Not All Who Wander Are Lost

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

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Great Weekend!

As you can imagine, I had a wonderful weekend spending time with our youngest son, Korey, in Minnesota. My 7-1/2 hour drive on Friday was uneventful. I arrived around 3:30 pm and got settled into my very nice room in the retreat center. There are eight rooms that are similar to hotel rooms, each with a private bath. The room was nicer than I expected at “camp”.


On Friday night, I took Korey to supper at the Good Life CafĂ© in Park Rapids to celebrate his birthday. We enjoyed a good dinner and then went back to camp and enjoyed the beauty of Lake Morgan. The camp owns the lake so no one else uses it. It’s a beautiful lake where campers enjoy swimming, canoeing, fishing and relaxing.


This muskrat was swimming around near the shore eating some type of flower that was growing in the water.


A pair of loons have built a nest on the lake. It was fun watching them swim around the lake and hear their cry.


Here’s the view looking back towards camp from the dock. On the left is the chapel with a rec area underneath. On the right up the hill in the trees is the retreat center. The dining hall is upstairs, and the sleeping rooms are below. The camp also has quite a few cabins where the campers and staff stay.


Korey’s cabin for the summer is called “Peace”. What a fitting name as this is one of the most peaceful places I have been (when there aren’t campers running around).


Saturday was staff family day. There were quite a few people that came to visit their staff family members. Many of the staff live in the area, so their family members came for the day. I think I traveled the farthest. The beautiful sunny day started out with a pancake breakfast. I had no idea my son has become a gourmet cook.


The next two hours were spent at the challenge course. Korey is the High Adventure/Retreat Program Director and the challenge course is his domain. Here he is on top of the 32 foot wall waiting for a climber to make it to the top so he can secure them.


P1020052Lots of young adult family members climbed the wall. Even a few parents made it to the top. I had tried to climb the wall two years ago, but gave up rather quickly. This year I thought I would try climbing the telephone pole side. I made it about halfway up and then got scared. I wish I wasn’t such a chicken! I haven’t given up yet. Maybe next year I’ll make it to the top!

After a delicious taco in the bag lunch, it was time for arts and crafts. We made spray paint tie dye t-shirts. You just bunch of the shirt and spray it with different colors of spray paint. It was much easier than the convention tie dye method. Here are all of our masterpieces drying in the sun.


Later in the day Korey and I went canoeing.


Everyone enjoyed dinner together in the dining hall and a worship service in the chapel. What a great day!

Sunday was back to work for the camp staff. There were meetings and then campers started arriving. The weather was cool and overcast so I spent some time reading in my room and online using Korey’s computer. In the afternoon, we took a walk around the lake. This deer was standing in the path in front of us.


The wood ticks are pretty bad right now. I picked many of them off my shoes and socks. This one is a female because she has a necklace on her back. Male wood ticks have two stripes or suspenders running down their back.


Korey and I had dinner in the dining hall with all of the campers. A dining hall full of junior high students is quite noisy :) After dinner they began playing an all camp outdoor game.

P1020071It began to thunder so the game was moved indoors for Speed Pictionary. I couldn’t believe how these junior high students got into game playing. It was refreshing to see they weren’t too cool to play games. It poured buckets outside for about an hour.

Monday’s weather was still cool. I sat outside and watched as Korey got the Wet and Wilderness campers and their counselors ready for their adventure. Food, gear, 8 canoes, 16 kids and 4 counselors were loaded into vans and off they went to the drop-off point. I hope they have a wonderful week.

When Korey got back from dropping off the canoers, we went to lunch at Subway. I left camp at 12:30 pm and arrived home at 8 pm. I feel so lucky to have had no problems on either of my long drives.

I appreciate that Kevin volunteered to stay at the campground and perform all of the camphosting duties so I could make the trip. I’m also grateful to the camp executive director for allowing families to visit their staff members working at camp. What an awesome gift to give the families. And, I’m grateful to Korey and the camp staff for allowing me to stay a few extra days and see camp in action. How lucky the kids are to experience the amazing program the staff has created for them!

