Total Pageviews

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

To all our family and friends we wish you a safe and Merry Christmas day.   We hope this little note finds you well………………………….
God Bless………………..

Here's looking at you kid..................

Monday, December 19, 2011

What's the most unusual Christmas present you've ever given?

   I bet we can top it this year.
   Don has been hard at work planning, sawing, drilling, staining and painting

 What's he busy building you ask?

A rooting box! For our grandpiggy, Penelope. (Even though she hasn't been a very good little pig this year. She was snippy with her grandma while on vacation this past Summer).
   Penelope is a dwarf, Vietnamese Pot-Bellied pig. With attitude! She is the only child of our youngest daughter Bobbi-Leigh and son-in-law Dennis.
   Penelope is litter box trained and pretty much has free run of their house. Being quite intelligent and curious, both traits that tend to get her into trouble frequently, it was decided that a rooting box would give her something constructive, safe and fun to play with. And maybe, just maybe, keep her out of trouble. At least for a little while.
River rocks will be added later!!

   Here's oinking at you pig, er, um, looking at you kid................

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

We did it!

   One more obstacle down, one more obstacle to go.
   The ongoing process of downsizing has advanced a little further. We sold our conversion van. We had tried selling it last Sept. and Oct. We had listed it in our local newspaper, on Craigslist and Auto Trader. We had even put "For Sale" signs on the vehicle itself. It generated very little interest.
"Alright," Don says, "we'll list it again in the Spring just before families start making their Spring Break sojourns south. We'll sell it then for sure."
   I wasn't as optimistic. Don't get me wrong, it's a great running vehicle. Clean inside and out. Plenty of extras. It had received regular oil changes and maintenance, but it was 5 years old and it's mileage was beginning to creep upward. I was afraid we'd be strapped with it right up till the moment we'd hit the open road.
   Then an opportunity presented itself. A lady that Don works with was looking for a van. Not just any van. It needed to have barn doors, middle seats that could be removed, plenty of leg and head room, and be in good running condition. She couldn't afford new. You see, she and her husband had just learned that he had MSA, a degenerative disease, and he would be wheelchair bound before too long. They had found a company that would install a chair lift onto a van for them if only they could get their hands on one.

   Don came home from work that evening and told me about their family's plight. After very little discussion, we agreed that Don would tell her about our van, which suited their needs to a tee, and that if they liked it and wanted it, they could have it for the exact balance of our loan. (Don did a nationwide online search and determined our offer was an excellent offer indeed).
   The family came out to our house, inspected the van, took it for a drive and decided to buy it right on the spot.
   We feel very good about this. Yes, originally we had hoped to make a little profit from the sale, but we are relieved that this is one more thing to have done and out of our way. We are happy that we were able to provide this family with the vehicle they needed.
Our only prayer is that the van continues to run well and for a long time for this family. Our hearts go out to them.
     And the last obstacle? Well, it's selling the house. It goes on the market this coming Spring. Sure hope the economy improves by then.

Here's looking at you kid..........................

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fall on Fiesta Drive

Woke up this morning and the temp was 31 degrees.  The sun was coming up through the trees so Tucker and I went out for some playtime in the frosty morn.
Suite Pea is already for winter and she’s sitting on her pad next to the garage.
The backyard was full of Fall color and Tuck was having a great time with his squirrel frisbee……………
Mooch watched from the kitchen, he’s an indoor kitty and the outside world is a very strange place to him.
Maybe later we’ll head over to Craig Park, for some off leash fun…………………….

Here’s looking at you kid……………………………….

Monday, October 24, 2011

Colder than a well digger's.......

   My grandson Brad asked me a month ago to attend the Fall camp out with his Boy Scout troop in October. Of course haing been a boy scout myself……back in the day (1963’ish), I said yes that would be fun. So as the day neared I started putting my gear in order for the big camp out.

 Friday, October 21, 2011 was the day. After work I loaded the van and stowed away my gear for a quick jaunt down to Johnson County Park, close to Camp Atterbury , where the Indiana National Guard have their joint training center.

