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Monday, May 31, 2010

CAMPING - Part 4 - MEMORIAL DAY at Old Veterans Campground - Peshtigo State Forest


(this post made by a solar powered laptop)

Ohhh what a hot hot hot Sunday we had!   It was getting hotter and more humid after breakfast, and we hunkered down and didn't do too much.   I had the sock machine cranking outside under the awning.  But as the day wore on, it was getting too hot to even sit out there.  

Once it hit 90, with almost matching humidity, I said enough was enough, and we went inside, closed all the windows and air vents, and we fired up the generator!   Steve walked just a bit down the road and you could not even hear it running.  We just don't like to bother folks with our generator noise, and barely ever use it.  But today was the day!

Wheeeeee we had both air conditioners on the roof going full tilt, and we were comfy in no time.    I am sure the other three tenters here in the campground were pretty jealous about our comfort, but heck, we earned it.   We paid our dues by all of our years of tents, popups, travel trailers and now we deserve the comfort of the motorhome and it's generator.

We holed up for most of the afternoon inside, reading, and resting.  I took out the game Bazaar, a trading game from Discovery Toys that my children used to LOVE to play with.    All the little cousins and friends used to learn to play it too.  Just look at all those pretty colored glass stones!  Kids can't resist.

It is a great game that consists of each player earning and holding onto various little colored stones in their hands, and sorting and playing and trading the right colors till they have the right combination to *buy* a certain card.  No real counting or reading is required, which makes it a great game to play along with the young ones.  Just so one person can keep score and add,  that is all you need to have all ages play along.   And the kids can WIN over the adults!!!    So I figured it is time to start teaching Steve the game, so he can be ready when the grandkids start to beat him at it.  LOL    Discovery Toys doesn't publish it anymore, but you can still find it in a few places, even used on Ebay or Amazon.  We have 2 sets, one for the camper and one for the house.

We decided not to cook anything outside, but seeing as we had the generator running, I could do a quick meal for supper in the microwave.   I whipped up two frozen servings of alfredo noodles, and layered them over some frozen shrimp.  Sprinkled on some mozzarella cheese, italian seasoning and parmesan to top it off.  Put them back in the microwave for a few minutes till bubbling cheese and they are done!  Add some italian bread and we have a meal.  I also made up a no-bake cherry cheesecake outta a box and a can for dessert.  Easy Peasy!

About 5pm Steveio said it was cooling off, so I turned off the air conditioners, turned off the generator, then opened all the windows and vents.  By the time I got outside, the temp had RISEN!   NO kidding!  It had gone up 5 more degrees to 94.5  and he thought it was COOLER?    He was nuts!  

So I went back in, closed it all up, and started up the generator again and cranked up both the AC units again.   Time to crank more socks.   Watched some stupid TV, and he came in to join me.  The dogs sure appreciated the cool hardwood floor in the kitchen area and sprawled out in comfort.

About 8:30 pm it finally cooled off enough to turn down the AC and shut off the generator.  We took one more walk with the doggers before bedtime, just down to the dumpsters with our trash and back again.   Talked to one set of tenters who were packing up, fearing the big thunder and lightening storms predicted for the middle of the night.   I don't blame them, being in a tent.

We sat out till 9:30 and then packed up all our outside gear in the event of the pending storms.   We even rolled up our ground tarp and rolled up the awning too.  No sense in putting away a wet awning on Monday if it was gonna rain all day.  Plus, rolling it up ensures it won't get either ripped off by high winds, or collapsed by pooling water (we do tilt it for storms, but if it's a torrential rain, we don't want to be replacing an awning!

Once all the gear was stowed, I caught up on reading a few blogs and then we headed to bed.  About 1 a.m. the storms started.  We had two shivvering shaking doggers who were panting and shuddering as each huge blast of thunder or flash of lightening lit the sky.  It lasted about an hour and then the rains hit.  Sure am glad we rolled things up and outta the way.

