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

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Heading South.....on the road again

Sunday October 16- We finally got on the road at 11 a.m. We waited for the fog to lift. Next stop Keokuk, Iowa. That is our old home town. We have made this journey many times. It made the trip fairly easy. We arrived at Hickory Haven campground around 1:30. It was really warming up. We set up on site #13. It was a pull through so easy. When we first hooked up the 50 amp service it wouldn't work, the water hook up sprang a leak too. Then when Jeff went to hook up the dish it wouldn't hook up either. They all seemed to work out after a while. Then we went down to see my sister at the Elks. We had a nice visit there. When you are from a small town and come back you never know who you will run in to. We did just that here at the Elks. It is super warm, I would even go as far to say hot. We got back and made supper. Jeff's brother just lives across the street from the campground so after eating we went over to visit them. We had a lot to catch up on. It was a really nice visit.

Monday October 17- It's laundry day. They have facilities here for that. Jeff had some stuff to take care of here, I wanted to go in and visit someone at the nursing home. She just lost her husband of 72 years this last year and I wanted to stop and see her. At the last place I worked we took care of there bills for them. They were the sweetest couple ever. She was happy I came and so was I. I printed off some pictures of the kids to replace the old ones too. I went back to the campground and we had lunch. After lunch, back in to town, Jeff needed to take care of some things at the bank. He also wanted to stop at the fire station. He had a nice visit with the guys on shift. We had one more thing to do today....wanted to see Teri and Matt. I worked with her. They invited us to dinner. They live really close to the campground too. Went for a nice dinner and a great meal. It was nice to get together with them..nice folk. I miss working with her.

Tuesday October 18- Another busy day of visiting ahead. We have a lunch date planned. I spent the morning putting together a baby quilt for my niece. It is a easy pattern so it didn't take long to put together. She brought me the fabrics she picked out.

We are meeting Barb and Ron in Ft. Madison at noon for lunch. They are our friends from Jonathan Dicknson, that live close to our home town. They won't be there in Florida this year. We will miss them. We ate at Chandlers and it was really good. Everyone liked what they got. We had a really nice visit. If I got paid for talking I would be rich.

 We got home and had someone waiting for us at our site. Mike and Sue came out for a visit. Jeff worked with him at the fire station. We had one more event on our agenda. We met my best friend from grade school at the Pizza Hut for supper. Coy and I were attached at the hip all through school. Her birthday was on the 14th of this month so I decided to surprise her with a gift. I gave her one of the quilts I made and I think she was surprised and happy. I know it made me very happy to give it to her.

Well that was our visit to Keokuk. When we get home like that all we seem to do is eat out and visit. Things could be worse. We never have enough time to see everyone but we cram as much visiting in as we can. Our next stop is St. Louis area.

Wednesday October 19-Traveling day.....we didn't have a lot to pack up and the temperature had really dropped. We were on the road by 9 a.m. and the weather was cloudy and gray. Again we have made this trip a lot so no guessing there. Jeff did notice a bit of a problem with the tire monitors on the way. It sprinkled a little on us on the way there. We pulled in to Ed Babler State Park, found our site #5, and backed in. We had some trouble, I guess we are rusty, sitting too long. After setting up it rained on and off the rest of the day. I used the time to get that quilt finished up. I finished the front panel and the back panel. I need to get more safety pins to get it ready to quilt. We had leftover pizza for supper.

Thursday October 20- It rained all night long and was still cloudy to start the day. This is the only day we have here and I knew I was running in to get some safety pins. We did that first and then went in to The St. Louis Zoo. We love this zoo. It's free and it's awesome. They have done a lot of improvements through the years and it just keeps getting better. The weather even improved for us. The sun showed up and it was a perfect zoo day.

