Truck being stalked by Cougar

Truck being stalked by Cougar
Truck Being Stalked by the Cougar

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Vacation July 2011 Traveling Home

It's time............ We explained to the kids Thursday night that we would wake them in the middle of the night to take us to the bus station. We decided to catch the 4:45 a.m. bus. Our flight wasn't until noon but we were going on a space available status. So, we figured if we couldn't catch the first bus there was still a chance with the second at 7:00. We didn't have any trouble getting on the first. The alarm went off at 3:00. I was already awake. I took a picture out the window because dawn was breaking. Jeff and I both got ready.......... Keys and Jake woke up and came down. I woke Justyna (and she hates mornings) about 4:00. Jeremiah wasn't feeling well. and Alli was just like a rag doll. We said our see-ya's at the bus stop and got on the bus.... heading back to Heathrow....... need to sleep but can't. Once at Heathrow we checked bags and got boarding passes for Chicago but not for St Louis. We had a good breakfast and walked around for a bit. We boarded the plane and off we went............ heading west. By the little map thing we were headed northwest over Greenland then headed over Canada to Chicago. There was clouds off and on over the Atlantic and over Greenland. Not that you can see much from 35000 feet. But the clouds cleared over the  Canadian coastline. It looked beautiful and rugged and I could just imagine Polar bears running across the land. Landed in Chicago on time. My Iphone was again a phone. I was pleased. Charged it for a bit and listened to voicemail. One was from work from the 13th. Nothing I could do 10 days later. Will send email on Monday. Another was from our friends Leonard and Sondra welcoming us home!! how awesome is that? I called my sister and Justyna to let them know we had arrived safely! And talked to my sister a few more times while in Chicago.  Delayed 90 minutes in Chicago. Had time (Going to board the plane in Chicago they took my carry on (had medicine and jewelry in it) because suddenly it was too big!!! OKOKand lots of it) to have a Chicago Hot Dog. It was awesome. I can pick it up in the jetway after we land.......................... "Ladies and Gentlemen--if we stowed your carry-on you will now need to pick it up at baggage claim" WONDERFUL!!!! Still have to get boarding passes for Cape Air. So we part I go for the boarding passes and Jeff goes for the carry on. I find the Cape Air Counter and the lady will not give me a boarding pass because I don't have all my carry on's with me (not to mention Jeff) and she needs to weigh them. OK--mind you I don't even know at that point just how long I had been traveling but I was DONE!!! So, Jeff and I find each other and go back to the lady who at that point is suggesting I apologize. I walked away. Jeff dealt with her. THEN -- I realized that the truck keys were in the luggage. WONDERFUL. Can't do a thing about it but pray that the luggage follows us to Fort Leonard Wood. Get on the last plane-- a 10 seat Cessna, which was awesome in the light of the day coming to St Louis just a few weeks before. But now scared me silly. I was so relieved to touch down at home. Luggage arrived on a second plane about 10 minutes later. We dug out the keys and came home.

And that, my friends, is it for our vacation in July 2011 to Lakenheath England!

here is a link for the pictures:

Vacation July 2011 Hearts Apart Dinner & Cambridge

Our time is beginning to run out. I am ready to go home but not ready to leave Justyna and the kids. Although we talk most every day and sometimes many times I day... I still miss my daughter being close. I can't readily help. Right now her husband is away so she is a one parent machine with 4 little ones. I give her credit where credit is due. She doesn't have a second thought about going anywhere... even driving on the wrong side of the road.
The last time I was there we went to two Hearts Apart Dinners... and this time we were able to go to another. This was at the bowling alley. The kids bowled and Justyna helped them. I took pictures and attempted to  keep up with the messes. :)

On the 22nd we ran to Cambridge.................... another Tesco............... more bags!!!! We also got some lunch at Tesco's. I got a tuna and cucumber sandwich which was terrible and when Justyna took a bite (while driving) I thought she was going to vomit. OMG it was so funny. She spit out the window and didn't know if it went out or back!!!! We also had OX flavored chips........... now now..... they really were good. Kettle type chips that tasted like they had been dipped in au jus.
Here are two links to the rest of the pictures:

Vacation July 2011 Ely Cathedral

Day 13.
Justyna wanted to show Jeff the Ely Cathedral. It is listed on some of the Wonders of the World lists ( ) And and there is a Tesco there. I can get more grocery bags. Anyway....... we get everyone in the car and off we go. Ely is about a 35 minute ride. We parked in the exact same spot as we did the last time I was in England. Walked up the monstrous hill and into town. I gave Jeremiah a camera and told him that he could take a picture of anything he wanted to. Then we ddecided we were going to look around a bit. oh oh a fish and chips place....... but, too early for lunch. We window shopped and then found Ely Museum. It wasn't expensive to get into so we took the tour. It was small. After that we walked over to the Cathedral. It was HUGE ........ inside the entry door was a maze-- when you walked around it it was as far as the walk up to the tower. (we can't go on the tower tour--none under 11 and they were booking the 2:00 p.m. tour) But we bought ticket to see the Cathedral and Stained Glass Museum. As with any Cathedral across the pond........ it was fabulous -- even worn as it is. Jeremiah and I got a kick out of Mr. Gotobed's plaque. I added the link for the cathedral above because there is no way I can explain it in that detail. But, I will say that before we realized........... it was 2:30. everyone was being good but discovering they were hungry. So off to the fish-n-chips place. It was wonderful. I even had mushy peas!!!! then we went to Tesco and I bought bags!!! They are recycled burlap with a plastic lining and oh so much better than anything you can get in the states. bought snacks at Tesco's too!
Here is a link to the pictures Jeremiah took:
And the rest:

Vacation July 2011 Daytrip to London

Day 10 Saturday............. we prepared for Sunday Day 11.

