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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Spurgeon

It's not how much we have, but how much we enjoy, that makes happiness.
Charles Spurgeon


As a new year approaches you may or may not take stock of the state of things in and around your life but I generally do. Especially as grow older (and hopefully, wiser) I do this, it's a good way to realize how much one truly has... So anywayI have decided I will not be posting Thursday Thoughts in 2017. We shall see what transpires for a weekly post..if anything at all. 

Anyway, be safe out there and have a Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Holiday Happiness

It was fast and furious and foggy but we made it. The SuperTrooper got off in the wee early morning hours so MiRV drove us on the first leg. I'm not sure anyone got any sleep. There might have been some dozing though. Once we reached I-29 the fog was better but still lingering. Long about Kansas City we changed drivers and finally pulled into the Grands about 9 a.m. Quick snack and then naps all around. Once we had a little rest it was then off to the Christmas Day celebration at Aunt Turtles.


I do believe Trigger had quite an exciting First Christmas with her Missouri cousins. She was very social and did pretty awesome all the way around! She took a great nap before presents were opened so she was all into ripping that paper. Though putting the paper in her mouth and playing with the boxes was way more fun than any gifts she got. Of course, that always seems to be the way it is with little ones this age. It was a quick turn and burn as we spent the day after visiting the farm Grands, having a quick Grill burger lunch then on to an evening with just the Littles and a pizza party before heading off to the North. So glad that we were all able to be home for Christmas we had not all been home together since 2007. Wow! We will take off later this week for a quick southern jaunt and unfortunately it doesn't seem like it will be warmer this time.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Kellor

Thank you, God, for this good life and forgive us if we do not love it enough.
 
Garrison Kellor
 
 
I think we often forget how good we do have it...be reminded today of how much we have and over love those in our life.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Stepanek

Even though the future seems far away, it is actually beginning right now.
Mattie Stepanek

This hits a little closer to home then I originally thought. Just this past weekend the Daughter shared a hormonal pregnancy video where she is lamenting the in 15 years her baby will be 15 years old. And as silly as it may sound it's so true. The future is right NOW it is being played out before our very eyes. There are so many times we have told said Daughter "you're gonna miss this" just like the song says but it's really hard to wrap your brain around that. I think she gets it. The concept is simple but the reality is not easy.



Wednesday, December 14, 2016

South bound...

It's soooooo stinking cold, like in the single digits cold. I don't enjoy cold. And then there is the wind. So we have a few days and decided we are fleeing to the south. It was a grand flybytheseatofyourpants trip. We thought we were going to LA as in Louisiana, then looked at perhaps Biloxi but here we are tucked away in Galveston, Texas. 

It was the best temperature option for the timeframe we had and besides the lady at Grand Isle said the noseeums were still biting there. I definitely wanted no part of that. So here we are and its 64* and we have the windows open as we head to bed. I just had a biggerthenIneeded cup of peach ice cream and there is peach bread for breakfast in the morning. Tomorrow will be a little different ballgame weather wise but it will still be warmer then MO or NE. Enjoy life while you can...

#TEXASiswarmer

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Hesse

Everything becomes a little different as soon as it is spoken out loud.
Hermann Hesse
Oh, for sure...


Thursday, December 1, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Drucker

The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn't said.
 
Peter Drucker

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Lighting things up


No matter where we have lived we've always put up clear Christmas lights. Like since way back in the late 80s. This is real folks; like a family tradition. Well, that changed in 2012 when we moved out of our sticks a a bricks house into Sunny; no more lights :/ well with the exception of patio rope lights (not the same)! However, since we are wintering in MO we thought the Littles would enjoy lights, sooooo we busted out the old light sets and went to work.

MiRV in action
Now he wants to put some things in the yard...uh, no!

MiRV spent the better part of an afternoon getting them up and connected. This, of course, was after testing all the strands to see what was what since they'd been dormant for several years. We certainly had enough to do the roofline which always looks simply classic. Since Daughter had the clips we had to wait to put them up until those could be brought down on the TurkeyTrip. Not a problem since we are definitely AFTER Thanksgiving people when it come to Christmas lights. It was just that the weather was so mild and pleasant before Thanksgiving that we were gonna go ahead and get them up. No worries as the day we picked was pretty pleasant aside from a light breeze and maybe a sprinkle or too.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

TurkeyTrot 2016

It WAS early, too early, cold, too cold but we loaded up and off we went with a thermos full of hot chocolate and LOTS of layers headed to Joplin for the Turkey Trot  2016 5K. The weather was really not that bad, temps were rising, however, the wind was just a bit too breezy whipping down Main Street like a banshee.