As you can see the critters put on quite the show. The sea lions seem to take special notice of the kids. The polar bear was just showing off. He was up on the rocks to start and he literally did a cannon ball in to the water. Then he continued to play with every ball and barrel in the water. He would toss them at crowd. It was hard to walk away from that show. The gorillas were the exception. They weren't putting on any show. It was a good thing that my new camera has a good zoom. We stayed a couple hours and headed back. We made one more stop to eat at The Cheesecake Factory. We got us a piece of cheesecake to take home for later. Oh and we had to fill up with fuel for tomorrow.

Friday October 21- A bit chilly this morning. we wanted to get an early start. Went to put the slides in and had a problem with the slide on the door side. When Jeff brought it out it didn't seem to drop down right. When he brought it back in it didn't seem to seal up at the bottom right. Going to work on that when we land. On the road at 8:45. We had our path mapped out pretty good. Today we are going to a new park for us. It's Tom Sawyer's RV Park, in West Memphis Arkansas. It located right along the Mississippi River. We were really happy with the choice. Jeff had read a lot of people like it. Our site was #88, and a pull through. A guy in a cart drove us right to it. When we set up....good news the slide came out like it's suppose to. It's sunny and warm. They have benches up and down the river to watch all the barges. There are quite a few.

Saturday October 22- This is our only day here. We planned on going to downtown Memphis. The last time we were here didn't have enough time to see all we wanted. Jeff wanted to take a tour of the Gibson Guitar Factory. Before going in to town we stopped at a Waffle House, we love them but this one was a bit sketchy. We drove in and our first stop was at the big Bass Pro Shop. They have a huge parking lot so that's where we parked. It's quite the place.

We walked to the visitor's center and got a map of the city. There was a few things to see Elvis and BB King.

We made our way downtown to The Gibson Guitar Factory. Jeff wanted to sign up for a tour. The lady was nice enough to tell us that there wasn't any workers there today. Jeff didn't want to do it if you couldn't actually see someone making a guitar. That kind of dampened the day,

Since the tour was out we just did some walking around town. We did go to The Peabody Hotel to see the resident ducks that live there. It's a very fancy hotel with ducks living in the fountain in the lobby.

We think Beale street is probably a lot more lively at night. It was a pretty day to walk around. We got back and enjoyed some time outside by the river. I started quilting on that baby quilt.

We got back in time to watch the Iowa Hawkeye's get beat. Our son Seth and grandson Ashton  are in Chicago to watch the Blackhawk's play tonight. They have awesome seats. Seth found this picture on the Blackhawks snapshat page. The kid holding the poster up is our grandson. He manages to show up in the most unusual places. They won, not in overtime but in a shoot out. Very exciting game.

Sunday October 23- Good bye Memphis, hello Mississippi. Started the morning with a real pretty sunrise. It was an easy pack up and on the road by 8:30. A short stay at this wonderful park but would recommend it to others.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Last Week on the Job

Monday October 10- Last week here, time to get busy. I needed to go through the closets and make sure everything is there I needed. Well I did come up with a couple bags to take to Goodwill. Did some organizing, inside and out. Outside we started cleaning stuff off and either loading it up in the rig or loading it up to take to the kids to store for the winter. After lunch went to the kids house to use there washer for sheets. Jeff also wanted to wash the truck. We had to go in anyway to take Hailey to gymnastics. This will be the last time for quite awhile. She did a great job, so impressed with her.

Tuesday October 11- Another busy day. I finished up the laundry. It's windy so that dried fast. Jeff waxed the truck. I washed the windows inside and out on the truck. Getting it ready for a road trip. It was sunny so it was a real nice day to be working outside. It still is busier here than usual. We didn't feel like cooking so we went to Palo and ate at Brogans. They have yummy pizza and we haven't been eating there that much this year. It tasted really good.

Wednesday October 12- Today was an errand day. I mailed off some Christmas ornaments and got stamps. Then we ran about getting everything that was on our list. We made sure to pick up those things that you can't do without but can't find in Florida. It started off  warm temperature wise but it got cooler as the day went on. When we got back Jeff made some very good chicken noodle soup that hit the spot. We made one more trip in to watch Ashton at hockey practice, our last time to see that for awhile. Check out that goal on the second picture.......sweet! We are very proud of him.

