Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
January 17, 2017 - Florida Keys

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Enjoyable Family Time

We left Wisconsin on October 9th, heading to Waterloo, Iowa for a few nights. We like staying at George Wyth State Park. Their fall rate of $11 per night for a 50 amp site can't be beat. No water or sewer at the site, but great for a few nights. We visited with Kevin's brother and his family, and really enjoyed seeing everyone and catching up on each other's lives.

While at the park, we had some visitors. There were probably about 20 turkeys wandering through the campground. They're lucky it wasn't too close to Thanksgiving time, or they might be in someone's cooking pot.


We spent one afternoon in Cedar Rapids catching up with our friends John and Janie. They started full time RVing the same year we did. We started reading each other's blogs, met up in person, and became friends, meeting up several times in different parts of the country. This past summer brought some changes for them. They have rented a really nice apartment near downtown Cedar Rapids to spend more time near their granddaughter. Life is always bringing changes for everyone. They showed us some of their favorite places, and some microbrews were enjoyed! It was another fun day.

Our next stop was in Lincoln, Nebraska for the weekend to spend time with our son and daughter-in-law, Korey and Cathryn. On Friday while they were at work, we went over to their house and painted the foyer ceiling for them. After they got home, we enjoyed endless shrimp at Red Lobster. We were stuffed.

Their counter top microwave died, and they wanted an over the stove replacement. We all decided it would be a great birthday present for the two of them, so we went shopping for the microwave on Saturday, and Korey and Kevin spent part of the afternoon installing it. Looks and works great.

Korey plays in the worship band at their church. On Sunday morning, we picked up Cathryn and headed to church to see Korey play and worship with them.


Then it was back home to watch the Green Bay Packers play the Minnesota Vikings. Cathryn is from Minnesota, so there was a bit of a friendly rivalry going on. The Packers quarterback was injured early in the game (he's out for the season), and the Vikings beat the Packers 23-10. Oh well. They made quesadillas for us for supper, and it was time to say goodbye. We'll be seeing them again next week in Mexico, along with our son Eric, for a family vacation.

I was having so much fun visiting with all of our family and friends at these stops, that I was very negligent in taking pictures. I'm sure they didn't mind.

The people parked next to us one night at the RV park near Lincoln had an interesting trailer on their 5th wheel. I've never seen a trailer that attaches to the trailer hitch and only has one wheel. They made good use of their hitch and ladder, storing lots of stuff.


We left Lincoln on Monday morning, and are slowly making our way to Yuma. Today we drove past Denver. I love looking at the mountains in Colorado. This time of year is especially beautiful with some frosting on the mountains and trees in full color. We'll be making five stops between Lincoln and Yuma. We like to keep it to five hours or less of traveling each day. I'll be reviewing the places we stay at on the Campgrounds page, which has a link at the top of this page, in case anyone is interested.


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

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Our Green Car Died...Or Did It?

As I've mentioned before, we've been using our 2000 Pontiac Grand Am in the summers when we're in Wisconsin. It has 218,000 miles on it, and has been an awesome car with virtually no problems ever. Kevin is very good at maintaining our vehicles, and I'm sure that's part of the reason it lasted so long. We've been storing it in the winters for the past seven years, but it has sure been nice having a second car in the summers. Our plan is to work one more year at the park in Beaver Dam, so were really hoping it would last through next summer.

A few weeks ago, it wouldn't start. It turned over, but just wouldn't fire up. We have Good Sam towing, so we had it towed to the GM dealer in town. As a side note, this was the first time we've ever had to use Good Sam. The entire experience was excellent. Of course, we weren't stranded on the side of the road anywhere, and we weren't towing; so it was an easy call. But, I'm still glad to know it was a good experience, because we've seen some bad comments about them.

The dealer checked things out, and said it was the fuel pump. The cost to fix it would be almost $600. Nope, the car is not worth it. Too bad, it finally died. Kevin called his friend Josh who participates in Demo Derbies and asked if he wanted it. Josh said yes, and they met at the dealer where Josh took it away on his car carrier. Good bye to a great vehicle!!


Of course, it did have a big dent on the other side where the deer hit me earlier this summer. It wasn't such a good year for this car after so many great years with us.


