Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
June, 2019 - Mount Denali, Alaska

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Interesting Weekend

Memorial Day Weekend was the first time since we’ve been here that all of the sites were occupied.  Although we observed some interesting people, overall things went quite well.

Since we are located on a large lake, most of the people who camp here seem to be all about the fishing.  Many have boats.  We had a few families with young children, some older couples, some groups with several sites together. 

The people in the two sites right next to us has some unusual tents.  They looked like tents used at fairs or encampments.

P1010965 P1010966

This same group of people had reserved our indoor shelter for Saturday.  There had to be about 25 cars filling the parking lot and overflowing onto the grass.  I’m guessing they had at least 50 people.


It looked like they had a great time, and they did a wonderful job cleaning up the building before they left.  However, some of them stayed and continued to party well into the night at their campsites next to us.  Thank goodness for earplugs.  We could have gone out and told them to be quiet, but since they hadn’t caused a problem the rest of the weekend, we let it go.  I don’t think people realize how far sounds carry at night.

The only other complaint I have is about payment.  Most of the sites had been reserved and paid for in advance.  However, two of them came a day earlier than their reservations indicated.  Lucky for them, the sites were available.  That’s not always the case as we have had a number of people come during the week and stay for a few nights without a reservation. 

Anyway, these people came a day early and then didn’t pay the day they arrived.  I had to remind them a couple of times that they still owed money.  We have a self-registration system where they fill out an envelope and put the money in a slot in the office door.  They don’t pay us directly.  I’m going to have to start demanding payment while I wait. 

In the 30 plus years we’ve camped, we’ve never expected not to pay the day we arrive.  Can you imagine checking into a hotel and telling them you’ll pay in a day or two.  Unbelievable!

There’s a new bird in town.  We’ve seen many red-winged blackbirds, robins, orioles and blackbirds.  Last week, we had a cardinal visit us. He sure is beautiful.


So, we survived the busy weekend.  The weather was okay.  Saturday and Sunday were a bit cool, overcast with a little rain.  Monday the heat came.  It was 89 degrees and very humid.  We literally went from running the heater one night to the air conditioning the next day.  Today is supposed to be in the 80s, as well.  That’s crazy Wisconsin for you.  I’m not complaining, though.  We’ve had a very cold and wet spring so bring on summer!

Kevin and I marvel at the mass exodus of people on the last day of the weekend.  Monday was by far the nicest day of the weekend, yet 75% of the people had left by 10 a.m.  What’s the hurry?  Check-out isn’t until 1 p.m.  In our many years of weekend camping, it seemed the last day was often the nicest.  We would try to stay and enjoy as much of that last day as we could.  That work at home could wait a few more hours :)

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Golf and Wildflowers

On Monday Kevin and I played nine holes of golf at Kestrel Ridge Golf Course.  It’s in Columbus, which is about twenty minutes from us.  We played there several times last summer.  They have a Monday special of $12 for nine holes with a cart.  It was pretty windy, but with the weather we’re having this year, we’d be waiting forever if we wanted great weather.

I haven’t played since last summer, and it was obvious on the first few holes.  I did improve as we went along.  Here’s Kevin teeing off.


There were lots of ducks in the ponds on the course.  I don’t know what they eat, but they kept dunking their heads under the water.  It was funny watching them. 


The weather has been quite cool, windy and rainy all week.  Things are supposed to start improving tomorrow.  All of our campsites are booked for the long weekend, so I sure hope they have nice camping weather.

Yesterday I went back to Eric’s house to do some more wallpaper stripping.  I should be able to finish the small bathroom with one more day’s work.  He was kind enough to let me do laundry while I was there.  Saving on laundry expenses will help defray some of the gas costs of driving to and from his house.  I thought gas was supposed to be coming down in price.  It’s still $3.75 around here. Ridiculous!

I have managed to take a few walks despite the crummy weather.  There are several of these gorgeous flowering trees in the park.


These wildflowers are blooming along the edge of the park.

P1010960 P1010961

So, that’s what we’ve been up to this week.  I’m sure we’ll be busy this weekend selling firewood and answering questions.  It’s been very quiet in the park so far this year.  I’m sure it’s been due to the weather.  Hopefully, everyone will have a good time and behave!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

A Fun Day With Friends

This weekend was the May outing for the Milwaukee Jaybirds Camping Club that we have belonged to since 1981.  Since we are camphosting this summer, we can’t leave for an entire weekend to camp with the club. But, we can visit for the day if they’re close enough to us.

