Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain

Friday, August 28, 2015

Summers Heating Up

Monday August 10- Friday August 14-The beginning of the week is when I start out with my cleaning and laundry. Like to start the week out with good intentions to get lots of things done. The weather has been extremely summer like. Its been hot and humid, what Iowa is known for. I worked on the blog and I tried to make it to the beach on Monday. I have a hard time staying at the beach for any length of time. Either its so hot I feel like I'm melting or people are there with there children but not watching them. It makes me a nervous wreck watching those little ones in the water when the adults aren't paying any attention. Jeff worked some on waxing the rig. Its a long process but rewarding after its finished. We spent Friday in town, we went out for a sandwich. Jeff took me to the quilt store to get some refill lead for my marking pencil. I resisted all the beautiful fabrics this time. We had a bit of a problem in the campground. Earlier in the week I had helped a couple tag a couple campsites for the weekend. They hadn't been here in awhile and wasn't sure of the procedures. Well before they could get there campers out here someone had decided to pull there tag and put theirs in. Well I talked to him but I don't think he listened very well. We tracked down a DNR guy and he talked to them and told them they would have to move. Lucky for them a spot came free so they didn't have to leave the park. We travel to a lot of new campgrounds and we don't ever set up if we are in doubt. Some people just set up first ask questions later. Seems to me that's a risky way to do it..

Saturday August 15- We got up early today, we are taking a road trip to Keokuk, Iowa. We dropped off the dogs at our sons house to watch while we were gone all day. Off we went. Our reason for making the trip was to attend the annual fireman's picnic. We left early to make a few stops before the picnic. First we stopped by Jeff's brothers house to visit. Then we went with them to get some lunch. We drove around our hometown to look for any changes. It was a bit depressing. A lot of places are looking very rundown. We stopped by the fire station to visit with those on shift. Then we went to the Elks to visit and eat. My niece was working the bar. She called my sister to come down so I got to visit with her. We ate and got caught up with everyone. It was a good evening but we made the mistake of staying too late. We had to drive home in the dark and neither of us can see that good at night. To make it worse the bugs were horrible. I mean really bad. Jeff couldn't hardly see through the windshield. The good news is we made it back safe with a really dirty truck.

Sunday August 16- A big day at Pleasant Creek State Park today. It's the Pigman Triathalon. It's a half tri. They start off with a 1.2 mile swim in the lake. I went down around 7 a.m. so I could watch them swim. They start with the elite athletes. The race started at 7:30. They had about 500 athletes.

The elite athletes made the swim look easy. This is a pretty big deal, this race. This year they actually closed the roads in the park from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. After the swim they jumped on there bikes for 56 mile bike ride. This part of the race went out of the park. I was amazed how fast they did this part of the race. The day started off nicer than I thought it would be. But by the bike portion the temperature was rising.

When the racers get there bikes, they just drop and go. The bikes they are using have quite a range from the best of the best to just ordinary bikes like you and I ride. The participants have quite a range as well. Young, old, big, small I think its about determination.

I had made my way back to our camp site. The running portion of the race was next and the route for the run was in the park. It went through the second and third campgrounds. Not our loop but we could watch them run on the road in front of our site.

Now the temperature was really hot. It was in the 90's and humid. They finished up the race with a 13 mile run. I was tired just watching them. I didn't see one person quit. I did see some of them go from running to walking but not stopping. Very impressed with all of them.

Monday August 17- We went in to town to get Ashton. This is his last week of summer vacation. We wanted one more sleepover before school started. We decided to go out for breakfast. When Ashton was little we would go out for breakfast quite often. As we were driving to Perkins Ashton says...... It's Monday right? I said yeah, he informs us that Mondays at Perkins is free slice of pie day. Who knows that? Well I guess he read it on the window. We weren't sure he knew what he was talking about until we pulled in to the parking lot. Yep its true. But we were there to early the special didn't start until 11 a.m.

Even without the pie we got plenty full. We headed to Iowa City to Petland. This pet store has puppies. You can hold them and who doesn't like that? When we arrived there was so many puppies to pick from. We picked a couple cuties to love on.