 Bradley and the rest of the troop were coming up from Ellettsville and I was to meet up with them around 6pm at the campground.

The timeline:


Scouts are running late and have not left yet, “Grampa, wait  about 20 minutes more before you leave”.


Scout master running late could be another 15 minutes………………….


“Gramps, we just left. Meet you there”

   Ok, I headed south to JCP(Johnson County Park) knowing that we would more than likely be setting up in the dark………….ok I had been a boy scout, no problem…………………

   Things got off to a slow start but we hooked up around 7pm and started setting the tent up. It is very hard to put a tent together in pitch black darkness!

   Brad went right to work on the tent and if it wasn’t for my 13 year old grandson, I’d still be down there trying to figure out which pole went where.

   Tent up and secured, we filled it with our gear and headed over to the fire for some good ol'  boy scout fellowship…………………………….Temperature starting to drop….


   Temps are falling like rocks off a cliff. Started the night around 50 degrees but at around 11, I check my  iphone and it reads………41 degrees. Ok, I had been a boy scout, no problem……….

  11:30pm, the nice air mattress that my wife gave me to use is feeling a little spongy, but I have my Under Amour on and a tee shirt and all and all I’m pretty comfortable……….Brad, has his dog sled musher hat on and his Under Amour and he looks pretty comfy in his sleeping bag. We're settling in for a nice enjoyable night under the stars………………………

   12:05am, I wake up and its cold. My feet are freezing, my legs are freezing and the once firm air mattress is bowing in the center with all signs of an air leak. I get up and put on a pair of flannel pajama bottoms and slip on a wool shirt in hopes that that will do the trick to keep me warm. Looking over at Brad, he is sound asleep.

   12:45am, no doubt about it, I’m sinking like the Titanic. The air mattress, has a leak and there is nothing I can do about it. I feel like I’m laying in a freezer, it's so cold….I feel a drip of water coming off the ceiling of the tent, condensation!!!!

   1:00am, I’m shakin’ like a two dollar blender! Under Armor, jeans, flannel pjs, 3 pair of socks, t-shirt, wool shirt, hoodie, ski hat, and Thinsulate gloves……. I now look like Ralphie’s little brother , Randy, in the movie A Christmas Story, after he’s all bundled up to go outside……………………Its really cold……

   2:30am, the thought crosses my mind, how did Jeremiah Johnson do it with snow up to his keister and just as warm as you can be……………………………….

   3:15am, Brad hasn’t made a sound all night. I reach over to see if he has frozen to death. But no, he has better equipment, he has a winter sleeping bag, I have a summer bag. I can see my breath, the condensation has stopped because it has frozen…… Air mattress is just about out of air and I rummage around in my duffle looking for more clothes……… pair of underwear. Can’t do much with that, oh, I could put them on my head, but if Brad woke up and saw me, I’d lose all my credibility………Then in the dark, quite, ice covered night they start. Coyotes, hundreds of them, yelping, screaming, howling for blood…………………………I’m getting carried away!!! They were loud. I thought they would wake up the whole camp but nobody stirred, nobody but me…………………………..

   5:00am, I can’t believe how cold I am. My cell phone says 31 degrees but it feels like 50 below. I have never felt this cold in my life…….coyotes still howling, I can’t sleep. I can’t move…. Brad, out like a light……I can do this, I had been a boy scout, and this is camping at its finest!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh crap, I gotta pee…….

   6:00am, I can’t hold it any longer. I unzip the tent and step out into the frozen tundra, 100 yards to the porta-pottie, I think I can make it………………………………….

   Back in the tent, I do my best to get comfortable. I start to drift off to sleep when I hear the SPL, (senior patrol leader) yell, "Everybody up!!!!"  Ah, life as a boy scout.

   All kidding aside, we had a great time Friday and Saturday. The boys did a fine job cooking breakfast and lunch and I think they learned a lot about cooking, which was the badge they were trying to earn.