Thursday October 13- Brrrrrr it's cold out there this morning. It got down to 31 degrees last night. Jeff even unhook the water. We were slow to get going today. Jeff made us a last fire to burn up the rest of our wood. It was perfect day because the wind was low and so were the temperatures.

The doggy's wanted to come out but it was to cold for them. After having coffee by the fire, we decided we better get something done. I cleaned up the bikes and we loaded them up. We got a new bike cover and had to figure out how it went on. We were surprised it went on so easy. Both agree it seems really nice and a lot easier to load up around the bikes....good purchase. Jeff had a visitor today, Lenny stopped by for a visit.

Friday October 14- Went to town to Lowe's to get a part for the water pump. It was dripping yesterday and wanted that fixed before going. Jeff got that fixed. I made apple crisp. That's one good thing about fall....apples, which means apple crisp. The campground is full for our last weekend here. Funny it's been busier these last 3 weekends than it has most of the summer.

Saturday October 15-Our last full day's been really windy and gray today. We finished packing up stuff. So we loaded up the kayaks, rugs and the chairs. It starting to look really bare around our campsite. We have had covers on our kayaks this summer and when we went to take them out they were covered with boxelder bugs....yuck. They seem to be everywhere when it's harvest time.

We are going to Seth and Katie's for supper tonight so I made some cheesy potatoes to take in. We got to watch the Iowa Hawkeye's win, which is a good thing. We loaded up the stuff we are going to store there and headed in. Justin and Molly came over too, along with Katie's mom and sister. The weather had gotten a bit better so we sat outside and ate. The food was tastee...we said our good byes and headed home.

Sunday October 16- We got up early, I guess we are both ready to go. The weather was foggy and we aren't going anywhere until that lifts. It took awhile but that's OK, we are only going to Keokuk, only about 2 1/2 hours away. We cleaned our last shower house for awhile and hit the road.

Good bye Pleasant Creek State Park.......see ya next year.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Back To Normal.....

Tuesday September 20- It was good rolling out of my own bed this morning. I know I'm not going to do too much around here. I have my duties as a campground host but other than that I'm taking it easy for a few days. Those kids really take it out of you. I did start sewing together rows of the quilt I started. That's not work to me, that's fun. Our campground loop has been kind of busy, but they are men working at a near by plant. They are gone most of the time.

Wednesday September 21- Not much happening here today....we went to town and did some errands. I continued sewing on my quilt. We visited with some campers that we have got to know in the area that are here camping. We went in after supper to Justin's so Jeff could practice a song on the guitar. He is going to play a song with them during there show tomorrow.

Thursday September 22- It was a rainy rainy day. We had some friends come up from Palo to look for a place to park there camper. There has been so much rain up north that it looks like this area is getting hit with a flood....again. It could really be bad. Usually if you are going to flood it's in the spring not in the fall. We noticed a lot of others showing up looking for spots for the same reason. They are predicting the water to rise by the weekend, with a crest on Monday or Tuesday. We might be stuck out here because a lot of the roads could close. We went in to get Hailey for gymnastics and got to watch her do her thing. She is so fun to watch and gets better every time. After dropping her off at home we went to The Blind Pig to watch Wellstrung play. It just poured on us driving here. I think that's why the crowd is smaller. Jeff was kind of happy it wasn't so crowded, he is a bit nervous. We had a bite to eat there and the food was really good. Jeff got up and played his song, it went well but you could tell he was a bit nervous. He didn't make any mistakes though. It was an early show so we stayed until it was over and then headed back. The rain had stopped for now.