You may remember that when the deer hit me, Josh was one of the guys that came out to the park and pulled out some of the dent so it could still be driven without the fender rubbing on the tire. We talked to Josh last week, and he asked if we would still want to drive it next summer if he could fix the fuel pump. Well, yes we really would like that. So, this winter he is going to see if he can find a pump and fix it. Then, we could drive it next year, and we would give it back to him after that. Don't count this car out yet. It may have another life or two. Maybe it's part cat!!

The weather this fall has been fantastic. Much warmer than normal, and quite dry. Because of that, the trees are barely turning colors yet. That's rare for this time of year. The weather guys are saying there may not be much color at all. I'll take the nice weather, if I have to choose. There is one tree near us that is looking quite pretty.


The sun isn't coming up until almost 7 am these days. I've enjoyed seeing some gorgeous sunrises the last few weeks. It was much prettier than the picture shows.


Tomorrow we're leaving and slowly making our way to Arizona. We're starting out by spending three nights in Iowa to visit Kevin's brother's family and our friends John and Janie. Then four nights in Lincoln, Nebraska to visit our son and daughter-in-law, Korey and Cathryn. Then five more nights on the road until we get to Yuma. We don't want to be driving too much in one day, as we have lots of time.

We'll only be in Yuma five days, and then it's off to Mexico for a family vacation. Lots of fun times ahead!

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

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Successful Paint Job

In my last post, I mentioned that we were taking our fifth wheel to Budget Truck and Auto in Janesville, Wisconsin to get the front and end caps painted. Both are dark brown and began oxidizing by the second year we owned it. It is a 2014 Jayco Pinnacle with a two year warranty, so Jayco agreed to pay for us to get it painted. It took quite some time to find someplace that would do a quality job in a time frame we could accept.

We were told they could do it in seven business days, but it actually took two weeks. Our dear friends allowed us to stay at their summer home across the road from the park we work at, so that worked out great. I don't know what we would have done without their generous offer. It was actually kind of nice walking over to the park to work our part-time hours and not be here all the time. A nice break for us.

We picked the fifth wheel up on Monday, and are very satisfied with the result. It looks 100% better. While I was coordinating this project with Jayco, they were being difficult about shipping the proper decals the the repair facility. I finally asked if we had to have the Jayco decals in order to have it paid for under warranty. They said no, so we decided we didn't need the Pinnacle decals on the front and back. The repair facility created a decal similar to the one that was on the front, only a little bigger as there wasn't going to be anything else on there. We think it turned out very nice.

Here are the before and afters. The first two pictures are before. You can really see the oxidation on the close up.



Here's the front after.


The decal is similar with the mountains, and we're fine not having the brand name up there.

Here's the before of the back. You can see there was oxidation on the top, along the ledge under the windows and on the flat surface under the windows. It actually looked worse than the pictures show.


Here's the back now. Again, we don't care that it doesn't say Pinnacle on it.


It's so shiny, everything is reflecting off of it. Can you tell we have a corn field behind us. Budget Truck and Auto were excellent to work with. They told us the reason so many brown trailers are having the oxidation problems has to do with the Gel Coat manufacturers are using. It is now coated with Clear Coat which is used on cars. Now we have to wax the sides so it is shiny all over.

The pictures really don't do justice to the amazing difference in how it looks. Although it was a pain, we're really glad we had it done. Especially since Jayco paid the nearly $4,000 bill.

While it was there, we had all four tires replaced from China bombs to the new Goodyear Endurance tires. We've heard good things about these tires, and hope we don't end up with more blow outs.

We have twelve days left here at the park in Wisconsin, and then we're out of here. Not like I'm counting down or anything. The weather the last week was insanely hot and humid for late September. We had temps in the 90s for several days, with many records being broken. As is typical for Wisconsin, we had a 30 degree temperature swing today with a current temperature of only 62. I'm not complaining. I like cool fall days. But, we went from air conditioner running all day the last few days to fireplace running today.

We're taking two weeks to get from Wisconsin to Yuma, Arizona; visiting friends and family along the way in Iowa and Nebraska. On October 26th, we're flying out of Phoenix to the Riviera Maya in Mexico for an all-inclusive five night vacation with our kids. That's our 40th anniversary trip, and I'm really looking forward to it.