Not only did we play with puppies Ashton really liked the ferrets too. He was holding them and getting scratched by them. We pulled ourselves away from all the critters and went for lunch. We found a really nice grocery store that was right across from the pet store. Found Jeff's special chips there on sale so we stocked up on them. Then we made our way back home. When we got here we noticed the winds were nonexistent. The first thought in all of our heads was we can finally shoot off the rocket. We got the launch pad out and the rocket and set it all up. After supper we grabbed all the stuff and walked down to the beach parking lot for a lift off.

There was excitement in the air. We used to blast off rockets when Ashton was 2 or 3 but I don't think he remembers it very well. We arrived at the beach and finished setting it up. Then the countdown....3, 2, 1, blastoff. Boy did it blast off, way up and really quick. You could see the surprise on Ashton's face. I don't think he thought it would go quite that far or fast.

After the lift off the rocket's parachute opened and we watched as it started to fall. I noticed the wind had caught it. I ran to try and follow it. It was heading over a bunch of trees. I took my eyes off the thing for just a minute and I lost it. I went up and did some looking but no luck. We talked to the park ranger cause he drove by while doing his rounds. We told him about our successful lift off and also told him about how we lost the rocket. We walked back home and all 3 of us were pretty disappointed. We still have another rocket back home to put together so our spirits were lifted. When we got home we got cleaned up and watched some T.V. We were all ready to go to bed when we hear a knock at the door. Jeff and I couldn't figure out who would be knocking at the door. When I opened the door there was our park ranger Carl holding the missing rocket. Boy were we excited to have it back. Ashton was especially happy to have it back. That made the ending of the day great just like the rest of it was.

Tuesday August 18-First thing Ashton wanted to do launch the rocket. We heard thunder so we checked the launching today we have weather coming our way. So we got out the other rocket and started to put it together. This one is a 2 stage rocket, we'll probably never find it after its launched.

They almost finished putting the rocket together but had to wait for some glue to dry so we will have to finish it later. The weather did arrive and boy did it rain. We even got some hail. We had to take Ashton back home but we told him we would get his hermit crabs a bigger place to live. We stopped at the pet store in town and got a 5.5 gallon aquarium with a lid. On our way to Ashton's we stopped by some friends who just put a new floor in there 5th wheel. It looks really nice. We cant wait to see the rest of there upgrades. So back to Ashton's to move Frank and Tank into there new home. We think everyone was happy.

We had a great time with Ashton playing. We always have fun when he is around.

Wednesday August 19-The weather has really changed...its really quite chilly. It got down to in the 50"s last night. Along with the temperatures the winds have picked up and its cloudy. We met the kids, Katie, Seth, Ashton and Hailey at the trampoline park. It's a new one called Sky
Zone.  They took a day from work to spend with the kids before school. The plans were to go to a waterpark but the temperatures changed that. We watched the kids jump for awhile which is kinda comical. They love that place.

The place was really busy today I guess everyone had the same idea. Katie lost her Garmin Vivofit. It fell off into the sponges and she couldn't find it. She notified someone so hopefully she will get it back. Ashton was working on a new trick. He was trying to do a double but as you can see he did a 11/2 instead. He was stuck in the sponges head first so mom helped him out. Only that boy could manage that. It was pretty funny. After we went for lunch at Hu Hot. Its a Mongolian grill restaurant. Hailey got a picture of everyone.

When we left there we took Hailey with us. Since her brother stayed with us she wanted her turn. So we brought her home. We had a surprise for her at the camper. We got her a weaving loom that you can make potholders with. I used to make them when I was little. She wasn't sure of the gift when we first brought it out but after I explained about it and we actually started she loved it.

She could put the bands on the loom but I had to help with the weaving part. Together we finished the first potholder. Both of us were excited. We started another but didn't get it done. There's always tomorrow.

Thursday August 20- It was still a bit cooler than normal but the sun is out so that helps. After pancakes for breakfast we headed back to the pet store with the puppies, Her brother told her so she wanted to go too. That was an easy problem to fix. Back to Petland we go. Hailey was really excited about the puppies and the bunnies.

After the pet store we stopped at the mall in Coralville. We had lunch and looked around a bit. Hailey found something she couldn't pass up so..........

