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

Monday, September 11, 2017

Life Goes On

Tuesday August 15- It was a long night and we didn't get that much sleep. We got up, loaded up and headed for home. The sky outside was dark and gloomy. We didn't get too far before the rain came. It really poured. We got off the road for a while because we were having trouble seeing. It was a super long day. We pulled in to the campground around 1 o'clock. We unloaded all of our stuff and put everything away. Our pour Belle is really missing her sister. There was a spot where Soffee's bed was and Belle just lays on the couch and stares at that spot. We both knew Soffee was old and wouldn't live forever but, it is so quiet and lonely here. Still can't figure out how a little pup like that can hold such a big part in your heart. We really miss her jingling around. Even though she slept all the time we still miss hearing her loud snoring. She snored like an old man. This is really going to be hard.

Wednesday August 16- Slow to get started today. Have to admit it was nice to be in our own bed last night. Before we left on vacation the service engine soon light came on in the truck. Today Jeff called to see if he could get an appointment, they said come in today, in about 25 minutes. He got ready and took it in. It wasn't long before he was back. They gave him a ride. So now we have no transportation. They ended up keeping the truck overnight.

Thursday August 17- Another long day.....they had the truck all day. I made the mistake of trying to work on the quote for our broken window. Fed Ex is not very helpful in these matters. Somehow we seem to be responsible......

Friday August 18- Today we had transportation....really needed to get to the store for some groceries. We made a stop at Petsmart to get Belle a new toy. She really had fun on vacation playing with Noodles toys. She seems really lonely so we thought it might help. On the way back we stopped and picked up some meat at Billy Sims BBQ. We are going over to see Justin and Molly's new house tonight. When we got back to the campground we drove up to the 2nd loop. We needed to pick up our plant at Wanda's. While we were up there we spotted Jan and Jerry. That is Judy's sister, my best friend. They have recently purchased a new camper and they wanted to ask us some questions. We knew they were coming but not during the day. They unloaded and so did we. After a bit they walked down to our site and we did some visiting. We actually visited until time to go to Justin and Molly's. When we arrived Seth, Katie and the kids were there. They just got home from Colorado. We got a tour of the house, which is really nice. They actually have a lot done already. We got busy helping them do some little things around there. We also had supper. They still have quite a bit to do but they are really making it a top priority.

This is the indestructible toy we got Belle

Saturday August 19- Today after getting our jobs done we walked up to have coffee with Jan and Jerry. Seth had called and asked us if we were coming to Palo to watch him play kick ball. We missed the first game which they lost. I told him we would come. So at 1 o'clock we drove down the hill to watch. Must have been lucky because they won this one.

As soon as we got back we made our way up to the 2nd loop. Wanda had invited us to a family get together. It has been about a year since her husband Chuck passed away and today they are planting a tree in his memory. It was a beautiful day out and everyone there was so nice.

Well next we moved up the camp loop a few sites to Jan and Jetty's site. They had company come and we joined them for dinner. We sat around and watched Jerry grill lot's of vegies and then our meat. Everything turned out completely yummy. We sat around and talked some then Jeff and I made our way back home to check on Belle. We sure did have a busy full day. It kept my mind busy though.

Sunday August 20- A bit cloudy out there today with a side of sprinkles. We went to church today. It seems like we haven't been there forever. It felt good to be there. After church we came home and ate. Then we went over to Justin and Molly's. Jeff worked on the front door. I re-stuffed some of there couch cushions. Then I got busy filling nail holes and touching them up with paint. We ended hanging around there until 6 o'clock. Then home. Seth called to say Hailey wouldn't be spending the night tonight because she has open house at school tomorrow morning. Katie is going to take her and then bring her and Ashton out. Big day tomorrow it's eclipse day......We got a call tonight from Hailey telling us she lost not 1 but 2 of her teeth. Her front teeth.