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

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Winding Down

It's been about three weeks since I posted a message. Since we spend six months in one location in the summer, I don't post as often because I don't want to bore all of you. We've been at this same park for seven years, and not that much excitement happens. That's probably a good thing.

I've been asking for new wood chips in our playground for the past few years. We were down to just dirt in there. It's shaded, so often damp. I'm sure kids were getting pretty dirty. Part of the reason it took so long to get them is because the mound system is next to the playground, and it was pretty much impossible to get a big truck in there to dump the wood chips.

This year the powers that be decided the huge truck would dump the chips on one of our least used sites. They brought over a tractor with a bucket on the front. They filled the box on the back of our Gator at the park, and brought buckets over with the tractor. There were five of us from the county working on this project, and we got it done in about five hours. It was forty yards of wood chips. That's a lot!! Thank goodness they brought over the tractor and extra help. If Kevin and I had to move all of them with a wheelbarrow, we would still be at it next year. Just look at that huge pile.


The campground has been very busy again this summer. We were full or nearly full all weekends between mid May and Labor Day. This weekend we only have eight sites in use. It was a beautiful weekend, so I'm a bit surprised by the low turnout. Next weekend is also supposed to be fantastic weather. We'll see how many campers show up.

I must say I'm happy for the slow down. We really have very few problems, but it's so nice and peaceful in the park when there is not much business. Of course, we wouldn't have a job if it was always empty. Darn!

A few weeks ago there was a group here that we recognized. We belonged to a Jayco camping club for over thirty years before becoming full timers. There are a few other Jayco clubs in the state, and the Central Rolling Jaybirds had their August outing at our park. We had met some of them in past years at state rallies. It was fun catching up.


We are going to be homeless for the next two weeks. Our Pinnacle fifth wheel began showing signs of oxidation on the front and back caps last fall. I contacted Jayco, and they said they would pay to have it repainted. The problem was finding someplace to do it in a timely manner. Most of the Jayco dealers I called either wouldn't do it at all or wanted us to bring it in winter and leave it for at least a month. That just wasn't going to work for us at all.



After much research, I found Budget Truck and Auto Repair in Janesville, about 1-1/2 hours from here. They specialize in truck, auto and camper accident repair and painting. We knew two people who had work done there and were very satisfied. It took some doing to get Jayco to allow us to get the work done at a non Jayco dealer, but I convinced them that the dealers just wouldn't work with us.
So, today we are packing it up and dropping it off at the repair facility.

While it's there, we are having all four tires replaced as well. We've had our current China bombs for two years, and don't trust them for another trip to Arizona. We are getting the new Goodyear Endurance tires. They are supposed to be much better for fifth wheels. We'll see how they do.

We have become friends over the past few years with a couple that own a lake home across the road from the park. They have very generously offered to let us stay at their home while our fifth wheel is getting repainted. They are going to be on vacation, so weren't planning to come to the lake during this time. Thanks so much Tim and Pam. They certainly are making it easier for us to be homeless. We will be able to walk across the road to the park to do our jobs.

I'll post pictures of our newly painted front and back caps when we get our fifth wheel back in a few weeks. Hopefully, it will look much better.

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

Friday, August 18, 2017

Celebration Picnic

Last Sunday we attended a celebration picnic with members of my family. In the year 2017, we are celebrating several special birthdays. My mom will be 80 in October, I turned 60 yesterday, my brother turned 50 in March, and our daughter-in-law will be 30 in November. Kevin and I also celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary in June. That's a lot of special days in one year.

My brother Ron rented a picnic shelter at a park in Hartford, and ordered lunch from a caterer he was familiar with. The weather was beautiful, the food excellent and the company enjoyable. My mom had invited her friend Bob's family as well. They've been dating for a few years, and we hadn't met his extended family. I think everyone had a great time.

Our family is pretty small, but with Korey and Cathryn living in Nebraska, we don't get together that often. It was great to have us all in the same place again. I know my mom and I really enjoyed everyone being together. In addition to my mom, there is my brother Ron and his wife Laura and their new puppy Snoops. Kevin and I were joined by our sons Eric and Korey, and his wife Cathryn.


