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  • jo's journal
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September 15, 2021
Hey There…. from Jo's Country Junction

Hey…sorry I made a mistake and didn’t have a blog post for tonight.  I was just going to leave it but after this morning’s post I was worried you’d all think I was sad or something was wrong.

All is good…no worries.  I’m totally okay.  I just had a scheduling mistake and then got completely distracted with the mailing of auction items.  Speaking of the auction WOW.  Thanks so much to everyone who bid and everyone who had a winning bid.  I still have a couple of people that haven’t gotten back to ...

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September 14, 2021
The Doctor Visit that Wasn’t from Jo's Country Junction

Remember back in June, I had a doctor’s appointment.  It had sounded like everything was okay but my bloodwork wasn’t back yet.  The doctor had sent me on my way with the plan for me to come back in 6 months.  Then on the way home, she called me and said my bloodwork thyroglobulin tumor marker had gone up higher than expected so she wanted me back in three months and wanted me to have a PET scan.

For those of you who are new here.  I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 2016.  I had surgery to ...

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September 8, 2021
Saturday Outing from Jo's Country Junction

I have been home for many-many days and thought on Saturday I would get out.  I had several boxes of stuff that needed to be delivered…first to the ladies in Decorah that make charity quilts and then to my friend who makes the baby care kits for Lutheran World Relief.

Mostly, I was wanting to get and go to the thrift store, and my other motive for getting out, I want to get food at Lesley’s Taco Truck.  It’s really the best food.  I snapped some pictures along the way so I could take you along.

First ...

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September 7, 2021
A Visit with the Rebels from Jo's Country Junction

I told before that I had referred to our adult kids that live near and around me as the northern contingent and the kids that lived south, the southern contingent.  Well, then the kids joking started calling the northern contingent the Yankees and the southern contingent the Rebels…you know, a play on the Civil War??

I had a visit with the Rebels and I forgot to tell you about it.  Sometimes I forget due to timing and sometimes current events bump a blog post like the flooding.

I was going to Buck and Lora’s because Lora was gone ...

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August 31, 2021
Videos with Buck from Jo's Country Junction

Someone told me that I don’t show enough on the blog about Buck.  I’ve told you that he tends to be a little more private so I respect that and don’t share a lot of pictures of Buck.

Recently Buck has been sending the family videos.  He puts together a bunch of video clips together into one longer video and (I know I”m totally bias) they are so funny.  Even with the little clips, the videos are typically under 3 minutes.

The other day I said to Kalissa, I wish he’d let me share them ...

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August 28, 2021
Rain, Rain, GO AWAY!! from Jo's Country Junction

It’s been a crazy weekend here for all of us that live in NE Iowa.  It started with 2″ of rain early in the week….and escalated from there!!

First off let me tell you we live in a little town.  There is a river that runs through town and periodically it floods.  The last time it flooded was 2016.  It seems every five or so years this happens.  We know it…we prepare for it.

Typically after several large bouts of rain, we might think of flooding, then it doesn’t happen.  Some years it rains north of ...

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August 24, 2021
My Tuesday… from Jo's Country Junction

Everyone tells me I should take a day off from blogging from time to time…or maybe just a post.  I typically don’t.  I know many of you have come to depend on me to be here…so I do everything I can to try to be.

This evening I don’t have a lot to blog about so I thought about just taking the evening post off but I didn’t.  Instead, I’m going to tell you about my day.

I started out early sewing.  I am bound and determined to move my Bitcoin quilt along.  You ...

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Patching Jeans…making chili from Jo's Country Junction

I was on Facebook the other day.  This showed up as a memory from three years ago.  I was lamenting patching Kramer’s pants.  What a difference three years can make.


Even though I hate patching pants, what quilter likes mending, I would LOVE to be patching pants today.

The pants I was patching were Kramer’s work pants.  If you’re new here, Kramer is my husband who died of lung cancer in June of 2019.

Kramer wore Lee Riders, 34 x 32 boot cut.  It was the only pants he wore unless we were going to a wedding ...

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August 23, 2021
My Gardens from Jo's Country Junction

I’d love to show you some amazing garden pictures.  I have a few…many of my flowers are looking pretty good…

But if you look closer, they don’t look as good as they could.  See that space there?


I had what I now believe were deer in my garden.  See the divots?  I think they might be deer prints.  UGH!


I try not to focus on that and instead see the beauty that’s left.


My hummingbird feeder has been a popular place for the birds and for the kids.  They love watching them out the window.


My ...

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July 29, 2021
I Should Have Known from Jo's Country Junction

I should have known.  I should have been ready.  I wasn’t.

It’s been over two years since Kramer passed away.  Monday the 26th was my second wedding anniversary without him here.

I’ve been doing so good lately.  Really, really good, so I didn’t think much about it.  I planned about going about my business like any old other day.  He was gone…there was no anniversary to celebrate.

I seriously have been doing so well.  I haven’t had a bout of tears sneak up on me.  I haven’t randomly started crying when I was ...

