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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Spent a lovely day with my little buddy…

It was my birthday weekend, and I got to spend the whole morning with my little grandson, Jameson.   Went to Heather’s apartment and I played all the while, till I wore him out.   Later Erin came with take-out lunch from Fazolis!!!   Heather had Jesse pick me up the cutest birthday cake.  What a wonderful day with family….   

(so bear with me, all the pics are of the grandson….but he’s just so gosh-darned cute!)

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This is part of his Halloween costume.. he just LOVES looking at himself being a LION!

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Granmuddah Pfun read him a few stories… now it’s time for a nap
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Erin’s 7 month belly…..
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Friday, October 30, 2009

Pfundtner The Vintner - Winemaking 2009

My darling Steveio has been making his own cherry wine over the last 5 or 6 years.   This year was extra special because the cherries were from his OWN tree that I bought him a number of years ago.  It finally bore enough fruit this year for 2 batches of wine!


spring has sprung 2009 Here is his cherry tree in full bloom last spring…..



And this is his bumper crop of a harvest in July….  the tree was just LOADED!


The day that we had to harvest them was on a Thursday before going camping. 

It was hot, humid and muggy.  We HAD to get them picked before the coons and birds raided them.   So we sat on lawn chairs in the yard, pitting till it got dark out.  There were still more cherries on the tree!




Once we got this batch pitted and refrigerated, then we had to pick the rest of them …  and we took the last buckets of cherries along camping!  We sat at our campsite and pitted more cherries all evening.  Good thing we have a big fridge in the motorhome!  

You shoulda seen the looks we got from folks in the campground, two folks intently leaning over our buckets and pitting cherries!


wine press

He uses this old wine press to get the juice outta the cherries and leaves the bitter skins behind.   He froze some of the cherries to spread his batches apart by 2 months.  He also now has green grapes he grew himself that he froze the juice from to work on another batch later.


After fermenting them in big glass carboys for 4 months till the wine is ready to be bottled….  once it’s in bottles, the longer it sits on the rack, the better.   He does this all down in our basement storage room, outta daylight.

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And now we have 25 nice bottles lining the wine rack….  I print up his labels and he saves the wine for very special occasions or special friends…  So if you have gotten a bottle from him, you KNOW you are someone special!

(and if you didn’t … get in line for his next batch)




Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Steveio’s Project – a spare tire rack on the front of the motorhome!

Our purpose of carrying along a spare tire is one subject that is sometimes given a bit of debate on the RV lists.  Many folks just pay an Emergency Roadside Service fee to come and change a tire.  That is well and good.  But consider the difficult process of locating a spare when yours is shredded to ribbons on the highway… well, that is another story~! 

Trying to get a tire delivered to you roadside on a weekend can be a daunting task. Especially on the side of an interstate.  The sooner you get it changed and moved off the road, the better.  At this time in our lives, with Steve still in the work-a-day world yet, our only time to get away IS the weekends. So that greatly increases the probability of having a tire emergency on a weekend.  Tires for our rig run in the $500-600 range. We hear tales of gouging where people are being upcharged another $200-300 just to get the tire, not even counting the hefty roadside fee they charge to the policy or roadside assistance company. 

And then… there is the ever-so-predictable increased price gouging that occurs where you will end up paying ANY price just to get a tire of any quality on a Sunday evening.

Many RVer’s do not have the tools, strength or knowledge to change a 22.5 semi truck sized tire anyhow, so they take their chances and call an Emergency Road Service.  Steveio is able to change these tires himself, and he carries an on board air compressor, air tools, a Nut Buddy device, and a big breaker bar.  

We do have Emergency Roadside Assistance on our insurance. We also decided we are going to carry a spare tire on a rack on the front of the motorhome.  This will free up a lot of room in the basement storage area.  With an added bit of ingenuity, Steveio figured out a good way to lift or lower the tire from the rack... you have to read down to the end to see! 

Plus the added weight to the front of the rig helps with handling, as Safari’s are notorious for being back heavy.  Unless we are riding with tanks full of propane, full fuel and full fresh water (all which are located in the front) we do feel a difference in handling. The weight of this spare tire can help offset the weight. The 22.5 tires weigh over 150 pounds.

He measured carefully and made up this rack bracket himself.

 It bolts right to the frame inside of the fiberglass cap.


Then he cut the hole through the fiberglass.. drilling pilot holes first and using a sawsall to cut the lines.  I held my breath the entire time!  

Now he slid in the support bar for the tire. It is securely bolted into the receiver portion, just like a hitch. He put the rim on to see how it would look.

(he said these are locking nuts that won’t rattle loose from vibrations)

In this next pic, Steve got the tire mounted on the rim
and lifted up into place. 

Wanna see his cool invention
to lift or lower the tire
from the rack? 


The winch doesn't stay there all the time,
it stows away and he will only take it out if we 
need to get the tire off the rack. 

Now our spare tire is mounted on the rim
and securely put into place. 

I bought some really heavy silver vinyl naugahyde that is exterior boat cushion grade to make a fitted spare tire cover.  The silver color goes nicely with the stainless steel side doors and trim.

~~ I added the cover a few days later ~~

We will also have to relocate the front license plate bracket.  In Wisconsin, we do have to display a front license plate. We will put the license plate bracket to one side. 

Ahhhh Apple Pies!

My wonderful neighbors, Charlotte and John, gave me a bucket of apples off their tree.   Steveio’s favorite dessert is apple pie, and I decided he needed a treat.  He has been soooo good to me lately, taking care of me, and all the things around the house.