She picked out the zebra to ride and away we went. Then we headed back to the campground another satisfied kid. That makes us both very happy. We ended the day with painting of her fingers and toes. We also finished up another potholder. On this one she is doing the weaving. She really catches on quick.

Friday August 21-It was another beauty of a day. Made breakfast for Sissy and her and I went for a walk. I started the laundry and I had a helper to sort. I'm not used to having a helper I raised boys. Then we started another potholder. We watched all the campers pull in for the weekend. After lunch Katie and Ashton came out to the beach. We went down and the sun was shining and the beach wasn't very crowded. It was a nice day. Katie took Hailey home and it was back to a quiet camper.

Saturday August 22- I got up early to get the cleaning done before the campers wake up. Since we had kids most of the week I haven't been able to do my usual walk. I definitely wanted to get that in. I sat out to walk and I heard a loud speaker coming from the beach. Well I found our fairly quickly that there is a 5K, 10K run going on. It wasn't to long before I was passed by the runners. I wasn't sure where I should have walked but I stayed my usual course. It was a real nice day today. After I returned from my walk I started getting ready, we have a wedding to attend. The couple that are getting married is our younger sons friends. He and Justin play in a band together. The weather cooperated because the wedding took place outside. It was short and sweet. Everything went off without a hitch.

The reception was real nice too. The food was good and so were the cupcakes. The whole thing turned out real nice.

Sunday August 23-I got woke up today around 4 a.m. its seems Soffee has a tummy ache. You can hear it rumbling. She wasn't going to lay back down so I just got up with her. Not a good way to start the day. The weather outside was pretty but the wind was wild. It wouldn't die down either. That made my walk really tough. I just walked around the campground loops hoping that would block some of it. Since I woke up so early I was tired most of the day. I did some cleaning out of things. We will have to do that again before we hit the road again. Usually we watch everyone leave but this week we had more pull in. I guess the weather is suppose to be really good next week...we'll see. Another fun filled couple of weeks. Can't wait to see what will happen the next 2 weeks......

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Bring On August.....

Monday July 27- The start of another week. It really feels like August out there today. After the busy weekend I decided to do some extra cleaning at the shower house. Jeff left early to get some blood work done. They are doing a recheck of his cholesterol since his diet change and medicine. He left as early as he could because you cant eat or drink coffee. The eating not that much of a problem but the coffee, he kinda likes that in the morning. I went for a walk after my cleaning but it was tough the heat and humidity was brutal. Jeff was back really quick, they took him right in and sent him back home. The results will be posted on the web site. He really likes this doctor, the office and the procedures. Hope that continues. Since it was so miserable out we wimped out and spent a lot of the day inside.

Tuesday July 28- From heat and humidity to rain today. We had an appointment at the vets to get the dogs there rabies shots. They are always really quick there. We also got Belle some of her expensive dog food there. The price stayed the same but the amount of food went down.....go figure. Since the weather was crappy and it was Tuesday we went to the movie. There is one theater that has a special on ticket prices on Tuesdays...$5.00.  We went and saw the movie Southpaw, I liked it but am still having a problem skipping the popcorn. We made a few stops before heading back home, its still sprinkling out.

Wednesday July 29- Had a big day planned today. Jeff got up really early and went into town to pick up the kids. We are taking a road trip. First we fixed some breakfast before loading up our stuff. We packed a picnic lunch and headed to the Maquoketa Caves State Park. We had never been and the kids haven't been either. We were all excited about our new adventure. Maquoketa Caves is one or Iowa's most unique state parks.Caves, limestone outcroppings and rugged bluffs provide opportunities for visitors to explore. A beautiful trail system links the caves, scenic features and park facilities while providing an exciting hiking experience. The paths were fairly easy to follow. The views were especially nice. Jeff and I were both surprised by how special this place was. There are 14 caves with varying levels of accessibility. Some can be explored by walking. Dancehall Cave has a concrete walkways and a lighting system. Some caves are only accessible by crawling. We skipped those crawling caves....maybe next time.