When we got up the weather looked promising ............. we had gotten everything ready so that the morning would go smoothly. Having to wake all 4 kids and get them ready and on a bus by 7:30 was going to be fun!!! Ok got on the bus and as we drove the 2 hours to London it rained off and on. The way we went into London you saw nothing that you wouldn't see in any other city! This daytrip was a do it yourself. The bus would drop us off and pick us up at a predetermined location. That location was Madame Taussand Wax Museum. We had HUGE plans of seeing many many things in the 7 1/2 hours we would be there. First things first. We bought tickets for everyone on the tour (hop on and off) bus. So on we hopped. (mind you it isn't just hopping with 7 people)......... rode for about 25 minutes to Trafalgar Square. We got off because there was a walking tour of the Horse Guards and we hoped to catch that. But the National Gallery seemed to grab us for quite a bit of time. Finally, we asked directions of a local policeman and he told us how to get there. We missed the walking tour. BUT another nice local policeman said if we walked up the "lane" and grabbed a spot and didn't move we could watch the Changing of the Guards at ..... Buckingham Palace. This is something that Jeff has mentioned wanting to see. So up the "lane" we went. We grabbed a spot and didn't move-- through the rain, sunshine and gathering crowds. The palace wasn't near as big as I thought it should be. Nor as opulent. BUT, nevertheless, it is the Queen's Residence. So we waited and were treated to a "Changing of the Guard" a very small procession (makes one wonder just how often they do this through the streets). The crowd was quiet again. Though you could hear different languages as people walked by. When the Guards left the palace we walked so that we were in front of the palace....... Police on Horseback kept you moving. but we did manage a few more pictures. FOOD we had to do something for the kids. The snacks in the bag were running out and the natives were getting restless. We found a little place and went in for sandwiches. I have forgotten what we had but I tasted most of it and it was good!!! By the time we were done eating we realized that we weren't going to have enough time to do everything we wanted........ but I thought MAYBE just maybe we could get on the bus and at least see more. On the wrong bus.......... jump off and on another (mind the rain) on another............. seats bad off and on again. OK this is no longer fun.......... kids are unhappy......... we are all wet............. it's getting late. Get on a bus heading back to Madame Taussand's. OK OK back there and bought souvenirs. Decided that I needed a Starbucks. Lo and behold there is a McDonald's right next to it. So we get the 4 Happy Meals and a 20 piece nugget meal. UGGGG ............ but the kids are now happy. Mind the rain again. Go back to meet the bus. The bus was 30 minutes late. When we finally got on bus most everyone slept all the way home. Ate cereal for dinner. Even though we didn't see everything we wanted to (and I didn't get to sing London Bridge on the London Bridge) we had a great time.
Here is a link to the rest of the pictures:

Vacation July 2011 Mildenhall Farmer Market

Day 8 Thursday was a run errands day with Justyna. While running errands we saw they had a small country fair in Lakenheath. Made plans to go on Friday.
Day 9 Friday.... Justyna had told me that there was a farmers market in Mildenhall on Fridays. So after Jacob was in school we went to town. The farmers market was small. We bought some fresh fruit. there was a man selling fresh seafood out of a truck. Not wrapped or anything. After dinner we headed to the fair. Free parking and the cost of the rides was not bad. The kids rode some rides. I went into the fun house with everyone. Jeff rode bumper cars with Jeremiah. Justyna rode with Jacob. BUT the very best part of the fair was the fresh made donuts. I was good -- only had one. Good thing we waited til we got home to eat them. I would have bought more!!!!