I must say I’m very proud of my son for the work he’s doing. And Happy 27th Birthday to him today!


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

Friday, June 24, 2011

Road Trip

Today I’m driving to Menagha, Minnesota to visit our son, Korey.  He’s working at Camp Emmaus for the summer, and it is staff family weekend.  Korey is the High Adventure and Retreat Director for Pathways Ministries in Minnesota.  They have three camps, but Emmaus is the biggest and that’s where he spends the majority of his summer.  Much of the time he is supervising the ropes challenge course.

Kevin will stay in Wisconsin and take care of the camphosting duties.  I appreciate him taking care of our duties so I can spend time with Korey.  I’m coming back on Monday. Korey’s birthday is next Tuesday, so we’ll celebrate while I’m there.  I can’t believe my baby will be 27 years old.  I’ll take pictures and update next week.

On Tuesday Kevin and I both had our annual medical check-ups.  We’re waiting to get the blood test results. Hopefully, everything is fine.  I’m interested to see what the cholesterol numbers will be.

We had some good news on Wednesday.  Our tax preparer filed an extension for us in April because we weren’t going to be back by April 15th.  We met with him on Wednesday and found out we’re getting about $1,500 back.  We thought we were going to have to pay.  Bonus!!

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

Sunday, June 19, 2011

An Enjoyable Weekend With Friends

As I have mentioned in previous posts, we’ve been members of the Milwaukee Jaybirds Camping Club since 1981.  Since we are the only camphosts at our park, we didn’t feel it was appropriate to ask if we could leave some weekends to go camping with the club. 

We were able to join them at the April and May campouts on Saturday just for the day, which was a good alternative.  It allowed us to see our friends and not shirk our camphost duties.

This weekend the club came to us. There are ten families camping at our park.  We had a wonderful time.  Two families came on Thursday so Kevin and I went golfing with Dave and Judy on Friday morning.  Then a group of the guys golfed on Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. 

We played a game called Gonzo Golf involving tennis balls and hula hoops.  It’s really a fun game.  Unfortunately, I was so busy having fun this weekend, I forgot to take any pictures :(

Yesterday, our son, Eric, came out for the day to visit for Father’s Day.  Since he grew up camping in the club, he knows many of the people.  We had a delicious pot-luck supper of bar-b-que ribs.  Each month two families act as the food committee.  They provide the main meat part of the meal, everyone brings a dish to pass, and split the cost of the meat.  You are guaranteed to never leave hungry!

The weekend weather has been fantastic.  It’s raining this morning, but should stop soon.  It should be a nice day for all of the fathers to celebrate their day. 

There has been lots of activity around our bird feeder.  We had a new visitor the other day.  I don’t know what kind of bird this was.  Maybe Judy or someone else out there can help me identify it.  I think it might be some type of Thrush.


Happy Father’s Day to all of the fathers out there!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Family Visit

We had a wonderful visit with Kevin’s family yesterday.  And, the weather finally cooperated. It was sunny and in the low 70s with no bugs.  Perfect.

Kevin’s brother and his wife who live in Iowa were planning to be in town this weekend so we had planned a family get together.  His sister, her son, and her daughter and son-in-law and their four children also came out to visit us for an afternoon picnic.

We haven’t taken a siblings picture in several years so it was time. That’s Kevin on the left, his sister Mary and brother Josef.


P1020012Mary has two children, Richard and Terri. Terri’s married to Rick and they have four children, Gregory, Vanessa, Amanda and Alisha.  The kids were sure well behaved.  I think they all had a good time.






Here’s Kevin with our three year old great-niece Alisha.  She is such a cutie and really took to Kevin and his brother for some reason. 


We sat around and chatted and caught up on everyone’s news.  We had a picnic lunch and just enjoyed the day. 


Today, Kevin went golfing with some friends.  He really enjoys golf.  He actually had to set the alarm and got up at 5:45 am in order to drive for over an hour to meet up with the guys.  Now, that’s a golf lover.  I spent a quiet day, a little on-line work, a nice walk, some sitting in the sun reading.  I know, tough life!

