Thunderhead Falls in South Dakota

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My son Nick is actually the one who told me about Thunderhead Falls.  It’s very close to Rapid City, just 10 miles west on Highway 44.  The attraction is open May 1 – November 1 and it is $6 per person to get in.  Here’s a link to a brochure with more info: http://www.thunderheadfalls.com/Welcome_files/ThunderheadFallsTrifold.pdf

The actual falls (and do you say falls when you are actually seeing only one?) are located 600 feet inside the mountain.  When I first heard that I thought, WOW!  But it’s really not that far.  Its’ gushing 8 cubic feet of water (and I don’t really know what that means) falls vertically for more than 30 feet.  Unfortunately not many of my pics inside the tunnel turned out because the lighting was not very good. 

It was a nice quick walk to the falls.  You really can’t see much but it was very cool inside so keep that in mind when you are visiting.  Depending on the weather you might need a light jacket but for us it felt great on such a hot day.

Here’s Mom and Dad and then me and my hubby as we are about to go in.

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This is one of the falls right near the entrance.

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Mom and Nick waiting while we bought our tickets.

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Notice my hubby paying close attention to the warning sign.  It says, “This is a historic site.  Please do not pick up rocks or deface the area.”  Let’s see if he behaves while we are inside.

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Hiking the 600 feet in.

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Things you see on the way…

Traces of copper

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Drill marks

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Quartz veins (like the ones in the pic) sometimes held rich gold deposits

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Here’s my less than awesome pic of the falls.

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For those of you that know my Mom we actually had to physically hold her back from jumping in to get all the money in there.

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And that’s about it.  Not a whole lot to it but fun to see. 

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(((hugs))) ~lisa

US Capitol

The US Capitol is where the House and Senate make our nation’s law.  Our tour was arranged through our Congressman and I recommend this because there are typically a lot less folks on the tour than the regular general tours.  Here’s a pic of where folks line up for the regular tours. 

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On the day we went the lines weren’t too bad.  Our tour was just my husband and I as the other three folks scheduled to join us did not show up.  Sweet for us!! 

There are tons of books and blogs about touring the Capitol and the important things to see but I didn’t read any of them.  Our tour guide was super new, we were his very first tour, so we just decided to kind of wing it. 

Here are the things that caught my attention and why.

My husband was a mailman and we were in DC because that’s where he wanted to visit to celebrate his retirement.  Pretty much anytime I see a mailbox, a mailman or even just mail…I think of him. 

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And my dad was a phone man so of course every time I see a phone I think of him.

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You hardly ever see these anymore.  And seriously, who still uses a phonebook? 

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I’m on a very important call.

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I have this *thing* about bathrooms.  It’s a long story that I’ll share at another time but check out this pic of these awesome vintage chairs in the restrooms in the Rayburn building.

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In our Congressman’s office there is a clock. 

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Did you notice those circles at the top?  Well they, along with these bell tones you will hear, mean something. 

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Our feet in the center of the Capitol.  I strongly recommend wearing really great walking shoes.  TONS of walking happens when touring DC.

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One of the chambers where I’m sure very important stuff happened.

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A cool view of a ceiling.

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Some really cool ceiling art.

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A closer look at the cool ceiling art.

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A very awesome chandelier. 

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We also happened across this which was awesome to see.

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Of course I had to get a dome shot.

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I saw another mail slot. 

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Then it was back to the Metro.

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And up another loooooong escalator. 

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Have you been to DC?  What was your favorite part of the city?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

Biscuit Pizza

Are you in need of something quick and easy to make for dinner tonight?  Well then you should try my biscuit pizza recipe!  Quick and easy to make and yummy to eat.

Here’s what you need:

  • Biscuits or English Muffins – I use the flaky biscuits and I usually use the smaller kind
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Pepperoni and/or other toppings
  • Italian cheese

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Here’s how you put it together:

Place the biscuits on the baking stone and make an indention in the middle of each one.  Fill with 1-2 tablespoons of spaghetti sauce.

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Add your toppings.  Can you tell I love pepperoni?