 Here are all the special birthday family members for 2017.


 Its always very special for me to have our little family together. I love these people so much!!!


Korey and Cathryn were only able to stay for a few days. They stayed at the RV with us, so we had Monday together for a relaxing visit. We played some bean bag toss, sat around chatting and enjoyed a campfire together.

Yesterday was my 60th birthday. Every year we've been working in Beaver Dam, I've wanted to attend the Dodge County Fair. For some reason or other, we've never gone. Yesterday was the day we finally went. I really enjoyed the pig, duck and goat races. In fact, it was so much fun, we went twice. Other than that, we wandered through some tents selling the standard stuff and visited the animal barns. It's so amazing how hard the kids work on raising and caring for their animals. A whole world we know nothing about. I know the sale of their animals helps some of the young people earn enough money to attend college.


We planned to stay for the Oak Ridge Boys concert in the evening, but there were some pesky rain showers throughout the day, and they came back while we were waiting. By 8 pm when the show was supposed to start, it was still raining and we were soaked. The show was obviously going to be delayed, so we gave up and went home. Good thing the show was included in the admission price, so we weren't too concerned about missing it.

A few weeks ago, I saw this cool cloud formation. I see a troll laying down. You can see his chin, nose, eye, forehead, ear and tall hair. His arm is down near the tree. Does anyone else see it??


The campground will be near full again this weekend. Only two more weeks until Labor Day. The summer is almost over. Time sure flies. We plan to leave on October 9th, so not that many more weeks to go. I have to admit, I'm looking forward to heading south again. Especially, since we have a family trip to Mexico planned for the end of October!

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

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Big Brother is Watching

When we began our full time RV adventure seven years ago, we decided to remain Wisconsin residents for a number of reasons including inexpensive vehicle registration costs. We have used our son's address for our mailing address since that time.

Several counties in southeastern Wisconsin require bi-annual emission testing including the county our son lives in. However, we spend the summer working at a park/campground that is in a county without the requirement. Diesel trucks are exempt, so it would just be for our 2000 Pontiac Grand Am that we only drive in the summer.

When I sent in our registration one of those first years, I noticed that you could report the vehicle is kept in a different county than your mailing address/residence. Since this fit our situation, I registered that car in Dodge County and never heard another word about. It saved us the hassle of having to get it tested when it wasn't necessary.

Two weeks ago we received a letter at our son's house stating that our car had been observed at our residence and we needed to get it tested. Reporting false information was a crime, and could result in a fine for us. There was a number to call if you wanted to talk to someone about it.

Well, I was pretty upset. I visit Eric about twice a month, so how was my car observed at his house?? Are the police in his town running the plates of vehicles parked in front of residences? Are we on some kind of watch list? I think I probably overreacted, but it was a strange feeling.

I called Paul at the DMV and had my whole story ready for him. He was probably the nicest public employee I've ever encountered. All I had to do to resolve the issue was send him a text with a picture of our pay stub from the county we're working in, and all was well. He closed the case.

I asked him how our name came to his attention. It turns out that repair facilities that do the testing for the state are randomly inspected by the DMV. There is a list of people who report keeping their vehicles in a different county than their address on their driver's license. When the inspectors are out and about, they cross reference the list to see if any of those addresses are near them. It just so happened that my car was at Eric's  house on a day the inspector was in that neighborhood.

I found out that people falsely report a different county to avoid testing a car that will fail the emission test, or to avoid a wheel tax in some counties or for cheaper car insurance prices than in the county they live in. Well, we weren't cheating, but I can understand why they check up on people.

It's amazing how much we are being watched without even being aware of it. Cameras are everywhere, and I think big brother is definitely out there :)

In other news, we've been very busy at the park. Weekends are completely full, and we've even had quite a few sites occupied during the week. In our free time, we've gone golfing a few times and visited Eric.

Last weekend was the annual quilt auction at the camp our son Korey works at. Each year nearly 500 quilts are donated and the camp raises nearly $100,000. I've been donating some quilts for the last few years. The winning bid for my quilt this year was $325. That's the most any of my quilts have earned. Yippee! I did donate another small infant sized quilt that went for $50. I enjoy quilting, and this is a great cause for me to donate to.