The Littles did the 1 mile fun run at 7:30 a.m. then the rest of the runners ran at 8:00. I was the designated baby holder. And hold I did; we kept each other warm. Thankfully, City Hall was open so we hung out in there until the first runners from our group were almost to the finish line. Went out to see them, then back into the warmth waiting for the next finishers. It was a full house. Over 1500 registered. They reopened registration not once but twice. Craziness. 

The 5K runners...pre race

The non 5K runners...see Trigger there all snuggled up? We were cozy!
First wave of finishers...
MiRV went back to run with each of the girls to encourage them to the end!

Our crew with our pirate patches!

Once everyone finished some had more coffee, hot chocolate and or KrispyKreme Donuts; some opted for just water then we loaded back up and headed north. Turkey Day dinner would soon be ready. We headed to the Grands to get cleaned up and then headed to the table and all was good!

Happy Thanksgiving! It is really the best holiday...lots to be thankful for and no gifts to buy.

Thursday Thoughts - Lovecraft

The oldest and strongest
emotion of mankind is fear,
the oldest and strongest kind
of fear is fear of the unknown.
H.P. Lovecraft
The unknown used to really, really bother me, now, notsomuch...thank you Jesus, I finally was able to grasp there is nothing to fear when you are secure with who holds your future. Sure I can and still do have concerns but I am thankful it doesn't overwhelm me as it often did in the past.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Wintering...

Much to our dismay it's starting to get cooler here in MO. Since we aren't fleeing the cold weather this year we thought we should take a few steps to help keep us warmer during the weeks ahead.

Yesterday MIRV built us a little wind block. We also put a drop light underneath and we are keeping the heat up and on. We know we will need to winterize at some point...maybe sooner rather than later. However, we hope we can get a few more days of luxury (onboard water) before that happens. This time last year we had already fled to TX. Since there is a sweet little 28 inch girl we decided to stay for all those fun holiday firsts with her...yeah, totally worth it!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Unknown

Be decisive. 
Right or wrong, make a decision. 
The road of life is paved with flat squirrels who couldn't make a decision.

I don't know who said it but it makes sense and makes me laugh...

Monday, November 14, 2016

Little Deer Hunter

It wasn't his first "hunt" but it was the first one that garnered a takedown. He's gotten up early several times in the last few weeks and this time it made it all worth it. His eyes were smiling as he came bouncing down the stairs to tell me. He'd already stopped over at ROADA to tell MiRV. He was very proud.

It's good for a boy to get out into nature and learn about the circle of life. Hunting isn't for everyone but when they have an interest I say engage it and take them out and let them do their thing.

Way to go Little #1; you did real good!!

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Graham

The secret strength of a nation is found in the faith that abides in the hearts and homes of the country.
~Billy Graham

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Unknown

Today spend more time with people
who bring out the best in you,
not the stress in you.


Sounds like a good plan to me!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Ball

It's a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.
 
 
Ability is of little account without opportunity.
 
 
The more things you do, the more you can do.
 
Lucille Ball

 
 
It's a triple play with Lucy. She entertained me a lot when I was much younger and I always thought she was way smarter then she let on. These quotes pretty much prove that!

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Unknown


When you can't control what's happening, challenge yourself to control the way you respond to what's happening. That's where your power is.

Speaks to me...

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Up, up and away!

We decided on a whim to head to ABQ to the Balloon Fiesta on Monday. Wednesday morning we saw a most spectacular view. We enjoyed an outside the gate experience that was just incredible. There were lots, I mean LOTS of balloons in the air everywhere. They flew right over us, landed all around us. We were mesmerized.
The BEE balloon was a favorite!

Thursday morning we headed down, waited in line, paid to park and then headed into Fiesta Park to get up close and personal with the balloons. The morning dawn patrol launched and as we were waiting for the go, no go we strolled through watching and waiting for the others to take off. Soon they were popping up everywhere and we were right there among them.  We enjoyed the morning watching the balloons launch and even went to the competition area for a bit. We took a stroll through the vendors, had a a few snacks along the way then headed out to ROADA for some rest. It was a VERY early morning. We were in the parking lot at around 5:00 a.m. We had stayed the night curbside in front of our friends place in Rio Rancho. So while close we still had to drive in.

Rest in our own space was great, we had lunch, maybe even a little nap and just enjoyed the beautiful weather. There were some winds so we weren't sure there would be a GLOWdeo but we were hopeful. We enjoyed a nice dinner in ROADA then decided to go back inside the gate to see the sights up close. This was shapes night for the GLOWdeo so there were lots of children. Since we had dilly dallied having dinner when we entered the gate with tickets the guy didn't scan them. That pretty much settled it for us we would come back in the morning!
Penguins kissing at the GLOWdeo

There was quite a bit of entertainment for the GLOW so we hung around, listened to the band, people watched and then called it a night. As we returned to ROADA we tossed around the idea to just stay in the parking lot...we moved to a less conspicuous spot and went to bed, we were joined by two other rigs. Once didn't stick it out for the entire night, but we did and slept quite well.