Now it's Monday morning.  Storms are done and it's starting to get nice out.  A bit hazy but drying up.  Steveio is up and making pancakes, and I just perked up the last of the coffee (forgot to refill the countainer with fresh ground after last weekend-oops!)  

I think we will hang around today longer, and then later head home.  We know back roads to get home from here, so we can avoid the major highway 141, a main connection between Up North and Green Bay.


God Bless America and all of those men and women 
who have fought and are currently serving our great country. Hope you all are enjoying your holiday weekend.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

CAMPING - Part 3 - Old Veterans Campground - Peshtigo State Forest

(this post made by a solar powered laptop) 

Good morning from the woods .....

We are still at Old Veterans campground in the northwoods of Wisconsin... check my blog post from two days ago for maps and website about this place.

Picking up where I left off on Saturday's blog:

After our cinnamon rolls and coffee, I popped in a pan of brownies too on Saturday.  Frosted them later after they cooled.  Just love that little Easy Bake Oven!  (Coleman Instastart propane oven)

After a cereal breakfast we decided to hop on the scooter to head out over to my dad's place on Crooked Lake.   Here is our Honda Helix that we put on a rack behind the motorhome.  It rides us both up comfortably and goes 70mph.  It is a nice alternative to having to tow a car.  Our Saturn is towable, and we have the tow bar setup, but we choose to just bring the scooter.  It's much easier and more fun!!!

It was about 18 miles one way, and let me tell you, even on tiny backroads and a country trunk road, the traffic was horrible!   A lot of holiday people out and about.  We drove past Twin Bridge campground where we first thought we might like to camp and it was jammed up so tight.  I don't think there was a square yard of open space on the beach as we drove past, it was wall to wall people, both in and out of the water.   Going past the boat landing, the entire parking lot was filled solid up and trucks/trailers lined the road up and down both sides for near a mile!

We pulled up in front of my dad's place, and he was not in the garage as usual, so I called him on my cell phone, he answered his phone from inside of the house. I asked him "Where in the H*LL are ya????"  (just like he hollars to me on the phone each time he calls me) .... LOL   and told him we were out in the driveway!

Here is his little log cabin we helped him build in 1984.  It started as a weekend cottage, but now it is his permanent home.   We got him a new metal roof now, so he doesn't have to get up there to shovel off the snow and ice each winter.  A couple years ago, Erin and I restained it for him, and it's looking like it could use another coat again.

When anyone goes to my dad's house to visit, you don't sit in the house... oh no!   You all sit in the garage!

He has patio furniture set up in the open garage door.  You sit there, grab a cold one from the fridge he has in the garage, and watch cars and people drive by on the loop through the woods around his house. It's like being in a small tavern.  He has beer signs up all over.   I noticed he had last years father's days cards still stuck up on the wall too.  LOL  He has fans blowing to keep the garage cool, and folks stop by to visit as they drive around the lake and see him sitting out there.    Everyone there knows him as *Yooper*   because he was born and raised in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan... U.P.er... Yooper.... you get it?  They even made up a job for him, and a name.  He is the Mayor of Yooperville,  I kid you not!

While we were there visiting, four guys stopped by all at different times... first was Paul (in the pic on the left)  he stopped to bring back some parts he borrowed and dropped off some other parts that he thought dad could use on a project.   Then the other neighbor from across the way, came over asking for advice on how to repair his screen door.   Then 2 guys stopped in a pickup truck with a broken lawnmower in back, asking my dad to fix for them.   This was all in one hour's time!   

He sure is busy busy busy and it keeps him outta trouble... well, kinda sorta!     Dad is always fixing things and not charging enough $$$ to even make a profit, because he usually fills the oil and gas on each machine he fixes!   Sometimes he finds junked mowers or weedeaters or chainsaws at the dump, takes em home, fixes em up and gets em running.... and lines them up in a row along the side of the road to sell them to the other cottage folks who drive by!   