This month they were near Madison which is only about 40 minutes away.  We had 8 sites occupied in our park for the weekend.  We informed everyone on Friday that we would be gone all day Saturday. If they wanted to buy firewood, they would have to buy it Friday night.  No problem, everyone cooperated.

So, we were able to spend the day with good friends.  In the morning a group of the ladies went to the Madison Farmer’s Market.  It’s held every Saturday from spring through fall on the four blocks surrounding the State Capitol.  It’s really a nice event and has been crowded both times I’ve been there.

At this time of year, there were many flower and plant vendors along with the usual items including bakery products, cheeses and organic vegetables.  There were so many beautiful flowers for sale, but the prices were a bit high for my liking.  However, many other people were buying.  The Capitol has some beautiful flower beds on display.

Flower Collage

My big purchases were a delicious Bismarck doughnut and a cookie :)  One of the bakeries was selling cookies shaped like cows; very fitting for Wisconsin. Our license plates say “America’s Dairyland”.


The weather forecast had been for scattered rain throughout the day.  The morning was cloudy, but we managed to see all of the Farmer’s Market without getting rained on.  When we got back to the campground, it rained for a few hours.  By mid-afternoon, the rain stopped and the sun actually made an appearance.

We had a fun cocktail hour and a delicious potluck supper with the group. There were lots of jokes about the world coming to an end while we were eating supper.  Luckily, no earth-shattering events occurred, so we took a walk and enjoyed spending time visiting with everyone.  We played a new game called Qwirkle.  It was an easy, but fun game.

We got home around 9:30 pm.  The campground was nice and quiet. Our clocks were flashing, so power must have gone out at some point during the day.  That’s the second time we’ve had a power outage since we’ve been here.  I’m going to ask if that’s typical.  We’ve been debating whether we should buy a generator.  If this campground keeps losing power, we may be buying that generator sooner than later.

There is a line of trees at the border of our park with beautiful blooms.  We think they are some type of fruit trees, possibly wild plums.  Maybe, we’ll be enjoying some delicious fruit in August and September.


Today is sunny with highs predicted to be around 80 degrees. I think we’ll be going for a bike ride.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Wallpaper Stripping

I thought I was done with home remodeling projects when we sold our house.  But, I have volunteered to do some more projects.

Our son, Eric, bought a house about 2-1/2 years ago.  Both of the bathrooms were wallpapered in floral patterns which is not at all his style.  Since I have time to help him, and he has been so very helpful by allowing us to use his address as our mailing address, I offered to strip the wallpaper and paint those rooms for  him.

What was I thinking. Smile Just kidding, Eric!

P1010947I began yesterday in the half bath.  Here’s a before picture.  I started peeling the wallpaper, and was pleasantly surprised how easily it came off.  Until I noticed, there was another layer underneath.  So, I pulled off the top layer in no time. 





P1010948Then I started on the second layer.  It had been glued directly onto the drywall.  It wasn’t coming off easily at all.







I decided to drive to Home Depot and buy a wallpaper scraper.  I had seen a cool tool on HGTV for removing wallpaper so I wanted to see what I could find to make the job easier.  I found the Paper Tiger Scoring Tool for $8.  What a great tool.  It has sharp little wheels that score the paper.  Then you wet it thoroughly, and the top layer peels off. Wet it again and the bottom paper layer comes off. 

Of course, spraying water on it is getting the drywall wet, and some of the drywall paper is coming off, too.  Luckily, Eric has a good friend who used to be in construction work.  He will put a layer of drywall mud over the walls after I’m done and then we can prime and paint.  Then, I can start the process all over again in the other bathroom. 

We’re about an hour away from Eric’s house so my plan is to drive in once a week and spend a day working.  These bathrooms may take me the whole summer. 

The weather has been improving.  It’s still been pretty rainy, but we’ve also had a few nice days.  Kevin was actually able to go out with friends and golf on Tuesday and today.   The rest of the week he was getting his lawn mowing duties done between rain showers.  All of this rain sure is making the grass grow!

I hung a bird feeder on my shepherd's hook and have been enjoying watching the birds.  It’s pretty low to the ground.  I’m going to get a taller hook.  The red-winged blackbirds just sit on the ground and eat the bird food.


Some seeds are starting to sprout in my garden.  I’ve seen some robins pecking around in there.  I think they’ve broken off some of the sprouts so I’m going to put some netting over it.  No rabbits so far, but now it’s robins. 

