Roadside Scenery

Our first day of driving we made a big push to drive across western Iowa and then across South Dakota. Most of my photography was from the roadside, the car or at rest stops! I think the scenery is beautiful even if it is along the road.

The first set of photos is from western Iowa and the second set is from South Dakota.


Travel planning

My husband and I started on a road trip this morning and since we’re retired we plan to be gone nearly a month.

We are headed west right now traveling through the rolling hills of western Iowa. It’s a beautiful time of year. The corn and fields are beginning to turn brown. Wildflowers are blooming between the road and fields–goldenrod and maybe a type of sunflower.

We are headed to Seattle for a wedding, but taking a meandering route through national parks and even into Canada. On the way home we will drive a little more south and then west. road-atlas

We’ve done a lot of planning and have a three page itinerary! However, we do have some flexibility in the schedule so we’ll see how it goes.

I plan to blog during the trip and post photos, too. I’m figuring some of this out as we go. I’ll let you know how that works!


Visiting the Botanical Gardens

(Yay! I can start blogging again and visit other blogs, too. My internet started working again! I didn’t do anything to make it start working–except I was about to call tech support again. I think it’s magic!)


We have a wonderful botanical garden here in Des Moines. We became members when we moved here and it’s a great place to visit. I think it will be especially nice in the winter since there is a tropical portion under a dome.

I’m showing photos of our visit last week as well as photos from a visit in the spring.



Frustrating internet

My internet has been out much of the week. Sometimes I have a 15 minute block of time after I reset the modem, but other it times out right away.

I’ve worked with the internet company, but so far they aren’t much help.
My techy daughter got involved Friday afternoon and we were on the phone for two hours and were repeatedly switched between two departments. And still no solutions. We finally had to hang up.

With the holiday weekend here we probably won’t get anything done until next week. Very frustrating.

How an Oregon girl ended up in Iowa

I grew up in Oregon and though I haven’t lived there for thirtysome years I always thought when my husband and I retired we would live somewhere in Oregon or Washington. (Even though my husband did grow up in Iowa!)

My husband was in the military so we moved around quite a bit. We haven’t really had anyplace we called “home.” Even after he retired from the military we moved a few times for his second job.

The last few years we’ve talked about where we wanted to live when he retired. Even though I still love the West Coast it’s expensive.

We’ve spent quite a few years either living in the Midwest (Missouri and Ohio at various times) or visiting various family members here. And I’ve grown to love the Midwest.

Now we have a daughter in Illinois and a daughter in Iowa. (and a son in New York City, but we knew we couldn’t live there!) And lots more relatives in Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Before I left Oregon I knew nothing about the Midwest–except, of course, there were tornadoes everywhere!

Des Moines, IA--state capitol
Des Moines, IA–state capitol

Now I live in Iowa–and hope to stay here the rest of my life!





The hardest part of starting a new blog

You know the hardest part of starting a new blog? Picking a name! I had more trouble picking out a name for this blog than I had picking out names for our three children with my husband.

First I had trouble thinking of a “good” name and then if I came up with something. . . someone else thought of it first.

I tried to think about what I wanted to write about: family life, cooking, reading, photography, travel, card making, gardening, plants and on and on. Maybe I should have named the blog Etcetera or Miscellaneous–but someone has probably used that, too…lol.

Then I thought about a name that says something about me: my name is Jan so I thought of Jan’s Journeys (nice alliteration–and already taken).

Then I thought–I just moved to Iowa–so maybe I could use that: Confused in Iowa, What am I doing in Iowa?, Meandering through Iowa. No those didn’t “speak” to me.

Since my husband just retired: Retired Life or  Life in the empty nest. But I’ve seen that one before.

The Des Moines River — “River of the Monks”

As you can see I tend to over think things!

Finally, in desperation I thought: I’m living in Des Moines, Iowa. Turns out Des Moines means “River of the Monks.” A name given by early French trappers probably. I like to find out about the places we live so I may write a little about the history and life here in Des Moines. As well as all those other things I enumerated above.

And I’m tired of thinking about it — so that’s how the blog got its name. I hope blogging gets easier after this!