Summer 2017 (Part Two)

On our extended road trip we’ve visited family in Nebraska, Iowa, Wisconsin and Indiana.  Our next stop was Nashville, Tennessee.

We arrived at the home of daughter Tonya and son-in-law Danny in Franklin, TN.  Backing up the long driveway was an impressive feat but not a challenge for my hubby.  The sides of Thor took a beating from the low branches along the shaded path but that was a story for the insurance company.

We enjoyed a visit to Lynchburg and toured Jack Daniels Distillery.  It might be a dry county but they allow samples on the campus.  If you are ever in the area, we highly recommended the time to tour.

Of course a bonus the visiting the Willis Fam in Franklin means getting to hang out with this gorgeous lovely – our granddaughter Mikayla.  She (is) going to be a senior this school year and planning her future.  IMG_3645

And we may have enjoyed some relaxation in their newly refurbished backyard, including pool, grotto, hot tub and pavilion.  Their backyard was a project for the DIY channel Pool Kings.

IMG_3558From Tennessee we had planned to stay in Arkansas with some friends, but headed straight on through the Texas.  Our travels were getting the best of us and we were ready to spend an extra day parked in one spot, catching up on some house work, some laundry and some homework.

We parked outside of Dallas, near Royse City, close to dear family friends Lew & Donna Flitcraft AND grandson Kalen in Commerce, where he attends Texas A&M.  We enjoyed dinner out with the Flitcraft family (and sadly we have no photos to share) and then were able to have a visit with Kalen as well.

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It was hot and humid in Texas but that’s the norm.  The park was in the country and had a rural feel.  We would go back for another visit.

We were looking ahead for our trip home.  We’d planned a couple additional stops but there was a hot weather front coming across and we decided to make our trip back to Idaho more direct.

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Home again –

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Whoa… I apologize (Summer Part One)

It’s been awhile.  Like an entire summer, fall and now nearly winter since I’ve updated our blog.  Let me give you the Reader’s Digest version.

Summer 2017.

We took our first extended road trip in Thor, our motor home.  The beauty of rolling along our nation’s highways with our own bed is being able to stop when we want.  Several stops were pre-planned, so we could see family along the way.   I took advantage of the modern wonders of technology and was able to hook up to WiFi along the way and keep up with my summer classes as well.

 

We stopped in North Platte, Nebraska and stayed with our “corn-husker” cousins.  We found a small county owned park along the same lake where they lived.

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Next stop Iowa.  We connected with cousins Todd and Jill in the town of Vining, Iowa.  Our inclusion brought the population up to 51!  My Uncle Bud has been living with my cousins so we were able to spend some time with him as well.

 

While in Iowa, we spent a day touring the Amana Colonies.

 

And no trip to the Midwest would be complete without a little weather distraction…   We watched the sky for falling houses.  People are always out to snatch my red sparkly shoes.wicked witch

Next stop – Janesville, Wisconsin.

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Renewing my Cheesehead status.

We parked in front of my folk’s home and slept indoors in the air conditioning with endless hot showers.

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Trips to Janesville must include lunch with my folks at Wiggy’s and dessert at Culver’s.

And I love having the opportunity to catch up with my dearest friend, Renee and Shelly, while in town. We were actually able to have dinner with Shelly’s husband Ken – who is always working.

The city entertained us with an early 4th of July fireworks show.

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On the road again, we headed to spend the 4th of July in Culver, Indiana with my sister Di, brother-in-law Kevin and family, at Lake Maxinkuckee.

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We enjoyed our private parking spot in front of the boat garage, watched movies, played games, and spent hours on the water in the boat… my favorite past time. Di and I did some bike riding, a little downtown shopping and we all enjoyed fireworks on the grounds of the Culver Academy campus.

and there was this little Midwest thunderstorm…

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Sadly all good things must come to an end – as did our visit in Culver.  I’m so addicted to spending the 4th of July there…  I’m not sure if it’s Lake Maxx or my family.  Either way – I love being there and am always sad to leave my sister and family behind.

Time to head south…

Recycled Family Heirlooms

 

Our youngest son was born while we lived in Venezuela.  To avoid the local hospitals, I flew back to the States with the two kids to stay with my folks in Wisconsin until T.K. was born.

