Not All Who Wander Are Lost

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

Friday, July 27, 2012

What’s That Green Stuff?

We have finally been getting some rain. It’s rained pretty much every day for the last week, mostly at night. We’ve had a few thunderstorms roll through, but nothing drastic in our area. Some areas of southeastern Wisconsin have had some pretty bad storm damage.

With the rain, the grass is actually starting to get green again. So far it hasn’t been growing, but at least it doesn’t crunch when you walk on it. The corn stalks behind us have some ears on them, and they’ve begun plumping up in the last few days.

It’s still been pretty warm and humid. This coming week is predicted to be in the 80s. That’s certainly more tolerable than the very high temps we’ve been having the last month or so.

We had some company this week. George worked with Kevin years ago at Fred Jones Pontiac. They’ve kept in contact over the years. George is now retired. He bought an older truck camper and has fixed it up very nicely. He came to our park with his friend Norma for the truck camper’s maiden voyage.

This was the first time we met Norma. She was very nice, and the four of us had a great time. George has a fishing boat and took us out for a ride on the lake.

This is only the second time we’ve actually been out on the lake. The first time was last year when we took a paddle boat out for an hour. We definitely got to see much more in George’s motor boat :)

Norma was nice enough to take a picture for us. That’s captain George at the helm.


Beaver Dam Lake is the 16th largest lake in Wisconsin. It’s rather narrow but very long. We were out for over an hour and probably only covered half of the length. We didn’t realize just how big this lake is. There were a number of islands. Some even had cabins on them. These guys looked like they were having fun.


Most of the homes on this lake are pretty small. I’m guessing many of them started out as summer cottages. There are some areas where some never homes are taking the place of the small cottages. We saw this one on our lake tour. Not too shabby.


Wednesday night George and Norma cooked dinner for us to celebrate George’s birthday. We had a delicious meal of steak, fried potatoes, asparagus, salad and Oreo birthday cookies for desert. Oh, and the strawberry margaritas were also excellent!

George has a rescue dog named Coco. He is one of the best trained dogs we have ever met. Kevin had fun throwing his ball for him. When you’ve had enough fun throwing the ball, you tell Coco “after this time, you rest”. He gets the ball and comes back and lays down. It works every time. Amazing!


Yesterday I spent the day at Eric’s finishing up painting some of his woodwork. Eric had a double header softball game after work, so I stopped and watched him play for a while. Some of his high school friends also play. It was fun seeing them again. Brought back memories of sitting and watching them play baseball and football as children. Eric had an in the park home run which was exciting. It doesn’t matter how old they get, in some ways they’re still my little boys.

The park is full again this weekend. Some of them have already arrived, and more will be rolling in. I’m sure we’ll be selling plenty of firewood again.

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

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Happy Campers

Due to the rain we had last week, the powers that be decided to lift the fire ban at our campground for the time being. It may be reinstated if we continue to stay dry.

On Friday Kevin and I gave the campers the good news as they pulled into the park. Many people were very happy, and they were quite willing to keep the fires small. For many people, it just isn’t camping without a campfire. We were back to being busy Friday night selling firewood.

campfireSince we’ve been fulltiming, we don’t have fires all that often anymore. RV parks in the southwest don’t allow campfires. Many campgrounds don’t have fire rings. But, for the weekend campers in Wisconsin, its part of the experience.


All of our sites were full again this weekend. Even with the extreme heat this summer, we have been near capacity almost every weekend. I believe our numbers are definitely up from last year. It seems more people are discovering our peaceful little gem of a campground!

Most of our customers have RVs or pop-ups, but we do get a smattering of tents, especially during the warm summer months. Now that we’ve been here for two years, I’ve noticed a trend. During spring and fall we tend to get mostly fishing people. Then, once school lets out and the weather gets warmer, we get more families and groups of friends. I think the fishing isn’t very good during the warmer months. Once school starts again, we’re back to more fishers and an older clientele. Keeps things interesting.