Vacation July 2011 Swindon & Stonehenge

Day 6&7 Tuesday we headed west to Swindon. I had made hotel reservations at the same hotel that Justyna and Shane had stayed at. When I called the lady said 200. I thought ok for two rooms that isn't bad. They have family rooms. On the way we stopped at a "Services" place along the highway and had fish and chips (not very good). We got to the hotel to check in and they explained where breakfast was and we were shown our rooms. I look in the little book in the room and realize that this isn't a "traveling type" hotel. It is a 4 star hotel complete with gold course, spa, 4 bars, 2 restaurants, pool, sauna............ and probably more. Too late then............ The bill was over double of what I thought it would be. Hey, it's my vacation! Off we go to Stonehenge........ It was about a 40 minute ride from the hotel. On SKINNY curvy British roads that Justyna did wonderful on. She kept saying that Stonehenge was in the middle of a sheep field. I honestly thought she was kidding. We didn't see any signs until we were within a few miles. (following the GPS all over the country). And we crested a hill and there it was. Not only in the middle of a field but on the top of a hill.  It was amazing. And we were going there!!!!! We pulled into the parking lot and the attendant charged us 3 pounds to park but said it would be refunded when we purchased our entry tickets. I said well that is kind of silly and he said. I agree but this is what they pay me to do. So we paid him. You have to go under the road through a tunnel to get to Stonehenge. The first view of it is amazing. How did they get the rocks here? how did they position them like that?? WHY did they do this?? It was very quiet.... mysterious... the first maybe 50 feet and last 25 feet of the circle was paved. The rest we walked on the grass of the field. Amazing that there WAS grass for the amount of people that walked on it. We walked around Stonehenge and then bought souvenirs. We were there only for about 2 hours. But it was so worth the ride out there. On the way back Justyna wanted to go to Wal-Mart. Well--the British version. I bought my friend Joy her Spotted Dick ( a steamed suet pudding containing dried fruit (usually currants), commonly served with either custard or butter) and a reusable bag. The bags in England are so much better than the bags in the states. Someone should take notice of them. I can't be the only one who will travel thousands of miles for some. After the local Wal-Mart we then HAD to go to McDonald's. Not sure if it was for the grandkids or Justyna. England has family parking. Close to the building and larger spots. Also, you must pay to unlock a cart/carriage at the store. In order to get your money back you have to return it. What a concept!!! Back at the hotel by 8 and the pool was closed for the kids. told them that we would go after breakfast. We go down to breakfast and eat then to the pool. After that we get in the car and being the trip home.  Justyna needed gas so we went to a USForces base. It was out of the way by about 15 miles and come to find out it had been closed!!! Though they were having an air show! Here is a link to the pictures from the day:

Vacation July 2011 Keylynn's Party

Day 3 Saturday-- we had a birthday party for Keylynn. Again lovely English weather about 65*, wind and rain off and on. Justyna had rented a bouncy castle. The kids loved it. Jeff grilled with a plastic fork and knife. There was a pinata... now kid friendly..... it had strings that the kids had to pull to release the candy and toys. Excuse me but what happened to the "beat it with a stick" pinatas???
Here is a link to the pictures from the party:

Sunday and Monday we didn't do much but go to Mildenhall to Sainsbury's which is a grocery store. Again blew my diet to hell with bread :).........

Vacation July 2011 Getting to England

Our Starting Point
So I managed to keep the secret. And did not tell Justyna when we would be arriving until......... well let me start at the beginning..... July 6th at 9:30 we arrived at the Fort Wood Airport. Upon check in they weighed everything, to include carry on baggage and purse, then they asked what we weighed. A plane came in..... ok so it was a luggage plane (luggage travels separately) then our plane arrived. I have never before flown on a Cessna. It was truly terrifyingly amazing! High enough to be flying low enough to make out everything. Upon arrival in St Louis we had to change terminals (not bad). Once we found our gate we also found a sandwich shop and a Dunkin Donuts shop. Diets???? What diets??? nope off of that til I return home. On the plane to Newark. Had good seat except mine wouldn't recline and there were two magpies (Heckell & Jeckell) in the seats in front of us. They screeched all the way to Newark. Once we landed in Newark we again had to change terminals...... this is becoming a fact of life on this trip. This time we took moving sidewalks and a city bus. ok ok hurrying through.... 3 gates away and I find a food court. YES! they had pizza!. You know the kind you have to fold to eat???  Grabbed two slices (one cheese the other pepperoni) and went to the gate where we boarded immediately!!! This time Jeff's seat doesn't recline and they can't do anything about it. Wonderful......... all the way to Heathrow sitting straight. And he has a know it all beside him. We ate the pizza and then they fed us some kind of chicken and a croissant later in the flight. When we arrived at Heathrow we were in Terminal One and had to get to Terminal Three. Wonderful........ had 3 hours to get through Customs and get over there. Got in line at Customs and made it through with no problem. Asked someone how to get to Terminal Three and was told to go outside and wait for the 555........ So glad it wasn't the 666. So out we went to the LOVELY English weather. It is July but it seems England doesn't know it. It was 7:30 in the morning and probably 55* with wind and rain. I was in Capris and Jeff was in shorts!!! Not dressed for this at all. The bus comes and we get on with all of our luggage. And it is off to the races................. Jeff's first experience with driving on the opposite side of the street. It was rather funny. After a 25 minute ride we make it to Terminal 3 and I find out just where we need to be for the bus to Lakenheath AFB. Then we changed into more appropriate clothes and grabbed something to eat. Not sure how traveling works up an appetite but it does.
Finally, the bus to Lakenheath arrives.... we have a Space A seat and we are off. Two and a half hours later we are at Lakenheath....... Raining and cold and now I am not sure I could tell a taxi driver how to get to her house.  So I go into lodging -- have them call her and tell her that she has a large package to pick up. And my wonderful daughter says........................ they can walk........ but she shows up within about 15 minutes. Then we drop of luggage and go check mail. Since it was Keylynn's birthday we went out for supper to the "Club" Damn near almost as good as the BlackJack. Jet lag hit us on Friday ............ tried hard not to sleep during the day (for them during the day) It doesn't get dark here until about 10:00 p.m...... and the sun starts rising about 4:00 a.m. Kids seem to think you don't have to go to bed until it is dark. And that you get up when the sun is rising. Here is a link to the pictures from traveling to England:

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Carlyle Lake COE IL 10-13 June 2011

This is being written a few weeks later. Life keeps catching me. Not to mention WORK!!! Anyway about our anniversary weekend. We were meeting our friends Leonard & Sondra for the weekend. We packed the Pod on Thursday night and hauled it to work on Friday. Getting used to it being out there. Not such a pull. I got off work at regular time but Jeff didn't. I made dinner for the road, changed my clothes, talked to Leonard who had gotten our site all ready by moving the picnic table. And told me which exit to get off of. (Easier than the way GPS'er would bring us) And then he said he would walk me right in. I had been looking forward to camping at Carlyle Lake (had heard much about it). While talk to Sondra on the way there leonard nicely let us know to fill up in Missouri. We were thankful because with gas near $4.00 a gallon 25 cents cheaper by the gallon in Missouri was wonderful. Who would have thought we liked gas at $3.80??? Then we had to get through St Louis. Here is where Leonard was giving me lessons in lane numbers. We drove through Lebanon, Illinois. 
Leonard & Sondra
  Didn't look much different than Lebanon, Missouri. this would be the first night that we spent in Illinois in the Pod. Finally got to the campground. Full hookups that were NOT uphill!!! We were racing the sunlight. (This does not work well when you are headed east) and got there just as the sun set. But Leonard and Sondra helped. I backed Jeff right in (do have to say i am getting better at that all the time) ....................... Saturday we spent finishing setting up and did a run to Wal-Mart. We had lost a bumper cap and a section of sewer hose. I am trying to imagine going down the road following a travel trailer and this happening. We were just glad that we didn't need 2 section of hose. Can't get satillite. think the LMB on the dish is bad. We were able to get Leonard and Sondra's within seconds!!!! We did hook up to theirs so I know now that I can have satillite in both the living area and the bedroom!!! WOOHOO!!!! Sondra and Leonard knew it was our Anniversary weekend and so on Saturday afternoon brounght us this grand old Griswold cast iron pan and griddle!!!! I was so very excited!!!!  

Before Cleaning

After Cleaning!! isn't it pretty????
Then we worked on some mods for the POD............ The door handle so we don't have to open the white plastic door thingy (how is that for technical terms) and the refrigerator vents so we don't have any unwanted guests such as wasps or bugs or or or mices!!!
 You can buy a contraption for the door. But this was much cheaper.
We shared dinner on Saturday Night. Sunday we went for a ride around Carlyle Lake. Big....... and most of the campgrounds were nice. We did see this travel trailer that had a tarp tied around it. Why I didn't get a picture I haven't a clue. But it was strange!!!! Shared dinner again on Sunday night and discussed a trip in September. We are going to pot luck with others who will be camping too!! Can't wait. Rv'ers -- Campers are the bestest!! Jeff wants to start goecaching again. Monday morning brought the "oh no it's time to pack up to go home" blues. Except Jeff was SICK.............. he had no energy .... Leonard helped a bit and Jeff did what he could to load up and we hit the road. Jeff took us to the interstate (I am not ready to drive on back roads yet) and then I drove. Took the wrong way and after I turned around I ended up on 64/40 west. Going through downtown St Louis. OMG I was so scared. God then decided that all the city traffic, wind by semi's, lane changes wasn't enough for me --- he started blowing the wind -- sending thunder and lightening and sheets of rain. There was a break in that so we stopped for gas............. Wonderful........ another first for me Jeff was telling me the whole time how great I was doing. Three hours later I got out of the drivers seat (at the end of our driveway) after driving in from St Louis and up our state (curvy and hilly) highway. I was very proud of myself though I could hardley walk and my fingers hurt from gripping the steering wheel. But I know that if needed, I can drive drive the truck ... hauling the Pod. We won't be camping again until August... it's off to England for us to see Justyna and kids.
You can see the rest of the pictures from the weekend. good bad and indifferent at my facebook page:
Til next travels to you and you and even you!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Gasconade River Float -- June 5th

FINALLY............ we were able to put our kayaks in the river. Didn't have to go far....... a few miles east to put the truck at the takeout and then a few miles west to the put in. The day was supposed to be hot. We packed drinks, snacks and lunch and were on the river by 9:00 a.m. The Gasconade (this part) is a very quiet river....... it makes you work ........ But the river was up (not dangerously). Here is a link to Missouri Rivers We started off and within a mile or so found an eagles nest. There were a few people who were doing yard work. And a few river boats but for the most part jeff and I had the river to ourselves. Some cows joined us at lunch. We stop at a gravel bar and light a fire to roast hot dogs. There were lots of trees that had been pushed down the river. Not so much debris. We saw a bald eagle sitting in a tree. It saw us too -- it is a bit disconcerting to have a bird of prey watch you!!! Took us about 4 1/2 hours to do about 10 miles of river. Usually that same stretch takes about 6 hours but the water was high enough that it kept good current for the most part.