   Me I learned something too, that camping is 3 flat screens, a fireplace, and a king size bed in a 40 foot fifth wheel…………………………………..

Here’s looking at you kid,……………………………..

Sunday, October 16, 2011


   A beautiful day for a Sunday drive. Sunny and temps near 80 degrees. We decided to pack a lunch, grab Tucker, and head down to Yellowwood State Forest in Indiana's infamous Brown County. From research we'd done online, we knew there were 80 primitive campsites scattered amongst the trees and near the shore of Lake Yellowwood.
   We hoped to find that we'd be able to maneuver our rig into one or more of the campsites. If so, we plan to utilize the area next year to hone our boondocking skills. Something we've yet to try in the Suite Pea. Most of the sites were too tight for a rig our size but we did find 3 that we think will be suitable.

   The facility offers a store, a pay phone, a very nice picnic area, a playground, drinking fountains, vault toilets and many hiking trails . No other amenities that we could see. Some other pluses we liked was no road noise as it is off the beaten path, no lights at night to disturb us and Tucker could be off leash most of the time, something he enjoys.

 We were very pleasantly surprised to find out just how beautiful and clean the camping area was. The lake was even more so, with fishing boats to rent. It is a no wake lake, with no homes on it, just dense woods all around. We understand the fishing here is excellent. We definitely want to test the validity of that statement!
   We're really wanting to get some dry camping experience under our belts to the extent that we'll feel comfortable doing so when we hit the road full timing. We have quite a list of areas in the West, Southwest and in Alaska that we hope to visit where boondocking will be all that's available.
   After checking out the surrounding forest we backtracked to the picnic area which sets atop a hill overlooking Yellowwood Lake and feasted on our picnic lunch. The crunch of dried leaves underfoot, the smell of woodsmoke in the air and a gentle breeze blowing across the just doesn't get much better than this.

    After bidding adieu to Yellowwood we headed to a favorite ice cream parlor, Brewster's. This is Don's favorite time of the year to sample ice cream because pumpkin is usually on the menu. Of course Tuck's favorite time is anytime. He wad delighted to find not 1, but 2 doggie bones stuck in his dish of vanilla ice cream.
     We started to make our way home but I got sidetracked when I spotted the covered bridge entrance into Brown County State Park. Another photo op.

Then through a very bustling downtown Nashville, a popular artsy craftsy destination for locals and tourists alike.

 Along the drive home we spotted an unusual sight, for Indiana at least, and just had to stop for a closer look. Texas Longhorns! Why, we haven't seen any of these since, well, the last time we were in Texas, 8 years ago.

  Nope, not a bad way to spend a splendid Autumn day.

 Here's looking at you kid............ 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Another Beautiful Day in Indiana…

Our day started at Bob Evans with a great breakfast.
Then under a warm sunny sky, Gayle, Dennis (our son-in- law) and I jumped in the Lincoln for an hour and half ride south to Starlight, Indiana to Huber Farms……………….
Hubers 2011 053

We were meeting our oldest daughter and her family for our annual Fall pumpkin pickin’ party.
Hubers 2011 010
With temps in the low 80’s, we headed out to the pumpkin fields in the Huber hay wagon……..what a fabulous day!
Hubers 2011 008

Brad, Maddy, Gabby, and Ian with their freshly picked pumpkins……………
Hubers 2011 014
After pickin’ we went to the Huber Restaurant for a nice lunch and some great cobbler.  Petting farm, fishing pond, rides for the kids, live band, bakery, and winery, filled our afternoon on another beautiful Indiana day……….
It was a great day to spend with family.  I wish Bobbi-Leigh could have come but I understand when work gets in the way. 
Me and My Girl
Gayle and I having a great day with the kids!

 Huber Farms is a huge Orchard and Winery,  and on a beautiful day on a weekend in October, they do a huge business.  Picked up some Honey Crisp apples, apple cider and some pumpkin donuts and right now they are calling my name!
Here’s looking at you kid……………………………….