Kitschy Family Fun

photo album

Last weekend we went on a family outing that was far closer to those from my childhood. It was my brother’s turn to pick, and his main destination was Albert the Bull – a giant bull statue in Audubon, Iowa. It was another thing we’d seen as children, so a re-visit seemed like a good idea. But it wouldn’t take all day for a picnic, so I found some other things. Only the museum I had in mind didn’t open until one p.m. Oddly enough, we arrived early, so we did a quick drive through of Audubon – which has some very interesting buildings:

At one p.m. We headed to the Nathaniel Hamlin Museum and Park. Despite the information on the website, the museum was closed with a sign that said weekends were available by “appointment or chance”. hubby called the provided number and we contented ourselves with looking at the elks.

The momma wandered over for a bit, and after some snaps we were ready to head off to Albert when a car pulled up and a lady who works for the historical society got out to do a couple of things. Though it hadn’t been her intention (she had not gotten our message yet) she was awesome enough to show us around the house and grounds.

Besides the house there’s a blacksmith shop, a one room schoolhouse that is fully furnished (even down to books and slate pencils! It’s like a movie set!), and a huge machine shed full of random stuff, such as the flintstone car above, as well as lots of antique farm equipment, old stoves, and other things of interest. The whole site exists on goodwill donations, so it’s a very good value. We could have spent a lot more time looking at everything, but we didn’t want to keep the lady too long, since we didn’t have an appointment and she was taking unplanned time out of her Saturday.

Oh, and after the tour we finally got to see daddy elk.

Elk family

Elk family

I have a better photo on the real camera but the *&^%ing eye-fi card keeps freezing the laptop and I’m out of patience.

Anyway, after that we bought lunchmeat and cheese at the grocery store then headed to the Albert the Bull park for a picnic dinner and some photo posing with a giant bull statue. It’s free, of course, and the little kiosk talks to you (which is pretty cool IMHO) so it was an enjoyable experience and worth a stop if you’re in the area, or of you like giant things, or bulls.

Clouds rolled in, so we packed up early. However as we passed Exira, we decided to backtrack to the plow in the tree park. This was yet another kitschy reminiscent stop. The story goes that a man was plowing his field when union soldiers walked by. At seeing them he unhitched his horse, leaned his plow against the tree, and immediately joined up. In some versions he is then killed, and in others he returns to find the plow already being eaten by the tree. Probably none of it is true, but it’s a fun story, and one of those old tourist traps that aren’t a trap anymore because modern people want to see more than a bit of metal sticking out of a tree.

From there we stopped in Griswold to buy circus tickets (for the show tomorrow), and came home through a storm.

All in all it was a good day, and pretty cheap, too! Now to go see the little mermaid one of these days!

Have a good one!

Jo :)

Have you published a book lately?

Featured Image -- 9002

Joleene Naylor:

Check out lots of new books in the comments!

Originally posted on A Good Blog is Hard to Find:

Feel free to share your book with us below. Include how we can buy the book, a link always helps. :)



View original

Tales from the Shattered Crystal

My mother is a poet of exceptional caliber. She’s written several poetry books. When I was a kid, she submitted to publishers who all rejected it on the grounds that “poetry doesn’t sell”. And maybe it doesn’t, but we have finally formatted one of her books into paperback.



It came out beautifully, and she is as happy with it as I am. If you’d like to take a look at it, you can check it out on Amazon.
Go on. You know you want to.
Have a good one!
Jo :)

Posted from WordPress for Android

Guess Again


No one guessed yesterday’s song, which was Blind by Korn. (click the link for a youtube video)  I shall eat the secret reward cookie myself (I deserve a reward for doing nothing all day) and give you another chance.

I got a book cover sent off, cleaned, and… and…Oh. And set up my wattpad account. I’ve evidently been a member for years but have never done anything on it, so I guess it’s time I did. I have a bunch of short stories I can stick on there. It’s become kind of a craze with authors lately, though no one has shown how the free stories on wattpad translate into sales. Probably because most readers on wattpad are there because they want to read things for FREE – not buy something. But, anyway, if you’re on wattpad feel free to say hi. 

BELDRENI did some work on my Beldren short story. It’s set in 1687 (thanks to previous idiocy on my part) in Virginia. I know pretty much zero about this, so I’ve spent days researching tidbits, which is always fun. The hardest part is not the research now, but the language. I don’t want to be authentic 1600s or readers will gnash their teeth, but I hate, hate, hate historical stories that use 100% modern language, too. So I’m trying for something in the middle. See what you think:

“It is time to take what we are owed,” Matthias cried, and slammed his fist on the rough table.  His German accent lent a learned quality to his words, but Beldren only shook his head.

“What good would come from such an action? What will you do with the goods you steal?” He looked to Duncan and Patrick. “What say you?”

“They could be taken to the frontier,” Duncan said slowly.

“Or kept for ourselves,” Patrick added.

“And what would the frontiersman give us for them? What use have they for fine things? What use have we?” Beldren made an irritated noise. “The promises of such a life were lies.”