Monday August 21- Well the weather doesn't seem like it's going to be cooperative for eclipse viewing. Katie brought the kids out and we decided to forage ahead and make a viewing box. So now all of my cereal is boxless. The kids did a good job and we were hopeful that the clouds would clear.

Well we had fun making the boxes, but the weather did not cooperate. The big eclipse was a bust in our area. Then a couple hours later it cleared and the sun came out...go figure. The kids and I decided to make a memory stone for Soffee. They got busy painting the rock and they did a really good job. They didn't even argue that much.

Had to take both kids in because Ashton had a doctor appointment. Then I took Hailey to gymnastics. It was a busy day. I dropped Hailey off at home and came home myself. Later that night Seth called to see if I could watch Hailey tomorrow. It is the last day of summer break and they forgot she didn't have daycare today. I said yep.

Tuesday August 22- I got up early because I knew Hailey would be here fairly early. When she arrived we made breakfast and she helped me clean the shower house. Jeff came up with an idea to celebrate the final day of summer. We decided to make a trip to Petland and check out the puppies. I wasn't sure if that was a good idea or not. There dogs are really cashy, and I'm really missing my baby girl. We also had lunch at Red Lobster. Hailey decided to have the crab legs to celebrate.

Well we left Petland with no pets but I would have brought this sweet baby home with me if the price was was way expensive.

Wednesday August 23- Today we went back to Coralville to Best Buy. Jeff had an appointment to get the speakers in his truck replaced. He has been dealing with some issues with them, not working all the time. I thought I would do some shopping. I can tell I'm not really feeling myself, I couldn't find much I wanted. Jeff called me and told me he was at Scheel's looking at bikes. I met him there and he had me look at a Townie. It is a super simple bike. It has 3 speeds that are built into the hub. It is on sale because we think it was last years model. He took it for a test ride, and when he got back I did the same. I loved it, its super light and really easy to pedal. After thinking about it we decided to purchase. I think we are going to try and sell my electric assist bike. It's just not what I need. We asked them to hold the bike while we went to lunch. We went to The Olive Garden. Then back to pick up our new bike. On the way home we got to enjoy our new speakers. Jeff could notice the difference better than I.

Thursday August 24- Today we had set up dental appointments for both of us. We had found a coupon in a little magazine and thought we would give it a try. Our dentist retired and we haven't found one yet. We really need to get one. So we walked into the Dental Center with our paperwork in hand. Both of us were really impressed with everyone we dealt with. We were there quite a while with xrays, pictures, cleaning, flouride treatments. I have never had such a thorough dental exam. I can't believe they did all that for my $50.00 coupon price. That's the good news, the bad news is they found plenty of work we need to get done. It is probable our own fault for waiting so long. We really liked the Dentist, assistant and even the help at the desk. Everyone was super friendly and helpful. When we got home I made the mistake of calling Fed Ex again. Nothing has been done yet. Then Jeff called back and at least got someone to listen to him. He sent the information they wanted again. Now we will see if anything gets done...I don't have very high hopes. It's only been over 2 months.

Friday August 25- Today I took advantage of the apple tree we have at the park. We went and picked enough apples to make some apple crisp. It looked really good and smelled even better. Jeff was suppose to go over to Justin's and help him hook up his surround sound down in the basement. It was more complicated then they thought so it took a bit longer. They got it done though.

Saturday August 26- It was a nice cool morning so we enjoyed our coffee by the fire. It was a nice morning. We didn't have much planned today. We hung around the campground most of the day. Then we got changed and went over to Justin and Molly's. We are going out to get some supper. Then we were going to the night time farmers market before making our way to The Paramount to enjoy Joe Bonamassa. We decided to just get a bite downtown either at a restaurant or at the farmers market. Justin drove and since his work is downtown he can use the parking garage. That helped with finding a parking spot. We ate at a 21 was just a bar but the food was great. Then we walked outside and saw the main stage. The music coming from the stage was quite unique. So we walked that way to take a listen. The band was called The Brazilian Twins. They were really good and quite entertaining. One of the twins played a electric violin and the other a ukulele. They also had a drummer and a bass player.