The Friday morning launch was amazing and more balloons launched then we ever imagined. It was definitely a top experience and we had talked about going the last two years. I'm glad I didn't talk myself out of this neat trip. Of Course MiRV was ready to go instantly but I hem hawed. I was skeptical we could pull it off so last minute. But it was a really great trip! We got to reconnect with old friends, we scored DEEP discount tickets at 7-11 with the prices being even better then advertised! We parked and stayed right on sight with no issues. Our $15.00 parking fee got us three sessions and while we had only planned to attend two sessions with the unscanned tickets we went ahead and stayed for another. It was all good!

 
This sunshine just made me smile!

Up, up and away!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Dyer

My goal is not to be better than anyone else, but to be better than I used to be.
Wayne W. Dyer

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Williams

I'm not afraid of werewolves or vampires or haunted hotels. I'm afraid of what real human beings do to other real human beings.
Walter Jon Williams

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Radmacher

Courage doesn't always roar.
Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I will try again tomorrow.
 
Mary Anne Radmacher
 
 

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Parton

Don't get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.

Dolly Parton

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Chesterton

The traveler sees what he sees, the tourists sees what he comes to see.
Gilbert K. Chesterton 

Hmmm...sometimes I am a traveler and sometimes I am a tourist: both have there place in this world.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Cabana Boy

House sitting gigs are pretty sweet for us especially when there is a pool in the deal. It gives us an opportunity to live in a more spacious environment and we enjoy the change of pace. This particular gig is probably one of the best ones we've had, though all have been fun and we've definitely enjoyed them. This opportunity certainly came about at the right time and has been awesome. Love the pool aspect but we have also been enjoying the cable TV with unlimited access to Olympic coverage! GO TEAM USA. Staying up way to late to watch and watching nonstop during the day...oh, the life we have been blessed to lead.



Having a pool is totally cool and we love it but usually one doesn't realize the work that goes into having and maintaining a pool. My father kept up a pool for years and it was always pristine, he was a great pool boy. That was an above ground. The pool we are maintaining is in ground and much deeper than the above ground. Which makes the cleaning a bit more challenging. We have vacuumed twice, skimmed multiple times a day and of course kept up with the chlorine treatment along with SHOCK treatments and with this heat the algaecide treatment is very important, too. Totally worth it as it is just relaxing to be around the pretty clear water.

The other cool aspects of house sitting are being able to prepare meals in a much larger space! It's something I don't miss all the time but it is fun to prepare things we don't have regularly with a WELL stocked kitchen in terms of pans and utensils. I have enjoyed it very much. We've enjoyed meatloaf, pizza and roast to name a few meals since the oven is something I miss the most. It's also been fun to do a little baking. MiRV was excited to get a yellow cake with chocolate icing. I on the other hand was thrilled to have monkey bread! It's the little things...

Also an aspect one doesn't realize is the fact that we do have a shower in ROADA, albeit small, but we don't use it so much due to the water usage and gray tank capacity, so it's a luxury to have a real shower at our disposal :). And the great internet connection is another bonus, along with the washer & dryer on site, I'm tellin' ya, those little things mean a lot! In fact, I think we are getting spoiled...it's only been a few days and we have a few left but we are getting soft already :) Truly, I cannot emphasize enough how much it really, really, REALLY is the little things...we love the lifestyle we've chosen for now but we also enjoy it when we get to live the high life!! Okay, honestly, this particular gig isn't all roses and rainbows; just so you get a dose of reality, there are two dogs to manage (outside, thankfully) but still, feeding and watering and looking after them is one of our duties this week. thankfully, MiRV is handling that!

Enjoy life folks, you never know when you are living your last moment. Last week we attended the funeral of one of our high school classmates fathers and then stopped by the funeral home for one of our classmates, in addition to finding out our former pastor's wife passed away. Life is shorter then you think.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

That's a ZIPPER...

When your ulna nerve is grossly enlarged (like 4Xs what it should be) you try to deal with it for awhile, then the tingling, numbness and pain becomes more then you are wanting to live with so you go to the doc again. Which in this case is a good thing because it was not known to us that once the damage has been done it is irreversible. Surgery was the next course of action to stop further damage. Thankfully, it was schedule quickly and there were no complications. Hoping for just as good of outcome on the next go round. Oh, yes, this is on both elbows so we will be doing this again in a few weeks. Stay tuned, there's more, but let's get through the elbows before we move on...nice thing about it is we are house sitting for the next 10 days or so and have a little more space to recover in!
He's marked and ready to go, really did it matter as long as they did the correct surgery? No, cause before it's all over both elbows will be done, he just starting with the left!
He looks like he is ready to mess with a working K9!