“They are only lies if one waits for good fortune to be handed to them,” Matthias insisted. “Those who came before us-”

“Those who came before us were given the things they were promised. Land, money. When my servitude expired I was given ten bushels of corn, a set of clothes and a musket, wished good luck, and told to settle ‘away’. The land owners are unwilling to part with a parcel of their domain, and they desire the competition we would create even less.”

“Yes, yes,” Matthias said impatiently. “It is this attitude that led Bacon in his rebellion, and it illustrates the need for us to take with our own hands those good things which should have been bestowed upon us. And I tell you, I have found just such a mansion, packed full of such wonders as your eyes have never beheld.”

I’ll give you three guesses who owns this “mansion”. Heh-heh. (Hint: They have fangs.)

And since no one guessed yesterday’s song, here’s a new one for you. No googling.

Nailed to the cross, together
As solitude begs us to stay
Disappear in the lie forever

Good luck!

Have a good one!

Jo :)

Can You Guess…


Too tired to be too clever. But scroll down to see the game we’re playing.

Meanwhile, I got a lot done today for a change. The first coat of paint is on the laundry cabinet


The previous layer was primer. I also finished the clipboard for the kitchen and started the paint on the second kitchen pull out shelf and finally got back to my birdfeeder.


And I weeded the Dahlia patch


So called because those are the only flowers in it, though most have moved to the sidewalk randomly.
And I started getting rid of that giant heap of yard waste.



Maybe I shouldn’t admit there was so much it’s going to take two loads… Anyway it’s looking better and my poke weed is HUGE! yes, it’s a poisonous weed, but I like it.
Now for the game. Guess the song that’s driving me crazy. Without Google. Hint:

This place inside my mind, a place I like to hide
You don’t know the chances. What if I should die?

Any guesses?

And now I must sleep. Have a good one.

Jo :)

Posted from WordPress for Android

Un-Truth and Consequences


The evil lie monster. Or a giant octopus. You decide.

What is truth? Some people (like my mother) claim there is no such thing, but there is. There is the truth about things you’ve done, things you’ve said, and things you haven’t done. And once you stray from it, sometimes you can’t get back without consequences.

I won’t get into the details because it’s unprofessional, but recently I’ve been battling such a snowballing effect. Someone I worked with started with a tiny lie, and as the weeks passed that lie got more and more elaborate, more involved, and finally was such a mess they had to unfriend me on Facebook to try to keep it going (I know what unfriended looks like when I check my Facebook friends list and they’re not there). The question I have is why couldn’t they just tell me the truth in the first place? Why did it need to turn into something that has stressed out both of us (and my family by extension)? Why couldn’t they just be honest?

I believe they had good intentions to begin with – they really meant that they were going to do what they said. But when it kept going and they couldn’t fulfill the promise, they should have said “I’m sorry. Can we work something else out?” Rather than to continue the charade. The further it went, the deeper it got, and, worse, they obviously thought I was stupid to keep buying one impossible excuse after another.

And that’s the part that upsets me the most. Not the lack of delivery, but that they thought I was dumb enough not to figure out the cascade of lies falling one after another. That they had so little regard for my intelligence. That they assumed I would nod along, like a hypnotized zombie.

I may be many things, but zombie I’m not. The unavoidable confrontation has occurred, though I have yet to check and see their reply – if they replied. I’m too upset right now to read it rationally. The whole thing has left me with a pent up aggravation I can’t seem to get rid of. I’ve been leaving opinions on blogs and Facebook posts (something I almost never do – as an author I can’t risk offending someone for fear of troll reviews). I’ve tried channeling it –  I’ve been writing at a short story (I had an idea for one the other day and I think I can make it work into one of the Tales of the Executioners), but I can’t settle to it or to the research I need to do. I did a lot of painting (things, not pictures), and  pulled some weeds, but it didn’t help. Even tidying the garage didn’t make a difference (so much for the “nesting makes you feel better” theory). I really don’t know what will. Mainly I’m wishing for someone to smack (both figuratively and literally). Luckily for everyone I know, I’m aware that smacking someone won’t help – even smacking the perpetrator wouldn’t fix anything.The trouble is, I don’t know what will.

Karma is a ninja turtle

Which brings me to my point. They say the truth will set you free and, while this is not necessarily true, lying only compounds your original problem. The reaction you fear isn’t half as bad as the reaction they’re going to have when they find out you’ve been lying – and they will find out, one way or another. So man up, and start with the truth. After all, they may not be as zen as me about smacking someone.

Have good one,

Jo :(

Sunday sunrise


Actually I think the sunrise was from Saturday, but let’s not be picky.
Yes, on Saturday I was up in time to watch the sun rise. Hubby took me out and then he tried to talk on the ham radio satellite that went over. He made a contact – sort of. They logged him but he couldn’t catch their call sign. Oh well, it was fun.

Then we spent the whole day watching book 1 & 2 of legend of Kora. It’s good, but different. I initially wanted her to hook up with Mako. Now I’m glad they split up. I guess it shows you what happens when you get your ship.
Sunday we didn’t go anywhere, but we did get that paneling put up:

It needs painted white and pollied still, but it’s looking good.
And now I leave you with a flower because I’m tired:


Have a good one!
Jo :)

Posted from WordPress for Android


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,545 other followers

%d bloggers like this: