Life Lately

This summer we celebrated my Mom’s 80th birthday. Milestone birthdays make me stop and reflect on how thankful I am to have both of my parents. Here is a shot of them in their younger years. Such a sharp looking couple!

Mom and DadTheir life together has spanned more than 50 years now, and they have raised four children. They have built a lot of memories over those years.

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At the beginning of 2016 I made the decision to step away from my Taste of Home Cooking School travel. Several things contributed to that decision. One key factor was that my Mom has been dealing with memory loss. I felt I needed to be closer to home.

Since that time, I took a break from my work and did some regrouping of my own. I joined a fitness center and started getting myself into shape. I feel better than I have in years and actually ran my first 5K race (something I never thought I would do).

Karen - Dam to Dam

During this time I also re-evaluated what I want to do moving forward. There’s nothing like sitting at home in your sweat pants to put life into perspective. Ha ha! I have decided that I still love giving cooking classes and working with food.

So, when Taste of Home asked if I would consider coming back for a handful of Fall 2016 cooking schools, I took some time to give it serious thought. I was hesitant at first, but they are willing to limit my schedule to a handful of shows so I am still available for my parents.

I look forward to this fall. I enjoy the adventure of traveling to new places, and this season’s Taste of Home will allow me to do just that. I’ll be in Madison, SD; Fort Smith, AR (for two shows); Clovis, NM; and Grand Junction, CO.

My husband, Scott, may join me for at least one of these trips. He’s my favorite travel partner. Here is a shot of us on a Mississippi river boat dinner cruise we took a few weeks ago.

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As far as my Mom, she’s had a good summer. She may not be remembering many of her day-to-day experiences. But, the thing is — I AM remembering these moments. So I’m trying to cherish the memories every chance I get.

I hope you’ve all had a great summer!

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Montana Travels & Home Sweet Home

Near Sheridan, WY

Karen Davis and Adam in Deadwood, SDMy life has been a whirlwind of travel the past week. After the Taste of Home Cooking School in Deadwood, South Dakota (pictured above) I drove to Billings, Montana for a show on Thursday evening. It was a sell out! Here is my view from the demonstration table looking out over the audience of 600+ people.

View from the cooking demo table

After the show in Billings and a wonderful dinner out with my cousin, Joyce, who lives in the area, I started the 900 mlle two-day trek home. I traveled through Wyoming and South Dakota on my way back to Iowa. The scenery along the way was just beautiful.

Near Sheridan, WY

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Hello from Deadwood, SD

Sunny day in Deadwood

Earlier this week I drove from our home in central Iowa out to Deadwood, South Dakota. I thought I’d show you a picture of my “ride”. This is my shiny red rocket I drive while traveling for the Taste of Home Cooking School. Pretty snazzy, huh?

Taste of Home van

I pack it full of literally everything but the kitchen sink. I take all the pots and pans, bowls, and utensils, along with a mixer and food processor. I also have several pieces of AV equipment and the signage needed to set up for the show. Once it’s all packed tight, I feel a little bit like a hoarder!

Taste of Home van - equipment

I spend a lot of time behind the wheel and try to bring along books on CD to keep me entertained for long drives. They really help pass the time. That is until you’re about 4 hours into a drive, and all of a sudden the book can start sounding like a bed time story.  Then, its time to stop and get some fresh air.

Karen driving the vanWhile traveling, I try to visit friends and family along the way whenever it works out. This trip I visited my friend, Kathleen, in Yankton before driving the rest of the way to Deadwood. It was terrific to see her and her family. As I told Kathy, face-to-face visits with a best friend are just so good for my soul.

When I rolled into the Deadwood Mountain Grand hotel on Wednesday afternoon, it was a little overcast. But, the hotel still looked beautiful in the misty rain. We spent several hours unloading my equipment and starting our cooking school set up.Continue reading

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