Thursday, May 29, 2008

A Summer Chorus!

I thought I had heard cicadas before. . . and I have. But nothing compares to the noise they are making down here on the lake. I had always heard people talk about them before and I never thought their songs were that extraordinary. But I have never really heard them like this before. It reminds me of the spaceship sounds in an old Buck Roger's movie. Kind of a metallic whirring sound. It is so loud! Today we were out on the boat and you could hear the sound over the roar of the boat engine.

Speaking of boats. . . we got out on it today! Yay! Yesterday was an overcast day with some misting and it never got up to 70 degrees. Today dawned cloudy and cool, but the forecast was for sun and 70's, so we took the weatherman at his word. At 12:30 we pulled out of the campsite with the boat in tow and headed for the ramp. We set it in the lake like old pros and took off for a leisurely drive up the Obey (won ken-o-bee) River to East Port Marina. We had the boat serviced this spring and some needed maintenance and boy does she ever run smooth. Starts right up and we had a great drive. We stopped at the marina and got an ice cream cone and then started back.

Once we got back to Sunset Dock we went inside to rent a slip so we won't have to take the boat in and out every day. Then we continued our ride for another hour or so, watching the "air chair" riders back in Eagle Creek. They were really good.

We arrived back to a more populated campground. We have been amazed at how few people are in the campground. It has been only about one quarter full, but there are a few more people now, probably here for the weekend. There are even fewer people on the lake. There were only 3 or 4 boats we saw on our way up the Obey and about that many back in the creek. We didn't pass any on the way back to the creek. There aren't even many fishermen out. I think the fuel costs are keeping people from enjoying their hobbies.

Till next time. . .


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Dale Hollow Lake!

Fortunately the weatherman is wrong again, as he has been most days out of the last month. Yesterday we left the FMCA headquarters where we stayed over the weekend. It is a very nice camp and there were about 8 campers in there, so we had people to visit with. We drove on down to Obey River Campground at Dale Hollow Lake near Byrdstown, Tennessee. We arrived right at 2 p.m. and we were still dry although the rains were supposed to have started at 9 a.m.

We got to our site right away and got backed down the 200 feet to the site. It is a long way to back, but Terry is so good at it and even though there was a motorhome behind us waiting, it didn't take long. I had parked the little truck out of the way, so as soon as we cleared the drive, the traffic went on by. The site has the longest drive of any site here, but that is very useful if we have to get our boats out. We got all set up and let the dogs out. I sat out for a little bit and had the awnings out. I noticed a little wind kick up, and debated about putting the awnings in. If you have ever been here, you know how quickly a storm can come up. Actually I don't think that they come up quickly, but because of the hills and valleys, you cannot see it coming. It was clouding up and a stiff breeze came through and I decided to put everything in just in case it decided to blow hard. Just as I was putting the awning in, the wind gusted and I am glad I started when I did. The wind was fierce against the door, but I got everything in and shut the door just as the storm hit. We are backed into a site that has slopes on two sides, so we are quite sheltered from the wind, but we did have quite a storm. Fortunately, it was over in a hurry.

Today dawned a little cloudy, but 71 degrees. Not bad. Finally some warm weather. I didn't think we would ever find it. We gathered tools to change the numbers on the boats. Since we are garaging them in Tennessee, we have titled them here and had not been back to change the numbers. So we took our goo remover and a hairdryer. We wanted to do a really good job, so it took a couple hours to do both the jetski and the boat, but they are all done and the numbers look good. Maybe tomorrow I can add a picture of them.

After a quick lunch, we started hauling the boats down to the campsite. This afternoon, we took the ski out for a spin. It ran pretty rough at first, but it has been 3 years since either has been run. We did have a mechanic go through both of them this spring, but the ski just needed to be run. It ran best wide open and Terry said it needed it, so he let me go out by myself and I had a blast. After I ran awhile, I went back to the dock and Terry took over and we drove over to Eagle Creek. There we saw a guy on an "air chair." I have never seen anyone ride one like he did. Wow! He was turning flips and really flying in the air. It was pretty spectacular.

Tomorrow we plan to take the boat out. It is here at the camp and we have it ready to go. Am anxious to get out and see the lake. We stayed very close to the dock with the ski. Let's hope the weatherman is wrong again for tomorrow and we have blue skies like we did today.

Till next time. . .


Saturday, May 24, 2008

On our Way!

We left the campground in Elkhart Thursday morning and took Phaeton Place to the house so Terry could change the oil in the generator. Before we left the campground, I got a call from Mom telling me she wasn’t feeling well and that we should not come down in the evening as planned. Almost as soon as I got off the phone to her, Nita called and told me they had decided to take Mom to the hospital. She had been sick all night and her blood sugar was quite high. Before she got ready to go to the hospital, Nita called the doctor’s office and they could see her in just a couple hours. So they opted to do that. That was a good choice and I’m glad Nita made that call. I got to Warsaw just as they were leaving the doctor’s office. The doctor felt Mom had an intestinal bug and gave her some nausea medication and that would allow her to keep her medicine for her sugar down. She was pretty wiped out for the day, but was able to eat some and has continued to get better. We decided to go ahead and leave Friday as planned, since Mom seems to be doing well.

