I  have enjoyed getting back in my routine this month. LET'S CELEBRATE JULY IN IOWA-2021

The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (ESV) (Lamentations 3: 22,23)



Mac and cheese has always been a big thing for our family. When our kids were little they loved Kraft macaroni and cheese, Then as they got older we all liked homemade elbow macaroni with Colby or cheddar cheese--carved from a big block. Tonight we are having "gourmet" mac and cheese--take out ready to bake from Palmer's Deli. By now, you probably wonder where I am going with this. The reason being--this is a special day! The banks should be closed, no mail delivered and trash pickup posponed so everyone could clelebrate. In fact--this, should be a "major" holiday. Today, July 14, 2021, I picked  up my phone and was welcomed with this good-news digital alert: "NATIONAL MAC AND CHEESE DAY!" -- LET'S CELEBRATE.

Left: Here is how I started the month of July. Today, July 01, 2021, I took claim to "my table" at Smokey Row in Sherman Hill. I ordered my usual coffee and triple chocolate muffin and watched the flags flying in the wind. Makes me proud to be an American! Right: My daily walk takes me to 70th and Douglas. I sit for awhile and look across the brick street and enjoy the United States, Iowa, and Urbandale flags flying in the wind before returning home. We didn't make it to a July 4th parade this year, but every day is "patriotic day" in Iowa.

Left: Weekends are always big for Des Moines area golfers, but July 09-11, it was disc golf that took the spotlight. The Disc Golf Pro Tour event was in Indianola and DM Metro Disc Golf Tournament took place during the same days at several Des Moines area locations. I picked Walnut Ridge in Johnston because it was the closest to our home.

This guy is "teeing off."

This one is for par!

I learned my basics at Miller # 5--a one room country school in the hill country of western Iowa. But these little guys are home schooled. Fawn triplets are a rare occurance so this mother has her hands full. I texted the above photo to our grandkids with this memo: "These little guys still have their spots. Their mama was trying to teach them how to jump the fence. She jumped a couple of times, then these little ones tried, but only made it half way and fell back in our yard. Maybe next time!"

It was a sad day when a huge fire destroyed the beautiful Younkers Building at 7th and Walnut in downtown Des Moines in 2014. Since then I think you could safely say this "hole in the ground" has been a blight to the area. But now there is good news as we fast forward to the future. This Friday, July 16, 2021, the property owners, EMC Insurance Company, announced a new use for this area. Some of the construction machines are already at work to transform this land to a public park with green space, art, sports things and more. I know--the photos above are a little "blah" but we will return next year and I will you show  a new place of beauty as downtown Des Moines continues to make Iowa proud.



Most years I do a bike trail feature. I have not been riding my bicycle as much this year, but these are some of my favorite places along the Raccoon Valley Trail. I can never pass by without thinking about and thanking our Iowa farmers. It is JULY IN IOWA-2021. It has been a dry year and we need rain, but farmers remain optimistic--looking forward to harvest time and an abundant crop to help feed a hungry world.

"Fresh from the freezer"

"Ready to bake."