WOW, honestly, I think we were both surprised when the bulky bandage came off and the scare was as big as it was...from the surgery consult  with the doc and all that the PA told us we were expecting a smaller cut. Anyway it is our hope and prayer that he is done with being bothered by this and that the cubital tunnel release was a success!!!
That's his zipper!
Kudos to the KC VA Hospital even though things ran behind it was a smooth day!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

I did, did you!

I certainly hope you did your civic duty today! We did, my parents did, my niece did, my in laws did (they didn't have a choice, we took them to lunch and stopped by our polling place on the way home). Kind of a neat deal we actually voted at our designated polling place, our first time ever since we've been registered voters. Usually we vote absentee in person or with absentee  ballots via the U.S. Mail. However, since we are in town, we were able to vote in the flesh at our actual polling place. Since our polling site has recently changed we found it via the scenic route around town which was fine since the little burg we cast votes in seems to be getting a bit of revitalization; it was good to see some of the positive changes.

Go Greitens!!! It's a hot race for Governor in MO. We will be anxiously awaiting the closure of the polls and watching/listening as the returns come in for the results of all the races tonight!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

UNWANTED Guest

Upon our return from NE we found we had had a guest. An unwanted, uninvited, unwelcome guest. In fact he was still with us when we returned. It was not until we were getting ready for bed did we realize such a guest existed. After much cleaning and a trip to the local discount store we were more equipped to handle such guest. Within a couple hours said guest had been escorted off the property.

Much to my dismay this unwelcome guest made himself at home while we were gone. He dined finely on our tortilla shells, tortilla chips, Cajun trail mix, BBQ chips, beef jerky (original AND teriyaki), gummy bears, cream of wheat, hot tamales, cilantro and granola, oh and lets not forget toilet paper! His last meal, however, was peanut butter.

Well, I must say there is nothing like getting ready to lay down in bed and catch a glimpse of something out of the corner of your eye and telling MiRV I just saw something that I shouldn't have. I wasn't positive it was a mouse at this point and MiRV thought it was probably a "bug". Upon further investigation there was no doubt in my mind it was a mouse and we would need to take steps IMMEDIATELY to remove him. I was praying he was a lone ranger but just in case we left out additional traps.

And just for the record, the neighbors are gone, so I slept in the house on their couch. I don't take kindly to sharing my space with four legged creatures. Yes, creatures, as this guy had buddies. All three have found their way to the eternal peanut butter and we will no longer have unwanted guests! I hope and pray that is the case anyway. Until then I am cleaning and sanitizing like mad. Ugh, it torques me that we lost around $40 in food. Only one other time have we had a mouse invade our space and that was in CO many, many moons ago. Let's hope there are no more buddies and we are done with this little rodent incident. However, just to be safe we still have traps set offering that heavenly peanut butter with a bit of cheese...we slept in the neighbors house two nights. Last night we were back in ROADA and so far so good. I certainly hope this is over. Again, there are still a couple traps out just in case we have any late comers that missed the initial eternal peanut butter offering.

Well, I guess this was more like living the nightmare! LOL feel free to Scroll down for disgusting pictures...


















#1 & #2 by #3 we were so over photographing this...

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Thompson

“No place is ever as bad as they tell you it’s going to be.” 
– Chuck Thompson

I think the same can be said for a place being good. We have seen it go both ways...I think one should try out the place for themselves and form their own conclusions.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

MooMoos, OinkOinks and Baaas

There was so much to look at and her little head was like a swivel trying to take it all in. It was hot, very hot. We were encroaching on her bedtime but I think her visit to the county fair barns was a success and fun. She will not remember it at all but we shall tell her about it... First, we watched the bucket calves being shown in the main arena. Then we headed out to the various livestock barns. Very well kept grounds and nicely maintained facilities for sure.
 
MooMoos
 OinkOinks
 This young exhibitor even let her touch his ewe! She was nonplussed!
 

She fell asleep before we made it to the horse barn, so we took in some of the other exhibit buildings while she napped and then headed back over to the neigh neighs after she woke up. She didn't seem too interested or impressed; much to her mother's dismay. The first time we walked through the horse barn the horses were quite noisy and their whinnying startled her a bit but she just laid her head back down and kept snoozing! Not much gets in between this child and her bedtime.
Snoozing!
 

Hay Minions even made it!

Our own little horse girl!
 
Just the girls!

We enjoyed the sights and sounds of the Gage County Fair and maybe someday we will watch our little Trigger as an exhibitor, I think her mother definitely plans on that in the future! We look forward to it. Love those girls so very much!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Partridge

Stop creating a life that you need a vacation from. Instead, move to where you want to live, do what you want to do, start what you want to start and create the life you want today. This isn't rehearsal people. This is YOUR life.