One time I was talking in my blog about ice fishing and how popular a sport that is in the north.... Here is a shot of my dad's ice shanty!   It has windows, curtains, a wood stove, hooks for lanterns, 12 volt lights and tv on shelf, two flip down bunks and trap doors built right into the floor....  you just drag it down to the lake onto the ice and place it over your drilled holes in the ice.   Sitting inside, nice and warm, and fishing in comfort on sub zero days!  Sometimes the fish bite better at night, so you can even sleep inside when you get tired, or too drunk to go home.....

We decided to get on back to our campground, so left him with more guys all yapping in the garage.   Heading back I snapped a few shots while on the back of the scooter. Pretty good, eh?

(that round dome on the bottom on the photo is Steve's helmet!) 

Here is one I took by holding the camera ahead of me, and trying to get the motorcycle with side car that was travelling behind us.  Although in Wisconsin you don't need a helmet to ride motorcycles, we do.

I snapped a shot of the tiny general store we stopped at on Friday.   How cute is this?  You can not imagine how much stuff is crammed inside, plus propane filling out back and the single little gas pump in the front.

This guy has a sign out front saying he is an "Antique Dealer"    .. you betcha! 

As we pulled into the campground again, I snapped two more pics, one is the Wood Shed... it's an honor system of buying firewood from what is stacked inside.  There is a *rack* that you load up your wood into, put your five bucks into an envelope and stick it into the box.   Done.

Speaking of on your honor, most the parks we frequent are self pay posts and on your honor.  Sometimes rangers come through and double check, sometimes they don't.   We ALWAYS pay, though we do see some folks that sneak in and sneak out the next morning and never put anything in the post or hang a tag.

There is ONE time that our guys all went the day before with the camper trailers and fourwheeler ATV's to a place way up in the U.P. of Michigan, and we woman came the next day.  Of course we thought the guys had paid, but they were so excited to get out on the ATVs and start mud running, they didn't!    By the time we women got there the next day, it was the furthest thing from their minds to pay.   Well, we got back from a long ATV ride, and there were two rangers setting in our little group of trailers.  OOPS!   They were very nice, but said they had to give us all fines as they had to call in our license plate numbers per policy.   Actually it was a park in Michigan and they said they had the authority to impound any out of state vehicles if  they wished!!! We were the only out of staters in our group!! ACK!    But we chatted nicely with them, explained how stupid our men were, and invited them to sit down and eat supper with us.  LOL   They still had to write the tickets, but we realized they were only doing their jobs.  It cost us $212 for a fine.  And we are sure to never ever ever do that again!

After we got back to our site, let the doggers out.

Oh side note here--- we kept them inside with a 12 volt fan blowing on them, and our battery operated MP3 player with speakers playing loud enough inside to drown out any outside noises that might make them bark.  Although we are many many sites away from any other campers, we just don't ever want them to bark and be annoying whether we are here or gone.   They are good campground doggers, and we have set up the video camera from time to time to film them for 2 hours and see just what they do when are gone.   Nothing.  They sleep, get a drink from their dish, and sleep again.

I took out the sock machine for some cranking, got two more orders to work on, plus I sold a handwoven rug on my etsy site last night.  I will ship it out on Tuesday when the post office opens.  In case you don't know, I am a weaver  and knitter and sell my wares on this site:

Just a shameless plug in case you would like to help support my RVing addiction?

Steveio decided it was time to cook supper, so he did boneless skinless chicken breasts on the grill, and I whipped up the noodles and green beans.  Ahhhh another feast fit for a king!

Gosh we sure eat good when we are out camping! 

Now-- question here: 

Why is it the guys say *They Cooked*???