So out came the apple corer device .. this is the GREATEST tool!  It peels, cores and slices the apple so perfectly!    This one is made by Back To Basics, and can be found at Ace Hardware stores.   There are some that clamp onto counters, but I like the big suction cup one better, my counter has a rolled curve to the edge that the clamp-type don’t work on.
So with this one, you just dampen the counter, then set down the base and move the lever from right to left.  The huge rubber bottom now flexes  to create a suction that holds the tool firmly in place.
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It wastes very little of the apple.  the peeling is thin, the core is gone, and the slices are all uniformly cut so they all bake at the same rate.  Works great for potatoes too! Especially for potato salads, never a mixture of mushy and firm chunks, they all are evenly done when boiled as uniformly cut chunks.
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I cut the spirals into quarters- and toss them in a bowl with flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and a dollop of real vanilla,  Then I pile them into a pie crust that has been prebaked for about 5 minutes.  
(no mushy pie bottom and slices come outta the pan better)

Usually I make my own pie crusts from scratch, but tonight I was a bit rushed, a bit lazy, and a bit tired,... so frozen pie crusts made due.
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On top I make a crumb mixture of butter, flour, brown sugar and spices… and just spoon it on top.  Bake about 40 minutes or until done at 425 degrees.

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Ahhh fresh outta the oven last night, before Steveio came home from his union meeting. 

it was so strange though…. this morning I woke up to discover that----


Somehow, a whole PIE is MISSING!

Could it have something to do with the rustling tin foil I heard at 5a.m. as Steveio was preparing to go to work?  
I think he took along a whole pie to share with the guys…awwwww  

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Campground Review- Bay Shore County Park – Brown County, Green Bay, WI – June 2009

(this is one of series of posts of various campgrounds we have been to over the years... I am going through my files in alphabetical order and posting past camping trips in my blog.... something to do over this long long upcoming winter---- sigh)

This campground is located about 10 miles north of Green Bay and is very close to my husband’s place of work.  So sometimes we come here during the week and he can commute to work easily.  Actually it is shorter than commuting from home!

Although there are 106 sites, they are in 4 separate loops so we are not subject to all the traffic going past our campsites.  Some sites are 30 amp, some are only 20 amp and some in one loop are rustic tenting sites.  There are three bathroom buildings, two are with showers and one with laundry.  An ice machine and soda machine at the entrance, along with a humungous picnic area overlooking the waters of the Green Bay.  In the kid’s playground is a big timber structure of a sailing ship, near the rentable pavilions and baseball diamonds.  Down the winding road through limestone cliffs is a nice harbor and boat launch, but not really much of a swimming beach or recreational area.

Many folks like to camp here – it’s all first come first served, no reservations- and then they can day trip up to Door County, a prime tourist area, and also into Green Bay to see the sights there…  $20 a night, and they have discounted rates for monthly camping too.

The website:
 Cecil DePeau Bay Shore County Park

Every time we camp here, we are treated nicely by the county park rangers, and the park is well maintained, and closely monitored for noise and disturbances.  It’s one of the few places we go with hookups, E and W at the sites, and a dump station at the exit.

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We usually like site number 79, but it was taken this time.  We like the quieter side of the campground, furthest from the highway. 

My folks came down from Michigan for a short visit, on their way to get some motorcycle parts in Green Bay.  We had a nice visit, and my mother was curious about my laptop (she only has Web-TV at home)  and wanted to email to my sister while stopped by us.
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My step-dad, Lowell, gave his thumbs up of approval!  

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Daughter Heather stopped by with the little guy, Jameson, just about 10 months old.  She hung out for awhile, and then we STOLE the kid for the rest of the weekend!  

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Daughter Erin stopped by too, just after her doc appt. where they confirmed her pregnancy!   (due in Jan 2010)   Here she is reading up on the stack of baby books she bought on her way to the campground!    She is resting in our zero-gravity recliners and said she just LOVED them.  We bought one the following week for her birthday!

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We got in some special B-Ball playing…. 

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Dumb Ducky (aka Duchess)  loves to be carried around like a parrot on Steve’s shoulder.  At least when she was a little puppy, it was easier.  Now that she is 50 pounds, it’s a tad bit more difficult?

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Our future-son-in-law Jesse’s folks came out for a visit.  This is Kevin, Jesse’s dad

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And this is Lisa, Jesse’s mom.  They just HAD to stop by and see the grandson.  It’s hard to go too long without seeing them, and since we were so close to their area, they stopped on by, shared a campfire and got in some cuddles with the little guy!

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During the weekend, we got in quite a few stroller rides around the park.  Just look at how that little stinker propped up his feet and rose around in style!

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The portable crib sets up perfectly in our rig between the front seats…..   but once he wakes up in the morning, we pop him into the king-sized bed between his Grandfaddah and Grandmuddah Pfun!

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This little guy had to look out the windows in the morning, just to see what was going on in the campground.

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Duke and Duchess are quite the well-behaved campground doggies.  And a swat with a fly-swatter can make them shush up if  they happen to utter a peep.   They sure enjoy the walks, the sniffing, and the attention they get when folks saw “Awwwww look at the Lassie dogs!”  Duke is only a sheltie, and much smaller.. so most kids ask if he is the *baby*….  how cute is that?

four generations

We managed to get a four generation camping picture of all of us…..