David Partridge


Quite thought provoking, huh?

Saturday, July 16, 2016

JULY + MO = H.O.T

Oh good Lord it's warm, okay HOT, really HOT like heat index in triple digits. I don't really care for this kind of heat.. So remind me why are we here in Missouri again in July. Ugh, oh yeah, commitments. Well, next time let's work on NOT having them in July. Anyway, this month is just half over and we've been keeping busy. We brought in the 4th without a bang, went to T-town to meet friends, have made a couple trips to KC and have been keeping the yards mowed. It's never dull around here for sure. Being here has let us catch up on some mail ordering since we can easily get our mail so that's a perk I suppose we should be thankful for even in the extreme heat!

I am also thankful for AC! Though it's gotta be tough on the unit to be running so much just glad it does cool down and pretty quickly. We have had our needed oil change and service B on ROADA so we are ready to roll, well, after we get some new front shoes. Yes, ROADA needs new front tires. We are trying to make that happen now. Thought we had it worked out when we were in for our service appointment but it ended up being a no go. We are also replacing our non-working TV antenna, fashioning a new door screen and working on improving our window coverings as well as looking into better insulation in the door and a few other areas. Continuous improvement is the name of the game for ROADA. Always looking at how to make her the most functional for the way we live.

We will hopefully be wrapping up MO business and move on out sometime in August but it could very well be September. We are flexible like that. However, we do hope to be in NM in October for the Balloon Fiesta and then continue westward for the winter. Cali or bust :) finally, Lord willing. Course we have a stronger pull back to the Midwest with Trigger, who is growing like a weed and we can't wait to see her again next week. She is 5 months old today.

Can't believe it's already been 5 months! We love you Trigger!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Unknown

It's not what you save...but what you don't spend.
Unknown

Read this on a guy's posting on none other then Facebook and I think it certainly rings true. I think it's great advice. The year is half over and if you set financial goals it's time to be taking a peak of where you are. There is always room for tweaking and there is no better time to start if you aren't on a savings plan or to re-start if you have fallen off track.


Thursday, July 7, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Orgeron

It is better to regret the things you have done than the things you haven't done.
Marty Orgeron


#lifewithnoregrets

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Hemingway

Never go on trips with anyone you do not love. 
Ernest Hemingway

Some days are harder then others but at the end of the day there is still the love. I can be unlikable on the road just like anywhere else...it's just harder on the road...in 22 feet of space. Again, at the end of the day there is still the love.

And can you believe June is gone, like gone, over. done. I cannot believe the we are half way through the year; it has flown by! This might be that rare instance when I think slowing down time could be a good idea.
Never go on trips with anyone you do not love. Ernest Hemingway
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_travel.html
Never go on trips with anyone you do not love. Ernest Hemingway
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_travel.html
Never go on trips with anyone you do not love. Ernest Hemingway
Read more at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/topics/topic_travel.html

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Red Birds and Water

So the Daughter came to MO to see the Red Birds! What fun and Trigger attended her first MLB game in KC just like her mamma did! They were nearly the same age, though her mamma was a just a bit older. But it was a fun time. We had awesome seats! Trigger's head was swiveling with all the new sights and sounds. She slept through several innings and was awake for the loud win. She didn't care so much for all that noise but she did great!
Seeing the Royals play the Cardinals was pretty slick. Last year Daughter and hubby went to STL to see the Cards play about this same time. They won, they won last night, too. Maybe this will become a new family tradition for them...Kaufman Stadium was awesome. I have always enjoyed the K though it's been a long while since I have been at a game; it is always entertaining. It is a first class venue for sure We visited the new Hall of Fame building, nicely done, saw both World series trophies that the Royals have.

Honestly, we usually cheer Royals but tonight we were sporting the Red with Daughter. Trigger was a good little fan, really only fussed twice. She did have a bit of a tough time with the drive over and back from the hotel but I think she was tired of car riding for the day! And KC traffic was a bit slow and backed up as it often is around 5 p.m. especially on a game day it made it challenging to get across town in a timely fashion. However, we all survived!
 
This morning Trigger took her first dip in a real pool. She thought it was all right. She loved bath time already so she probably thought she was in the biggest bathtub ever since the water was really warm. After a nice playtime, she had bath time and we made tracks south.

Everyone is settled in and ready for a booming 4th with the famdamily this weekend!


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Irish Blessing

May you never forget what is worth remembering, nor ever remember what is best forgotten.

Irish Blessing

I think the Irish have some wisdom going on in this one...read it back around St Patrick's Day but just got around to posting it. 