When all they did was flip the meat over on the grill a few times and season it a bit?   While we women:
plan the menu
shop for the food
pack the food 
defrost the right foods on the right days
hand them the raw meat and grilling tools
make up all the extras like the noodles and beans
(timing them right to go along with the grilling times so all is done together)
taking out the utensils, plates, glasses, wine etc. 

but the guys say *They Cooked*  


We took the path around the lake (see yesterdays blog post for a map with the blue path)   It was so nice and cooling down fro the high of 91 today.  We slathered on some tick spray and took the doggers along.  This path is nicely mowed and doubles as snowmobile trail in the winter months.  

Along our path we saw another box turtle laying eggs, just like the one at home.  Plus we saw a trail of ants by the thousands, actually making a path like a rut through the ground back and forth to the lake from their huge sandpile.   You can almost see it in this pic on the right:

We wandered back into the campground just about sunset...

Steveio made a nice campfire in the brand new fire ring in our site.  I brought out the computer for a while and chatted with the RVDreamers in the chat room while sitting at our own campfire. That was kinda interesting! 

We sat out till we could not keep the eyelids open anymore....  time to crawl into the shower and go to bed.  Steveio had sprayed both dogs good for any stray ticks that might be falling off after our walk, and we didn't have any crawling around in the motorhome either.  Thank goodness. 

Sunday morning dawned bright and sunny (again)  but the weatherman is promising high temps, humidity, and rain storms tonight.  Steveio cooked us a nice breakfast of this sliced american fried potatoes, slab of fried ham, and a few scrambled eggs which he hasn't had but once or twice a month now.  We ate them so fast, didn't have time for a photo.  

Wonder if the kids are gonna come up or not?  If too hot, it is not a lot of fun for babies....   and we would have to fire up the generator to turn on AC for them.

  We will see what today will bring!


Saturday, May 29, 2010

CAMPING - Part 2 - Old Veterans Campground - Peshtigo State Forest

(this post made by a solar powered laptop!) 

Second day here at the Old Veteran's Campground...
 see yesterday's post for links to campground information and maps.

On Friday afternoon, the temps climbed up to the 90's and it sure got hot!  We decided to take a scooter ride down the road a ways to a tiny general store.  We forgot to replenish our holding tank chemical supply this spring, and we were OUT of anything else to use, and the tank was starting to stink.  Normally we use the liquid RidX for septic tanks, but right now even the blue chemical would suffice.   Well, let me tell you, this little general store had EVERYTHING!   Crammed in floor to ceiling, don't ya love places like that?  Hardware, sporting goods, groceries, and a closet area was opened up and lined with shelves for liquor bottles.   And it was complete with a big old fat lazy beagle dog who was laying in front of the counter on the floor.  I asked her if she was the mean ferocious guard dog?  She just sighed and closed her eyes.  LOL

After getting our toilet chemical pouches, and a big bag of cheese curds to snack on, we hopped back on the scooter, seeing a few rummage sale signs around the cottages by the lakes.   So we hit a few.   Steve got a brand new pair of size 12 Minnetonka moccasins, never worn with the tags still on for $5.   (new they are $37.95)   and I found 2 new Tshirts that a lady had leftover from an embroidery business, a book on snakes for the grandkids, and some hanging bags for planting flowers next year.  Also a beaded purse and a cheese container made by Kraft for a stack of american cheese slices once you unwrap them.  I have one already that I keep taking from the house to the camper to the house again, now I have one for each!  Wheeeeee

After the rummages, we stopped at the main Peshtigo State Forest office as the ranger who came through the park on friday had told us that once we paid for the annual sticker for our motorhome, we could get a free complementary one for the scooter.  All we had to do was ask  So we did and got the free one.  Otherwise the vehicle permit for a day is $7 .. yearly is $25.   So being here 4 days at $7 --- well, it makes sense to buy the annual.   But we hadn't bought one for the scooter because we didn't know we would be using it.   The ranger was so nice to tell us about the complimentary ones, only allowed if you already have a main one on your first vehicle.  Nice!

