DeWayne and Joy

DeWayne and Joy

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner?

We’re still in Racine and absolutely LOVING IT here at Sheila’s house.  We do what we please, when we please, which is pretty much what we do anywhere these days, but the weather and the scenery here just put a cap on the easy and laid back life of retirement. 

We do our chores at our leisure, sleep as late as we want, take naps (me) when the urge arises, stay up half the night if we feel like it, listen to music, dance around the living room when that perfect song comes on, watch movies, visit with Sheila and Basil or eat some of Sheila’s phenomenal cooking.  Yep, life is good here in Wisconsin!

But the best part of it all is this man:
Bowling and Bluff City, TN 124
I still pinch myself sometimes when I realize I have the rare opportunity to spend the rest of my life with the love of my life.  There’s just no way to express how much I ENJOY this man.  And how much joy he brings to my life.  Love ya, Darlin!

We have made a few trips to Wal Mart and I finally remembered to grab the camera the other day because I wanted to get some pictures of the HUGE weeping willows that are so plentiful in this area, as well as the blue spruce and just the scenery in general.  This is a beautiful area for sure and I would love to live here during the summer months.  I’d have to high tail it outta here in the winter tho.  Last year’s snow total was 101 inches.  Nope…..not for this girl!  Give me Florida or Arizona while the snow piles up around here, thank you.

Anyway, here are a few pictures from the local shopping trip:
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And this is our home for another week.  Isn’t it beautiful here?
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What a great RV park!!!  Thank you Sheila and Basil. 

Now for the news!  As I type this new post, Daddy and Eula are on the road heading to right here in Wisconsin and I can’t wait to see them!  And I’m so proud they are leaving the 105 degree heat of DeKalb behind them for a few days at least.  We didn’t expect to see them again until November, so I’m tickled to get a few more days to visit them before we start our trek west to Washington state.  We’re expecting them to arrive tomorrow, so we’re gearing up for a good time with them.  Woooohoooo!!!!  

I think we’re about to make another trip to Home Depot and to Wal Mart for bread and staples, so that’s all for now.   I’ll post again in a few days, but in the meantme……..


Monday, July 26, 2010

Loving Racine!

First things first, Happy Birthday Carlie Dee!  Such a beautiful granddaughter who is now 13!  You’re growing up too fast, little girl, but we love you and hope you have a wonderful birthday.  Here she is with her equally beautiful mother.
Carlie and Jamie
And a great big HAPPY BIRTHDAY Snookie Quinn!  For your birthday, I wish for a break in the heat there in Delaware and a great day at the beach for you!  Have a good one, my friend!

We left Lincoln, IL and that cozy and beautiful little RV park Friday morning for the last stretch of road between us and Racine, Wisconsin.  Our routine of “breaking camp” is getting better all the time and we’re about to get it down to a fine art, so we had the RV hooked up and ready to roll in pretty good time.  Check out time was 11:00, so we made it just fine and headed north.

We had been surrounded in Lincoln by corn and soy bean fields and nothing changed as we traveled toward Wisconsin.  Field after field of beautiful crops.  I especially liked the soy bean fields because they looked like a soft green  carpet.
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Lincoln to Racine 005

The terrain was somewhat flat with a few rolling hills here and there, so we had a good view of the countryside for most of the remainder of Illinois. 

We left the interstate long enough to find a grocery store to find DeWayne a tomato and orange for his lunch and I opted for a less healthy choice of two fried chicken legs and a few potato logs, then we set about trying to find our way back out of this little town that WE were in and were instructed by a local jogger to just make a right at the next street, follow the little highway for a few miles and it would run right into the interstate.  Okay, sounded good to us, so off we went barreling down the road…….for a mile or two.  Til we drove up behind this:
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The truck in the picture was the last of about four highway vehicles following the “painting” machine which was crawling along about five miles an hour.  Between the oncoming traffic, the hills and the length of this maintenance “motorcade”, it was impossible to get around, so we literally crawled for miles.  Oh well, it’s just part of it, right?  Might as well just suck it up and tolerate the occasional delays that I’m sure we will experience many more times in our travels. 