We didn’t have much to pack because we haven’t been staying at the house. We live in the motorhome all the time, and it just feels like home to us, so when we work at the apartments, we use the house for our base during the day, but we go “home” to Phaeton Place at the campground every night.

We left around 11 a.m. and Terry drove the entire day. I had woken up with a headache this morning and didn’t feel like driving. Terry actually had a lot of road construction from Dayton on to Cincinnati, but he did just fine. We arrived at FMCA headquarters and we will be here for 2 nights, then on further south. We will have to find a place for one night because our reservations at Dale Hollow start on Monday. I can’t wait to get out on the boat and sun myself!

Till next time. . .


Saturday, May 17, 2008

Marking Time. . .

Seems like things always move quickly when we are back in Elkhart. Last week we got the new roof on the one duplex and since then we have been doing odds and ends at the house. The house is actually an empty apartment where we store stuff. It contains the inventory for the apartments, so that is where we go during the day. We have been power washing decks, cleaning, mowing, power cleaning siding, and getting window replacement quotes. Not real hard work, but it keeps us busy. We call this our "workcamping" assignment.

Our son, Brandon, is in the process of buying a house in Florida, so I am getting his stuff sorted that has been stored in the basement since we went full time. It will be good to get some stuff cleared out and we are also going to be sending some furniture his way. After we make our annual trek to Red Bay in a couple weeks, we will return here, load up the utility trailer and make a fast trip to Florida. I hope we can get everything we want into the trailer. Mom and Dad came over while we were working yesterday and volunteered to take care of their grand-dogs, Bailey and Neal, while we were gone. This was great news as we were considering boarding them and I worry so much about them. Only two people in this world would volunteer to take care of Bailey, and that is Mom and Dad. Bailey loves Mom because she takes him on walks and he can't wait! For once, I had food available, so they stayed for supper and grilled chicken and had some steamed veggies. Really good!

Things are really hopping here at Elkhart Campground. There are a couple rallies in here this weekend and they look pretty full, but with over 400 sites, there are plenty left. Bob and Gita have worked really hard to improve the campground and have added more 50 Amp FHU sites over the years. Today Bob is working hard to get the pool ready to go. He took the cover off and it looks quite good. He said it will be ready for next weekend, but it may be too cold yet for anyone to swim.

We are sitting here on site 400, right on the end/entrance to the row. If you are in the area, stop by some evening and say hello. Most days we are off working.

Till next time. . .


Friday, May 09, 2008

And the Beat Goes On. . .

The beat started early Tuesday morning when the roofers arrived at the duplex. We had a swail in the roof after the winter and the terrific snow loads, but we were unprepared for the mess they found underneath. Two rafters had already broken and had been previously repaired, by whom we don't know. We just know it wasn't done correctly. The boards scabbed onto the rafters were too short and that combined with the decking having been run the wrong way created a very weak spot in the roof. In fact, there were several places we found problems with the decking, so the roofers had to replace more than initially thought. However, our roofer is a great contractor and he and his crew were able to make the necessary repairs. They got part of the roof torn off and papered in and came back Wednesday. The lumber yard lost the delivery ticket on our shingles, so they arrived too late on Wednesday to be of much help. The roofers got the entire roof torn off and papered in before the rain started. Before it got too wet to continue, they got a couple corners shingled.

Rain was forecast for all night and most of the day Thursday. True to form lately, they were WRONG. While it was chilly, the rain held off the entire day. . . never did rain. The roofers came in early to avoid the storms that were forecast and the entire roof was done by noon! Wow! And it is gorgeous. I will take a picture this weekend and post it. It makes the house look so much better. And we won't have to worry about snow load or shingles blowing off. I didn't take any pictures of the crew. Most of them were Amish and they don't care to have their pictures taken, so I didn't ask.

Anyone in the northern Indiana area who needs roofing done, we can certainly give a good recommendation. This is actually the fourth roof (Glenn) Miller Construction has done for us. In addition, he has done some remodeling for us during the winter when an errant (and asleep at the wheel) driver plowed into one of our duplexes at the exact center of the front garage doors, causing the doors to collapse and resulting in thousands of dollars of damage. Glenn did an excellent job of restoration much to the delight of our long-time tenants.

Till next time. . .


Fun with Dick and Jane a.k.a. Tab and Deanna

Last weekend Tab and Deanna came to camp with us. What a great treat! They were unable to make the rally the week before, so it was great to see them.

We started out right by going to Essenhaus for supper Friday night. That was delicious. We don't go there often, usually only for the rally. It is good food, but I just want to overeat.

