odds and ends.

Working our way east, to take care of some business (those pesky health things that just don’t go away) we rushed through most of the entire west-to-mid-west. we ticked five (yes FIVE National Parks off our list in under two weeks (can you say exhausted) and stopped in at some tourist-trappy gems like Wall Drug and the Corn Palace along the way.




We somehow even had the timing gods lined up so perfectly that we were in Sturgis, SD just in time for what Sturgis is famous for.


We saw amazing things, breathtaking things that I will never forget. The herd of bison that we found ourselves in the middle of as they crossed the road in Yellowstone. The sun setting on the Grand Tetons. A forest fire up in the hills at dusk outside of Cody, WY.

Badlands National Park.


The Oregon Coast. Olympic National Park where we hung out with this beautiful creature for about 15 minutes.


Glacier National Park….Rainier.

And during the long, straight road through the midwest, this:



miles and miles and miles of sunflowers. “stop!! I need to get out!!”

cars and trucks speeding by on I-90 watching the crazy lady with the camera take a billion photos of the sunflowers.


I mean, how could I not?  just look at all of them!

For an updated look at where we’ve been…. we have a map for that.

thanks, as always, for reading…more to follow :)



All images © 2010-2016 Jeannie M. Starks / two daisies life



living without.


hard days. days like yesterday, when we went to do laundry, find internet and get groceries and only accomplished two of the three. (the internet we found was so slow it was worthless for what I needed it for; mainly downloading new things for us to watch during the dark, cold hours between sunset and sleep; and to update my blog. hell, I couldn’t even get Facebook to load, or send photos to my phone via messages.)

hard days, but also learning to live without things, live like we (well, like I) used to live….no internet. today, for example we made a decision to not go to ‘town’, to stay at camp, even though we had not accomplished what we needed yesterday. staying put meant not spending money, but it also meant we had to learn to keep occupied. easy on warm days, not so easy on a chilly day.

I spent some of the day working on the old quilt (of my mom’s) that I’m patching. it was on her bed as a teenager in the fifties, and I’ve had it since my grandpa passed away in 1997. it’s been well loved, and is threadbare in many spots—holes right through in many others. I’m sewing patches on it with embroidery floss, using a blanket stitch. patches of all different sizes, in fabrics I’ve acquired through various means, mainly tiny prints, some from Japan, all very quaint. it’s more than a way to pass the time, it’s marking the days that I’m on this journey, it helps me focus on something other than the road going by, or the silence of the forest. it’s a great meditation, a purpose.


xander spent most of the day reading. we picked up some books (2 each at under .80/pc from goodwill) while our laundry was washing yesterday. after my fingers started turning numb (even in the wristwarmers I pulled from my jeannieknits stash… it is still. so. freaking. cold!) I crawled in the car, and under the blankets, and passed the rest of the afternoon reading as well.

I joked later we were living like Laura Ingalls Wilder.

I’m not sure x got the reference.


we also looked at the map (MAP!) of texas that we picked up at the welcome center and mapped out 2 possible routes through the state (see, internet, we don’t need you!) and are planning on heading out from here tuesday and head to the shores of the gulf…time for some sun and sand.


sam houston national forest 1/19/2016

a day trip.

after a stressful few weeks: a large custom knitting order finally in the mail, we finally had matching days off; so the mister and I got in the car and headed south on a bright not so cold mid march morning.

I planned it out in advance without letting him know where we were going.





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first stop (after a windy country-road-hour-long-are-we-there-yet-trip) was Miller’s Dutch Kitch’n in Baltic, Ohio….and it is all that one would hope for in a 40-year old authentic Amish Kitchen. home made everything, and we left with slices of pie to enjoy later. (no, not gluten free….) 





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next we stopped headed over to Lehman’s which is like a cross between a museum and the most amazing hardware/five and dime/bakery/garden supply store on earth. I imagine if they don’t have it here, you really don’t need it. for example; bacon or sweet corn pop. I mean, yes that’s what we ended up buying a six pack of the weirdest sodas they sold…..I don’t need a composting toilet or a chicken feeder quite yet anyway.



after leaving lehman’s we spotted a Mennonite thrift store and just had to stop. not only was it the neatest, most organized thrift store we had ever been in (the furniture area looked like a high end show room with 30 year old used furniture displayed just so perfectly) but in the side room there was a workshop where volunteers were busy.

there was a gentleman weaving long strips of denim and corduroy, that other volunteers had cut, into throw rugs. in the other part of the room; a beautiful quilt was blocked out on a huge table, being assembled by another volunteer, next to it a rack full of the finished quilts for sale. Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset




it’s good to get away from the stresses of life, and see that there is still simplicity in the world. passing the buggies, the farmers plowing with horses pulling their plows, the school children playing ball in their tiny schoolhouse yards as we drove by was like going back in time, but it was also like a deep breath of fresh air.

some days you just need to see time stand still.


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our new hand made rug.