Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Not All Who Wander Are Lost
January 17, 2017 - Florida Keys

Friday, August 18, 2017

Celebration Picnic

Last Sunday we attended a celebration picnic with members of my family. In the year 2017, we are celebrating several special birthdays. My mom will be 80 in October, I turned 60 yesterday, my brother turned 50 in March, and our daughter-in-law will be 30 in November. Kevin and I also celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary in June. That's a lot of special days in one year.

My brother Ron rented a picnic shelter at a park in Hartford, and ordered lunch from a caterer he was familiar with. The weather was beautiful, the food excellent and the company enjoyable. My mom had invited her friend Bob's family as well. They've been dating for a few years, and we hadn't met his extended family. I think everyone had a great time.

Our family is pretty small, but with Korey and Cathryn living in Nebraska, we don't get together that often. It was great to have us all in the same place again. I know my mom and I really enjoyed everyone being together. In addition to my mom, there is my brother Ron and his wife Laura and their new puppy Snoops. Kevin and I were joined by our sons Eric and Korey, and his wife Cathryn.


 Here are all the special birthday family members for 2017.


 Its always very special for me to have our little family together. I love these people so much!!!


Korey and Cathryn were only able to stay for a few days. They stayed at the RV with us, so we had Monday together for a relaxing visit. We played some bean bag toss, sat around chatting and enjoyed a campfire together.

Yesterday was my 60th birthday. Every year we've been working in Beaver Dam, I've wanted to attend the Dodge County Fair. For some reason or other, we've never gone. Yesterday was the day we finally went. I really enjoyed the pig, duck and goat races. In fact, it was so much fun, we went twice. Other than that, we wandered through some tents selling the standard stuff and visited the animal barns. It's so amazing how hard the kids work on raising and caring for their animals. A whole world we know nothing about. I know the sale of their animals helps some of the young people earn enough money to attend college.


We planned to stay for the Oak Ridge Boys concert in the evening, but there were some pesky rain showers throughout the day, and they came back while we were waiting. By 8 pm when the show was supposed to start, it was still raining and we were soaked. The show was obviously going to be delayed, so we gave up and went home. Good thing the show was included in the admission price, so we weren't too concerned about missing it.

A few weeks ago, I saw this cool cloud formation. I see a troll laying down. You can see his chin, nose, eye, forehead, ear and tall hair. His arm is down near the tree. Does anyone else see it??


The campground will be near full again this weekend. Only two more weeks until Labor Day. The summer is almost over. Time sure flies. We plan to leave on October 9th, so not that many more weeks to go. I have to admit, I'm looking forward to heading south again. Especially, since we have a family trip to Mexico planned for the end of October!

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Big Brother is Watching

When we began our full time RV adventure seven years ago, we decided to remain Wisconsin residents for a number of reasons including inexpensive vehicle registration costs. We have used our son's address for our mailing address since that time.

Several counties in southeastern Wisconsin require bi-annual emission testing including the county our son lives in. However, we spend the summer working at a park/campground that is in a county without the requirement. Diesel trucks are exempt, so it would just be for our 2000 Pontiac Grand Am that we only drive in the summer.

When I sent in our registration one of those first years, I noticed that you could report the vehicle is kept in a different county than your mailing address/residence. Since this fit our situation, I registered that car in Dodge County and never heard another word about. It saved us the hassle of having to get it tested when it wasn't necessary.

Two weeks ago we received a letter at our son's house stating that our car had been observed at our residence and we needed to get it tested. Reporting false information was a crime, and could result in a fine for us. There was a number to call if you wanted to talk to someone about it.

Well, I was pretty upset. I visit Eric about twice a month, so how was my car observed at his house?? Are the police in his town running the plates of vehicles parked in front of residences? Are we on some kind of watch list? I think I probably overreacted, but it was a strange feeling.

I called Paul at the DMV and had my whole story ready for him. He was probably the nicest public employee I've ever encountered. All I had to do to resolve the issue was send him a text with a picture of our pay stub from the county we're working in, and all was well. He closed the case.

I asked him how our name came to his attention. It turns out that repair facilities that do the testing for the state are randomly inspected by the DMV. There is a list of people who report keeping their vehicles in a different county than their address on their driver's license. When the inspectors are out and about, they cross reference the list to see if any of those addresses are near them. It just so happened that my car was at Eric's  house on a day the inspector was in that neighborhood.

I found out that people falsely report a different county to avoid testing a car that will fail the emission test, or to avoid a wheel tax in some counties or for cheaper car insurance prices than in the county they live in. Well, we weren't cheating, but I can understand why they check up on people.

It's amazing how much we are being watched without even being aware of it. Cameras are everywhere, and I think big brother is definitely out there :)

In other news, we've been very busy at the park. Weekends are completely full, and we've even had quite a few sites occupied during the week. In our free time, we've gone golfing a few times and visited Eric.

