Late Autumn Sun in Ames

Late afternoon in Ames

Sunsets in the Mid-west are amazing!

It’s cooling off now, highs in the 50’s and 60’s, but it still feels gorgeous and I like to go out in the late afternoon and catch some of the blazing setting sun rays.  I guess I am storing them up for the days like the one below!

Mid January, Iowa, 2010

Stop!  Take some time to feel the sun today, if you can!

VEISHEA and ISU’s Lake LaVerne

It’s greening up nicely here in Ames, Iowa!  Today it was marvelous to just watch leaves blow in the wind.  I love green lace time when tree branches are like nurseries full of baby lacy leaves, but today the leaves are like teenagers, big enough to blow around, wrestle and interact with the big blue sky.

Here are some pics I took a week or so ago during ISU’s own home brewed celebration called VEISHEA, a word made up from taking the first letter of each of the colleges that make up the university.  Our little Lake LaVerne  next to the Memorial Union is one of my favorite places on campus.  During VEISHEA there are canoe races and students and visitors  sitting around the lake to watch.

Iowa State University

Probably one of the most important reasons I chose to come to Iowa State University is the beauty and small size of this large university campus.  Yesterday the temperature climbed into the high 70’s and everyone on campus seemed to be in a state of bliss!

The Campanile was providing a concert.  There was the fragrance of grilling coming from somewhere.  Students were hangning out on the steps of Curtiss Hall and sprawled out on the warm grass.

The little blue flowers were peeking out from under the brown leaves.

It was a perfect day in Cyclone country!


Last Friday I was interviewed about my blog by an ISU journalism student.  I have to admit, I was a little nervous, but Kim was GREAT!

We met at the Horticulture building, one of my old haunts, talked in the student lounge there and then went to the conservatory for some photos.  One of the students in the lounge said that the old Hort greenhouses and conservatory are scheduled to come down.  The greenhouses will be replaced, but it sounds like the conservatory will not.  It’s a wonderful place to duck into on cold winter days like today….a breath of tropical world that can transport you to southeast Asia or the Amazon! Stop in and wander around sometime, while we still have this treasure on campus.

Mangostinos International Cuisine


The owner of the former Cafe Lovish and current Mangostinos (604 East Lincoln Way, just east of Duff on the south side of Lincoln Way)   (at least I assume he is the owner!) told us he was born in Spain, but has lived many different places in his lifetime, and has brought foods and flavors from all over the world into his cooking.

On the day we ate there, I had nachos adorned with fresh chunks of avocado, cilantro and an unexpectedly sweet sauce that reminded me of the Caribbean, as well as the traditional meat, cheese and beans!

Steven had Pasta al Pesto and we split some cheesecake for dessert.  I was hoping for the sweet potato pecan pie, but they were out that day.

And speaking of  “being out”, there were some things on the menu, such as dishes with plantains, that were not available when we were there.  But somehow, that just seemed “right”.  We were told that the plantains weren’t ripe.   I do believe that good food made from excellent ingredients shouldn’t be forced.  It will be worth waiting for another day when the plantains are just perfect! (2018 update: unfortunately I believe Mangostinos is no longer in bussiness, but you can see photos of more of their food here.

Now here is the visual on our food trip around the world, right here in Ames, Iowa!  I loved every bite!

Mangostino’s – Cafe Lovish resurected



Steven and I uncovered a secret (well I didn’t know about it, at least) while we were wandering Ames a while back.  We decided to try out a restaurant over on the east end of Lincoln Way and when we got inside this is what we saw.  Steven looked over at the owner and said, “I know him from somewhere..that restaurant in Campus Town”, and sure enough, it was the gentleman from Cafe Lovish!  I went to Lovish a few times just for the tabouli!  Restaurants in Ames are coming and going at a rather alarming rate these days…so it was a comfort to find out that Lovish has not disappeared, but found a new life!  Tomorrow I’ll post some yummy pics of our lunch!

Iowa State Football and Tailgating for Fall

I feel like fall is racing away, and the leaves haven’t even changed yet!  So many things I want to do!!!  I’m hoping to buy a tent and try camping, but I may have missed the window of good weather.  Next week looks like lots of rain.  And then there’s football.  I’m not a big fan, have never been to an ISU game, but when I drive by University Blvd on a game day, it always looks like fun!  Maybe one of these days I’ll get there!