"Give a Piece a Chance." — Books. Blog. Pie Classes. And a Pinch of Activism.

Made it to Iowa…Only to Face Forgotten Perils

We made it to Iowa. We may have prevailed over all those near disasters getting from LA to here, but even after only six months away, I had forgotten how perilous living in Iowa can be! It’s the little things that can kill you.

I arrived to a home-cooked meal of Ham Balls. I wrote about this SE Iowa specialty a few years ago., about how one needs to be careful not to eat too many lest they suffer from an overfilled belly and…the likelihood of hamnesia.

I stopped by the American Gothic House — my old home (sniff, sniff) — for a photo opp. The Binoculars were home with their door open so I figured I had about 10 minutes before the sheriff arrived to deliver a complaint.

Not to mention, I parked illegally.
No, a homemade apple pie with a World Piece logo carved on top as vent holes won’t kill you!  But chewing on pie crust right after you’ve had a molar pulled will.

The main objective for driving back to Iowa was to deliver my dog to “summer camp” on my friend’s farm. Within the first 30 minutes of arriving he found a creek to swim in. The next day the creek had turned into a raging river. Maybe I should have bought that doggie life jacket for him after all.

The RV has a sweet parking spot where it will stay all summer. But beware! With all the wind and lightning, parking under a tree can be a hazard.

Jack is guaranteed to get good treats on the farm. Farmer Doug has a ready supply of fresh beef liver. A dog’s dream. But after two days here Jack already has had some “stomach trouble.” Maybe it’s not from the liver but from drinking out of the puddle in the cow pasture.

There’s that apple pie again. Well, at least I could eat the ice cream without hurting my mouth.

This field of dreams looks innocent enough, but that corn will be chest high by the 4th of July, and my dog could get lost in  that jungle.

I have a nice desk for working during the week I’m on the farm. It even comes with a world map — perfect for my World Piece trip planning! — AND it comes with a copy of my cookbook. The hidden danger here is the thunderstorms that roll through. I’ve already had to run to the house twice in the middle of the night and unplug the laptop lest the circuits blow from a lightning strike.

Everything in Iowa is super-sized — including the poison ivy that is growing along this fence line. I’m highly allergic and, not to be a pessimist, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I start itching the moment I get on my first flight to New Zealand.
This pasta meal is perfect for my sore mouth (post-dental emergency) but let it be known the sauce is pesto — that I made last fall from the basil in my garden at the American Gothic House. It had been frozen and it tasted okay, but…. My dog may not be the only one with “stomach troubles” after eating this beyond its expiration date. 
Sometimes the biggest perils can come in the smallest packages. It has been hard to sleep at night with these little buggers crawling around in my bed. I’ve pulled at least 6 of them off of my dog so far — and only 3 off of me. 
Jack isn’t the only animal on the farm. He is a guest here on a 1200-acre property inhabited another dog, 2 cats, 4 bulls, 92 cows, 500 pigs. While he would normally chase a cat, this one rules the roost. Jack has to be on his best behavior or else the cat will chase him.

Nothing is sacred. If you leave the milk for your latte unattended, someone might help themselves.
In spite of all the perils, Iowa is a magical place. Sitting on the front porch writing this blog post I looked up and saw a full-arch double rainbow. I take as a good omen. All will be well here, my dog will have a good (and safe) summer, and I will have a successful trip around the world. And when I come back I’m going to find that pot of gold.