Archive for the ‘Life in Central IL’ Category

Mauna Loa Eruption update

Dear Friends,

Many of you might be wondering about the current eruption from Mauna Loa.

This link (https://www.usgs.gov/news/featured-story/mauna-loa-has-begun-erupting) is the best resource to learn all about it. The same website keeps a watch on all sorts of volcanos in Hawaii, California, Alaska, and up and down the West Coast.

Last night, we flew back to Hawaii after being away for a week, and here are two photos that Mark took on the plane.

With love to all!!


Rachel and Mark

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Latest news!

How are you? Blessings to you!

We are still in IL. We were in Hawaii from May 20 – July 29. We came back to pack our stuff and take it to Hawaii. Lately, we have been thinking we’ll just bring the packing to a close and build first and then bring our stuff when there is a place to put it.

We had hoped that we would be in Hawaii by now, but we are still here, and have yet to buy the plane tickets. I have done some research on the tickets and expect we will buy them soon.

Also, I think Mark will go straight to Hawaii from here (with a day or two in CA), but I need to share my gift of nursing at a facility somewhere. Facilities always need people for the holidays and we need some income.


ps.  I have just learned that our blog might show ads on various posts unless I pay an extra $30/year.  So, I apologize for the ads, distasteful as they may be.

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UP UNTIL YESTERDAY, our hope was for both of us to go to a nursing conference in Lebanon, MO on our way West towards CA and then onto HI after selling both vehicles and loading our stuff into a 20′ shipping container in CA.

YESTERDAY, Aug 15, we decided that it would be easier to ship everything if a 40′ container was loaded here in IL and the vehicles (a 14′ moving truck and a 6’x10′ trailer) were sold here.

This opens up a lot more possibilities, packing and sorting time, and flexibility for when we leave. This could be a good thing, but I have noticed that we do really well with goals in front of us.

We would both still love to attend the conference (Sept. 4-8). We would then come back, finish packing the 40′ container, and send it on its way to Hawaii toward the end of September.

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Today, Saturday, Aug 3, is our first full day in IL. Our good friend Bob Easton picked us up from Bradley University in the wee hours of the morning. Mark’s mom Evelyn picked us up from Bob’s place and we went to the Peoria Riverfront Museum to see the Ansel Adams exhibit.

I (Rachel) have never enjoyed an exhibit so much as this one. Mark also says this is one of the best exhibits he has seen. We loved reading all the captions for each photo! We loved how appreciative and supportive Ansel’s dad was. Ansel was bored in school, and his dad allowed him to go to the San Francisco exposition fair daily for a year as a 13 year old boy. Ansel also entertained ideas of being a concert pianist before he latched on to photography. His dad was supportive of both. As a 14 year old, he pleaded with his family to take a family vacation in 1916 to Yosemite. He went back every year of his life.

While at the Museum, we saw the 3D movie “Sea Monsters” about giant prehistoric water creatures. Very interesting!! We also saw 2 planetarium shows: “Perfect Little Planet” and “Night Sky in Peoria”.

Got home to the Singing Woods and greeted the property Mark grew up on. Got to the “Burrow” (the name of our bedroom where we sleep) and uncovered and made the bed. We are in Evelyn’s house now and it is time to make dinner. On TV is black and white big band songs, a fundraiser show. Mark looks asleep in the big mechanical chair. 🙂

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Yesturday’s full day

Yesturday was a very full day!  I wanted to share its bounty:

(Mark) talked with a hunter (who was going to hunt on our property) who was working on setting up a wind farm 

(Mark) began working on sorting a tub of books about dinosaurs

(Rachel) did a load of laundry

(Rachel) made a strawberry, banana, and horned melon breakfast smoothie

Sam Landis came over

We shared our breakfast, went for a walk in Robinson Park, found chicken of the woods and wood ear fungi and saw other fungi.  We enjoyed the hill prairie and the amazing fall colors.

Went to lunch with Sam and his sister Liz at Paneras.  Ate Mediterranean Veggie with extra veggies and avocado.

Came home

(Mark, Andy, Rachel, Evelyn) Cut down two trees, cut up the trees.

(Rachel and Andy) cut off dead branches until 5:15-5:30.

(Mark) finished sorting his tub of books until 5:15 and left to make dinner.

We ate pita sandwiches with stuffed with spinach, vegan coleslaw, and sweetened pickles.

(Mark, Rachel, Andy and Joy) Got dressed and left at 6:15 to go dancing (Civil War era style) downtown at the GAR hall (only two more rehearsals until Yule Like Peoria (Nov. 23) when we are all in period dress and hundreds of people are watching!)

Came home

(Mark, Rachel, Evelyn) Listened to “Honest Politics”, a panel discussion from TMC youth.

(Mark) Cut apples

(Mark, Rachel) watched “Standing Bear’s Footsteps”

(Mark) watched other TV

(Rachel) Blended 17 jars of raw applesauce seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg!

Went to bed after midnight 🙂

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We made it home!!

20.9 miles. Our mph range was 6-21. It was a gusty, blustery, windy day!! Mark never dreamed when he bought these bike clothes years ago that we would be wearing them, together, with a bike to match!


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On the road again!


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Happy Easter!


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