Besides, we had gorgeous weather and beautiful blue skies filled with the occasional puffy clouds that I love so much.
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We had been told by MANY to avoid Chicago and it’s traffic at all costs, so we had already planned a route around that added a few miles to our trip, but well worth it.  We passed into Wisconsin around 4:30 in the afternoon and I had the camera ready, but didn’t see a single sign until we were a few miles into the state and pulled into a rest area.
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We still had around a hundred miles to go at this point, so we sat back and enjoyed the view of ever present corn and soybean fields along with all the red barns scattered everywhere on the oh so picturesque farms. 
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I kept watching the clouds in the direction of Chicago and decided they must have been getting one heck of a storm, but was thankful that the storm clouds appeared to be moving away from our destination.  Racine had gotten lots of rain the night before, so we were concerned about wet ground where we would be setting up the RV in Sheila and Basil’s yard.
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More great scenery along our route:
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We skirted the southern part of Milwaukee and turned south toward Racine for a few miles before exiting the interstate toward our destination.  I immediately fell in love with the homes and scenery along this little road that took us straight to Sheila’s house. 
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Finally, we found ourselves in Sheila and Basil’s driveway and received a warm welcome from two of my favorite people!
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We had traveled some pretty rough roads all day and were so ready to get out of the truck, get set up and rest a while.  Sheila is a WONDERFUL cook and she was ready for us with fried potatoes, black-eyed peas and hot cornbread, all cooked to perfection!

We were introduced to their little dog “Sweetie Pie” who is a precious little thing, but I was in such a hurry to get out of the truck that I left the camera behind and didn’t get a picture of Sweetie.  I have plenty of time, so I’ll be sure and get a good picture of her while we are here. 

We visited for a while after getting the RV set up and supper eaten, then promptly went off to bed.  I hadn’t slept much the night before and I’ve been trying to ignore an obvious sinus infection in the hopes that it would just go away, so I was tired with a capitol T!

We got up yesterday and settled in to our morning routine, as usual.  DeWayne went for a walk after he cooked his breakfast and after I got up, I took my shower, morning medication, made the bed, made my breakfast, washed dishes and took a shower, then the four of us piled into their truck and made our way to Sam’s to buy a few groceries, and a new GPS for us.  They bought steaks to cook on the grill later for us and another couple that were coming over for the evening.

We no sooner got back and everything put away when I found myself so sleepy that I could barely concentrate, so off I went for a short nap.  When I woke up and ventured back over to the house, half of the couple had arrived, but not the other half.  I met Tina, who I liked immediately and learned that husband Barry was not feeling well and wouldn’t be coming over after all, which was unfortunate, but we all had a great time anyway.  Basil and DeWayne did the grilling outside while Sheila already had most everything else ready to go and staying warm in the oven. 

When I say that Sheila is a wonderful cook, it certainly isn’t an exaggeration.  She was busy making real bacon bits and cooking real croutons to go with the salad and baked potatoes.  And Basil did one heck of a job on those huge ribeyes, so needless to say….WE FEASTED!!!!  What a great meal to go with the great company. 

It’s been many years since I was able to have a really good visit with Sheila since they have lived away for a long time, so she and Tina and I just had a blast!  Then Basil went off to bed and DeWayne went off to the RV and us girls just kept chattering like magpies.  It’s a rare occasion that I drink a beer, but I ended up consuming three before the night was over and was so busy laughing and talking that I felt little effect.  It was great beer too! 

Tina finally gave it up and decided to drive on home before it got too late, but Sheila and I still visited until around midnight and I finally excused myself, knowing she and Basil were supposed to go fishing this morning and I didn’t want to keep her up any later.  I could have visited with her all night, but we have plenty of time to pick up where we left off. 

I slept until 9:30 this morning and woke up with a very sore throat to go along with the sinus problems, so I decided it’s time to give it up and get some antibiotics for this crud.  Of course I decided this on a Sunday, so nothing can get done about it til tomorrow.  I’ll be calling good ole Dr. Freeman and get him to call me in a prescription that I can pick up here in Wisconsin.  I dread the pills but I’m sooooo ready to feel better.  I’m retired and traveling the country with a good lookin man that I adore.  I have Sheila and Basil to visit with while we have the time, places to go, things to see and more of Sheila’s good cookin to eat, so I don’t have time to be sick, doggone it!  Time to do something about it.