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

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Thirty-Four Years!

Today is our 34th wedding anniversary.  I remember my uncle saying our marriage wouldn’t last for more than six months because I’m Lutheran and Kevin is Catholic.  I guess he was wrong!

Kevin & Evelyn (9)

Wow, were we young or what! Of course, every relationship has it’s ups and downs.  Then, you throw two children into the mix, and things happen.  But, all in all, those thirty-four years have been very happy.  I wouldn’t trade any of them.  Thanks, Kevin, for being such a wonderful husband!

Last night we went to the Beaver Dam Country Club for fish fry.  They have an all you can eat special with baked and fried fish and broasted chicken. The regular price is $9.95, but it’s only $8.95 between 4:30 and 5:30 pm.  That was perfect since we didn’t want to be gone too late in case anyone wanted to buy firewood.

Unfortunately, the food was mediocre at best. Also, once our waitress brought us our order, she never checked back.  When we were done, she brought the check.  She never asked if we wanted more.  Kevin asked her if it was, in fact, all you can eat.  She said it was, and did we want any more.  We said yes, she took away our plates, and then only brought one plate with the fish on it.  She did go back and get me another plate, but she had taken my fork so I ate my last piece of fish with a spoon.  Mediocre food and poor service; we won’t be going back.

The weather continues to be ridiculous.  Last week we had two days of records highs near 100 degrees.  On Wednesday evening a storm came through and our temperatures have plunged into the 60s during the day and 40s at night.  We had the air on non-stop for two days, and are back to the furnace at night.  As I said, ridiculous!!!!

P1010998I had an interesting jewelry experience this week.  Four years ago when we were in Italy, Kevin bought me a beautiful bracelet in Florence.  It was for my 50th birthday. I absolutely love it, and wear it all the time. Unfortunately, one of the links broke, and it needed to be repaired.




I took it to Ferber’s Jewelers, the only jewelry store in Beaver Dam. They quoted $50 to $100 to fix it.  I left it there and got a call a few days later saying it was too broken to fix, but they offered me $125 in gold value if I wanted to sell it to them. I said no and picked it up.

On my way to Eric’s house last week, I dropped it off at Robert M Jewelers in Menomonee Falls.  They quoted me $35 to fix it and said it would not be a problem to make the repair.  I asked the guy how much he thought it was worth.  Kevin had paid $500 American, but I always wondered if we had overpaid because the dollar was worth less than the euro.  The jeweler said his estimate was it was worth $1,100.  Good thing I didn’t sell it for $125, not that I ever would.

When I picked it up, they only charged me $25 for the repairs and they had cleaned it. It looks like new again!  I’m so glad the first jeweler said they couldn’t fix it.  I certainly would never go back there!

We watched a pretty funny movie last night.  It was called “You Again” with Jamie Lee Curtis, Betty White and Sigourney Weaver.  A bit over the top at times, but overall a funny movie.

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

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Spic and Span Clean

We have been wanting to wash the trailer ever since we returned to Wisconsin. Until now, it was too cold and rainy.  Last weekend, however, was incredibly gorgeous.  Sunny and highs in the 80s.  On Sunday, Kevin washed the roof.


And, I washed our car.


The front of the car was covered with dead bugs.  A few weeks ago we were coming home at night.  As we got near the campground, we heard a noise that sounded like rain hitting the car.  It wasn’t rain, it was bugs.  Yuck! 

We have experienced a couple of weeks of visiting lake flies.  This is a new one for us.  I guess we’ve never been near a lake in late May.  They look like big mosquitoes.  Then don’t bite, but there were swarms of them as soon as you got near the lake.  Since we’re right across the road, they visited us, too.  You had to make sure and keep your mouth closed outside or you were very likely eating one of them! They’re gone now, so time for a car wash.