Got back to the motorhome and took a nice nap.. it was getting hotter and hotter, over 90 so we set up the 12 volt fan to blow a breeze, and we didn't want to start up the generator for the air conditioning.   Although, by weather reports for Saturday, it's going to be hotter, so we just may do that in the afternoon.

It was time to cook supper, so we splurged and let Steveio had one bratwurst--- due to his high cholesterol problem, he had to cut wayyy  down on bratwurst, probably his favorite summertime meal... second to BBQ ribs that is.   So out came his newest grill.....

He used to be able to put away 2 or 3 bratwurst at one sitting, now he is done to one, and he cuts it open to let any grease drain out before eating it.  Good Boy!   His cholesterol numbers are now back in the normal range after a rigorous diet change over 6 months.

We also had salads, german style potato salad and some wine... ahhhh a meal fit for a king!  (but we forgot the brat buns so ate them like a sausage)

After supper, we decided to take a walk around ... we can hear boats through the woods to the NE of our site, and know the flowage is somewhere close by on that side.   So we started down a path and went off the beaten path on an angle to see where we could hear them.  Oops forgot our can of bear spray, so Steve went back to get it.   Not that it would really stop a bear, but good to have along when alone in the woods, for coyotes or even a stray dog.  It shoots 30 feet  and is much stronger than mace.

 Cross country through the brush and over logs and under branches, we finally found the river water.

(click on the pics if you want to enlarge them) 

Dukie was lagging behind.. so we circled back and brought him to the camper.  It was so hot, and he carries a much heavier coat that Ducky.   Also his little legs are going three times as fast to keep up with her long ones.      Once we put him in the camper, we left again and struck out the other way, to the SE on a marked path called the Fern Trail....

We walked through some interesting tree plantations, probably a test area by the State Forest staff to see which trees fare best in this soil.... because they lost a LOT of oak trees over the past 20 years due to the tent caterpillars which eat off all the foliage on the oaks, year after year.  Then the trees die off because they never got proper foliage.   My dad lost nearly 70 oak trees on his land from the same thing.  There were all different varieties of trees, some planted in rows, all in one area that may have been a clearing at one time.

Stopped and did a flower pic... not as nice as Al's on the   Bayfield Bunch blog, but still a tiny bit of prettiness:

At the end of the trail, we reached the flowage waters.... and found a nice bench seat along the shoreline.  Ducky had to check out the water.  We saw a few boats go past, some fishermen, and interesting craggy rocks along the opposite shore.   This is a wide part of the river, that is below the hydro dam.

On our way back to the camper, we were dragging ....  turns out we walked almost three miles!   Here is a google map we made after we got back, just to see where we went.

We came into the camper and cleaned up, took showers and headed to bed.  Little did we realize that Ducky was FULL of woodticks in her long fur from our walk!!!   Because she has Frontline drops on her skin, the ticks will cling to her fur as she walks by, but then drop off once they realize they don't wanna bite onto her.   Well, those ticks were falling off all over the carpeting in our bedroom alongside the bed!  We turned on the lights 3 or 4 times finding ticks crawling up the sides of the bed!!!  I bet we threw 8 or 9 ticks into the toilet, flushing them down!!   We sprayed around the bed and the dog again too... and checked her over good for any more ticks.  We found 5 more just in her fur, just not attached to her skin.  Once we got rid of all the ticks, I still felt itchy all over.  We did our Buddy System Tick Check on each other a few times before we were sure to be tick free. ACK!     Today she will get totally brushed before coming indoors after being outside.  NO MORE TICKS ALLOWED!

Woke up Saturday morning, with coffee brewing... and made a roll of cinnamon rolls in the Easy Bake Oven...

Once those were done, I also mixed up a batch of brownies to bake yet in the morning hours while it was still cool.   I think today the agenda is to sit and relax, knit some socks, and take it easy.... or maybe hop on the scooter and take a ride over to my dad's little log cabin, it's about 15 miles from here.....