If you would like to see the pictures of the trip you can view them at my facebook:

Memorial Day Weekend 27-31 May 2011 White Buffalo Resort

We were looking forward to this weekend for a few months. The White River runs along the campground and the confluence of the Buffalo & White is not far away. We were planning to float in our kayaks both this weekend. Due to the flooding we couldn't go on either river. I was calling the campground to be sure they weren't flooded. The dam floodgates were opened on both Bull Shoals & Norfolk......... Not to mention Table Rock. They had some cancellations so we were able to get a full hook-up!!!!!So, since we were off on Friday we loaded (to include the scooters) Friday morning and left home about 9:00........... On the interstate only for about 30 miles and then we headed south on Missouri 5 heading toward Arkansas. The sun was trying to peek out. The drive was beautiful. THEN............ both Google directions and the GPS'er told us to take a county road...... Jeff turned and I called the campground.
 This was the back way in and ALL gravel. Nope had to turn around. Removed the sway bar and got turned around. And we were on the way again. I took pictures of the highways and clouds on the way down........ I am not a great photographer but like to take pictures and then share them. So we turned off the main road....... WOOHOO still on pavement. It is beautiful down there. Came to a 4 way stop about  5-6 miles down the road and there is a sign still 7 miles to go. Windy... hilly.... no shoulders!!!! Came up to a sign that said the road ends.......... and it did ... at the campground. We checked in and went to choose which campsite we wanted. The sites were very nice. The White River was roaring. We were high up on a bank. Only complaint was that the fire ring was a tractor trailer rim so it was a bit small. Began setting up and ate lunch. Had satellite so fast it was amazing. I turned around and Jeff grabbed the signal. The trash cans said bear proof. After setting up we took a scooter ride to the public access. Had dinner of steak, corn on the cob & 1 piece of bread. Went to bed (it was beautiful so we left the windows all open) and about midnight there were people outside of the Pod talking and carrying on. They soon went on their way. Suddenly there was this LOUD NOISE some kind of metal noise. My first thought was a bear was trapped in the trash can. After hearing the screech of metal and wood on second and much more reasonable thought  was that the upper dock broke loose. Looking at my cell phone (good for a clock because didn't have ANY SIGNAL) it was 5:15 a.m. No one else came out to investigate the noise. I was amazed. Had French Toast Casserole for breakfast. Saturday we went into Mountain Home and wandered around the farmers market. Saturday night had pork steak, corn sticks and  brussel sprouts. I made a clafouti (it is a french pastry) with pears and apples in the dutch oven. It really needs a darker fruit (maybe kiwi & strawberry) .. it was wonderful and I will try it again. Sunday we relaxed ............ didn't do a think......... Quality kindle time!!! Monday morning found us not wanting to pack up to come home. But reality was calling. We only have one more camping trip planned until August because we are going to see our daughter in England in July. This is somewhere we will definitely go back to. I will put my yak in both rivers!!!

You can view the rest of the weekends pictures on my facebook at

Thursday, May 26, 2011

May 20-22 Baxter COE Park -- Lampe, MO

Again the weather wasn't supposed to be good. So we decided against bringing the scooters or the yaks (Table Rock Lake is at flood stages). We were to meet our friends Leonard & Sondra for the weekend. We met them last year at Johnson Shut-Ins and have seen them a few times over the winter. We have planned 3 or 4 trips with them this season. We packed up the Pod on Thursday night and took it to work with us. It was easier this time to let it sit in the parking lot. We were able to leave about 3:30. We stopped at Marshfield and got gas and a snack from Wal-Mart.
When we got in we backed into the site (getting much better at that with the radios -- I even take my finger off the button sometimes) Jeff just stops if he can't see me in the mirrors! Not always possible and I let him know that.
Anyway, we just got all set up and it started pouring!! There was a family setting up tents........ so happy I had my Pod! They were going to be wet no matter what. Another campground with 5 or 6 sites occupied. Leonard and Sondra's new 5th wheel was there but they had gone to Springfield. They came home during the storm and we decided to see eachother on Saturday Morning. Jeff was up early...... me .. nope, I like to sleep in when i am in the Pod then I get mad that I miss sunrise!!!! (wants to have my cake and eat it too!)Shortly after I rolled out of bed Sondra was at the door. We were going to breakfast. After a quick cup of tea and a quicker shower we got in the truck. I thought it was right there.......... by the campground...... 30 minutes later we got to Billie Gails --off the diet (weekends are almost becoming diet free) Jeff and I shared a breakfast and still had food left. The pancakes were bigger than the plate............ and wonderful!!! If you are in the area -- look them up. It's an old gas station and very welcoming!! Oh yea...... they only take cash!!! We drove into Branson and shopped a bit. A cast iron griddle and a 5th wheel warming present. On the way back I found some highway signs for friends and then a metal hot air balloon that I couldn't resist climbing in.

Back at the campground we started dinner early so that it could simmer........ beanless chili and it was good, also made cornsticks and a peach cobbler. Had dinner with Leonard and Sondra. We hooked up a TV outside to the satilitte. We are getting better and better at that (knock on wood). While dinner was cooking we walked over to meet a couple that Leonard & Sondra had met. Oh my....... it was the couples first time out with their camper--matter of fact they had just picked up the camper from Camping World. Not sure they listened during the PDI.......... the trailer (30 foot travel trailer) was no where near level. The stabilizers were straight up and down........ no weight on the hitch...........  He didn't seem to concerned. I only hoped that he was able to hitch it back up and tow it out.