Friday, June 17, 2016

Door County

What a good day to spend in such a beautiful area. Lots of lighthouses and the drive while not as lush as MI was still a nice one. The best part of course was the stop at Wood Orchard. It was cherry EVERYTHING. We sampled lots of yummy things and ended up with tasty apples, cherry donuts and strudel. Prior to this stop we popped in the Renard's Cheese and loaded up with curds, block cheese and cherry wine. In fact, we just went ahead and had cheese for lunch right there in their parking lot! What I especially liked about both these establishments was that they are family owned. So friendly, had pride in their business and offered plenty of samples so you knew what you were getting. Prices were fair and taste was delicious. However, cherry wine will be a no go for me. It's just hard to find good wine when you have lived in wine country...

Driving through Door County was quite an experience. it was diverse and very rural, lots and lots of crop land and lots and lots of orchards, apple and cherry! The little towns each had their own flavor and while we did not stop at everyone we did note how clean and well kept they were. Most had a very welcoming feel. Some also leaned toward the tourist, others catered toward the artsy-fartsy crowd, all were fun to explore I'm sure. At the very end of the peninsula known as Door County there is a ferry to Washington Island and then you can take another ferry to Rock Island which is just beyond Washington Island. I think we need to go again and plan a day just to hop on over to these two islands. I understand there are lighthouses, fields of lavender and it's perfect for biking.

Anyway, it was a full day of taking in the sights, sounds and taste of Door County. It was a beautiful day for travel and we had one of the best fish dinners we've had on the whole trip. It was super good, fresh and friend just right. Generous portions, good fries and a nice piece of Rye bread made it a complete meal. You cannot go wrong eating at Red's Pub & Grill in Algoma, Wisconsin. The lake view is pretty sweet and if the weather is nice they even have outdoor seating.
YUM!!!
 
The after dinner walk was to this lighthouse, another awesome day of living the dream and knowing how truly blessed we are. Now it's off to Iowa! I know we are about to encounter the dreaded Midwest heat :/ Seeing Trigger will take some of the burn away, but I am not looking forward to the heat at all, only seeing her takes some of the sting away.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Yooper Land

We are totally impressed with Michigan! Amazing, beauty beyond imagination. I really, really, REALLY like it. The weather has been incredible. So much so that we nearly needed to turn on our heat! Now before you think I drank the Michigan kool-aid I am not a fan of their bugs..mosquitoes are horrid. Thankfully, it's not been everywhere nor every time we are out so it's doable just not pretty!

The people are pretty friendly, the roads are good and the amount of available low cost, free parking options for RVs is wonderful. They have welcome centers, city parks, county parks, township parks, rest areas and on and on. Most have at least restrooms, some showers, many offer electrical hookups, too. Like I said, wonderful. We bought the Michigan State Park Pass which was around $30/year. A lot of neat things are within their park system not to mention a lot of the waterfalls we would like to see so we thought it was money well spent.

The waterfall hunting was fun! They almost always included an adventure to find them and that adventure usually meant stairs. LOTS of stairs, it was good for me! But I have to admit I didn't always embrace it but I was always glad I went. And as I indicated I was NEVER overjoyed in the bugs we had to endure. UGH, mosquitoes were often plentiful and I was pretty darn happy to have that silly pullover netting thing I thought was such a waste of money! LOL best clearance $4 MiRV has found this year IMO!

The highlight I think was dinner at the Harbor Haus in Copper Harbor. The view was so peaceful, it wasn't too busy and the food was above average. I had bacon wrapped whitefish with mushroom risotto and steamed veggies along with a very yummy classic German garden salad. But the view, I did mention the view, right? Well, it was the real winner no doubt about it. After being satiated like Kings we motored on to see another falls and couple of lighthouses before turning in for the night. We actually found ourselves in the quiet of the lighthouse parking lot and thought let's just stay here, so we did!  The sunset that night provided another picturesque moment that could not adequately be captured.

As we made our to Sault Saint Marie we decided to do our first Casino stay. The Kewadin have campgrounds at their casinos, some with amenities. This one was tops...$20/night which is high end for us but the perks made up the difference. Showers, yeah, and so clean, FREE laundry, which is was time to do ours so that was really a benny we liked, plus wifi and access to the hotel pool and sauna. MiRV really enjoyed that! We lived large for 2 days! It was a great town for biking, too and we did all over, that was really nice! The Soo Locks were quite an adventure as well! We took the cruise and had a great time; met some neat folks, too. Those freighters that go through the locks are B-I-G! And watching the water level drop some 30 feet was like WOW? On our Soo Locks cruise we went through the locks. Being on the boat while the water dropped was even more WOW! We went through the American side first and then came back around the Canadian side. No comparison there the Americans have it going on and there are plans to redo two of the non operating locks to make then bigger and operational again.The size of ships that go through is amazing. The COE had a nice park and visitor center along with a viewing platform that gave you a great view all for FREE. Love the free!