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Add cheese.  Again, can you tell I like cheese?  haha!!

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Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes and then get ready to enjoy some delicious biscuit pizza!

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It was so good and super quick and easy.  Great for those nights when you want something fast.  Let me know if you try it and how they turn out!

(((hugs)))  ~lisa

World’s Largest Rocking Chair…and a High Five

On the way to St. Louis to see the Gateway Arch we stopped in Fanning, MO to see the World’s Largest Rocking Chair.  Unlike the World’s Largest Peanut in Oklahoma, this rocking chair was truly LARGE!!

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They had a cute little store next to it so we stopped in to browse.

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I met a friend when we walked in.

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There was a stuffed bear in the store and I cannot resist a high five opportunity.

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My hubby said I only got like 3 inches of air on my jump so I tried it again.  The second attempt was better.  It looks like I jumped higher, right?

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I think my hubby and the bear were doing a new line dance or something. 

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Thanks RoadsideAmerica.com for finding us cool places to visit! 

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(((hugs))) ~lisa

The Clement Railroad Museum and the Hobo Alphabet

Did you even know that there was a Hobo Alphabet?  I guess I kind of knew that there was one.  You know, back in the dark corner of my mind but never really thought about it until we stopped at the Clement Railroad Museum in Dickson, Tennessee. 

Located inside what is known as the Halbrook Hotel, it opened in June 2009, and focuses on local history, including the Civil War and local railroads. 

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I absolutely LOVE to look at museums, particularly smaller ones as there are so many cool things to see and learn about.

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I just can’t imagine using a chamber pot.  I guess they were kind of like the pre-cursors to the porta-pottie? 

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Coca-Cola stuff!

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Interesting info about Cheerios and Confederate money.

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I’d like to be a judge for a minute so I could bang the gavel and shout, “ORDER IN THE COURT!!”  C’mon…you know you’d do it too.

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Old phones remind me of my dad who was a phone man. 

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On the 2nd level they had these cool trains set up.  It was fun talking to the docent about it. 

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You would think that this would be common sense but I guess not. 

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Look at this super cool vintage Royal stove!

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  All that was pretty cool but then I spotted this little info card.

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Here’s the flip side

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I think I might write a letter to my kids using the Hobo Alphabet.  I am not sure if they will think that is as cool as I do!  haha!!

So there ya go!  The Hobo Alphabet.  I know this is a life changing moment but try to control yourself. 

(((hugs)))  ~lisa

How to repurpose old Christmas cards

Old Christmas Card project

At Christmastime we get our fair share of Christmas cards and I never really know what to do with them at the end of the season.  Many of them are too pretty to just toss and of course we keep the ones that have pics of our friends and their families on them but there are many that I would like to repurpose in another way to enjoy them again.

In my craft closet I have many bins to separate my craft items.  Here are some cards that were in my paper craft box. 

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*If you notice on the right side you’ll see some paint samples.  Future project that I can’t wait to try. 

I decided to cut the cards down to reuse them for tags for Christmas presents.  Some of the cards just didn’t fit the project and others seemed to be made to be turned into something else!  I think they turned out pretty cute!

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What do you do with your old Christmas cards?  Do you have another fun way to repurpose them? 

(((hugs))) ~lisa

Gateway Arch – St. Louis

When we went to Ft. Leonard Wood, MO we took a day trip to the Gateway Arch.  It was just a couple of hours away and a great excuse for a road trip.  It may seem weird to take a road trip while on a road trip but that’s how we do!

On the way we saw this.

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What the heck?  It’s like a frozen waterfall or something??  I’d never seen that before.  Have you?  I mean besides if you live in Missouri and have traveled the particular stretch of road between Ft. Leonard Wood and St. Louis in early February?

We arrived in the city and I was so excited to see the arch!

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We got up close and personal and it looks amazing!

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Here we are in front of the arch getting ready to take the tour.  

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Here we are with Keirsten, our granddaughter.

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It’s very tall! 