Went inside the camper about 7:00 p.m. to check for water and had NOT A DROP!!!! I was so glad!!! Sunday morning we got up and cleaned and packed. We were on the road by 1:00. Had to stop at Camping World to exchange a rocking chair that had broke.

The weather was supposed to be terrible but it turned out to be a beautiful weekend.

You can view the rest of the pictures from the weekend at:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

May 13-15 LORA, MO

Again written late............. Decided to use Fort Leonard Wood's LORA (Lake Ozark Recreation Area)
 for the first time. The weather did not look promising but we went. The office closes at 5:00 on Friday. We actually didn't leave until about 5:40. Had daylight (no sunlight) and drove up. The drive was mainly on back Missouri roads (NO SHOULDERS) makes me a bit nervous. There were 2 others by us in the full hook up section of the park. free wi-fi too!! We didn't put satellite up Friday night but did get it within minutes on Saturday!!! Go US!! We took the scooters with us for the first time. And on Saturday Morning we rode to the office to check in and ask if we could have a late check out (learning that one too) ........... We rode around the campground and the area in general but it was cold and damp. Lunch was hot dogs and hamburgers snack was a banana boat (grilled banana with peanut butter and chocolate in it). For dinner we made cheesy potatoes, broccoli, mushrooms and onions, and pork steak. And baked apples for dessert. Everything was great and would have been better if not for the wind!!!! Saturday night found us shutting off the water because again there was water in the bedroom. So much for the late checkout!!!! We were invited to fire sit with the site across but decided not to when they got into a HUGE fight. Sunday morning we ate breakfast and packed up. Since we didn't have tools with us and we were so close to home (40 miles away) we figured we would bring the Pod home and see if we couldn't find the leak!!! Water issues in an RV suck........... and they are worse when the weather is bad!! After we got home we took off the plate and found the leak. Jeff fixed it!!!! Hopefully-- no more the following week!!!! On to next week................

you can view all of the pictures from the weekend at :

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Damsite, Pomme De Terre 6-8 May 2011

This is being posted a week late. This is a wonderful park. And only about 70 miles from the Mothership.(Scooters are a must the next time). We left a bit late due to Jeff getting out of work late. We were arriving about sunset but enough natural light to get set up. Good thing it isn't our first year. Hot dogs in the microwave for dinner. Hooked up the sewer line (again it was a bit uphill---makes you wonder about COE parks) . Had television so didn't set up satellite. EARLY EARLY Saturday morning we had a storm roll through.......... windy!!!! and it was hitting us from the side. We walked around the park on Saturday. Saw some wonderful lifts for scooters on fifth wheels. (would not work on ours) Jeff took his kayak our and I spent quality Kindle time in the afternoon. Baked a chicken, cabbage and rolls in the dutch oven. They came out wonderful. Also made a cherry chocolate cobbler (am tempted to try a crusted cobbler) ......... On Sunday morning made eggs in salsa. Saturday evening I went to the bedroom to get a jacket and my foot got wet .......... the floor(rug) was soaked. Unsure of where it came from but though maybe I had the window open during the storm. Put the pillows outside to dry on Sunday morning. We packed up the Pod on Sunday and came home. These are the sites that we recomend 36-42, 52,54, 55A or B, 58-60, 63-69. They are all lake view. If you have a big picture window in the back of your rig it would be perfect. All of our pictures from this weekend can be seen at the following link:
P.S. forgot a pillow and Jeff's coffee cup on the picnic table ............... we were able to pick them up the following week!!! YEAH!!!!! Also, the floor dried without a problem.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

No pictures just the month of April 2011

Wow I have posted this month. We camped the first weekend and then I had an article published in a local newspaper. I had a birthday at the beginning of the month. It was much easier this year than last. But now the rest of the month has been crazy.

We took a Chuckwagon Cooking Class in Lebanon. It was a 3 week class all about Chuckwagons and Dutchoven cooking. Learned some and ate GREAT!!! there were a few recipes that were simple and I will try over and over. Though I have to say I love my 3 ingredient cobbler.

We had a conference at work April 5-10 that required entirely too many hours! But everything turned out great. Word of warning: You cannot make everyone happy.... no matter how hard you try!

I took a trip to Tampa for work (another conference 16-21 April) had a great time and this conference turned out great also. Again...................... not everyone was happy. I had dinner with Nancy at Charlies (steakhouse that I believe is a chain) and it was wonderful. Did a bit of shopping. It was nice not to have to drive an hour to Target or a Mall or even the airport.

On Tuesday, the 26th, my friend Peggy called me from Tulsa to tell me that her oldest child was dead. She lives next door to me and had been worried about him for a few days. She drove to Tulsa in the middle of the night and was able to gain  access to his house. Still awaiting results on cause. I didn't know the right words to say. I was in the truck driving to Tulsa within 90 minutes of her telling me. I didn't feel she needed to be alone at that point. We cleaned his house of all electronic equipment and returned home on Thursday.
I feel like I have been in the tunnel with the light shining............ only that light keeps being the westbound freight loaded with issues.