Last weekend was the annual quilt auction at the camp our son Korey works at. Each year nearly 500 quilts are donated and the camp raises nearly $100,000. I've been donating some quilts for the last few years. The winning bid for my quilt this year was $325. That's the most any of my quilts have earned. Yippee! I did donate another small infant sized quilt that went for $50. I enjoy quilting, and this is a great cause for me to donate to.


Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Puppy Paloosa

We had three families visit us last weekend at the campground. These are friends that Kevin used to work with. They brought their campers and families, and we had a great time. All three of them have added puppies to their families in the last several months. What a riot they were.

Biscuit was the youngest of the puppies at about 3 months old. He is a golden retriever and the most mellow, best behaved puppy I have ever seen. Here he is with his owner Andrew in the outside pen. Art and Dawn have two six month old puppies who were trying to get into the pen. Watching them was a hoot!


Josh brought a slide hammer to remove some of the dents the deer created in my car. The guys were able to pull the fender back from the tire and pull out the dent near the door so it can open again. It's not pretty, but at least its usable again. I told them not to bother too much, as its old and not worth much anyways. At least we can use it for the rest of the summer before we put it back in storage for the winter.


We really enjoyed the company of good friends. My work hours are Friday and Saturday from 10:30 am to 7 pm. It gets a bit lonely sometimes since we're stuck here every weekend. We enjoy when friends visit us.

The campground has been very busy again this summer. People are constantly coming and going, keeping us on our toes. We're pretty sure next summer will be our last year working here. We are ready to really retire and do some summer travelling.

The weather this summer has not been that great. Lots of heat, humidity and storms. We're over seven inches above average on precipitation so far this year. Makes for a soggy campground.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Oh Deer!

First, I'd like to wish everyone a Happy 4th of July weekend. The park was fully booked, but we had two last minute cancellations. I always feel bad for all the people who wanted to make a reservation but couldn't because we were totally booked, only to have sites sit empty on such a busy holiday weekend because people cancel last minute.


Last Thursday I was headed to Eric's house at 6:45 am to let the DirecTV technician in for some upgrades to Eric's equipment. When the appointment was made, I was told it would be between noon and 4 pm as its over an hour drive for me to get to his house. The night before, they sent Eric a text saying it would be 8 am to noon. I tried to get it changed to the afternoon as was promised, but no luck. That's why I was on the road so early in the morning.

A few miles from the park, a deer came flying out of the ditch and smashed right into the passenger side of my car. I never saw it until it was right next to me, and then I just saw it out of the corner of my eye. I pulled over and didn't see the deer anywhere. It left a huge dent in the front quarter panel of the car, knocked the mirror off and broke the front headlight. Stupid deer.

We bought this car new in 2000. It has 218,000 miles on it, and has been a fantastic car for us. It makes me mad that a stupid deer damaged it. Kevin has a friend coming to visit next weekend who is an auto technician. He's bringing a special hammer to bang out the fender so it won't rub on the tire. At least we'll be able to continue to drive it, just not at night with the broken headlight. We haven't insured it for collision for the last few years because it doesn't have much blue book value anymore. At least we have the truck to drive at night. We store the car during the winter, and only use it in the summer while working at the park.


The fender was rubbing on the tire, so I limped the car back to the park, switched my stuff to the truck and hightailed it to Eric's. He was able to wait for me and be a bit late for work. Of course, as luck would have it, the technician was there right at 8 am. They're never on time unless you're running late. At least the new equipment got installed, and everything was working great.

We had also scheduled a new internet connection through AT&T which is now the parent company of DirecTV. Eric has internet through Time Warner, and when they merged with Charter to become Spectrum, they raised his rates $20 a month. The internet guy showed up as was scheduled, but said there was no signal coming to the house and something down the line had to be fixed. That appointment has to be rescheduled. Overall, not a very good day.

Last weekend we had somewhat of a celebrity in the park, although I didn't really know anything about it. For the last few years a group of people have camped at the park the 3rd weekend in June to attend the World of Outlaws race at the Beaver Dam Speedway. I thought it was just some local racing, not any big deal. I knew one of the drivers stayed here, but didn't think much of it.

I found out this year that's it's actually a pretty big deal with driver, Shane Stewart, being sponsored by Larson Marks racing. It's a sprint car and Stewart won the race last Saturday in Beaver Dam and he also won the night before in Iowa. The picture is from the web. Shane travels with his wife and daughter in a motorhome.


Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, especially to my husband Kevin. Our two boys are lucky to have him for a father.


My dad passed away eleven years ago this month. It's so hard to believe he's been gone that long. I would give a lot to be able to spend just one more day with him.


The weather lately has been hot and humid. With that type of weather come frequent severe storms. Last Monday we had a line of storms come through late in the afternoon. We had some very strong winds which uprooted a large hickory tree in the park. Luckily, it fell in an open area, but was pretty close to one of the campers. Could have been a real tragedy.



