Tuesday, September 15, 2009


On September 14, my Dad celebrated his 90th birthday. Our wonderful extended family church members threw a huge open house for him at the Lodge where he lives. Over 120 people came to wish him a happy day. I wish I could have been there to share it with him. But they took care of everything for me. What a blessing it is to have such wonderful people who love my Dad.


And this is his Anna. She has adopted Dad as her grandpa and look at how she has won his heart.

Monday, September 14, 2009


These geese are in the field next to where we are parked here in Elkhart. The girls would give anything to chase them but we keep them leased. So when we walk through the field the geese know they are safe and just waddle out of the way if we get too close.


I love driving around in this area because it is an Amish Community and the buggies are everywhere. There are also a lot of bicycles because the Amish also use them if the horses are being used elsewhere. So you drive slowly and carefully.

They also have excellent restaurants. We ate at the Das Dutchman Essenhaus Restaurant. The following is a quote from their web site:
Featuring entrees like broasted chicken, tender roast beef, juicy baked steak, real mashed potatoes with rich homemade gravy, made-from-scratch noodles, and more. Our family-style dinners also come with homemade bread dressing, tossed salad with our own special dressings, choice of corn or green beans, bread with apple butter and our own Amish peanut butter spread, beverage and a dessert. We are pleased to offer 29 varieties of pie in our restaurant and whole pies are also available to purchase from our home-style bakery just down the hall from our restaurant.
Jim had the broasted chicken and it was the best he has ever had. I had the chicken and noodles over mashed potatoes. It was so good. Before we leave town I want to go back and try their breakfast buffet. Breakfast just happens to be Jim's favorite meal.
Here are some fun facts about the Das Dutchman Essenhaus:
On a busy day they will serve over 7,000 guests and use 5,225 pounds of ice.
The bakery produced a record number of 2,103 pies in one day.
In one week the bakery uses: 2,100 dozen eggs, 2,700 lbs of white sugar, 60 gallons of apple butter, 3.5 tons (TONS) of potatoes, 3,600 chickens, 3,090 lbs of roast beef, and 2,990 heads of lettuce.
They make us to 21 tons of noodles in one week and purchase bulk flor in 2,200 lb bags.
Hard to comprehend those amounts of food.


This fairground is where the 2010 Escapade will be held. Escapade is an RV Rally of the Escapees RV group which is composed of mostly full-time rver's or wanna be's. Nice place to camp if you're ever in this area. I just loved the hook-up "little guy".


These aren't the greatest pictures in the world but they had already pulled the motorhome into the service bay so Jim did what he could. But here's a link to a used one that is just like ours except for the couch colors. http://www.flaggrv.com/rv/damon/classagas/710.htm It has better pictures.


We had never seen a white squirrel before and were lucky enough to get a picture of it while we were driving about Kewanee, IL.

Sunday, September 13, 2009


Cambridge, where our campground was, was founded in 1843. It is the county seat of Henry County and I love the Court House. Since it was Labor Day week-end, the court house was closed but someday I would love to see the insid. It's a Victorian structure of brick and stone and features sixteen fireplaces and oak woodwork trimmed in black walnut throughout the building.


Jim was cooking our burgers for dinner when this flame popped up and he just happened to have the camera out. The hamburgers were really good.

I also thought this was a beautiful picture of downtown America on Labor Day with all the flags out.

This picture is of the fireworks that are an annual event in our campground. Kind of hard to see but pretty if you click on it and make it larger.


I know Iowa is the Corn State but let me tell you, Illinois has almost as many cornfields. Driving around the backroads near Cambridge and Bishop Hill is like being in a corn maze. The corn is so high you cannot see anything except straight ahead of you and sometimes not even that.
And if it's not corn fields it's peas.


While we were having lunch at the wonderful, marvelous bakery in Bishop Hill, a rally of old timers came through town. I'm only posting three of the pictures because once again, Jim got carried away with taking pictures.


The bakery deserves it's own post. The smells wafting out of this bakery could not be resisted. And I have no will power when it comes to homemade breads. So we definitely had to stop in and spend some money. The bread was so good that we went back the next day and had lunch here and everything was excellent.

Here's a recipe for their Swedish Almond Cookies:
1/2 lb shelled almonds
3 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp grated lemon rind
Wash but do not skin amonds. Dry in a moderate over 10-15 minutes. PUt through food chopper. Beat egg whites and sugar until stiff. Fold in almonds, cinnamon and lemon rind. Drop from teaspoon onto cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 15 minues. Cool and store in covered container. These cookies keep a long time and will improve in flavor.


This is another one of those "FINDS" that we had no idea existed. Bishop Hill is frequently called Utopia On The Prairie. The founders reached this area of the Edwards River in 1846. The immigrants sailed from Sweden to New York, made their way to Chicago by the Great Lakes and walked the last 160 miles to Bishop Hill. The determined group of immigrants were searching for religious freedom, an ideal community life, and greater prosperity in the New World.

This colony flourished until 1850 when their leader, Eric Janson, was murdered. At that time the governing of the Colony was turned over to a board of trustees. By 1861 with dissension among the trustees, and lessening of religius unity the Bishop Hill Colony was dissolved.

Evidence of the Colony still exists in the form of historic buildings as well as in its people, many who descend from those original settlers.

Colony Hotel - In 1857 this structure provided lodging for salesmen, journalists, immigrants and others visiting the Bishop Hill Colony.


American Woman's League Chapter House - Build in 1911 it is one of nine league houses build in the state of Illinois. The chapter houses were built as a refuge for abused women, became social, educational, and cultural centers for their members and wee meant to enable women to acquire some business skills.

Andover Historical Museum - Home of August Rehnstrom built in 1861 and served as a temporary haven for Swedish immigrants in the 1860s.


The Jenny Lind Chapel is a memorial to Swedish settlers who came to America in 1849 to found a branch of the Swedish Lutheran Church under the leadership of Pastor Lars Esbjorn. He later became the first presidnt of Augustana College.
It was a struggle for these pioneers to fund and build this chapel. The congregation grew and in 1870 they built a new church in Andover. The chapel was given its name in 1948 as it was presented to the Augustana Synod. Jenny Lind contributed $1500 towards the construction of he chapel but never visited Andover.
The Jenny Lind Chapel became the mother church for hundreds of other churches of the Augustana Lutheran Church in America. This church merged into the Lutheran Church in America in 1962 and is now a part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Hundreds of settlers died of cholera in the early 1850's and are buried in mass graves in the chapel cemetery.


Here are some more pictures of the campground where we stayed in Cambridge, IL. We caught a banch on our way out of the campground but didn't do any damage. I'm just not used to all these trees to watch for.

Jim did a little fishing in the lake in the middle of the campground but since it was Labor Day week-end the place was filled with kids and I think the fish were scared to death. Especially after the fireworks on Sunday night.

We also had turkeys wandering around the campground. The dogs had a great time barking at them.