  It was also very close to where I got my first deer in 2003.... with my car.  

View Larger Map

We got to David City about 15 minutes earlier than we'd planned, so a little driving around the old stomping grounds was a given.  When you travel north into town, my old high school sits to the east.  Then the beautiful golf course and updated and well maintained park lakes soon follow.  Yes, there were golfers today as it was high school reunion time and there was plenty going on.  

Across from the park lakes sits an art studio.  And not just any art studio either.  It is my mother-in-law's, where she teaches and helps children learn and enjoy art.  Ruth is just too talented to NOT have a studio.
About a half a block further north we stopped and got a good shot of the old City Park entrance gate.  These pillars were created by my husband's grandfather, Floyd Nichols, an artist in his own right, using metal in his work.  Amazing things.  After years of weathering, the original paint had come off the relief work soldiers.  Bills' mom, Ruth (with the above art studio) took on the task of refurbishing the paint a few years back, and they still look wonderful.

I had never taken the time to look at the plaque underneath the soldier....  It proudly states that it was made by Floyd F. Nichols in the year 1940.  And they still stand.

Driving down the highway on 4th Street just took me WAY back to the days of cruising around.  But before we even get to 'downtown' we have to stop at Floyd Nichols' original home, which he built out of stone.  Yes, stone.  It still stands and his granddaughter and family live there now.  It's still stunning.

This studio, as it's called now, was a Dairy Queen when I was a little girl.  Bill remembers it that way, too.  So we pulled up to the little window that we used to get the BEST soft serve ice cream from, and Bill says, "I don't remember that window being that small."  Of course not!  We were all little and EVERYTHING was big, even that important ice cream window.  Beyond the studio, you can see the stone house.....

Phenomenal.... incredible.....

This doesn't show it very well, but the whole highway was outfitted with American flags on the light poles.  Yes, I took this driving, but there sure isn't any traffic anywhere, is there?  :)  The flags didn't show up too well, but they were there and they were wonderful.
Even though Ruth was not home, she wanted us to stop by and see her new siding on her home.  That woman has it going on now!!!  What an adorable little home she has - it's perfect...
OK, we needed to get where we were supposed to meet and greet for the reception at Bone Creek, but one more little side trip to a place I'd haunt every summer as a kid..... the library.  Well, this is the OLD library.  I found out later that it has been turned into an apartment house of sorts.  VERY sad.  :(  And the trim is painted lime green of all colors.  It broke my heart to see it this way, but then again this place holds such wonderful memories.... and smells..... books!
On to Bone Creek Museum of Agrarian Art........  to meet, greet, hobnob, get some souvenirs and of course, learn some things.  And we did!
I was blessed to nab this picture as no photography is to be taken inside the museum due to copyright infringements, etc.  But none of Dale Nichols' painting are in full view and none of his work was compromised.  In this photo is Dale's family:  Holly and Dale (grandson), Joan and companion (daughter) and my mother-in-law Ruth (niece).  Ruth is holding a new art book of Dale Nichols' paintings and history.  We had to pre-order, but it's going to be well worth having.
 This is Amanda Mobley Guenther, the author of the book on his work.  She is absolutely one of the most genuine people around and for her to take on this project - wow!  Check out the article from about her and the Dale Nichols project HERE.
 Yes, David City's fine mayor, Alan Zovodny, was there to give a fine little talk - and well done!  And do you see the yellow State Farm building behind the mayor?  That building used to be my dad's, where he worked himself night and day, day and night, as an accountant.  It looks very cheery now with its yellow paint - even from the alley!
Finally, our Lt. Governor Rick Sheehy from Hastings, Nebraska.  His speech about Nebraska and agri-tourism was really very interesting!  Both Bill and I were glued to everything he was saying.  But as you know, we are going to do the Nebraska Passport vacation this August and we are just hungry for trivia and even MORE trivia.  I also enjoyed giving Mr. Sheehy a little tease about being from Hastings, and it claim to fame:  Kool-Aid!  Yes, check it out.  Our own Hastings, Nebraska is the birthplace of Kool-Aid!  

Travel Nebraska - see what's out there!  Never know what you might learn.  :)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Wine Tasting in a Candle Shop

What a warm and scented welcome we got as we stepped into the Hallow Candle Company here in Lincoln yesterday.  They were the gracious hosts to a wine tasting from the Glacial Till Vineyard just located in a neighboring tri-city area.

I got to the wine tasting a few minutes before my friend did, so it gave me a chance to look at all the handcrafted candles, jewelry, greeting cards and wonderful photography they have displayed there.  It is definitely worth another trip there for gift purchases.  One thing that caught my eye was a beaded chain with a tea steeper on the end where you put the candle chips in, and then hang it in your car!  Now that was a much better idea than the normal pine tree air freshener we all know way too well.  I adore local artisans.