Oh the trailer........ yep another issue. When we camped the first weekend of April as we were driving out of the campsite we, AGAIN, were leaking water. Called camping world and Keystone (we are now out of warranty) and explained this was an ongoing issue. Keystone says they will honor warranty with this issue and to bring it to Camping World as soon as possible. So Jeff ran it down there on the 6th. They ATTEMPTED to get the same results that we are having and were not able to. They believe we are seeing water they just can't make it happen. Picked it back up on the 16th. We are going out Mothers Day weekend and I guess after we hook up I will have a video camera and a glass for a sample of the water.

Tired of this problem with the Pod. Right now we are so upside down that we can't do anything about it.
Looked at a few toy haulers yesterday.

We have had some flooding issues here in Missouri. If April Showers bring May Flowers then Missouri should be beautiful. My peony bush has bloomed and gone already. Snowball bushes look great. I am hoping that the weather will cooperate next week so that we can have a fire :) and RELAX~!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Article Published

I have never considered myself much of a writer. I write as I think and feel. Even sometimes as I speak.  I started this blog for memories and to share my experiences with family and friends. About a month or so ago, a co-worker (Tiffany)  suggested I write an article for a local newspaper about one of my favorite camping places. I wrote the article and she helped to organize my thoughts. So after the article was accepted by the paper I went to Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge and took pictures of some of the cats. These are just some of the pictures.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Campbell Point COE at Shell Knob, Missouri 1-3 April 11

  I had what I thought was a brilliant idea! Pack the Pod on Thursday night and hook it up -- take it to work so we could leave straight from there. It has lights.......
this was the first we hauled it in the dark Well time wise it was a good idea but I didn't really have the patience to work. Jeff was able to get off work early so I did too! We left FLW about 3:00. Turned the SPOT on and away we went!  Took pictures of the small landslide on Polla Road. We passed the Bank of Billings and wondered -- how did we get to Montana and we'd never make work on Monday. We headed down to the campground. The last 20 miles were hard. Very hilly and curvy. Got to our site (76) about 6:00 or so. There were 4 or 5 others in the campground. After backing Jeff in, we figured out that the site was ass backwards.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Being Where I Am Retreat 19-20 March 2011

We (Peggy, Michaelle & Jaimie) left Waynesville about 2:15 and headed southwest toward Springdale Arkansas (just north of Fayetteville).I drove they rode :).......... Food was a main topic during the ride. I knew I was going to blow my diet all weekend. Well I started it off right -- we ate at Shogun for dinner Friday night. Only had a few bites of rice and Japanese noodles. Ate mostly steak, scallops and vegetables. Had a few bites of Jaimie's sushi. Everything was wonderful. Left there and headed to Target to walk dinner off a bit. We all ate too much.

Something didn't agree with Jaimie at dinner and she paid for it most of the night. I so hoped she would be ok in the morning. When we all woke up Jaimie was feeling good. We had breakfast (cheated with 1/4 of a waffle) then we all went back to the room. The hotel seemed brand new. There was a building across the street with a water wheel.

Everything that follows came out of my journal. Want to share my entire experience. We are off on an adventure to Wattle Hollow Retreat Center. A weekend of meditation, yoga and silence. There were 17 people attending. Joy to lead us through meditation and Mark to lead us through yoga. Mark owns Dripping Springs Farm near Berryville, Arkansas.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Check Up

So we the tire covers off, uncovered the hitch (had it covered all winter) made sure that everything was secured inside (took those little things down as Donna suggested unless I had them secured top and bottom -- still working on that). Backed up the truck and connected the hitch for the first time in 2011!!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Major Pod Mod

Well we did it!!

There were very few things I didn't like about the Pod after we bought it. One was the emergency window over the stove (seems kind of silly when there is a door less than 5 feet away and I wouldn't have to climb over a propane stove) and the booth dinette. I can't do a thing about the window or I would void most every warranty but the booth well...... I've talked to Jeff about taking half of it out. He wasn't so keen on the idea but last night there was a posting at about it! Only this time it looked like our Pod. I loved the chairs they put in. I knew that by doing this I would lose some premium storage space. Though I have to admit that whatever was stored under here wasn't used much because we had to get on the floor and go into the storage space. Also, we would lose sleeping for 2. That can be fixed with an air mattress on the floor. Decided on errands today to just look for chairs. Nothing at Wal-Mart. When we went into Lowe's we found a Vornado Heater (which from what I read is a wonderful space heater for the Pod). (Still no chairs) It was on clearance and we had a $20.00 credit. Plus a 10% discount. So we got that along with PVC elbows for a replacement flagpole.