Next stop was Mackinac Island. Hmmmm, while overall it was a fun day, I would say not gonna be on my list to ever go again. In fact after we arrived and there were hundreds of people on the main street I was honestly thinking we had really messed up on this adventure especially when you factor in cost. You ride a ferry out to the island and back to the tune of $20 or so bucks a person (w/MilDiscount). We took our bikes so add in another $8 each and you can see we were somewhat heavily invested to not like it. Getting off the ferry we collected our bikes and tried to make our way down the main drag. There were hundreds, I mean hundreds of folks who I had no intention of becoming BFFs with but felt like we might since it was wall to wall people, strollers, bikes, horses. The Island is vehicle free, so you get around via bikes, horse drawn carriage, horse drawn taxi or your own two feet. Hence the reason we brought our bikes. Of course it was way touristy in this area which also bummed me out; however, the farther away we got from the ferry docks the better things were.

We biked the perimeter of the island. Yep, all 8.2 miles worth. I even got the T-shirt, so did MiRV even though they are mailing his since they were out of the color he wanted in his size! Overall, it did end up being a really fun day. We even ended up enjoying the main drag much later in the day when most of the other tourists had made their way back to the mainland. We even found fudge that the Daughter could eat! Neat since treats are few and far between with her limited diet due to Trigger's little intolerance's. And my advice on the caramel corn, skip it, it's just way too sweet! However, the fudge, well everyone says it's awesome, we opted out except for what we got for the Daughter so no firsthand tasting to report but lots of folks were toting it back.


Let me take a moment to mention the foliage and blooms...Lilacs, everywhere, I mean EVERYWHERE and their scent just permeates the air, it's not in a bad way like walking into the Bath & Body Works store. No, not like that at all, it's just a light hint of lilac fragrance everywhere you go. In addition to the abundance of lilacs, there are lupines here, too. Which I did not know, but they are and we have seen quite a bit of it, not like in Maine but it's still around. Then there are the ferns, yes, ferns, all over. There are tall ones, short ones and everything in between and they are so green as are the trees. All sorts of greens, yellow green, green-green, deep green, light green. I can see why people return here in the fall the changing leaves has to be super incredible. The entire state has been lush and green with many, many gorgeous blooms of all varieties!

So, Michigan's UP is definitely up there on my list of favorite places, I have loved it. We have really enjoyed so much of the beauty of this area. The Pictured Rocks provided views of the waters of Lake Superior that would make you think you are in the Caribbean; yes, the water was that beautiful. The turquoise and deep blues along with the greens surprised us. The shore while certainly not oceany in the Pacific or Atlantic kind of way was also not like any other lake shore I have ever experienced. But be advised the water is c-o-l-d, oh yes, very cold indeed, MiRV said so.

As we say goodbye to Michigan, we will say hello again to Wisconsin as we make our way back towards home...Door County will be the next stopover for us. It's an area I have wanted to explore for some time so I am excited to be able to finally go. We will also pass through Green Bay, go Pack!

Thursday Thoughts - Unknown

Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Unknown

Sometimes you just have to accept the fact that certain things can never go back to how they once were. It's okay...life goes on.

Don't know who said it, couldn't find any contributing author but I thought it spoke volumes.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Going North...Oh Canada!

We are on now on our way celebrating our BIG 3-0. We had planned for 30 days of adventures for this little milestone; however, we got off to a bumpy start with MiRV needing an emergency root canal. This created some backtracking miles, NOT to be confused with backpacking miles...but once we got going it's been pretty smooth sailing so far... first destination for this leg, NORTH DAKOTA! Pizza dinner with friends was our first night! What a treat.

While in North Dakota, dontcha know, we headed on over to Minnesota to make the trek to the Northwest Angle.You go into Canada and then back into the USA in Minnesota to get there. It's the northern most point in the lower 48. Some guy messed up with the mapping way back when so it's somewhat of an anomaly. Since we have been to the southern most and eastern most we thought we would go on to the northern most! Of course now we will be trying to get the western most so we will have them all. Quirky little things we like to do. We also stopped in at the geographical center of the lower 48 last year in SD.

Since it was a trip through what some would say the backwoods we opted for a rental car to make this little jaunt. Quite easy to secure and very affordable. Less than $70 bucks out the door, unlimited miles (this was crucial). We had the car roughly 12 hours. We covered A LOT of ground. In and out of Canada without issues, thankgoodness, if you know our track record with border crossings this was a welcome event!
Checking in with the US when we went back into MN. Repeat the same drill when you leave MN only you check in with Canada.