Jeff, Ashton, Hailey and I all really enjoyed our hike. Some of the paths were a bit muddy but we avoided the big mud. We climbed stairs, slid down some muddy paths, climbed up some rocks and jumped over some creeks. We didn't really know what to expect when we went but next time we will come more prepared for the adventure. Hailey got a bit tired at the end but she was a trooper and finished it up.

Everyone was getting tired and hungry so we made our way back to the picnic area and washed up. We got our food out of the truck and had a nice picnic lunch. The weather was perfect. It was sunny and warm but not too hot.

 Ashton and Jeff went back down to the first cave and took another look after lunch but Hailey and I stayed back. We cleaned up our muddy shoes and got in the truck for the ride home. I thought for sure the kids would fall asleep but they decided to pick at each other on the way home. When we got home we unloaded and then took a walk up to the playground here at the campground. Hailey spotted the playground equipment as we were leaving the caves and we told her we would go to ours when we got home and she didn't forget. Come to find our Hailey never liked the swings before. Papa put her on and pushed her easy and then we couldn't get her off.

Ashton on the other hand was not afraid of the swings, we couldn't keep him in the swings. He preferred leaping out of the swings after getting them going really good. That boy is definitely all boy. He scares us sometimes.

After the park we took them back home but not before stopping and getting pizza for supper. The kids were very happy we stopped. Hailey told us that this was the most awesome pizza place. She thanked us over and over. Both kids thanked us for the trip to the caves as well. While we were on the path Hailey looked up and said thank you for bringing us here...its really awesome. Well that made the trip worthwhile. What a great day. We had a great time with the kids, we were outside, did some exercising, and made us a great memory......

Thursday July 30- Well after that busy day yesterday running we decided to stay put today. I did the usual cleaning, laundry and went for a walk. It was such a pretty day I decided to ride my bike to the beach. The rest of the day we didn't do to much. Maybe resting up from yesterday. We skipped Ashton's hockey practice tonight. We usually go every time.

Friday July 31- Wow a really nice day today. My walk this morning was particularly nice. It seemed the birds were singing extra loud. When I got back I helped Jeff with the A.C. unit in the bedroom. It seemed kinda loud last night. We took it apart and cleaned it. Sometimes some of the foil inside comes loose and it gets spit out. Katie and the kids were coming out to the beach today. I went down early to get some quiet time before everyone came.

It was a fun day, the sky was blue, the sun was shining, the water was warm and everyone had a great day. When it came time to leave Hailey was going with her other grandma and Ashton was gonna stay with us. He forgot his overnight bag so he had to go back in. Katie's mom took him in and brought him back out. We all went to bed fairly early because we have another BIG day planned tomorrow.....Fish-O-Rama..more about that tomorrow.

Saturday August 1- We got up very early today, around 5 a.m. We wanted to be in Cedar Rapids by 6 a.m. Today is the Fish-O-Rama. You pay to fish and they tag fish for prizes. We have talked about going for years and Ashton brought it up and everything just worked out this time. You can't fish til 7 a.m. but you need to get a spot. Its really busy and crazy there. People get in line the night before to get a spot. We didn't even consider that. We arrived found a place to park, unloaded our chairs and fishing stuff and waited for the count down to cast off.

Jeff caught one right away but it didn't have a tag on it. The cool thing was it was an albino catfish. Ashton thought that was really neat. Jeff had another bite and let Ashton bring it in. Then all of the sudden all the fish quit biting. So it was pretty boring. They had other activities for kids. Ashton found some boys he knew from school and he ran with them. He did a casting contest and some other things. The good news was it wasn't smoking hot out. We even had a lot of shade. We decided to head out around 1. It went today til 5 o'clock. Ashton is trying to talk Papa into coming back tomorrow... we'll see. When we got home we were kinda tired then we saw a cool thing roll into the campground. A motor home pulling what looked like a miniature paddle wheel boat. We went over to check it out and its a puppet stage. The people are from California and travel around to the fairs and put on shows. You don't see that everyday.

Well, we told Ashton if you are going to  catch fish you need to know how to clean them. So Papa gave him his first lesson on cleaning a fish. He even got to help some. He thought it was pretty neat.

We had another full day and Ashton talked Papa into going back tomorrow. I'm going stay back this time. We put in a movie after supper and Ashton fell asleep real fast.