The hickory tree hit an oak on the way down, which brought down a pretty big oak branch to the left. You can see how big the tree is compared to Kevin walking next to it.


After the storm, we had a beautiful sunset.


The sunset created a very red rainbow.


Wednesday afternoon brought more storms. It looked so scary. The picture doesn't do it justice. We were very lucky that the storms went around us, and we just had a few small branches down. There were eleven tornadoes confirmed in Wisconsin that afternoon. None did any major damage.


The campground continues to be very busy, keeping us on our toes. We're completely booked for the next two weekends. We'll see what the rest of the summer brings. We're already one-third of the way through our six month stint here.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Our Ruby Anniversary

Today is our 40th wedding anniversary. After a little online research, I discovered it is the ruby anniversary. We don't have any big plans, but will be going out to dinner at Outback Steakhouse. Eric gave us a gift card for Christmas, and we will finally be using it. Since it is our ruby anniversary, I feel obligated to have a red drink to celebrate, maybe a strawberry daiquiri. It's 6 am, and I'm already planning my cocktail for this afternoon :)

I've always loved this picture from our wedding ceremony. The photographer did a little magic and superimposed one of the stained glass windows of the church above us. It really made me feel that God was blessing us that day.



Our big anniversary celebration will be at the end of October. We're taking our kids to an all-inclusive resort in the Maya Riviera area of Mexico. We've never done an all-inclusive, so are really looking forward to a great time with the family.

I was 19 when we got married. People definitely married younger way back then. So, I've been married twice as long as I was single. In some ways, the time seems like it flew by, but so much has happened in those 40 years. Kevin and I have had a wonderful life, and are looking forward to many more years together. Of course, everyone has some hardships in life, but I can't complain. We've been incredibly blessed with a happy, healthy life and wonderful children.


The weather has improved, and the park has been quite busy the last few weekends. Most weekends for the summer are fully booked or close to it. As is typical in Wisconsin, it seems we went from winter to summer overnight. The spring was much colder and wetter than normal. We had a few really beautiful days last week with highs in the upper 70s and low humidity. Absolutely perfect. On Friday it got hot and humid, and it's expected to last through most of this week with highs in the 90s. Wisconsin weather is never boring.

A few weeks ago, we had some crazy thunderstorms come through. The clouds looked like a shelf.


Last week was the end of an era for Eric. He purchased a crotch rocket motorcycle when he was 25. I was so nervous at the time, fearing for his safety. He rode it for 11 years without incident, and decided it was time to sell it. Someday, he may buy a more traditional motorcycle, but for now he has given it up. I have to admit, I breathed a sigh of relief. I think Eric was a bit sad to let it go, but he hadn't used it much in the last few years, and was ready to move on.


Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Our Nephew's Wedding

Our youngest nephew Robert got married on Saturday. He's the last of our nieces and nephews to marry. The wedding was in Waterloo, Iowa. I work Fridays and Saturdays, so I only took off Saturday. We left at 9 am and got to Waterloo a little after 1 pm. We were able to check into our hotel early, change clothes and make it to the 2:30 ceremony in plenty of time.

They had originally planned to have an outdoor wedding at a park. The weather this spring has been terrible, and it did not cooperate for them. Luckily, they had a back up plan at the Waterloo Arts Center where the reception was held.

Here's Robert waiting for the bride. Our great-nephew Nathan, who will be nine in a few weeks, was ring bearer. He wasn't too excited about having to wear a tux, but he did a great job for his uncle Robert. It was great to see that side of the family. It is Kevin's brother's family. We haven't seen some of them in quite a few years.


Poor Brittney was suffering all day. She had surgery on her foot a few weeks ago, and it became infected, so she's been in a lot of pain. She was actually supposed to be on crutches all day, but what bride is going to listen to that.


The happy couple!



Not much else is going on with us. This has been the worst spring weather since we've been working at the park. Camper numbers are down, but even with the lousy weather, we've been about half full the last few weekends. Die hard Wisconsin campers don't let wet and cold weather keep them down.

The above average rain has made the ground extremely soggy, so Kevin has been struggling to get the grass mowed. We are fully booked for the upcoming holiday weekend. Some rain is expected during the week. Hopefully, it won't be too much as all sites are booked and some of them get quite muddy with a lot of rain.

Cold weather is keeping my bird feeder quite busy. I've seen a new bird this year that has not been here before. I believe it's called a Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Exciting!


I put oriole food in the hummingbird feeder, but the orioles didn't seem to be able to perch on the feeder. I took the top off and put the bottom part full of nectar on a crate. I added the piece of wood so their feet had something more solid to sit on. That worked great. I've also been giving them grape jelly. I enjoy watching all of the birds at the feeders.


I can't stand the robins. They poop on everything. We put fake snakes on our vehicles, which helps to keep them from pooping on our stuff, but they still manage to occasionally bomb us. Somehow, they even manage to get it on our windows.

Don’t wish upon a star – Reach for one!