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Yo-Yo Days

It seems like I’m always talking about the weather, but it has been so unusual.  We’ve been back in Wisconsin for almost a month, and the weather has been just plain crummy!

The temperatures have been below normal, and it has been cloudy and rainy.  There have been a few nice days, but overall it’s been just yucky!  Then, last week the temps suddenly spiked to near 90 degrees with very high dew points.  Our bodies really struggled with adjusting to the high humidity. This yo-yo weather stinks!

For the weekend we’re back to rain, clouds, and highs around 50 degrees.  We only have two other 5th wheels in the park this weekend.  I don’t blame people for not wanting to camp in this kind of weather.

I’ve seen some boats out on the lake today.  The wind is from the north, and there are actually whitecaps on the water.  Burr.  I feel bad for people who can only get out on the weekend, and then have to put up with this kind of weather.  These people were out on the lake most of the day.  As you can see, they’re wearing winter coats and have their hoods up.  I’m happy to be inside with the heater on :)


On Thursday, I worked my first volunteer shift at Beaver Dam Community Hospital.  I’ve signed up to volunteer at their daycare facility.  In order to be accepted, I needed two references who would complete a form about me, a blood test to check for rubella immunity, a TB test, and a background check.  They’re not taking any chances.

Until all of that is in place, they asked if I would help by taking pictures for their annual Kindergarten tours.  The kids come and have a tour, and then get their picture taken wearing either a doctor or nurse hat.  I took pictures of each child wearing their hat. 

I wasn’t surprised at the number of girls who chose to wear a doctor hat, but I was a little surprised at the number of boys who chose the nurse hat.  I’m glad to see boys overcoming the stereotype that nursing is just for girls.

Last week I also took my mom to the car dealer Kevin used to work at to pick up the conversion van she purchased.  She has decided that she wants to travel with her friend, Richard. They plan to take some trips in the van.  They are in their mid 70s, and I think it’s great they want to do this.

Yesterday Kevin and I made the four hour round-trip to Burlington RV to pick up the fenders they had sent out to the paint shop when we were there last month.  We didn’t want to wait around four extra days while we were there waiting for the fenders to get painted, so we said we’d pick them up later and Kevin would attach them.  These are the fenders that were damaged when our tire lost it’s tread in Arizona.

We stopped at another RV dealer on the way to look at some Big Horn and Jayco Pinnacle 5th wheels, but we didn’t see anything that blew us away.  We like to look at what’s available, it’s fun.  But, for now we’ll stick with what we have. 

So, that’s our exciting week.  We’re adjusting to our camphosting position, and Kevin is happy with his park caretaker position.  I’m looking forward to some summer weather so we can enjoy being outside.

I found this picture on the web several months ago.  I don’t remember where, but I thought I would share it with you.

Live the Dream

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

We Have Mi-Fi

We finally have Mi-Fi.  It turns out the unit we purchased two weeks ago was defective. So, after waiting nearly two weeks for a new sim card and then driving to Eric’s house to get it, it still didn’t work.

Yesterday I had to drive the 40 miles back to West Bend to the Verizon store where we purchased the unit, and they replaced it.  For whatever reason, Verizon was having problems authenticating sim cards, so it still wasn’t working when I left the store.  They assured me it would be up and running within an hour.

I plugged it in when I got home, and success! Both computers were able to connect and it’s still working today.  We absolutely seem to have the worst luck with electronics type of stuff. I’m just so glad it finally works. 

I’m going to wait a few days just to make sure it continues to work well.  Then, I will get major satisfaction out of cancelling our aircard through Coast 2 Coast Cellular.  I  didn’t appreciate getting ripped off by them!!

A couple of days ago, I saw some Baltimore Orioles while we were out taking a walk.  When we got home, I put an orange in a tree on our site.  Yesterday we had two Orioles chomping away at our orange.  They’ve even tried feeding at our hummingbird feeder.  I don’t recall ever seeing a Baltimore Oriole in Wisconsin.  I guess the orange did the trick!


Some of you may be thinking I’ve lost my mind after reading my previous post.  What in the world is she doing posting a guest blog about vampires???  Let me explain.

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may recall that I mentioned a website called Blosgvertise back in February.  This site pays you to put ads in your blog.  When I first signed up in February, they sent me several ads which I posted to my blog.  So far, I’ve earned $85.15 through the site, and they have paid the money to my Paypal account. It takes about a month to get the money, but it’s sure an easy way to earn a little extra.