Friday, May 28, 2010

CAMPING - Old Veterans Campground - Peshtigo State Forest

(this post is made by a solar powered laptop)

Steveio got done with his business meeting in Kaukauna about 6:30 and headed home,  I was waiting in the driveway all packed up and ready to roll.   All he had to do was toss on some different clothes and hit the driver's seat.  Wheeeeee off we went by 7:30pm

We drove up through Twin Bridge Campground, hoping to get a site, as all their even numbered ones are not reservable, just the odd numbered ones.  You would think on a Thursday that out of 68 sites that even ONE would be open?  NOPE.....  any site that was open already had a tag on from folks who paid ahead or had friends save a site by paying and placing a tag.  So we were outta luck there.     We wanted to try camping there, because we had never been there before, and wanted to try a new place.  Also the kids were thinking of joining us with the grandchildren, and we wanted the option of turning on the air conditioning if need be for the babies.   We had driven through a few weeks ago and wrote down the site numbers we liked best.   Oh well, another time on not such a busy holiday weekend I guess.  It does have electric and a nice shower house, so many folks go there. It is also located on the flowage, a very popular area for water sports like boating, skiing, jet skis and pontoon boat floating party barges.

Drove on a few more miles to the Peshtigo State Forest and pulled into Old Veterans Campground.

It was almost dark, but we have been here before and knew which site we wanted.   As we pulled in, the one we wanted was already occupied by a tent, but we drove to the end  and took our second best site, number 10.   There are only three other tents here, and all is quiet and peaceful.  No hookups, but that is ok.   That is also why it's not crowded LOL  Only 16 sites, and three are occupied.

Here is my post from the last time we were here, last fall:

We pulled in just as it was getting dark, and got backed in just fine.  I whipped up a quick late dinner of a ham steak, noodles and corn on the stove.  Steveio hadn't eaten since lunch time and was quite hungry.  Later we hit the rack in total peace and quiet, in our little snug house on wheels, parked in a woodsey getaway.

The nice thing about being in the end site of a dead end is that all the cars that might come in for other campsites stop there already and don't drive as far down as where we are.  Actually the only ones that drove in so far were the rangers, and they stopped to chat a bit.   We discussed budget cuts and upgrades--- (a few are slated for this park, painting, new doors on outhouses, a new drinking fountain and some new fire rings)

We woke Saturday morning to a chilly crisp woods, but blue sky and sunshine on it's way.  We had left all the windows open at night, and it was down to 52 outside and in.  I baked some muffins in the Easy Bake Oven and we had our coffee.    Boy things taste SO GOOD when we are camping!

It quickly warmed up and the sun had our solar panels just charging like mad as it made it's way through the trees onto the panels.  Even in partial shade or cloudy days, our panels seem to have us fully charged back up in a quick manner.  We are now at 97% full, and only went down to 94% this morning with computer use.  That was both of us on laptops and our router going, plus some tv news watching  and hair curling.  LOL

After breakfast we took a little walk around the campground, but the temps are now up to 80 and we came back instead of circling the lake like we planned.  The woodticks are out in scads and Steve pulled at least 6 or 7 off his arm or leg, crawling up to find a good spot.   I had one land on the laptop, but got rid of him toot sweet.   We then did a light spray of DEET to keep them off before our walk, and now haven't seen any since.  Even the dogs got a light mist of DEET on their fur, and they also get the monthly Frontline drops too.  Tis the Tick Season!

The doggers had to check out the beach.  See the crystal clear waters?   We could see tiny minnows darting here and there, a few butterflies were flickering along and the dogs had to cool their paws a bit.

All three sites with the tents on them had nobody around. Their cars were gone.  We had seen one car with kayaks on the roof, so I imagine they are out paddling on the flowage nearby from the dams.  There is a whole long chain of lakes and rivers that can be traveled by boat, jet ski, kayak and pontoon boats.  So we imagine that is where most of the tenters went.