We started in Grand Forks, ND  made it over to the angle and then came back down through Winnipeg. Neat city, we had dinner in "the Forks" area. Which happened to be packed with a colorful LGBT celebration. Whatever, we still strolled the area and enjoyed the food trucks. TIP-get some Canadian money otherwise you WILL be ripped off spend way more then you should! So after we paid a bit too much for dinner as the lady did say they take cards before we ordered-yes, debit cards. Which we did not want to use, I wanted to use our credit card as there is no foreign transaction fees with that and I wasn't certain on our debit card since I had no intention of using it. So we ended up paying US dollars and we paid entirely TOO much. But, hey, it was some AWESOME fresh walleye and poutine!

It was another coolio thing to be in the CENTRE of Canada, even cooler was stopping at a Tim Horton's. I love Tim Horton coffee It was quite a welcome treat after MiRV just sorta sprung the whole we could drive on over and hit Winnipeg on our way back...suuuure! Tim Horton's made it all good :) It was also an opportunity to use wifi since we had put our phones in airplane mode to deter any Canadian roaming fees, no, no, no, we most definitely didn't want that! Too much $$$$! We are on a budget you know!

After breakfast and church this morning with our dear friends we are now on our way to the UP! We hope to hang out, enjoy the Yooper way for a few weeks and take in their amazing waterfalls as well as some lighthouses along the way.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Thursday Thoughts - Nordeman

Time brings change. Change takes time. Nichole Nordeman

Believe it or not we went to church with Nichole in the 90's before she went off to Nashville. She is a neat person. We also enjoyed her playing the piano. She was awesome, still is from what I can tell. Love to hear her music on the radio, too!


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Mile Marker Thirty as in 3 - 0!

Another milestone...

 St Mark's Lighthouse - Florida...March 2015

MiRV and I started our journey over thirty years ago...we met in 1982. We weren't even friends. In 1983 that changed, in 1984 we were engaged and in 1986 married. And as they say the rest is history.  So here we are and it's 30 years later since that day. Can you say W-O-W?

I won't say I didn't think this day would come but really you don't give much thought to these milestones when you are saying "I do". Of course, I firmly believe in the "until death do us part" part. And certainly we have had our ups and downs, happiness and sadness, rewards and disappointments, we have had to work through issues, we still work hard at our marriage...every day. It is ongoing; it is a choice.  Marriage is not maintenance free, there is definitely upkeep, everyday really. If you do not keep up your marriage, I can promise you it will get away from you and there could be serious suffering.

I will be the first to tell you we are not always living the dream (GASP) or the happily ever after that you might think. Some would say that we tend to present that image. I would argue that you see what you choose to see. I also think we make a conscious choice to NOT air our dirty laundry so to speak. Have we discussed, in limited talk, our marriage with others? Sure, but I think we wisely guard our words. We were given good advice early on that spewing words of anger or disappointment to others is not something you should do with others...unless of course you rented their ears (professional counseling). Therefore, there are very, VERY few people you can or should confide in who will be able to let go of what you say when things have righted in your world. That person who you shared your moment of anger with just doesn't forget what you told them and sometimes there can be tension in the aftermath. It's just not a good idea to abundantly "share" about the your marital life so be careful who you chat with when you are spun up. For certain there might be a very good friend who can handle it but I still would be cautious and hesitant to recommend it.

 MiRVs first look at our daughter - OKC...March 1991

Our greatest joy and challenge has been the birth and rearing of the Daughter. She holds our heart; she is amazing. She has blessed us with another incredible chapter in our lives as she became a mother earlier this year and gave us a granddaughter. This my friends is beyond words...we have never loved so deeply. We are in love with her and relish being BeBe and LaLa. There are just not enough words for our newest love. What an indescribable joy we are experiencing...

 Our first look at our granddaughter - NE...March 2016

It is good that our lives our enriched with additions. We are thrilled to have so many family and friends who play such a crucial role in our lives. We know it is much better living life with others and we have a wonderful groups of "others" who love and inspire us, who hold us accountable, who encourage and love on us. We are blessed no doubt. We pray that our daughter continues to grow roots in her community and finds those others to do and enjoy life with to team up with to make memories to get through the good, the bad and the ugly.

This child...

The other crucial KEY factor in reaching this mark, I believe, is our faith. I won't even be so bold as to say our "strong" faith because there were (still are) days we felt our faith waiver. We have had our moments of crisis (still do). However, if we would not have had what I call a solid foundation and relationship with Jesus I feel we could have been in trouble. He has sustained and encouraged us in hard times, sad times. He is faithful, even when we are not. We are Christ followers and know without a doubt this is an integral part of any part of our successful marriage. I would not even want to speculate where we would be without Jesus.  I am thrilled to have done life with MiRV these last 30 years and look forward to many more years together. Life is good, not easy, not perfect, not without struggles but it IS good!
 
Union Covered Bridge - Missouri back road...May 2016


#30yesreally30yearsofmarriage
#sustaininglove