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Are you claustrophobic?  Are you afraid of heights?  Well if you are then this attraction is not for you.  To get to the top of the arch you must ride this tram type thing.  This ride to the top lasts about 4 minutes so if you think you can go inside this door…

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…and feel comfortable riding in this pod type thing…

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…then go for it!!  I’m a little bit of both but I’m not too bad.  I didn’t time the ride up but it went quick enough for me.  It is an enclosed pod but the door is glass and you can see the inside of the arch (and possible escape routes…haha!) on the way up and down.  Once you get to the top the room you are in feels fine…but you are up pretty high.  The views though, are spectacular.

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At the tallest point of the arch.  Which is apparently also taller than the Space Needle (Seattle, WA – 605 feet); the Washington Monument (Washington D.C. – 555 feet 5 1/8 inches); Coast Redwood (CA – 379 feet); Giant Sequoia (CA – 307 feet); Statue of Liberty (New York City, NY – 305 feet) or the Space Shuttle (Kennedy Space Center, FL – 184 feet).  Great facts to know!

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I love postcards and as a kid we used to mail them when we were on vacation.  Lately I’ve been on a single person mission to revive the postcard industry!  I think folks love getting mail and so I try to send a postcard when we are on our travels to our grandkids and to our three little nieces. 

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I also am a big fan of our National Parks.  Now that my hubby is 62 he qualified for the Senior Pass!  WoooHooo!!  I have a National Parks passport book that I get stamped when I visit.  I also try to buy the corresponding sticker.

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In addition to that I also collect patches!  I think I am going to eventually make a rag quilt with all of them.  I have quite a few and this is my latest one.

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Have you been to the Gateway Arch?  Did you enjoy it?  Do you collect anything from your trips?

(((hugs))) ~lisa

Giant Head of President Eisenhower and the World’s Largest Peanut

These two things do not really have anything in common besides I saw them both on a recent trip and they are on RoadsideAmerica.com and I am obsessed with all things RoadsideAmerica.com

We took a quick trip to Missouri and I had to stop and get some pics along the way.  I am grateful that my hubby (and our granddaughter who was with us) are willing to indulge me.

First stop was the Giant Head of President Eisenhower.  Denison, TX is the birthplace of President Dwight D. Eisenhower, and the large bust by artist David Adickes can be seen at the Eisenhower Veterans Monument.

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Denison, TX – Birthplace of President Eisenhower

Address: Loy Lake Rd., Denison TXDirections:  Southwest of town.  US Hwy 75 exit 67, on the west side, at the entrance to Loy Lake Park. I also took a pic with the prez.

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Unfortunately my photographer took a little too much off the top of Eisenhower’s head.  But still, I was there…haha!

Our next stop was the World’s Largest Peanut.  What isn’t mentioned is it is actually the World’s Largest Peanut…in Oklahoma.  But that’s okay.  I was a little underwhelmed but not undeterred. 

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Durant, Oklahoma – World’s Largest Peanut

Address:  300 W. Evergreen St., Durant, OK

Directions:  City Hall.  US 75/69 to town, then east on US 70/Main St.  Drive about 1.5 miles, then left on 3rd Ave.  The peanut is one block north, on the corner of 3rd and Evergreen. 

We found where we thought the peanut was supposed to be and drove right past it.  Circled back and realized that ooohhhh….that little thing on the corner is the peanut.  I really was expecting a HUGE peanut but alas I was a little disappointed.  No worries though, I still love RoadsideAmerica.com and will continue to make stops! 

Well there you have it folks!  I can now check those two places off of my RoadsideAmerica.com list!

(((hugs))) ~lisa

 

 

Hotel Vanity Kit

On our recent trip to the O’Brien Historic Boutique hotel in the wonderful San Antonio, TX (one of my favorite cities), I was delighted to find a “Vanity Kit” in the bathroom amidst the Joseph Abood soaps and toiletries.  What would be found nestled inside this sweet little box?  We will soon find out…

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Honestly, I really had no idea what would be included.  I mean, what do you think is in a Vanity Kit?  I opened it up and at first glance I could see something that looked like q-tips and some cotton things.