In the beginning they sent me several ads, but then things dropped off.  The only ads they’ve had available lately were the type where people have to click on them and you get paid per click or action.  I like the ads where you get a flat fee for posting it.  This latest one pays $10.  I think it’s an easy way to make a few bucks without cluttering up the blog with a bunch of advertising.  So, anytime you see a post that has stars (*) around the title, you will know it’s an ad.  Feel free to read it or not.  Just don’t think I’m going crazy :)

Just so you know, I’ve never watched the True Blood series on HBO.  I’m not endorsing it, just posting a guest blog to earn a little advertising revenue.  I did like the Twilight movies, though, so I just might see if I can find the DVD at the library.  We don’t subscribe to any movie channels through DirecTV. 

Speaking of the library, I’m so excited to be back in one area for a while to have access to a library.  I’ve already checked out several movies and books.  We watched the first two Harry Potter movies again.  We plan to watch all of them again before getting the newest one.  We also watched Contact with Jodie Foster.  Part of that movie took place at the VLA we visited in New Mexico.  I just love public libraries!!!

The weather is fantastic today.  I went for a nice long walk.  Kevin’s out mowing.  As I sit here with the windows open, I can smell the fresh cut grass.  It smells and feels like summer!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

*Guest Post: Watching True Blood*

The following is a guest post:

Thanks to Ricardo Mullins

One of my favorite shows to watch has to be True Blood. I was introduced to this television show about two years ago by a friend who told me I could catch it on HBO on my satellite television from I began watching it from its first season and was completely hooked right after. I absolutely fell in love with the storyline and enjoyed the fact that the entire show is set in the south and all of the characters live in the swamps. The show itself has an extensive story that truly outmatches Twilight, in my own opinion. It's about vampires, but the vampires are so much more sinister than ones that people may be used to seeing now that other films and books are coming out on them.

After watching the first season, I was somewhat annoyed to find out that the next season would not air until a year later. It was a summer tradition for True Blood to come out and I can't help but admit that I was always looking forward to the summer just because another season would start. I actually got the series for a birthday present last year and I'm eagerly awaiting the fourth season of it to come out this coming summer. I'm sure it'll be just as wonderful and breathtaking than the other seasons were when I watched them.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Putting Down Roots–Literally

When we owned a house, we had a garden for many years.  Every year we fought with the deer and rabbits to get some bounty from that garden.  Once the kids left home, we gave up the fight and planted grass where the garden had been.

I decided I would like to try growing some fresh produce again.  I haven’t seen any deer or rabbits in the park, so I’m going to give it a try.  Yesterday Kevin built a 4’ x 8’ frame for me and he dug up the grass inside of the frame.  We’ve placed it next to the wood shed.


Today I added some topsoil and compost we bought and planted lettuce, beans, peas, cucumbers and acorn squash. 

In a few weeks when the weather gets a little warmer, I’ll buy some tomato and pepper plants.  Since we’re putting down roots at this park until late September, I’m hoping for some yummy home-grown vegetables.  We’ll see if the critters leave it alone.

Kevin has already worked two weeks and submitted his first timesheet.  It was rather cold and windy this past week (again), but he managed to get the grass cut.


The county is buying a new mower for this park.  They had it narrowed down to two different models.  Kevin got to go and try both of them out and give his input.  They’re buying the one he liked best!  He should have it around June 1st.

There are 24 sites in our campground.  We have 7 occupied sites this weekend.  It’s opening day of fishing season today so there is lots of activity at the boat launch across the street.  Some of the people in the campground have boats and are fishing. 

The weather has actually been pretty nice the last few days, partly sunny and highs in the mid 60s.  They’re predicting possible highs in the 70s for mid week.  A heat wave!  Of course, there’s plenty of rain in the forecast as well.

We have been members of the Milwaukee Area Jaybirds Camping Club since 1981.  Last summer when we were co-hosts at Atsico Park, we were able to leave a few weekends and camp with the club.  Since we are camphosting by ourselves at this park, we didn’t want to ask if we could leave. However, we hope to go to some of the club campouts at least for the day on Saturdays. 

Last Saturday was the club’s first campout of the year, and they were only about 30 miles from us.  Since there wasn’t anyone camped in our park for the weekend, we drove up for the day on Saturday.  It was great to see our camping friends again.  I went shopping with some of the ladies to an Amish bakery and grocery store.  That Amish bakery makes the best pecan rolls!

During the afternoon some of the ladies participated in a basket-making session. 