But right now, it’s just time to get this finished and head for bed.  Besides, I’ve run out of anything to say.  So, I’ll sign off for now.  I’ll try to post again in a couple of days, but in the meantime…….


Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Northward Bound

We left the Red Barn RV park close to Joplin yesterday morning around noon and in no hurry, since we planned to spend the night in a Wal-Mart parking lot and wanted to arrive late enough that hopefully the heat would have dissipated enough to be comfortable without A/C for the night. 

We had spent two nights at the “Red Barn” and the heat was sweltering.  Our A/C barely keeps up during the heat of the day, so DeWayne did what cooking needed to be done outside.  The rest was micro waved or just not prepared at all. We were ready to hit the road and head north, getting to cooler temperatures.

The drive toward St. Louis was pretty uneventful.  It was all familiar territory to us since we had just traveled this very road in June on our way to Delaware, so I pretty much left the camera alone.  However, I just had to give you all an idea of what DeWayne eats for lunch as he is driving:
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Colorful, isn’t it?  I don’t know how he does it.  I’d starve to death on that, especially since I don’t care for fruit (oranges) mixed with pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and cheese.  But he loves it, so that’s what counts.  I just think it’s pretty.

One thing we decided on our way back from Delaware was to stock up on snack products such as peanuts, cheese crackers, pastries (for me) at Sam’s or Wal-Mart to have on hand for the days we are traveling.  Plus, we bought us each a coffee thermos and make our coffee before we hit the road.  This way, every time we have to stop for diesel or a potty break, we aren’t handing some cashier an extra six or seven dollars for coffee and snack material.  Making our lunches and keeping them in the cooler with the soft drinks saves us lots too.

After a while, DeWayne got sleepy, so it was my turn to drive and allow him to get a power nap.  When he woke up, he decided to play with the camera for a while, so I was his first target.
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Then he took four more pictures of the scenery before he tired of the photography business.
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Within minutes, he was ready to drive again, so I reluctantly gave up the captain’s chair and took over the navigator’s position once again.

The terrain became more and more hilly as we made our way northeast and gorgeous, of course
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We decided to eat at Cracker Barrel just outside St. Louis.  I always order Mama’s Pancake breakfast that comes with three pancakes.  DeWayne eats one with sugar free syrup, I eat one with regular syrup and one always goes to waste, but it works for us.  I asked for a take out box and left with my bacon and DeWayne’s biscuits for my breakfast this morning.  Yummmy!

It was getting dark as we left Cracker Barrel and drove through St. Louis and 35 miles on toward Lincoln, IL for our stay in Wal-Mart parking lot.  We found a good spot, parked and opened up the RV which was like an oven!  We opened windows and turned on exhaust fans, hoping to cool things off enough to sleep.  DeWayne took a cool shower and headed off to bed while I played a little while on the computer to unwind.  The chair was hot, the computer was hot, I was hot and sweating and it just wasn’t getting any cooler in the RV. 

After half an hour or so, I began to hear thunder in the distance that was getting closer, so I pulled up the radar and sure enough, we had some heavy stuff coming our way.  So I quickly made my way toward the shower and discovered DeWayne still awake and complaining about how hot it was in the bedroom.  I took a quick and cool shower before the lightning could start and as soon as I emerged, it started raining hard, which meant that we would have to close the exhaust fans to keep the rain from coming in.  NOT GOOD! 

That meant no air flow at all and it was just too stifling to stay in the RV, so we closed it up, put on clothes and headed for the truck.  DeWayne started it up and ahhhhhh, that air conditioned air was heavenly, but it was close to midnight by this time and I was ready for a comfortable bed a  good night’s sleep. 

DeWayne leaned his seat back and fell asleep while I played on the computer some more and watched the radar for about an hour until the rain finally let up enough that we could return to the RV and try it again.  I guess the rain on the RV helped to bring the temperature down just enough that when we re-opened the exhaust fan in the bedroom and opened the windows by the bed, it was finally cool enough to be comfortable on top of the covers to get to sleep….finally!