We stayed and listened as long as we could. Then we walked a few blocks to the Paramount. We got there plenty early and found our seats. The place filled up fast. Everyone got there beverage of choice and some popcorn. Now bring on Joe Bonamassa. He is very timely. We have seen him before and he is an amazing performer.

The show was awesome...he did not disappoint. The show got over a little after 10. Then we walked to White Star. It is a local restaurant/bar. Jarrod one of Justin's friends was playing there so we stopped for just a bit before calling it a night.

Sunday August 27- Today we had to get to church early because we are greeting today. It was nice to be there. The worship was especially good and so was the message. We came home and still had quite a few campers. With the holiday weekend coming up I'm sure we will have more campers than usual.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Vacation Cut Short

Monday August 7-Soffee got us up early this morning. Her tags a jingling. Got up and took both of them out. I went back to bed for a bit. We had to leave early this morning to go get Ashton and deliver him to hockey camp. It started at 10 but Seth wanted him there by 9. His friends would be there. We dropped him off and Jeff, Hailey and I went for breakfast. We got back in time to watch his first ice time of the day. They worked on drills. I was tired just watching them.

You could tell Ashton was happy to be back on the ice. We stayed around until ice time was over. We came back to the campground and I got started with my packing list. We are going on a vacation. We are not used to vacationing. When we travel we have everything with us. I didn't want to forget anything. We were taking the dogs so I wanted to have all they would need too. Well I got a good start on that. Fixed lunch for Hailey and before I knew it, it was time to get Hailey to gymnastics. When we got there all the girls were talking about moving up to Silver. They were asking Hailey if she made it....she didn't know. She just said I hope I did. Then I looked at my phone and Katie had just texted me saying that Hailey moved up to silver. I showed her the text and she was excited for sure. It was also picture day. That means instead of taking pictures through the glass we got to go in and get some shots.

The time went faster today because I got to see a lot better and take some pictures. I would go out every once in a while. So Hailey could focus a bit better. I took her home and dropped her off.

Tuesday August 8- Busy day. We had to have the dogs at the vet at 8 a.m. Time for there annual shots. Came home, I grabbed our laundry and went to Justin's house. While doing my laundry I packed up there kitchen stuff for there move. We and his brother are going to be gone for there big move. I felt I should help them some. I stayed and got all the dishes and kitchen stuff. Hope they don't plan on any cooking because everything is packed. I left there and headed toward home to do some packing for ourselves. We are hitting the road tomorrow and I want everything to be ready to go. I think we are ready.

Wednesday August 9- Up early and ready to go. I took my big plant up to Wanda's, she is a camp host at the second loop. She will be babysitting my plant and refilling my hummingbird feeders. We loaded up and off we went.

We took off with the top down. It was chilly but with the sun it was nice. At one of the stops we put the top up, good thing because we ran into and out of some rain. We stopped at Lake Okoboji. It had cooled off quite a bit. We needed to get out and walk around. Would have spent more time there if the weather was better. I'm sure it would have been better with the sun shining.

We got back in the car and continued our trip landing tonight in Sioux Falls, SD. Jeff had made reservations at the Red Roof. We settled the dogs and went to get some supper. We found an Outback and had a nice dinner. We hurried back to the hotel because the dogs aren't usually too good in a hotel.Tomorrow we tackle renewing our drivers license.