We checked out site number 12, our third choice of campsites.   Steve thought we may want to move into this one this morning after breakfast. He was thinking that it would be great for solar recharging, being full sun from east, south and west... just trees on the north.

This is the view right out back of site 12, which is very nice ....

 But with today being so hot, already to 80, no thanks, we decided that we will stay on site 10 where it's shady and cooler.  It was almost fully charged by 11 am, so why bother moving.  That other site is sandier where the rig would sit, but this one is more firm gravel... and the table area and around the fire ring is more grassy.  We will stay put.

Now that we are staying on 10, we set up our lawn chairs, awning and patio mat on the side of the rig, where we have a nice new picnic table, fire ring and well maintained campsite with all the weeds cut back and a good private space for ourselves.   We are sure thankful that the state is keeping up our park systems, after hearing all the bad stories in some parts of the country like Arizona, California and now is it Virginia?   Too many cutbacks are threatening our state and national parks.

Oh, before I forget...  on Thursday before we left, in our yard Steveio found this big painted box turtle momma, laying her eggs on our septic mound.  Last year one was doing that too, perhaps the same one?   Or a baby perhaps all grown now and come to lay her own eggs ???   We kept the doggers away so she could nest them down into the warm sand in privacy and peace once I snapped this shot.

Well, now it's after lunch, and Steveio decided it was time for a nap.  Guess I will go join him! 


Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Steveio the Grill-Meister and his love affairs.....

I said in my last blog that I would post about Steveio and his love affair with grills.....(not GIRLS... GRILLS!)

When I first met him, he said he did a lot of cooking over a grill.. even pizzas!   And because he was remodeling the house he was living in, he didn't even have a stove yet till the cabinets were in.  So ALL his cooking was over the grill out in the back yard.   What a guy, eh?   Little did I know where this love affair with grills would lead.......

When we got married, I already owned a huge Webber kettle charcoal grill, it was larger than the regular Weber and it was great for large gatherings.    We always had to wait for the coals to be ready, but he liked cooking over it and did a lot of family parties and big meals over that grill.  Four hungry teens and their friends would be about the right size family for a grill like that.   He has now brought it to work and they have company cookouts using that grill.

Once we built the house up in Oconto, I got him a regular propane grill like everyone else has on their decks. You think that would have kept him happy?  One grill, easy start, quick, and he could cook on it.   Fine?
He cooked and cooked on that grill,  and I think he had to replace the innards 2 or 3 times over the years.  But he said he was thinking of getting a tabletop grill that we could take camping too.   I had no idea what kind of Monster I was creating.  I said I thought that was a good idea and we could look at new portable propane grills....

So when Heather got her first apartment, he gave this regular normal deck one to her to cook on.

And after looking around, for his birthday I bought him this:

A Coleman Roadtrip grill--   I bought the extra griddle piece and the extra grid to make one side a burner.  And it's blue so it matches our motorhome .. heh heh   The X legs collapse down so he can just slide it right in a basement compartment.    So I thought I did the best thing, by getting him a grill that can be out on our deck or take along in the motorhome.   It cooks wonderfully, but  the enamel coated cooking grids are kinda strange and very hard to clean.  They are not wire racks like most grills.   We have to clean this grill right away each time or things bake on and it's really really grodey, and takes a lot more elbow grease to clean it than just leaving it sit there all icky.

Then one day he saw THIS on a special sale from the website RV Toy Outlet..
It was regular priced $69 on sale for only $19.99 ....  (but $18 shipping!)    Well he liked THIS grill so much he kinda stopped using the big Roadtrip unless we had a lot of company to cook for!

That was about three years ago.. and now it's all worn out and won't work anymore.  The innards aren't even replaceable, so now it was time for shopping for another grill!