Then we went to the PX Furniture Store and found the PERFECT chairs!!! They were on sale! We found what we thought were perfect chairs. We even thought the wood would match!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

River of Life Farm (ROFL) Campground Recon

When I originally made reservations for this campground River of Life in Dora Missouri

the owner asked if we had four wheel drive. I asked why and he said well we have this hill. And if your vehicle can't make it then we will hook your trailer to our tractor and move it for you. Well we decided to go and have a  look. So this morning after a breakfast of pancakes we were off to see. The GPS said 118 miles due south. The SPOT was on for those with the link.
We did get a message from our friend Jeff to watch for overhead obstacles!!! Thanks Jeff!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Grand Tour of the Pod

Welcome to the Grand Tour of our Pod. It happens to be a 27RLS foot Keystone Cougar X Lite. We purchased this unit in March of 2010. No many modifications to it. We are still trying to make it ours!! Enjoy!!! 
Up off the ground for the winter. Cinder blocks under the stablilizers and wood under the tires. Tires are also covered.
This is our rain spout (we have four-one on each corner). It keeps water from going right down the side of the trailer and making those nasty black lines. Forgot them one time and they didn't fall off while going down the highway at 65 MPH.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Cabin Fever ......Feb 12, 2011

I see the POD every day......... it sits in the driveway...... Looks so cold....... but still welcoming. I can't wait for it to get warm so I can go out and begin the season. It is supposed to be in the 60's this week. It has been what seems a very long and dark winter... The days are getting longer by the minute. We have some things to accomplish in the POD before our first trip.......... Maybe next weekend we will be able to get in and dust it off and begin. When we can get in there .... I plan on taking you on a grand tour. I talk about it here in my blog all the time. Well I talk about it all the time anywhere! Anyway, I thought I should put some interior pictures here.

We want to go camping............. we want to put our yak in the river and float!!! We want to get on our scooters and not freeze :)  I really want to wake up on a Sunday morning ..... go out and restart the fire and watch the world wake up!! I really don't mind a week or two of good cold weather to kill all the nasty little bugs............ but I don't understand why it has to be months long!!!!!

So we have spent the winter ............. whiling away the hours waiting to be able to confer with the flowers,
Consult with the snow.

Facebook.......... some say the worse time waster ever. What I do like about FB is that my kids (who all live away) can post pictures. I have found friends again that without FB I would never be in contact with. I have also found people who enjoy the same things that I do. It opens windows for you. Weather, zoo, kids, causes, games, stores, hobbies, brand names, pictures from all over. Oh, I have to mention opinions......... you get many opinions sometimes good, bad or indifferent! I check FB in the morning and then again at night. Who knows what I might miss or not :) ......... Birthdays are just there so you really can't forget them.

I am finding that like FB the blogs that I read are just as interesting.............. sometimes more as they are more detailed. I follow about 20 blogs and try to keep up as possible. I follow full timers, dutch oven cooking, rv lifestyle, friends and others. I don't always comment! For those of you that know me .............. you understand how hard that must be sometimes.

Since we purchased our RV I have also started following some forums.........., & I do visit . I have learned so very much from those about my own RV. Have no problem going in there and asking just about anything. People are very helpful!!!!

Til the time I have a thought..........................

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Shirley Silva Feb 7th, 1932-Sep 15, 2006

Happy Birthday!!

This status has been posting on FaceBook for awhile. Every time I see makes me want to reach out and touch my mother:

My Mom made me laugh...Wiped my tears...Hugged me tight...Watched me succeed...Saw me fall...Cheered me on...Kept me going strong....and drove me a little crazy at times...But moms are a promise from God that you will have a friend forever!..Put this on your status if you had or have a wonderful mom whom you love!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blizzard of 2011

My Beautiful Snow Angel of 2011!!   

I thought God gave me a great canvas for a piece    of art. God thought again and wiped it out with wind less than 90 minutes later. But that was ok. I had pictures.

It's been in the news for days....... they have been telling us to prepare. Ice, snow and Artic air mass. The decision was made to close post Monday afternoon. I got home about 7:00 pm and it was so foggy. No rain, ice or snow. The pellety icey stuff started about 3 am. snow about 7 am. 


Monday, January 17, 2011

RV Show 2011

Our friends Leonard & Sondra gave us tickets to the St Louis RV show so on Saturday morning we headed out to St Louis. We got there just as they were opening. We really aren't in the market for a new RV just yet.......
But it never hurts to look. We did see a few that we liked ... some of the floor plans were great. Loved the "entertainment centers" this actually takes the big window out of the back but there were huge windows on the sides... put that on our list of likes. There was also one that had a full side super slide. Not sure we liked that.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Camping Neighbors

Camping Neighbors -- near and far. When I started this blog I searched for other RV'ing type blogs and found quite a few. I follow some of them. Some more than others. This week I decided to ask for a bit of help. I clicked on his Facebook because didn't know how else to contact. He has helped me to make my blog look nicer and get a facebook badge. Thanks to Motty for putting up with my questions.... It was almost like sitting around a campfire with the Neighbors!!

To the other blogs I follow............ Thank you for allowing me into your life through your blog. I will be trying to put the blogs I follow on mine :)

Tomorrow we are off to St Louis for the RV Show............ Yeah!!!! More Camping Neighbors!!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

2010 into 2011

Happy Holidays!!!!
Will never ever send "regular" mail to APO again. Always priority. It took 7 weeks for Justyna and family to get Christmas Presents. They did get them and are very happy!!  Got to see John this Christmas. His first as a Soldier. He wore his ACU's for us to see him in uniform :) ...... Am proud of him. Jeffrey is currently doing some reserve time in Italy (I could think of much worse places to be in January) We spent Christmas with Jeff's family & John, Christi & John John in Warrensburg....