Thursday August 10- I got online to see what time DMV opened. I also read on there that to renew your drivers license you needed 2 pieces of mail to prove residency. Oh great...we don't have any mail with us. We don't even get much mail anymore. So the hunt begins to see if we can find something to get this done. I remembered our insurance cards. So we checked out of the hotel and headed over to see if we could get our licenses. Jeff went in to check. He came back out saying they will except our paperwork but need a receipt from the hotel to prove an overnight stay. Well Jeff always gets receipts but this morning there printer was down. So back in the car and back to the hotel. He came out with a receipt this time. Back to the DVM. Went to the desk, Jeff got his paperwork to fill out. I step up next and the lady asked for my hotel receipt....I said your kidding right? She said no, I said well we are married and always stay in the same room. She says my name isn't on the receipt...really?  Well she said Jeff could sign something to state that I was with him. Can you believe that. Well we got our new license and couldn't wait to get out of there. Now off to the Badlands. First we stopped at Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. Jeff took a quick look inside, I took the dogs out of the car to stretch there legs.

Before heading to The Badlands National Park we put the top down to enjoy not just the park but also the blue sky and sunshine.

We have visited the badlands before but this time we had a unique view. We couldn't have ordered better weather. It wasn't to hot or cold. The sky was a pretty shade of blue, dotted with white puffy clouds. We took our time stopping many times to enjoy the view.

I thought I spotted a couple brave folk on top of one of the formations. I zoomed in and couldn't believe they climbed up there. That is one thing that we were surprised by, that you were allowed to climb around.

After making our way through the park we drove on to Wall Drug. Well with Sturgis going on this week it was a bit crowded here. It was warming up so with the dogs, Jeff stayed out on a bench with them.  I went inside for a quick lookie. We have been here before as well. Just too many people for me today.

We got back in the car and headed towards Hot Springs S.D. Jeff had a hard time finding a hotel because of Sturgis. We didn't want to drive too much more because we had a pretty full day of driving already. Jeff managed to find us one that was pet friendly and a reservation was made before we left home. He checked in and we walked in with the dogs. The guy at the desk said oh no no no. You have pet? Jeff told him online it said pet friendly. He said you need to tell us when you get here that you have a pet. Well it's not like we were trying to sneak them, we walked right by the desk. So he had to see if they had any pet rooms left? Well they had one and we went to see it. When I walked in it smelled like an old bar....smoking room. Well even on a bad day my dogs don't smell that bad. Did I tell you we paid $140.00 for this room. Well I told him I couldn't take that room. We were on our way out and he caught us in the parking lot, which was totally empty and said he found a room. It was fine but after the hassle we weren't to happy.

Friday August 11- Well at least the hotel had a comfy bed. After the free breakfast, we loaded up and got on the road. Next stop....Copper Mountain Colorado. We haven't been out here for 5 years. Before we started traveling full time we visited this place annually. I was excited to be going. We are meeting Seth, Katie and the kids. We were on track for arriving about 2...but we ran into traffic. There was an accident so we crawled up the mountain.

The good thing was we had a wonderful view to enjoy while we crawled. We made a quick stop in Dillon at the store and headed the rest of the way up. Final destination was The Greens at Copper. We purchased this time share 29 years ago and have since passed it on to our kids. Seth and Katie were already there when we arrived. After bringing everything in and putting it away we walked to Center Village. They are having a festival this weekend called Guitar Town. They have lots of entertainment...and it's free. As we approached we heard some music, it sounded like a drum solo. When we got closer it was a guy on an acoustic guitar. Wished we would have came earlier because we just caught the end of his show. He was really good. Got a quick bite to eat. Then we went to watch the main show tonight. It was an all girl Led Zeppelin tribute band, Zepparella. They weren't our favorite. Different strokes for different folks. We headed back to the condo and called it a day.

Saturday August 12- When we got up Jeff got busy making coffee. It only took about 1/2 hour to figure it out. I wasn't any help, but after looking online he figured it out. It was a chilly morning with temperatures in the 40's. We took the kids, jumped in the car, put the top down and headed to center village. There we found the Starbucks and the mini doughnut shop. We got everyone a beverage and brought Katie one back. It was a bit chilly but with the heater blasting it was great.