Once my buddy showed up we proceeded to the wine tasting table.  Before I did anything else I picked up all the brochures I could (which was only three) that would give me information on this winery, and those located in Nebraska.  To my pleasant surprise, there is actually a 2011 Nebraska Wine Tour with an official passport that you can have stamped at each winery you tour.  There is also a Southeast Nebraska Winery Trail brochure that gives information on eight wineries closer to home. 

Did you know there were so many in Nebraska?  I sure didn't and am enjoying learning more about my 'backyard'.

We both tried sips of six different wines from Glacial Till, from a slightly dry red all the way to the dessert honey wine.  I'm always one to ask questions, maybe to a fault, but the wine master (that's what I'll call him) said that their on-site bees had been killed off two years ago.  And we all know that if one eats and enjoys honey, you need to purchase it locally for boosting your immune system.  Each was wonderful in their own right, but the Edelweiss was by far my favorite.  We have wine snobs, I mean, connoisseurs in our families.  So the next question was, "Do you ship out of state?"  The answer was no, but that didn't squash my spirit.  So David and Julian, you will just have to come visit us here. 

And how does one leave a tasting and not purchase something?  That's the whole intent, right?  When Sim and I left, there were three bottles of Edelweiss bagged up and ready to gift out to just the right recipients for just the right events.

So now not only is our garage a storage unit, it will now be a wine cellar.  OK, maybe not a cellar, but I have claimed a shelf out there just for this reason.

What will be the next Nebraska place to visit?  Who knows!  This last one was on a whim with only a few hours of planning.  Sometimes, those are the BEST of times.

Here is to good times, good wine, and wonderful friends.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Ma & Pa Kettle of Nebraska

Old ma and pa took the whole evening discussing our upcoming trip and how we would like to have our anniversary picture done.

We did not even watch American Idol! Now that ought to show ya just how important this whole trip is to us. :)

So after deciding that we'd better get signed up with AARP for roadside assistance, we started talking about how we want our anniversary pictures done. We are quirky, non-traditional in many ways, and are always going to be Bill and Karen. We are who we are, and we love each other for JUST that reason. There won't be many, if any, traditional poses taken, nor in a traditional setting. We have contacted a photographer and she has quoted a price that is perfect for the budget. Plus she's known us for many years and knows we just aren't traditional people. I think it's going to be wonderful! Do you ever remember Ma and Pa Kettle sitting for a picture other than something fun, quippy, quirky and totally them? Their movie still shots tell stories. THAT'S what we want. We hope she can catch us in a still photo, telling our story.... and we have plenty of stories.

So off I go to tackle another day, sign up for AARP, get money in the photographer's hands, wish our granddaughter a fantastic 9th birthday, and enjoy just a little bit more this place we call home - Nebraska.

Glacial Till Vineyard

Glacial Till Vineyard

What a surprise to get this in our email box this morning! I had no idea that the Ashland/Palmyra/Bennet areas had a vineyard.

Check them out as their summer season of activities and wines is just beginning - TODAY! Hope that we can check out Glacial Till one day soon ourselves.

Another great perk of being a Nebraska gal. :)

A Sleepless Dishrag On OverDrive - TygerLily

A Sleepless Dishrag On OverDrive - TygerLily

The creative side of a home grown Nebraska gal.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Best of Nebrask on YouTube

Please give a few minutes to watch this fantastic video someone put together. It celebrates so well who and what Nebraska is all about.

Isn't God good? How can we question it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Champagne Dreams on a Beer Budget

Have you ever experienced a time when you know you're reaching a milestone and want to celebrate it like there was no tomorrow, and then realizing that your champagne dreams just don't add up to your beer checking account?

Bill and I have been trying to figure out how to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversary this coming August. We've thought of re-visiting our honeymoon trip, trying to see everything we saw then. But that was a long time ago when we had more energy than we knew what to do with. So that idea sat on the stove for a month or so cooking and stewing. But the other night, Bill looked at me and said, "If I could, I would take you to Paris for our anniversary." WHAT? We are blessed to be able to afford gas to drive to and from work, but Paris? But it was exactly the spark that was needed to the following conversation that led to us deciding on a trip that was just screaming our names: Nebraska. The state we were born and raised. The state we love, and we really wanted to see more of it and enjoy more of its history, quirkiness, and of course its beauty. Oh, yes, Nebraska is beautiful - it's "The Good Life".

Visit Nebraska
was a good starting place to plan. We are also going to get our Nebraska Passport to collect points on our trip to redeem for prizes and get into a drawing for a grand prize in October.

So over the next three months, I will try and let my blog friends know what's in the works, the little side trips taken before the BIG trip happens in August. I want you all to enjoy Nebraska and it's offerings right along with us.

So our champagne dream (of Paris) on a beer budget (our own back yard) will be coming to you very soon - so keep watch and ride along with us for some history, beauty, and of course humor for those of you who know us. :)