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

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Puppy Paloosa

We had three families visit us last weekend at the campground. These are friends that Kevin used to work with. They brought their campers and families, and we had a great time. All three of them have added puppies to their families in the last several months. What a riot they were.

Biscuit was the youngest of the puppies at about 3 months old. He is a golden retriever and the most mellow, best behaved puppy I have ever seen. Here he is with his owner Andrew in the outside pen. Art and Dawn have two six month old puppies who were trying to get into the pen. Watching them was a hoot!


Josh brought a slide hammer to remove some of the dents the deer created in my car. The guys were able to pull the fender back from the tire and pull out the dent near the door so it can open again. It's not pretty, but at least its usable again. I told them not to bother too much, as its old and not worth much anyways. At least we can use it for the rest of the summer before we put it back in storage for the winter.


We really enjoyed the company of good friends. My work hours are Friday and Saturday from 10:30 am to 7 pm. It gets a bit lonely sometimes since we're stuck here every weekend. We enjoy when friends visit us.

The campground has been very busy again this summer. People are constantly coming and going, keeping us on our toes. We're pretty sure next summer will be our last year working here. We are ready to really retire and do some summer travelling.

The weather this summer has not been that great. Lots of heat, humidity and storms. We're over seven inches above average on precipitation so far this year. Makes for a soggy campground.

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

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Oh Deer!

First, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy 4th of July weekend. The park was fully booked, but we had two last minute cancellations. I always feel bad for all the people who wanted to make a reservation but couldn't because we were totally booked, only to have sites sit empty on such a busy holiday weekend because people cancel last minute.


Last Thursday I was headed to Eric's house at 6:45 am to let the DirecTV technician in for some upgrades to Eric's equipment. When the appointment was made, I was told it would be between noon and 4 pm as its over an hour drive for me to get to his house. The night before, they sent Eric a text saying it would be 8 am to noon. I tried to get it changed to the afternoon as was promised, but no luck. That's why I was on the road so early in the morning.

A few miles from the park, a deer came flying out of the ditch and smashed right into the passenger side of my car. I never saw it until it was right next to me, and then I just saw it out of the corner of my eye. I pulled over and didn't see the deer anywhere. It left a huge dent in the front quarter panel of the car, knocked the mirror off and broke the front headlight. Stupid deer.

We bought this car new in 2000. It has 218,000 miles on it, and has been a fantastic car for us. It makes me mad that a stupid deer damaged it. Kevin has a friend coming to visit next weekend who is an auto technician. He's bringing a special hammer to bang out the fender so it won't rub on the tire. At least we'll be able to continue to drive it, just not at night with the broken headlight. We haven't insured it for collision for the last few years because it doesn't have much blue book value anymore. At least we have the truck to drive at night. We store the car during the winter, and only use it in the summer while working at the park.


The fender was rubbing on the tire, so I limped the car back to the park, switched my stuff to the truck and hightailed it to Eric's. He was able to wait for me and be a bit late for work. Of course, as luck would have it, the technician was there right at 8 am. They're never on time unless you're running late. At least the new equipment got installed, and everything was working great.

We had also scheduled a new internet connection through AT&T which is now the parent company of DirecTV. Eric has internet through Time Warner, and when they merged with Charter to become Spectrum, they raised his rates $20 a month. The internet guy showed up as was scheduled, but said there was no signal coming to the house and something down the line had to be fixed. That appointment has to be rescheduled. Overall, not a very good day.

Last weekend we had somewhat of a celebrity in the park, although I didn't really know anything about it. For the last few years a group of people have camped at the park the 3rd weekend in June to attend the World of Outlaws race at the Beaver Dam Speedway. I thought it was just some local racing, not any big deal. I knew one of the drivers stayed here, but didn't think much of it.

I found out this year that's it's actually a pretty big deal with driver, Shane Stewart, being sponsored by Larson Marks racing. It's a sprint car and Stewart won the race last Saturday in Beaver Dam and he also won the night before in Iowa. The picture is from the web. Shane travels with his wife and daughter in a motorhome.