My dad built T.K. a little cradle to sleep in for the short four weeks we were with them after he was born.

This year T.K. and his wife are waiting on the arrival of their own little bundle.  I wanted to do something special with his cradle.  It seemed appropriate that it be passed down to his children.

Here is the cradle, ready for it’s new life with the Princess LuLu. IMG_4463

 

Surgery

Another visit to the doctor.

Another referral.

Those same three words… “at your age…” .

Another site with arthritis.  This one in my thumb joint.  I had arthroplasty.  The hand surgeon cut out the offending bone in my hand, and replaced it with a tendon from in my wrist.  It left an angry scar which healed quickly and with little pain.

(Once I was able to get my husband out of the house long enough to quit taking the narcotics, I gained consciousness again and could once more function like a human being.)

I am not dropping things or in pain from the swollen joint.  Getting old is a B!+cH.

Give me some Grandson Love

For the past ten days we’ve had two of our northern grandsons visiting.  They did so good.  They are four and nearly two  years old.  We kept them busy, tried to stay CLOSE to their schedule while maintaining some of our own routine.

For Gits and Shiggles we added the two local grandsons for a couple of sleepovers.  I know, you thought, “what were you thinking?”  Honestly, they did great.  The local grands are ten and two.  Yep, just like driving.  🙂  Although we were outnumbered, we had a blast.

Sleepover with the cousins.

Spaghetti for dinner – and treats for the dogs.

Movie and popcorn.

Helado with the Bigs.

Lunch on the deck and some help in the yard pulling weeds.

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Rain dance…

The Littles, puzzle-making and Papa

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They loved showers – and I loved the free cleaning.

What do you want for dinner guys?  Bacon Cheeseburgers and Corn on the Cob.

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My wicked plan…  exhaust them during the day and they crash at night.

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Just thankful seven month old Maizie Mae only arrived for the pick up.  #Greatdanepuppy

I admit though, I’ve had some major naps since they left.  And I miss them already.

 

Last Day – Headed Home

On the road once more.  This time we were meeting up with our daughter to pick up our grandsons and bringing them home with us.

Our son-in-law is mid-way through an externship with a federal judge in Yakima.  He drives home on weekends.  Boo is switching from her night job to a new day job, 40 hours a week.  We offered to look after the boys, ages 4 and almost 2 years, for ten days.

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Cheeks and Bash were pretty excited about riding in the motor home.

I was surprised at how well they did on this six hour ride.

When we reached home, we allowed Cheeks to sit in the front seat and see the view into town to the house.  He loved the view.

 

 

On the Road Again…

Up early and on the road by 6 a.m. in order to get out of the Seattle area before traffic becomes completely ridiculous.  We didn’t do too bad either.  Stopped in Ellensburg for breakfast and then back on the road across Washington.

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This time we were going to park at the Couer d’alene Casino near Whorley, Idaho for the night.  It’s just 15 minutes from our son’s property near Plummer.

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Michael and Andi plus family have 80 acres.  They’ve been working on the pole barn’s upstairs to make it their home.  The Mister has spent a couple weeks helping.  This visit was an opportunity to see their progress, spend the evening with the three kidlets and watch for wildlife.  It was also a chance to see our oldest son Matt who has been working at Nine Mile Dam near Spokane.

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Matthew and Michael

We weren’t disappointed.  Their home looks fabulous.  It is really starting to take shape.  Dinner was yummy and we watched turkeys, deer and even bear dine up on the hill.  The cloud of pollen was incredible.  It just stirred up and blew across the property.  Everything turned yellow.

The boys schemed and came up with a future plan to hunt for the bear.  Oh goodie…

 

Memorial Day Weekend

Our arrival in Everett was in time to help with preparations for the weekend.  Friend Mike, as opposed to the Mister, was in charge of the ceremony which included several additional projects.  Friday we met at the cemetery to unfold flags, and put on poles.

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248 flags on poles.  Set up in the park in the morning.  Taken down in the evening.

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We helped set up the VFW hall for the pot luck as well.  It was enlightening.