We had one site with an unusual tent this weekend. This type of tent makes me think of the Civil War. I can’t imagine where you could buy one of them. It looked like it was fairly new.


On Saturday afternoon, a sheriff’s car drove into the park and dropped off the young couple staying in that tent. As the car came back around, I stopped him and asked if there was a problem. He said he had found them walking along the road, so stopped to see if they needed help. Apparently, they had been with her mother, had a fight with her, and were walking back to the campground. He gave them a ride.

Every so often we’ll have a sheriff deputy do a drive through. I thanked him for that service. It’s a good deterrent for people to know that there is a police presence in the park. Although, like I’ve said before, this park is so quiet and peaceful. We’ve never had a problem with any of our campers.

Thursday morning Kevin and I went golfing. The forecast was for skies to be overcast in the morning, but there was not rain predicted. We ended up having a light drizzle on the first three holes, but it didn’t stop us from having a very good round. I shot my best round of the season with a score of 57. That’s very good for me! In fact, that may be my best score ever. Kevin also had a great round with a score of 46. I think we may be ready for the tour :)

I only play 9 holes because it has always been just too much effort to play more when I wasn’t very good. If this keeps up, I may be willing to play 18 holes sometimes.

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

Thursday, July 19, 2012


We finally got some rain last night. Some severe storms came through southern Wisconsin. We were lucky to avoid the large hail, strong winds, downed trees, and power outages that many experienced. The sky sure looked threatening before the rain finally started.


We had a nice steady rain for about five hours. It may be too late for the corn in the field behind us. Although it is tall and green, there are no ears on it.

I’ve been keeping the bird feeder filled. I’m sure the drought has been hard on the birds as well. We’ve actually found some dead birds and squirrels in the park. The other day there were all kinds of red-winged black birds under the feeder. Usually its mostly sparrows, mourning doves and crows. It was nice to have some new visitors to the feeder.


Yesterday I went to a meeting of a book club I belong to. It’s a group of ladies I worked with over ten years ago. Carol had volunteered to have it at her house. She has a beautiful home with an in-ground pool, so we enjoyed a delicious lunch and a dip in the pool. We even managed to discuss the book we had read. It was so nice to see everyone again.

The book we read was called Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. It’s the true story of some soldiers that were captured by the Japanese during WWII. The will to survive is certainly amazing.

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

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Birthday Party

Yesterday we attended the 50th birthday party of our friend, Mary. We’ve known Mary and Gordie for about ten years. They are members of the camping club we belong to. We saw some other friends we haven’t seen in a while. It was great catching up with everyone.

Two years ago Mary and Gordie bought a house in Grafton. We hadn’t seen it yet. What a beautiful home and lot they have. We’re very happy for them. They’ve also had a few grandchildren born in the last few years. Mary comes from a large family so there were many people there including lots of children.

It was fun watching everyone have a good time. There was a piƱata for the kids. This thing was virtually indestructible. The kids really worked hard for their goodies :)

2012-07-14 19.34.02Apparently, there is some kind of tradition between Mary and her sisters where they dress each other up in old clothes for their birthdays. Here’s Mary in the get up. Notice the bra on the outside. By this time she had had a few cocktails and was enjoying the festivities immensely!



We didn’t do too much last week. On Thursday we had our annual meeting with our financial advisor. He’s doing a good job with our investments considering the crazy economy. He helped me fill out the paperwork for my pension. I’m very happy to report that starting next month I will begin collecting my pension! Yippee!!

I didn’t realize all those years I worked as a public employee in schools what a great benefit my pension would be. When I turn 55 next month, I can begin collecting. There is an accelerated option where I can collect the estimated amount of my social security at age 62 from my pension beginning at age 55. That means I will be getting about $1,100 per month for the 7 years before I reach 62. At that time I can begin collecting my social security, and my pension will drop to about $300 per month.

Also, if I die before Kevin, he will continue to receive 75% of my pension. I am so very grateful for this benefit. And, I heard some very good news on the radio the other day. They were talking about state pension funds across the country, and how some of them are really in trouble. Wisconsin is number one in the health of its state pension fund. So, no need to worry that my money will not be there for me.