On Monday we washed the rest of the trailer.  Kevin used to do it by himself, and it would take him most of the day.  This time, I was the hose holder and go-fer.  Together, we finished in 4 hours.  It was really dirty because of the dust storms we experienced in New Mexico and Texas on our way home.  The dirt in that area is quite red, so our trailer was covered in red dust.  It is so nice and clean again!

Our weather is still crazy.  A few weeks ago we had frost warnings and they were giving wind chill temperatures.  The last two days we have set records highs in the mid 90s with very high dew points, and they are issuing heat advisories and giving heat index temperatures.  Talk about extremes.

Last night brought another beautiful sunset.

P1010988 P1010993 P1010995

Our vehicle and trailer insurance was up for renewal at the end of May.  Last year we insured them through the Miller Insurance Agency in Oregon on the advise of some forum members.  There are only a handful of agencies that will write full-time RV insurance policies.  As a full-timer, you want to make sure to have the correct coverage, in particular, regarding liability and replacement coverage.

After reading more forum posts regarding insurance, I saw that many fulltimers are insuring through National Interstate.  I found the Thum Insurance Agency in Michigan on National Interstate’s website and gave them a call.  Lori was great to work with.  She quoted me fulltime RV insurance for the camper as well as coverage for both of our vehicles through GMAC.  She was able to save us $360 a year for the same coverage.  Yippee!!  And, I made sure that GMAC will allow us to insure the car for comp  only during the winter months when we store it in my mom’s garage.  That will save us a few hundred dollars more.  I guess it pays to shop around.

Welcome Brian and Doyle and Terri as new followers to the blog! 

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

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Beautiful Weekend

Summer seems to have finally arrived in Wisconsin.  It is very typical to have ugly spring weather, and this year was one of the ugliest.  It was cold and rainy all spring.  The good thing about that was that the cold temperatures kept the severe weather much of the country was experiencing away from us.  So, I’m not complaining.

Some of the worst weather seemed to have been on weekends, definitely not good camping weather.  However, this weekend was just beautiful.  Temperatures in the high 80s and sun, sun and more sun.  Friday’s high was actually 91 degrees.

We had only three sites reserved, but on Friday people just kept coming.  We ended up with fifteen of our twenty-five sites occupied. 

The state had declared this weekend as a free fishing weekend, so the boat launch was also very busy.  Many people were fishing along the shore.  I saw quite a few sunburned faces last night.

To top off a fantastic day, we had a gorgeous sunset last night.


There’s been quite a bit of activity around the birdfeeders, as well.  Although, it seems the red-winged blackbirds are keeping other birds away.  They are quite aggressive. 

P1010979The finches have found us.  They are so pretty.  I’ve had the hummingbird feeder out for a few weeks.  So far, I’ve only seen two hummingbirds, and both times they left very quickly.  Hopefully, now that it’s warmer, we’ll see more.




Yesterday I went to a quilting class in Beaver Dam at Nancy’s Notions Quit Shop.  It’s a large store with a huge warehouse.  They do quite a bit of internet and catalog business.  In fact, Nancy even has her own sewing show on public television.

I’ve made a few quilts, but have just used straight lines to do the quilting. This class was called “Free Motion Quilting”.  I learned a lot of new ways to quilt.  It was fun, although some of the designs will definitely require more practice.  Here’s the sampler I worked on.


I have a quilt top almost finished, and I’m excited to try out some of what I learned when I start quilting it.  I’m sure it will take me some time, but when it’s done I’ll post a picture.

Nothing too eventful during the week.  I did go to Eric’s on Wednesday and finished stripping the wallpaper in his half bath, except for the little area behind the toilet.  I have to wait for Eric to remove the toilet tank to do that little spot.  This week I plan to start on the main bath. 

I also attended a safety training meeting at Beaver Dam Hospital to complete my volunteer training.  I’m supposed to do my volunteering at the hospital’s day care.  Hopefully, that will start soon.  It’s taken over a month to get approved, but I’m finally good to go.  Lots of paperwork and hoops, but I guess that’s a good thing.  In today’s climate, you can’t be too careful.

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