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July 27, 2021
My Week Off from Jo's Country Junction

I had a busy week off of childcare.  I told my own kids that they were free to get in touch with me, call, or drop by…but, I really wanted and needed some time to catch up around here. They were great and let me get quite a bit of stuff done.

I worked on organizing my embroidery floss.  You might remember a few months ago I found a started set of DMC embroidery floss.  I got more in the pages and figured out which ones I needed to get a complete set.


I cross-stitched later in the evening ...

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July 21, 2021
Bananas…the icky kind from Jo's Country Junction

I belong to a Facebook group that features recipes.  Someone posted this picture of bananas that were past their prime.  They asked what they could make besides banana bread.  That brought a smile to my face.


My immediate response was pancakes!!  I’m guessing that’s not what you were thinking I’d say.

Let me tell you a little story.

Growing up, my mom took bananas like these, and she would smash a couple of them, add a little sugar and a little milk then stir it up.  She’d make pancakes and we’d pour the banana mixture ...

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July 20, 2021
A Visit from Connie from Jo's Country Junction

Connie came for a visit a couple of weeks ago and I didn’t tell you about it yet.  Connie lives a jaunt from me.  2 1/2 hours I think.  It’s actually further than that if you consider all the stops between my house and hers that offer great thrift store shopping.

Connie is a thrifter like me and enjoys stopping at the shops which is good for me as they entice her to come my way.  HA!!

Connie rarely comes without goodies.  Like many of us, she’s been cleaning out goodies…so she passed some on ...

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My Saturday from Jo's Country Junction

I had a great Saturday…

I had plans to meet my friend Doreen.  She was so sweet and bought tickets for us for a play at the Gallagher Bluedorn in Cedar Falls on the UNI campus.  Plans were for us to meet at 11 am at her house.

Well…that “junk” sale that I really love was happening and it was on the way to Doreen’s.  This time around the junk sale was more garage sale.  The gals that host the event were cleaning out the stuff that they wanted to move out.

I was tempted to get this ...

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July 5, 2021
Hanken Family Update from Jo's Country Junction

No real blog post tonight…Sorry.  I’m at Kelli’s today soaking up some love from the babies, Georgia, and helping Kelli with one last big push to get everything in order before she goes back to work.  Can you believe 12 weeks is coming to a close already?

Here are the boys…Eli is closest.  Emmett is in the middle.


I am loving watching them grow and change.  Here’s another picture of them.


It’s going to be interesting over the course of the next bit or so until everything settles after Kelli goes back to work ...

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June 19, 2021
Take a Picture from Jo's Country Junction

Around Memorial Day the whole family was a little down.  We were all looking back and remembering where we were two years ago.  If you’ve been reading the blog, you know that Memorial Day of 2019 is when we found out Kramer, my husband, only had weeks to live.  He ended up dying on June 2nd, so in all honesty, we had from Tuesday to Sunday in the wee hours of the morning.

What has been comforting to us all is seeing pictures.  Sadly, most of the pictures we have of Kramer are from when he was sick.  Here ...

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June 15, 2021
Doctor Update from Jo's Country Junction

Monday was doctor day for me.  For those of you who don’t know or need a little refresher, I was diagnosed with follicular thyroid cancer in 2016.  It is slowly coming back.  I have evidence of cancer growing in my lungs but was told it was slow-growing and I shouldn’t worry about it.  If you want to read a full story, you can do that HERE.

I was put on a schedule to see the doctor every six months and that is what I have been doing.  I was assured that this will be ongoing and I will ...

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June 11, 2021
We Do Better… from Jo's Country Junction

Sometimes when I read comments here on the blog, I worry that you all have an incorrect image of me.  I am not perfect.  I am far from it.  I don’t have the perfect family.  I haven’t always been the person I am today.  I’ve made tons of mistakes.  I’ve said the wrong thing at the wrong time.  I’ve hurt people’s feelings.  I’ve yelled too hard.  I haven’t been patient when being patient is what the situation needed.  I’ve lost my temper.  I’ve been unkind.  I’ve not treated people ...

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June 2, 2021
God’s Timing from Jo's Country Junction

As May comes to a close and calendars flip to June, I come upon the anniversary of Kramer’s passing.  For those of you who are long-time blog, readers know my husband Kramer died two years from lung cancer.

It’s a hard time… but I’m doing good.  At the two-year mark, widows know their husband really isn’t coming back.  They know that life now is what it is.  They are getting used to managing and making decisions on their own.  They are figuring out their way financially.  All of that progress brings some comfort.  People hate the ...

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May 26, 2021
Final Resting Place from Jo's Country Junction

Memorial Day is just around the corner, as it the anniversary of Kramer, my husband’s, passing.  My goal has been to get his final resting place the way I want it.

It will be the second anniversary of his passing…yes, it’s really taken that long.

He died on June 2nd, 2019.  We had the funeral on Wednesday after.  By the time Sunday had rolled around I was ready to go to the cemetery.  It was hard going the first time.  I was super anxious about it as in the past, I’ve not been someone who feels ...

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  • jo's journal
  • Page 1 of 7 ( 135 posts )