Sunday August 2- Ashton and Papa got up early again. I got up too but I stayed back and they headed in to try there luck. I cleaned the shower house and went for a walk. The guys were back by 11 o'clock. No luck with a prize fish but someone gave them a couple more fish to clean. They didn't catch any today. I made them brunch when they got back. Then Seth came and picked up Ashton. Boy it got really quiet around here with him gone. All the campers left to so it was extra quiet.

Monday August 3- Joan had someone bring up the power washer to the shower house. We told her we would power wash the floors. Our shower house is very old and the concrete floors get pretty dirty even if you do mop. Jeff said it would take about 30 minutes, boy was he wrong. 3 hours later we were done. Seth and Katie invited us to supper tonight. Jeff decided to smoke the fish so he could share with Ashton. Ashton got bored while he was home today and called his Nana to come get him so he missed the fish he helped clean. While there Jeff fixed there kitchen faucet. Then we all rewarded ourselves with Orange Leaf....our favorite frozen yogurt place. After we headed back home and called it a day.

Tuesday August 4- Another really nice day. We heard a plane this morning so we went out to check it out. There was a crop dusting plane buzzing around. They are kinda neat to watch.

The rest of the day consisted of doing what needed to be done. We aren't on a permanent vacation you know. We still have work to be done.

Wednesday August 5- We had the usual things to do but after that we both got up on the roof of the rig and did some cleaning. We cleaned the covers of the vents and the covers on the A.C. Those magic erasers work really good on them. They looked almost like new. Jeff found a few spots that needed attention with the caulk gun. Next he wants to start the wash and wax process, probably next week.

Thursday August 6- It was pretty today, so after cleaning and walking I went to the beach. I got down there early and when I arrived there was only 1 other adult there. It didn't take long for others to arrive. I don't mind the people but I do mind stupid people that bring there kids and don't watch them. It is posted that there is no lifeguard. When you bring little kids that can't swim and don't put a life jacket on them and sit in the sand visiting not watching the kids it aggravates me. I couldn't take it, made me nervous and I didn't even know them. We went in tonight to watch Ashton practice tonight. They weren't on the ice they usually use. They were on the practice ice. After leaving there we stopped to see Justin and Molly. They have been out of town and we haven't seen them for awhile. That's it for this Thursday.

Friday August 7- It looked a bit rainy today, we each got short walks in but the sky looked pretty threatening so we didn't walk too far from the camper. Well what to do? It's rainy so its a movie day. Jeff stopped for lunch at Firehouse Subs, his favorite sandwich shop.Then we went to the show. This time we saw Selfless. It was showing at the Collins Road Theater so we get popcorn. They have real butter instead of that fake stuff. The movie was good and with popcorn it made it even better. When we got out of there it had started to clear up. I was happy cause my best friend is coming up for the weekend. After supper Jeff started a fire. I sat outside and waited for Judy to arrive. We sat by the fire and talked the night away. That's one thing we never run out of conversation.

Saturday August 8- Well the weather man was wrong again. It was suppose to be sunny and warm. It wasn't, it was rainy. We did get to go for a walk before it started. So guess what we did? A movie. This time we saw Max. A family movie about a dog. It was good. Took Judy to the 1/2 price book store and found some more deals on movies. So in case it rains again we will have it covered. We like to go there. The movies we got were only $1.00. Cant go wrong with that. You can give them away when you're done. We came home sat outside a bit cause the rain had stopped. Then we got cleaned up and headed into Cedar Rapids for supper at White Star. It was good but better the last time we ate there. We also hung around there cause Justin was playing there at 9 o'clock.

We stuck around til about 11 or 11:30. The place was hopping and the music was good. It was raining again. It was raining pretty good. That's why we stayed so long we though it would quit but not so much.

It was a fun evening out. We made our way home and called it a night.

Sunday August 9- Morning came quick because of our late night. It rained all night long. It did clear off though. Judy and I went for a walk. Its nice because we used to go for walks when we lived in Keokuk. We got back and just sat outside and enjoyed the day. Judy left around 3:30, so did most of our campers. It was quiet. The weekend went really fast. It was great fun to hang out with my bestie. Well til next time........