I travel the world and am truly amazed with the sights, cultures, and people but in my eyes there is no place like home.


30 June 2010

Zoo's assets sold

Published Tuesday June 29, 2010
ROYAL, Neb. -- It didn't quite bring a king's ransom, but land and property that was formerly part of Zoo Nebraska brought at least $25,000 during an auction Monday afternoon.

The four lots alone brought $14,100 and were purchased by the same person.

Mark Fitzgerald, a Norfolk attorney serving as custodian of the zoo while the assets are dissolved, said he was pleased with the Zoo Nebraska board of directors and how they arranged and organized the sale of assets.

Bev Schwindt, one of the zoo directors, said she had mixed feelings about the sale.

Schwindt said it was a bittersweet day because so many people had worked so long and hard to try to keep the zoo going.

*We used to spend most of our summers in Niobrara (my mom, brothers, myself, and my grandpa - grandma and my dad would visit on the weekends). My mom was always very creative with finding fun activities for us, especially as there was no TV allowed at the cabin and believe it or not this was before Internet was readily available. The horror I know! Anyway, one trip I remember is a visit to Zoo Nebraska. We are quite spoiled by the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha. Regardless it was a great outing and a lot of fun. I am very curious as to the fate of the animals that resided at this zoo? Were they sent to various zoo's? Adopted?

29 June 2010

Retirement Plan

I save for retirement but I also want a plan, a business, an opportunity. There is a certain career path I am considering for the future that does not offer guaranteed continuous employment like my current Government job. This scares me as I am a planner, I need to know I have a steady income stream, I am not one who can just roll with things. So if I choose to jump into the scary waters of the alternate career path I want a Plan B for when that roller coaster ends, or as an early retirment option. This is my current Plan B obsession.

A farm for sale in middle Nebraska where I have roots. Where summers were spent helping on my Uncle’s farm, gardening with my mom and grandpa, and finding ways to enterain myself sans tv/internet/etc... I have been told this region is a hunter’s paradise - I am definitely not a hunter so clueless in this arena. This property has three cabins that can be rented out to hunters along with ample hunting grounds (approximately 160 acres total).

Eventually I would want to acquire more land. I could raise cattle, horses, chickens, goats, and whatever other farm animals I fancy. A huge garden is a must with an abundance of fresh veggies and herbs (and fruit trees/bushes). Then I can entice people from around the country to come visit this little slice of heaven. They can hunt, play cowboy/cowgirl for a week, or just relax and unwind amongst the glorious countryside. I am obsessed with Blackberry Farms in Tennessee and have wanted to visit forever.

May be able to write off a visit as a business trip if I go down this road? Anyone else dream of farm life? Or have a plan in place for retirement?
*Photos 2,3,4 from Homestead Land Management, remainder of photos from Blackberry Farms.

16 June 2010

Summer Picnic

I love summer – absolutely adore it. We have had a few cold rainy days but otherwise it’s been a gorgeous summer. A few weekends ago in Niobrara my mom, grandpa, and I decided to have an impromptu picnic at Niobrara State Park. We had found a cool picnic basket at the Goodwill store so loaded it up with goodies and found a perfect spot.

Something about dinning outdoors that makes the food taste better!

Izzy loved the occasion and the chance to explore the wide open spaces.

She would have loved it even more had we let her run free but park rules are park rules.
Point of this post being – take time for summer picnic’s. I always seem to be rushing around from work to one activity or another. I need to learn to slow down and enjoy life.

11 June 2010

Big Beaver, Canada

I have wanted to visit Canada for awhile but haven’t yet made the journey. Since at the border figured I should at least drive into Canada and check it out, plus I wanted a stamp in the passport! Sadly they didn’t stamp my passport but I did explore a tiny bit. I wish I would have done research so that I could have driven to a fun town in Canada. Instead I just took the advice of the border patrol and went to Big Beaver (about 30-40 miles from the US border).

I was informed there is a cute shop there. There was indeed a cute shop.

But as luck would have it, the shop closes at noon on Wednesdays. I got there at 1230 on a Wednesday. I decided instead to walk around the town and snap a few photos.

It was almost eerie as didn’t see another pereson the whole time. It was fun to explore and enjoy the nice weather before heading back to the US of A. Along the drive back stopped to take photos of this cow as I loved the coloring.

He (or she) belongs to this bed and breakfast. I am not a fan of bed and breakfasts but this does almost look fun. A relaxing weekend in the Canada countryside.

I also stumbled upon another abandoned homestead. This one was really neat and again seemed sad that it was left to rot and fall.

10 June 2010


My lack of blogging last week was due to a work trip to Montana. Gorgeous with wide open spaces, clear blue skies (a few rainy skies), and super friendly people. Most of my work was in or around Scobey, MT which is quite small.

Lodging choices were limited at best so I stayed at the Cattle King Inn.

My room could have definitely used a bit of a makeover to modernize it. But guessing most that stay there prefer it to be inexpensive instead of luxurious.

I flew into Williston, ND. My room there may also have needed a bit of updating…

Also I was informed by the Avis Rental lady not to exit the car under any circumstances in a large area on the map during my drive from Williston to Scobey….Of course where do I end up having to stop to use the restroom. Funny - I was definitely the minority! Ok no more complaining. Time to share a bit of eye candy. My morning run along this road was serene and relaxing.

I love running in the country. Fresh air and privacy. Downtown Scobey was probably three blocks and quaint.

I drove around to the various Ports of Entry and stopped several times to snap photos – sure had anyone driven by they would have thought I was crazy (that was my rental vehichle you see in the photo).

But my surroundings were so gorgeous I wanted to capture on camera.

Too bad the storms rolled in. I have a love affair with barns. Someday I want one of my own. I loved these grain barns.

They were everywhere but these particular two caught my eye as had been abandoned so the perfect photo opportunity.

The railroad tracks were still in place.

This abandoned homestead was pulling me in! Always curious why homes become abandoned and also saddens me as some are quite neat, this one was pretty small and basic.

All in all an interesting trip and I always jump at the opportunity to see new places. I did make a small day trip to a border town in Canada called Big Beaver. Photos to come next.