A few days ago the southern part of Wisconsin was declared to be in a severe drought. Friday and Saturday some thunderstorms rolled through parts of that area. We only had some minor sprinkles. The rain basically evaporated the minute it hit the ground.

We will be under a heat advisory again on Monday and Tuesday with highs near 100* and high humidity. I have always been a sun lover, but I am ready for some relief!

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

Monday, July 9, 2012

Some Relief and a Very Good Game

On Saturday we finally got some relief from the heat. After four days in a row with 100+ temps last week, this week is forecast to be in the mid to high 80s. That’s actually still above average, but at least we can go outside again. Last week was just too hot to be out there.

Wisconsin and much of the country are suffering from drought conditions. Governor Walker declared a state of emergency for 42 counties in our state today. Crops are withering all over the place. I feel bad for the farmers. I heard today that the country set a record for the warmest first six months of the year. Makes me think there is truth to the global warming theory.

Of course, with that many days above average, I’m thinking there will come a time when temperatures are below average. I hope it’s not in Texas this coming winter :)

Today we finally went golfing again. It had been a while due to the hot, hot, hot temps. We played at Kestrel Ridge Golf Course. We’ve played there many times before. Usually nine holes on a weekday takes us about 1.5 hours. Today took 2.5 hours. There were some super slow groups in front of us. Both of us still managed to have good games.

I actually had my best score of the season. I’ve been golfing off and on for many years. I used to only play a few times a year, and my scores were always in the high 60s to low 70s. Since we started our full-time life, we’ve been trying to play once a week during the summer. There are two courses in the area that I like. My scores have been slowly improving.

Today I shot a 60. That may not be so good compared to most people, but for me its very good. I had two bad holes. The other seven were very good. Just imagine what my score would have been if I hadn’t had those two bad holes. I’m actually beginning to enjoy golf and look forward to going again.

Yesterday I went to a craft fair in the park in Beaver Dam. There must have been over 100 exhibitors. My sister-in-law, Laura and her sister were among them. Laura makes all things Victorian. She had some beautiful items for sale. It was a nice day for all those people to sell their crafts. The previous three years this show has had rain.

Laura Craft Fair

For many years my mom and I used to do craft fairs. I enjoyed looking at what people created and would sometimes buy something that struck my fancy. I didn’t buy a single thing yesterday. I still like to look, but most things don’t interest me anymore. I’ve decorated our home the way I like, and don’t have room for anything more. There were a few items I might have liked, but nothing I was willing to open my wallet for.

2012-07-08 15.03.28I did think this outdoor decoration was pretty funny. I thought the sentiment only applied to Las Vegas, but apparently campers are included. Very cute!








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

Friday, July 6, 2012

Knee High By The 4th Of July

Have you ever heard the saying about corn being knee high by the 4th of July? I don’t know where the saying came from, but I’ve heard it since I was a kid. It’s supposed to be an indication for farmers that if their corn is knee high by the 4th of July, they will have a good crop.

With the drought and extreme hot temperatures, I’m really surprised the corn in the field behind us is doing so well. Look how tall it is. I’m 5’4” tall, and its as tall as I am. Too bad it’s field corn. No sweet corn suppers for us from this corn.


My garden is also doing well. I water it every day to keep it going. We’ve already had several meals from the lettuce. Today I picked my first beans, and the cherry tomatoes should be ripening pretty soon. The tomatoes are taking over. The beans are behind the tomato plants, there are cucumbers on the far side and pepper plants in front of the tomatoes.


I read on Pinterest that peppers need magnesium. They suggested spraying them with an Epsom salt and water solution. I did it once and the peppers seem to be growing better. I did a second application today. We’ll see how it goes.

I hope everyone had a happy 4th of July. Ours was very quiet. It was actually rather strange. Since the 4th was on a Wednesday, we have had people coming and going all week. Due to the heat, we’ve had a few cancellations. On the 4th we had only 8 sites occupied. They were all RVs with air. The high was 102*. I went outside a few times and there was no one around. Everyone was inside their RV. Even the boat launch was eerily empty. Apparently, it was too hot even to go out on the lake.