Here are some of the nearly finished baskets.


I didn’t make one because I didn’t really have a need for one, and space is limited, you know!

We stayed for the potluck supper and Kevin had a chance to play Sheepshead (cards) with the guys.  If you aren’t from Wisconsin, you probably haven’t heard of it.  We had a nice campfire until the rains came around 10 pm.  Time to go home :)

I spent the week doing Spring cleaning inside our home.  Dust and sand had gotten into everything while we were in the desert.  It has now been thoroughly cleaned from top to bottom.  As soon as we have some decent weather outside, it will be getting a bath on the outside, too.

Another project I plan to do this summer is to go through every cabinet and reevaluate whether we need everything we have with us.  Now that we’ve lived in it a year, I think there may be some things we kept that we don’t need.  Maybe, one cabinet a week.  No need to rush these things.  I have all summer.

The new sim card for our Mi-Fi was finally delivered to Eric’s house yesterday.  We’ll be seeing him tomorrow for Mother’s Day so he’ll bring it with.  Hopefully, that will solve the problem.  We’ve had the Mi-Fi for almost two weeks and were able to use it for a total of two hours.  Bummer!

P1010920Since we haven’t had the best weather since we’ve been back in Wisconsin, I especially liked this sunset on Thursday night.

Happy Mother’s Day tomorrow.  My mom is treating the family to a restaurant dinner.  Thanks, Mom!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Happy Anniversary To Us

Sunday, May 1st, was our one year anniversary of being fulltime RVers.  The first year certainly has flown by!

We had a fantastic first year.  We saw so many awesome sites, enjoyed time with family and friends, appreciated the time we had to relax, and treasured the time we were able to spend together.

Of course, we had some problems as well.  A step-stool on the interstate that put a hole in our trailer, a tire that lost it’s tread and put a dent in the trailer, and hassles with DirecTV.  However, life brings problems no matter where you are.  And, none of them were earth shattering.  Mostly, just annoying.

We learned some things about our preferences, as well.  We discovered that we prefer staying at a mix of places.  RV resorts with activities and pools are fine for a month or two.  But, then we are ready for some quiet time again.  We enjoyed seeing the sites, but we plan to slow down the pace this next year.  After all, we have lots of time to enjoy all the regions of this beautiful country.

Our second year will bring some new adventures.  Kevin has just started his part-time job as park caretaker. He’s out mowing grass at this very moment.  I think he’s happy to have something to do and earn some income.

I’ve signed up to volunteer at the Kid’s Zone through Beaver Dam Hospital.  I’ll continue to work online as a virtual assistant.  I’ve actually developed a network of jobs that will bring me as much work as I want.  I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve turned some work down.

We’ll be working at Amazon in Kansas this fall.  That will definitely be an adventure.  We’ll have to see if our bodies can take it.  The income will allow us to take the winter off and explore and enjoy. 

So, overall it’s been a fantastic first year.  We’re looking forward to many more years of this life.  Neither one of us can imagine going back to the old life!

The weather has still been cold and dreary.  The sun shines for a day or so, and then back to clouds and rain.  Oh well, it is what it is. 

Our DirecTV is finally working again.  After numerous calls and frustration, I was finally contacted by a manager. He sent out a repair guy this past Sunday morning.  The repair guy had things fixed in no time at all.  We needed a new part outside.  And, they’re covering it under our service plan.  If they would have just sent someone in the first place, we wouldn’t have been without service for eleven days. 

As the repair guy told me, the company is such a massive beast, customers are constantly falling through the cracks.  Once you get a manager, things happen.  But, getting to that point is a frustrating process.  We were given a phone number to call for the manager with a pin number.  After five days, your pin number expires and you can’t call the management center again.  What a joke!

Our Mi-Fi is still not working.  It turns out our SIM card was bad.  They’ve sent out a new one, but it hasn’t arrived yet.  Since our mailing address is Eric’s house, we have to drive over an hour to his house to pick it up.  We’re planning on driving into town on Thursday to take him out to dinner, so we’ll pick up the SIM card at that time.  Hopefully, it will solve the Mi-Fi problem.

Eric has been so wonderful taking care of our mail this winter.  We were able to take care of most of our business using the internet, but there were a few times where he needed to send us some mail.  He never complains that our mail is a pain.  What a guy!  We’re planning on helping him with some home repairs this summer.  It’s great when family members can help each other out.

No pictures today.  I didn’t think you wanted to see more gray skies :)

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!