He saw this Party Grill from Coleman and wanted it.   He said it would be great in the motorhome too.  It works great and is perfect for 2 people ....  here he has it loaded up with ribs for 6!   But it's still kinda small, and he said the one drawback is that there is no lid, to help cook foods on the grill, ya gotta be able to cover the food sometimes to get better heat and through and through cooking on some meats.

So the hunt was on again for another grill besides the three he already owns....  oh geesh.  

He saw a nice cheap Charbroil at Fleet Farm and hinted it would be good for his birthday.  $20.    Soooo I went in April and bought it, just a nice table top grill with a lid that ran off propane.   Okay...  hidden away till his birthday, I am thinking all is good.   But 2 days before his birthday, WHAT does he come home with???   The very same Charbroil grill!!!   He said he knew they were on sale and he had a co-worker pick it up on a tool run from work!  ARGGGHHHHH   WHY does he go and buy things for himself right before his birthday, Father's Day, Xmas etc. ?  He does that very often.

So he opened one of the grills up and used it.... works great!   And the other one we kept new in the box and donated it to my brotherinlaw's cancer benefit to be raffled off.  

So now he has the Charbroil for at home on the deck, the bigger Coleman Roadtrip if we have company, and huge Weber for at work, and the small Coleman Party grill in the motorhome..... 

Then two weeks ago..... he was thinking out loud:

So now he wants ANOTHER grill???

We said we would pick one up next time it went on sale, but then we were shopping in Aldi's grocery store, and he saw THIS one!   No name brand, but larger than the Charbroil, but smaller than the Roadtrip.....

He said this one is a winner... and he should buy a couple new in boxes  to store away when this one burns through or wears out.   Oh really???

But please keep in mind that he also likes cooking over a campfire!   Sometimes he cooks over the grids that are in place in the national forest camgrounds we often go to.....

Then of course if there is no grid over the fire, he needs to cook over a tripod too..... 

Not only cooking meats or corn right on the grid, he also does big pot meals too......

Now, my sister is the one who carries my tripod all over for camping, even through it collapses, it's grubby and sooty and would make a mess in our carpeted motorhome compartments.  So they carry it around in the back of their pickup truck, and bring it to wherever we go camping together.   

So what if Steveio wants to cook over the fire when it's just the two of US camping???   My crafty creative guy Steveio made this cooking grid and metal stake.  Yup, he designed it, welded it up and it is comprised of the one stake and the one flat grid/handle piece.  The weight of the handle keeps the grid at various heights by just sliding it up and down on the slanted stake, and it stays put whatever height you set it at.   It stores flat in a heavy duty plastic bag in a basement compartment of the motorhome.   

Then sometimes when we are with the whole family, my brothers bring along THE QUAD POD!!!    This is a tripod made out of a swing set, with a cable, pulley and a boat winch to raise or lower the grill, and has accessories like a big flat griddle for 16 pancakes, or a big cast iron dutch oven.  This is for SERIOUS cooking outdoors!   It can come apart into pieces and be hauled from place to place. 

Sometimes we also cook over the fire with pudgy pie irons, not quite a grill, but still cooking over a fire, right?   We have a collection of I think 4 or 5 right now, and whenever I see them at rummage sales, I snap them up!~   The newer aluminum ones are not as good as the old cast iron ones, take my word for it.

And last, but not least, is the Redneck part of Steveio who always wants to cook a turkey, by deep-frying it!

So I bought him a turkey deep-fryer one year.   Honestly, I use the burner and stand more for canning pickles or tomatoes or dyeing wool out of doors, but we do a bird every now and then too.

He has also used the deep-fryer (with salt water in it)  to steam up Alaskan Snow Crabs legs for my birthday!

Now, as I write this and look back over it...  
I realize that **I** am the one who keeps buying him 
all of these grilling toys!!  

GASP!  I am an *ENABLER* to his addiction!!!!

See why I said he has a love affair with grills????  
Better than with WOMEN!  LOL LOL