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I wasn’t sure exactly what was included so I gingerly took the small package out of the box.  The anticipation was killing me!  😉

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Inside the box was an emery board, some very soft cotton squares and several q-tips.  I suppose that those items could take care of just about any vanity need that I may have.

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I of course googled “hotel vanity kit” and apparently there’s a whole industry for this.  Who knew? 

(((hugs)))  ~lisa

 

 

How to make wool dryer balls

I have several friends on facebook that are doing the “no chemicals” thing in their household.  They are making homemade cleaners etc. and it all sounds very interesting to me.  Plus they say that it is less expensive and I’ll all about that.  So I’ve already been kind of researching this subject when I was about to do laundry one day. 

We were out of dryer sheets and I naturally googled what I could use in it’s place.  Out of all the options I realized that I didn’t really have any of the ingredients needed to make a substitute dryer sheet.  I did see a way to make wool dryer balls which are supposed to cut down on drying time, thus saving us money, there are no chemicals in it and it is supposed to reduce static electricity among other things.  Sounded interesting so I put that on my project list. 

Keep in mind I will be saying *ball* a lot.  Every time I wrote the word I kept thinking, ha…you just said ball.  Juvenile I know but carry on.

Here’s what you need:

  • Wool yarn.  You need to use a yarn that 100% wool otherwise it won’t “felt”.  The amount will depend on how many you are trying to make.  I purchased one skein to do my test balls and it made two good sized balls. 
  • Old pair of pantyhose
  • A small crochet hook
  • Scissors

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After purchasing this I read that Fishermen’s Wool takes longer to felt.  I haven’t made the balls out of any other kind of wool so I cannot say for sure whether or not it’s true.

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I do know you have to be sure and get 100% wool.  Or you can use felting wool but I hadn’t heard of that before.  I purchased this for about $5.50 after my coupon so for two that comes out to $2.75 each.  Not too bad.  After a quick online search, it seems the cheapest you can purchase them for is a little over $5 each so I feel pretty good about that. 

Here’s how you do it:

Have you ever wound yarn into a ball?  Well that is pretty much what you will do to begin making your wool dryer ball. 

Start by wrapping the yarn around your fingers about 10 times. 

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I then start wrapping it around the opposite way. 

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I then folded that in half and then wound around that.  Keep winding until you have a ball the size you want.  According to the various sites I checked before making these, the balls can be any size that you’d like.  I tried to get two balls out of the skein I purchased. 

Once you have wound the ball to the size you want you then need to cut the yarn and pull it through several layers using a crochet hook.  I pulled it through one spot then pulled it through another for good measure.

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Next you need some old pantyhose and you are going to put the balls inside of it so they won’t unravel in the next steps. 

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Tie off the pantyhose so the balls are separate and won’t felt together. 

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You then place this in with your next load of clothes that you are going to wash on hot and “wash” them.  I think the point of that is to get them wet but I’m not entirely sure. 

Next, place them in the dryer with the load of clothes and dry.

I read that it could take anywhere from 4-5 times for the yarn to felt.  I checked after each washing but it wasn’t until the 4th cycle that I thought it looked felted enough.  You can tell by lightly scraping your fingernail over the yarn to see if it moves.  After the 4th time it didn’t move very much so I pronounced it finished! 

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I cut it open and was still nervous that it wasn’t felted enough but it held together.

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Yea!!  Ready to test out on my next load of clothes. 

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I washed a load of clothes today and when I threw the clothes in the dryer I tossed in the wool dryer balls.  I honestly can’t say if they dried faster as I didn’t really check but it did seem to reduce the static.  There was a tiny bit but not like it has been. 

You can also put a couple drops of essential oils on the balls to give it a scent but I haven’t tried that yet. 

**UPDATE**  There seemed to be static with some of my loads.  I read some more on that and they said if you have synthetic material clothing you  might want to consider drying that separately.  We now air dry those items and we haven’t had any more static issues.

**UPDATE** I stopped using these as they actually broke the baffles in my dryer.  And it seemed that the balls never fully felted.

How was your experience?

(((hugs))) ~lisa