I woke up this morning when DeWayne left for his “after breakfast” walk around the parking lot, and it was pretty warm in the RV already, so I hit the floor running, making coffee for the thermos’, packing the snack sack, washing dishes, getting dressed, pulling in the slides and closing up the RV so that we could hit the road as soon as he was done with his walk. 

I was ready for some cool air, a hot cup of coffee and my breakfast as we pulled out of yet another Wal Mart parking lot.  I can’t say I enjoyed it but, as DeWayne pointed out last night as we sat through the rain in the truck, “It could be worse.  We could be in a covered wagon.”  Well, I certainly couldn’t argue with that!  :)

This morning we knew we only had 80 miles to go today since we had a reservation in Lincoln, IL., so we took it slow and easy.  I noticed the landscape had flattened quite a bit as we drove today and loved watching the corn fields and other crops pass by my window.  We’re back in territory where lawns are manicured and everything is kept neat and clean.  The corn fields are much taller than what we saw going to and coming from Delaware.
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As we neared Springfield, we spotted these huge smoke stacks connected to an equally huge factory of some kind.
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We took a detour into Springfield to get a glimpse of the Lincoln Library and possibly be able to check it out, depending on parking and such. 
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It wasn’t long before we could see the dome of the capital building in the distance. 
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I’m pretty sure this next picture is the train station.  Pretty, isn’t it?
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We wound our way toward the Capital Bldg, but never did see exactly how to get to the Lincoln Library.  That will be put on our list of things to do in the future as we pass this way again.  I got some good pictures of the Capital and the grounds as we passed by.  There certainly wasn’t any place to park a one ton truck and a 38’ RV for sure, so we had to keep moving.
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And here are some other buildings and homes that caught my eye.  I love the architecture of these old structures!
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I loved the street lights along the way!
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We started winding our way back to the interstate and DeWayne spotted this Cadillac in front of us.  It was BABY BLUE with a PINK top!
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And yes, that’s a man driving it, not a woman.  Takes all kinds, doesn’t it?  :) 

But seriously, Springfield and the surrounding area is really pretty!
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Lincoln was just a hop, skip and a jump down the road and we exited the interstate once again for our “home” spot for the next two nights.  The “Camp A While” RV park is outside town and was a little hard to find, but we eventually did. 
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I was surprised that it was so small!  I think it has 12 RV slots total and I loved it at first sight!  It’s so quaint and pretty, surrounded by corn fields, with little extra touches everywhere that make it look so pretty and welcoming. 
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It was starting to rain a little when we arrived, but we got everything opened up, slid out and set up in no time.  It was great to open the RV door and find it at a much more tolerable temperature for a change and the A/C kicked in and brought everything to a comfortable temperature in no time.  In fact, I was cooking on the stove within a few minutes of our arrival, so what a difference a day makes, right? 

After last night and the lack of adequate sleep for me, I took a nap, which I do every chance I get anyway, while DeWayne headed off to Wal Mart to buy milk.  He woke me up around 5:00 and I felt soooo much better!  I pulled the curtains back from the bedroom window and immediately headed for the camera again.  This is our view from that window.
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Notice the little flower beds nestled under the trees and the corn in the background?  I could sit there and look out all day!  I love this place and we’ll definitely come back to this quaint and friendly little RV park.

Frito pie for supper, the music is playing, DeWayne is working on his computer and I’m blogging.  So life is good!  We’re already in cooler climate and from the looks of the Racine, WI weather forecast, we will be enjoying nice weather for the next week!  I hope the heat and humidity is largely behind us.  We’re in agreement that Wal Mart parking lots are out of the question from now on if the weather is as hot as we’ve experienced until today. 

I’m looking forward to having a nice leisurely day around here tomorrow, then heading to Racine on Friday.  I can’t wait to see Basil and Sheila and spend some time with them.  We don’t have any plans set up for our time there, but I’m sure we’ll find something to get in to. 

Now that I’ve exhausted anything I can think to say, I’ll shut up and get this posted.  Tomorrow will be a nice relaxing day, so unless we do something noteworthy, I’m sure I won’t be posting again til we set out for Racine.  So until then, everybody stay cool and……..

Happy Trails!