Friday September 23-Woke up today and it's raining. Not only is Palo preparing for a flood so is downtown Cedar Rapids. They are just now getting there downtown area back up and running. They had a terrible flood in 2008 that wiped out the downtown area. The flood this time isn't quite as big but it's still high enough that the downtown would be effected. They are being very proactive this time with sandbagging and building berms to protect the area. Jeff went down to Palo to help out with the sandbagging down there. These people aren't taking any chances this time. We have company coming today. Our friends Ron and Barb, who we met in Jonathan Dickinson but live in Burlington Iowa are coming for a visit. They arrived and we got together to visit, and had dinner. It has turned a little chilly so I made some soup. We were suppose to attend a concert tomorrow at the Paramount. With this flood predicted they have postponed the show. They are removing all the seats in the theater. This is the venue our son and daughter in law just got married at. It's beautiful and they spent plenty to restore it after the first flood. We hope it doesn't get effected with this flood water. Not going to let that ruin our time with our company. We spent the night catching up with each other. It was a good time.

Saturday September 24- Our park is all a flutter with people looking for some place to escape the rising waters. We are full up. We went to town for breakfast to start the day. Then us gals that like to quilt went to the quilt store while the fellows visited in the vehicle. I almost got out of there with no fabric but that didn't happen. I spotted some fabric that was calling my name and I couldn't resist. We made a few more stops with one being at the grocery store to pick something up for supper. Since our show was postponed we decided to make our supper and spend it here at the campground. It's not always what you do, it's who you do it with. We missed The Fab Four, but we had great company to spend the evening with. 

Sunday September 25- Ron and Barb came over for coffee before heading home. They had talked about closing a road and they wanted to avoid that detour. After coffee they left for home and we left for church. The road we take to church is one of the roads they say they will be closing. We could see the water rising as we went over the bridges. Church seemed a little less crowded, I bet they are working with the flood prevention. We had a meeting with the park manager, the campground host in the 2nd loop has left so we had to come up with a plan to watch and clean the shower house. It is still fairly busy around here with the flood and traveling workers for the plant. It is busier now then it was during the summer. We are suppose to be slowing down, but nope. 

Monday September 26- The weather is a changing. It really cooled off, definately feels like fall. I like that because it has been a really hot summer. Monday I usually get a lot done, like laundry and cleaning. That's just what I did today.Down in Palo the flood water crested today, it wasn't nearly as bad as they anticipated. Everyone was happy about that. There still was some damage done. The sewer system was down. What was so nice was how the community came together to help out each other. They had the time and used it to prepare for the water. With the flood waters there are lots of roads closed in the surrounding areas. It makes it tough to get to town so we just stayed around here today. I used the time to finish the quilt top. I'm feeling a bit crafty and decided to start on my Christmas ornaments. I'm doing something different this year. I have been saving wine corks and decided to do something with them.

The good thing about these ornaments, pretty quick to make. I'm way ahead of last year, normally I have to mail them back. This year I'm giving them before we leave.

Tuesday September 28-Another cool morning. We haven't seen many hummingbirds around here lately. I took down a couple of the feeders but left one up just in case. We have started on some tasks that are on the list to do before heading south. The flood water crested today in Cedar Rapids at 22 feet. That was lower than they first thought. Again there was damage done but because of all the preparations they made not nearly the damage that could have happened. The people of Cedar Rapids and the surrounding communities really came together to prevent what could have been a major incident. 

Friday September 30-This morning we helped our park ranger with a project in our shower house. It's still pretty busy around the campground. Now we are adding weekend campers in the mix. We went in to watch the Roughriders play hockey tonight. It seems they have a pretty new team, you could tell they didn't play that well. It was a big loss. The company on the other hand was great.