Yesterday the high was a record breaking 104*. We spent the day with a group of friends that were camping together at Fountain Lake RV Park near Waupaca. This group of friends has been camping together over the 4th for many years. We used to camp with them, but due to our hosting duties, we aren’t able to camp. Instead we’ve visited for a day last year and this year.

Their park has a club house with an air conditioned library room. We spent all day inside playing games and visiting. We even ate dinner in there. It was just too hot to be outside. It was great to see everyone, and we had a good time. Kevin even managed to win a few bucks playing cards. One of the couples, John and Carol, celebrated their 54th wedding anniversary yesterday. John made an amazingly delicious cheesecake for desert. Congratulations John and Carol, and we’re wishing you many more happy years together.

Today’s high is predicted to be 102* with dew points in the 70s. Sunday this heat wave is finally supposed to break with highs only in the 80s. Who would have thought that 80s would sound cool :)

Although the temperatures are supposed to drop to more tolerable levels, there is still no rain in the ten day forecast. I have a feeling the burn ban will continue for some time. One advantage of the burn ban, is it’s easier for us to be gone from the park. Since we don’t have to be selling fire wood, its not as big a deal if we’re gone in the evening.

So, yesterday we were able to stay for dinner with our friends. Tonight we’re going to fish fry with some of Kevin’s former co-workers. Next Saturday we’re going to a birthday party. I guess every cloud has a silver lining :)

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

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Doing the Happy Dance!

It rained this morning!!! It was only for about 15 minutes, but I heard the corn in the field behind us going “Ahhh”. It certainly wasn’t enough rain, but at this point we’ll take anything we can get.

We are about 30 miles from Madison. It turns out it was the driest June in Madison history. Milwaukee was third driest. June was also 5 degrees above normal in the temperature department. We are on track to have the warmest year in Madison history.

Yesterday we were under a heat advisory. Today they’ve changed it to an excessive heat warning until 10 pm on Friday. Today’s high is forecast to be 100 degrees and Thursday is forecast for 104. That’s the actual temperature. The heat index is supposed to be around 110. Dew points are near 70 which is tropical.

We only have one air conditioning unit in our 5th wheel. Normally, it’s not a big deal. But, when temps are near 100 degrees, we wish we had a second unit. Our next RV will have two air conditioners.

Our site only has two small trees which don’t give us any shade. So, we bake in the sun all day long. Yesterday afternoon our inside temp was 87. The air runs all day, but it just can’t keep up. We have all the shades down and have blocked every spot the sun shines in. We have three fans going. At least the humidity is lower inside, but it’s still hot by the end of the day.

It cools off enough to be able to sleep comfortably. That’s a very good thing. Kevin is working half days. There’s not that much to do anyway without the grass cutting. I’ve been staying inside and working on some sewing projects.

You may remember I wrote a blog post last September about some vintage camper fabric I bought. I was going to make a tote bag out of it. I cut out all the fabric for the tote last fall and started sewing it. The pattern requires you to sew the outside and inside parts of the bag separately and then join them together. When I went to join my parts together, I realized I really screwed up. I had cut the camper fabric in the wrong direction so my outer bag part was tall and narrow rather than short and wide like it was supposed to be.

P1130110I was so disappointed in myself that I put the project aside. This year I purchased some more fabric and ended up with two bags. The flip flop fabric is how its supposed to look. The camper fabric is my goofed up bag. I’m keeping the camper one for myself. The other one will be a gift. I learned a good lesson about cutting fabric from all of this!

I had two small quilt tops completed for donation to Project Linus. They give quilts to needy children. I’m now working on quilting those so I can donate them before we leave. Then I have a quilt pattern I’m anxious to get started on. It will be a Christmas gift.

I know most of the country is suffering from this excessive heat. So, try to keep cool everyone!

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