When we got back everyone went down to Dillon. The kids rode down the mountain with us. Hailey and I sat in the back and Ashton was up front with Papa. It was a bit windy in the back and Hailey was getting blown around pretty good. First doing some school shopping for Ashton. He hates to shop so that was fun to watch. Before going back up the mountain we had lunch at Smash Burger. That was pretty good. Then back up to the condo. It can be pretty cool but with the sun shining it makes it wonderful.

Wh hung around the condo for a while. We have a small deck and it was in the sunshine. Soffee loved going out there and soaking up the sunshine. We also enjoyed the deck as well.

We made our way back up to center village. The kids have purchased summer season passes. This gives you access to many of the activities here. They have a zip line, bumper boats, rock climbing wall, trampolines, chair lifts, go karts and a new thing called The Wreck Tangle. It is a ninja warrior obstacle course. The kids got in line for the ninja course. We watched them make there way through that. It started sprinkling on and off. They finished the course before they closed it for awhile.

Next they made there way to the trampolines. We watched them slingshot there way up and down there doing plenty of tricks. It was a blast to watch them, they were having so much fun.

We on the other hand found pleasure in just watching them and the musicians.

 Went back to the condo for awhile and made some supper. Then we walked back to the village. We are putting in plenty of steps. Then we have the altitude working against us too. We watched more music and hung around the fire pits as the night air cooled off. Then at 9 o'clock there was a firework display. It was fairly small but pretty. While we were waiting we got to watch a lot of different people jam by the fire. It got pretty chilly so we were glad the fire pits where working. When we got back to the condo we all needed to warm up and get ready for bed.

Sunday August 13- When we got up this morning Ashton said his back hurt. He almost acted like he had a back spasm. That's not good because they are suppose to go to Woodward today. It's an indoor trampoline park. Ashton took a pretty good fall yesterday skate boarding. I gave him an ibuprofen, and his dad took him to the athletic club to soak in the hot tub. It seemed to do the trick. After lunch Jeff and I went up to listen to some music. The kids all went to Woodward. We went and saw the last part of there session.

Back to the condo for awhile. It was a beautiful day outside. We sat on the deck and enjoyed the view outside, it's quite nice. The dogs are even enjoying the outside and each other.



Noodles, the kids dog

Well it was a nice afternoon, but we had weather coming in. There is the big finale of Guitar Town tonight. Zakk Wylde is playing at 4:50 but it ran late. Good thing because by then the weather had passed. We walked up to the front and had a great view. Seth our son is a big fan of his, we appreciate his guitar skills. He really gave a good show. He played to the crowd for sure. Leaving the stage many times walking down through the crowd. He didn't waste time talking or changing guitars, he just played.

They finished off the festival with an allstar band. It was a good show. A full day indeed.

Monday August 14- Well we had quite a terrible night. Everyone was in bed and I could hear Soffee breathing. It sounded different, not in a good way. I watched her for awhile. She seemed to settle a bit. Then at 1 a.m. she sounded worse. She wouldn't lay down. I got up and held her trying to comfort her. She sounded really bad. Jeff was up with me. Both of us didn't think she would make it to morning. It was a very long night. We decided to pack up and take off. Thought maybe it was the altitude. She has been to the mountains before but that was 5 years ago. Soffee is 15 1/2 so she is older. We were on the road by 9a.m. At first she seemed to settle a bit and close her eyes for some sleep. As we drove on we knew she wasn't getting any better. We got into our hotel and we kept her wrapped up and snuggled in our arms or her bed. We placed her between us in the bed and watched her and loved on her. She passed away just before 9. We are both heart broken. She was just a little thing, but a huge part of our family. She is going to be missed. Poor Belle is missing her sister as well. It will be a big adjustment for us all.

One of our first pictures of Soffee
The last picture of our girl

Rest in peace Soffee, you gave us so much joy in the time we had you. What a special pup you were. We will miss you much.