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

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, especially to my husband Kevin. Our two boys are lucky to have him for a father.


My dad passed away eleven years ago this month. It's so hard to believe he's been gone that long. I would give a lot to be able to spend just one more day with him.


The weather lately has been hot and humid. With that type of weather come frequent severe storms. Last Monday we had a line of storms come through late in the afternoon. We had some very strong winds which uprooted a large hickory tree in the park. Luckily, it fell in an open area, but was pretty close to one of the campers. Could have been a real tragedy.



The hickory tree hit an oak on the way down, which brought down a pretty big oak branch to the left. You can see how big the tree is compared to Kevin walking next to it.


After the storm, we had a beautiful sunset.


The sunset created a very red rainbow.


Wednesday afternoon brought more storms. It looked so scary. The picture doesn't do it justice. We were very lucky that the storms went around us, and we just had a few small branches down. There were eleven tornadoes confirmed in Wisconsin that afternoon. None did any major damage.


The campground continues to be very busy, keeping us on our toes. We're completely booked for the next two weekends. We'll see what the rest of the summer brings. We're already one-third of the way through our six month stint here.

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

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Our Ruby Anniversary

Today is our 40th wedding anniversary. After a little online research, I discovered it is the ruby anniversary. We don't have any big plans, but will be going out to dinner at Outback Steakhouse. Eric gave us a gift card for Christmas, and we will finally be using it. Since it is our ruby anniversary, I feel obligated to have a red drink to celebrate, maybe a strawberry daiquiri. It's 6 am, and I'm already planning my cocktail for this afternoon :)

I've always loved this picture from our wedding ceremony. The photographer did a little magic and superimposed one of the stained glass windows of the church above us. It really made me feel that God was blessing us that day.



Our big anniversary celebration will be at the end of October. We're taking our kids to an all-inclusive resort in the Maya Riviera area of Mexico. We've never done an all-inclusive, so are really looking forward to a great time with the family.

I was 19 when we got married. People definitely married younger way back then. So, I've been married twice as long as I was single. In some ways, the time seems like it flew by, but so much has happened in those 40 years. Kevin and I have had a wonderful life, and are looking forward to many more years together. Of course, everyone has some hardships in life, but I can't complain. We've been incredibly blessed with a happy, healthy life and wonderful children.


The weather has improved, and the park has been quite busy the last few weekends. Most weekends for the summer are fully booked or close to it. As is typical in Wisconsin, it seems we went from winter to summer overnight. The spring was much colder and wetter than normal. We had a few really beautiful days last week with highs in the upper 70s and low humidity. Absolutely perfect. On Friday it got hot and humid, and it's expected to last through most of this week with highs in the 90s. Wisconsin weather is never boring.

A few weeks ago, we had some crazy thunderstorms come through. The clouds looked like a shelf.


Last week was the end of an era for Eric. He purchased a crotch rocket motorcycle when he was 25. I was so nervous at the time, fearing for his safety. He rode it for 11 years without incident, and decided it was time to sell it. Someday, he may buy a more traditional motorcycle, but for now he has given it up. I have to admit, I breathed a sigh of relief. I think Eric was a bit sad to let it go, but he hadn't used it much in the last few years, and was ready to move on.


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

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Our Nephew's Wedding

Our youngest nephew Robert got married on Saturday. He's the last of our nieces and nephews to marry. The wedding was in Waterloo, Iowa. I work Fridays and Saturdays, so I only took off Saturday. We left at 9 am and got to Waterloo a little after 1 pm. We were able to check into our hotel early, change clothes and make it to the 2:30 ceremony in plenty of time.

They had originally planned to have an outdoor wedding at a park. The weather this spring has been terrible, and it did not cooperate for them. Luckily, they had a back up plan at the Waterloo Arts Center where the reception was held.

Here's Robert waiting for the bride. Our great-nephew Nathan, who will be nine in a few weeks, was ring bearer. He wasn't too excited about having to wear a tux, but he did a great job for his uncle Robert. It was great to see that side of the family. It is Kevin's brother's family. We haven't seen some of them in quite a few years.