Saturday we went to the surplus RV places in search of little things. Didn't find much, but it was fun to go look anyway. In the afternoon we went to Lunker's in Edwardsburg, Michigan. It was a big deal before the Bass Pro Shops arrived on the scene and continues to be a fun place to go. They have several different departments and a large camping section. Once again, we didn't find much, but we had fun looking at everything in the store.

Saturday night I made brownies. The guys went and got ice cream and we all watched a John Holod Alaska video. We are planning to make the trip, as are Tab and Deanna, in another year or two, so we were excited to see some of the places we will be visiting.

Sunday morning we were off to the Pancake house for breakfast and then they left for the trek back to Ohio. It was so great to see them and we hope to see them again this summer.

Till next time. . .


Thursday, May 01, 2008

Rally Time!

Last week's RV Capital VI rally is now history, but wow. . . was it ever a great time. We had 28 rigs here at the Elkhart Campground and the best gathering yet!

We arrived early in the week because we wanted to get our jack fixed on Phaeton Place if we could. Charger Enterprises came through for us. They had ordered and received the part while we were in Virginia and were ready to go with it. They asked for the rig at 1 p.m. and by 3:30 p.m., she was on her way "home" to the campground. The jack is working great. . . actually they all are.

Rigs started arriving that day (Wednesday) and continued on throughout the week. I think most had arrived by Thursday, and the rally didn't start until Friday! We brought our firewood over from the house and had a campfire every night. Thursday and Friday were good weather. . . reasonably warm, but Friday night we had a little rain. Saturday dawned colder and windy, so we didn't do a lot of sitting outside. Friday morning about 30 of us made the trek to Essenhaus and had a delicious late breakfast/brunch. From there, some went on a factory tour and some of us went back to the camp. Friday night was HOBO stew night. I browned hamburger with onion and everybody brought a couple cans of veggies and we threw them into the pot. Simmered it and eventually added some long-grain rice and WOW! What a winner! Everybody complimented us on the stew. There wasn't much of a recipe, but it was good. That evening, some attendees came back to the hall for a round of Mexican Train. Terry went over to observe as he wants to learn, but I don't like dominos, so I sat at the campfire.

Saturday afternoon we spent some time getting the hall ready for the potluck and that started at 6:30. We have our dinners a little late, but most attendees spend the days exploring the area, visiting Shipshewana, Wakarusa, the RV Museum, etc., and the late time allows them time to get back for the dinner. Potluck was AWESOME. So much good food and no one went hungry. . . that's for sure.

Sunday people started leaving in the morning because some had long drives. We stayed as this is our home for the next month. We did move, however, and will be moving again next week. We didn't want our same site because it is in the rally section, so we moved onto the back row. The site we want for the month is right beside us. It is on the end and has a huge grassy yard, which will be great for the dogs. The couple there is leaving Monday, so we will move next door. We will be on site 400 starting Monday, so if you are here or happen to pass by, come by for a visit. We may be over at the apartments during the day, but will be here most evenings.

Thanks for all the rally attendees for attending and joining us to celebrate the beginning of the camping season. We had more new people than "old" attendees and it was hard to get around to visit with everyone. Hope you all had a great time. . . as we did!

Till next time. . .


Birthday Boy!

Ronan's first birthday was a success. Lots of food, fun, people, babies and one dog, Jerry, of course. Grandpa Terry took charge of Jerry for the evening, but Jerry loves everybody and he wasn't a problem. Ronan was unimpressed with his first birthday cake, but no matter. It was a spice cake with cream cheese icing. I am so impressed with daughter Jocelyn and her husband Tom. She is celiac and everything they make is from scratch and gluten free. They certainly can cook up some delicious dishes with names I cannot even pronounce, but tasty just the same. Tom's parents and brother were present for the festivities and we always enjoy seeing them.

I had the pleasure, along with Sharon, Tom's mother, of accompanying Tom to one of his voice lessons. He is studying opera. Tom is a very quiet person and it was quite amazing to hear his smooth, steady tenor voice resonating in the air. Very impressive. Keep up the good work, Tom.

The area where the kids live in Charlottesville, Virginia, is absolutely gorgeous. The trees were blooming and the mountains, while almost barren when we drove in began to leaf out while we were there. We intend to take some time when we visit to go up into the mountains. Perhaps when there isn't so much on the agenda, we can take a couple side trips and go up into the hills. We did try to go to Monticello, a place we have yet to visit. When we got there, there were 10, yes TEN, tour busses and a school bus. Wrong day for us. We talked with some neighbors later in the campground we had seen there and they said it was too crowded to see much of anything. We will go another day.

We headed home on Monday after the party and got into the Elkhart Campground to set up for the RV Capital VI Rally. We were able to get our errant jack fixed before the rally which was a great help to our being comfortable and stable in Phaeton Place.

Till next time. . .