Saturday October 1-It was a rainy cool day. The road opened up to get to the vet, we needed to get Belle's dog food, so we made that trip. Another thing on our to do list checked off. Neither of us wanted to hang around here all day so we did some running. Our final stop was Collins Road Theater and we watched a movie, well a documentary. It was a Ron Howard film about the Beatles called Eight Days A Week. It was really good

 Monday October 3-It was a very foggy day this morning. Jeff had made a list of things he wanted to get started this week. I had a list of things I needed to get in town. I have decided to make the grand kids there Christmas pajamas this year. We have a tradition of getting them new pj's for Christmas. Ashton is getting too big for those cute pajamas so I'm making them. I wanted to find some flannel for them. I wanted something festive but not to cutesy. I think I found the perfect fabric. I got everything else on my list too. When I got home Jeff was washing the rig. He also got some of the things he wanted to do done. Successful day. With it being Monday we had to get Hailey and take her to gymnastics. We are going to miss this when we travel south.

Tuesday October 4-Jeff had a doctor appointment  today. Good thing about that is the office is right across the street from Kathy's Pies. The best pies EVER. So guess what...we bought a pie. We also went to the Paramount to return our Fab Four concert tickets. We purchased some more tickets to Get The Led Out. Just what you think....a Led Zeppelin tribute band. Made a few more stops before heading home. When I got back I got started on the kids pajamas. Hoping the finish them before leaving. 

Wednesday October 5- The big news today...I finished the kids Christmas pajamas. I'm really happy with how they turned out. I just hope they fit them.

Thursday October 6- Big day for sure. It's Hailey's golden birthday. She is 6 on the 6th. We had plans to take Ashton to his hockey practice tonight. His Dad usually does that but he is out of town on business. Katie had to take Hailey to gymnastics so we were off to the ice rink. Well Katie called in the early afternoon to say she had a problem, could we take Hailey to gymnastics and drop her off and she would be there as soon as she could. Well it all worked out we got her there and it wasn't long before Katie showed up. We left to go to get a quick bite before going to the ice rink. It was the first time we got to watch this year. They just started practicing. I'm glad we got to watch some before leaving. It's really fun to be able to help out and watch the kids doing there activities.

Friday October 7- Busy day indeed. Hailey is having her birthday party on Sunday and I make the cakes. She is having a party with her friends from school and gymnastics. I made a sheet cake, a giant cookie and a couple batches of cupcakes. Hailey likes Shopkins so that's what the cakes will look like. They get to pick every year. My best friend Judy is coming up for the weekend too. One more get together before we leave. After she arrived we met Justin and Molly at the ice rink to watch the Roughriders play. We hoped for a win, it didn't happen. They started off close but it just blew up from there. It was still fun to be with those you love.

Saturday October 8- It's very fallish so we started the day off with a campfire. A good morning to sit outside and visit. After lunch went to town. Judy took us to Sam's and we made some purchases. We went in for potato chips and I came out with a new jacket. They also had samples today so I had my dessert there.

We decided to go to a movie Deep Water Horizon, it was really good. We picked a good one this time. Came back home for soup. Then I got busy frosting cupcakes and the birthday cakes. It took me til bedtime but I think they turned out OK.

Sunday October 9-The big day! We took Judy to church and Justin was there. We have been inviting him since we got here. That was a great surprise. Service was great. We came home and I made brunch. Judy headed for home and we went to the party. Hailey was extremely excited. Then when all her friends showed up the excitement just built. So fun to watch. They had a pinata, gifts and cake and ice cream. I think everyone had a great time. Hailey did I know for sure.

She was so excited with her gifts, a couple times she said "I have wanted this all of my life". She loved every gift she got.

After eating cake, cookie and ice cream the party let up and we went home. We didn't stay there long because we had one more activity tonight. We are going to The Paramount for Get The Led Out. It is a tribute band to Led Zeppelin. That was the first concert Jeff took me to when we were dating....Led Zeppelin that is. I think I was 16 and it was quite a show. Tonight the show was very impressive as well. Both of us love The Paramount for concerts. There is not a bad seat and it's not so huge. We loved the show and called it a day afterwards. Oh boy what a busy weekend but it was great fun.

That band brought back a lot of memories....what a show......