Poor Brittney was suffering all day. She had surgery on her foot a few weeks ago, and it became infected, so she's been in a lot of pain. She was actually supposed to be on crutches all day, but what bride is going to listen to that.


The happy couple!



Not much else is going on with us. This has been the worst spring weather since we've been working at the park. Camper numbers are down, but even with the lousy weather, we've been about half full the last few weekends. Die hard Wisconsin campers don't let wet and cold weather keep them down.

The above average rain has made the ground extremely soggy, so Kevin has been struggling to get the grass mowed. We are fully booked for the upcoming holiday weekend. Some rain is expected during the week. Hopefully, it won't be too much as all sites are booked and some of them get quite muddy with a lot of rain.

Cold weather is keeping my bird feeder quite busy. I've seen a new bird this year that has not been here before. I believe it's called a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Exciting!


I put oriole food in the hummingbird feeder, but the orioles didn't seem to be able to perch on the feeder. I took the top off and put the bottom part full of nectar on a crate. I added the piece of wood so their feet had something more solid to sit on. That worked great. I've also been giving them grape jelly. I enjoy watching all of the birds at the feeders.


I can't stand the robins. They poop on everything. We put fake snakes on our vehicles, which helps to keep them from pooping on our stuff, but they still manage to occasionally bomb us. Somehow, they even manage to get it on our windows.

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

Monday, May 1, 2017

Seven Wonderful Years of Wandering

Today is the seventh anniversary of our life as full time RVers. In some ways, it feels like just yesterday that we began this journey. But, when I look back at all that's happened in those seven years, it feels like a very long time. Our previous life seems like another lifetime altogether.

Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't change a thing about our life before becoming full time RVers. I loved the home we raised our children in, and the memories of those first 33 years of our marriage are wonderful. We are so lucky to have had all of those fantastic years, and then to start a second phase in our married life with so many new and amazing experiences.

Here's a picture of our site on May 1, 2010. We are still spending the summers at this same site, but with a new truck and fifth wheel since then. Also, the red car was traded to our son for the green car that first year. He no longer has the red car, but we still use the green car in the summers. It's a 2000 Pontiac Grand Am with over 200,000 miles on it, but it works just fine for us in the summers.


Here we are today. Other than the obvious new vehicles and fifth wheel, what really stands out to me is how much the trees have grown in those seven years. In the late 1990s, there was a severe storm that went through the park and destroyed over 150 trees. These little trees had been planted after that storm, and they sure have grown.


In those seven years, we've stayed in 26 states and been to Hawaii, Mexico, Belize and Honduras without the RV. We've explored many amazing National Parks and Monuments, as well as lots of other interesting places throughout this country. We've had some fantastic times with our family and friends, and are living a healthier life with much less stress. We're so happy with the decision we made, and have no regrets at all.

We lucked into great jobs at Derge Park in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin from the very beginning, allowing us to spend the summers in Wisconsin near some of our family and earning some money as well. Between our jobs at the park, three years working at Amazon in the beginning of our adventure, and my pension; we've been able to earn enough to cover our expenses each year. Can't beat that. I can honestly say we have everything we need, and don't miss a thing (except maybe a dishwasher).

We've had some things go wrong; that's going to happen no matter where you live. The biggest frustration has been when things need to be repaired on the fifth wheel and you live in it. Luckily, we've found some good mobile RV repair people along the way.

We reach social security age in the next few years, so we're dreaming of some changes in our travels in the coming years. Time will tell if those dreams come true!

As you can see from the current picture above, it's raining. It's been raining for about a week. In fact, this has been the worst April weather we've had since we began this journey. Cold, wet, cold, damp, cold, rain, cold; you get the picture. It could be worse. At least we haven't had tornadoes and snow like other parts of the country had this past weekend.

The lousy weather has kept campers away. There have been very few people here since we've been back. This past weekend, we were alone in the park for the entire weekend. That rarely happens. Not good for the revenue of the parks department at the county, but a very quiet start for us. Reservations are coming in strong for May and the rest of the summer, so I'm sure we'll be plenty busy again.

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

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter


Kevin and I wish you a Blessed Easter Day. We made it to Lincoln, Nebraska on April 5th after a few longer than normal driving days for us. We like to keep our driving days to about 200 miles. In order to have more time in Lincoln to help Korey and Cathryn, we did some 300 mile days. Not a big deal.

Both kids had off on April 6th, so they took us over to see the new home. It's a great house and I'm sure it will serve them well for many years. It's about 20 years old and in very good condition.


Since this is their first home, they don't have some of the tools needed to be homeowners. We headed to Home Depot to pick up painting supplies and some paint color samples. Back at the house Cathryn painted sample colors on the walls. Korey and Kevin had a lesson on how to replace a light fixture and a faucet, and I began stripping the wallpaper in the foyer. Luckily, that was the only room with wallpaper.

I had prepared taco meat and fixings ahead of time, so we went back to their apartment and had a last meal together there. It was a nice apartment, but they are so happy to have their own home now with much more storage space.

Both of them had to work on Friday and Saturday, so Kevin and I spent those two days painting. We've painted our fair share in our years, and have a good routine for us. I do the cutting in and Kevin does the rollering. We ended up painting the family room, master bedroom, dinette and kitchen. Here are some before and afters of the family room and bedroom.





They chose colors in the gray tones. The woodwork is a medium oak, and the gray walls help tone down the wood color. It turned out very nice.

They were both off work on Sunday, so that was moving day. Kevin had emptied out the back of our truck, and we were able to move all of their large items using just our truck. No need to rent a moving truck. Their apartment was on the second floor and the bedrooms in the house are on the second floor. We were sure tired, but we got all of the big items moved. Their lease on the apartment doesn't end until early May, so they have lots of time to move the rest of the smaller items and get everything cleaned up. Nice not to have to do all of the moving in one day.

All of the climbing up and down stepladders doing the cutting in for the painting, as well as up and down stairs for the moving did a number on my knees. About eight years ago, I tore the ACL in my right knee and had surgery. It's never been right since then. I also have arthritis in both knees, so they were not happy with me. Icing and ibuprofen helped, and they will be fine after a little rest. Just a reminder that our bodies are not as young as they used to be.

We spent two more days painting while the kids were at work and finished all the projects we had planned to do. Maybe next year we'll go back and paint some more, but this was enough for one trip. Kevin was also able to help with a few other projects; installing a new light fixture, caulking, a new motion sensor light switch, new thermostat, caulking and cabinet adjustment. A very fruitful week.

Anyone who full times in an RV knows that things break. It's probably the thing that is most frustrating as RVs are known for not having the best construction. Also, it is hard to find quality repair facilities, and where do you go if it needs to be in the shop.  We had a few problems over the winter. It sure helps that Kevin is pretty handy.

On one of our trips, I came inside to find glass all over the counter. One of the pendant lights had loosened and crashed into the other one, causing it to break. It makes no sense to have lights that can swing in an RV. We're thinking that the motion of traveling loosened the screw, and we didn't notice.


At one of the stops in Florida, our automatic leveling jacks weren't working. One of them was making a terrible ratcheting sound. I did some online searching for Lippert jacks, and found a troubleshooting guide. As I read the steps, Kevin was able to do everything needed to reset the jacks. Success! They have been working great since.

We also had trouble with our Schwintek slides in the kitchen and bedroom. We were able to reset the control panel and get them working. On our last night in Iowa before getting back to Wisconsin, the kitchen slide would not go out no matter how much resetting we did. One side was not working. We were able to get into our refrigerator, so had sandwiches and called it a night. Thank goodness it didn't stop working while it was out. The sunrise in Iowa was beautiful!


We were fortunate to find Complete RV Repair in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin last fall when our refrigerator stopped working. Mark came out to the campground on Good Friday and determined the motor on one side of the slide was broken. He said that these Schwintek slides are terrible, and he doesn't feel they are made for bouncing down the road. Once he got the motor out, he and Kevin were able to pull the slide out on that side while I pushed the button to get it moving on the other side. He will order a new motor and install it when he has some time. No hurry; we're here for six months.

It's great to be back in Wisconsin. Today we're going to my mother's for Easter. I can't wait to see our son Eric and my mom as we haven't seen them since Christmas. Also, it will be good to be back to work for the summer as Florida was pretty expensive, and it's time to replenish the bank account.

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