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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Open Houses went good - video tour of our home for sale

We had a great day, with five more groups coming through our home.

One person asked us to make a video for their spouse to view from out of state, so they can get together on what features etc. they liked in our home.  So I shot this very very amateur video and put it up on Utube for them to view.  I made it public so I can link to it on my home page of my www.kareninthewoods.com website too.

Here is the link:   http://youtu.be/p-s-9ZFFXUk

and here is the embedded video that should lead you to Utube....

We are pooped and heading to bed.. my oh my what an exciting weekend!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Whew.. a productive Open House Day!

Our day started out with a last quick slap dash polish on the house...   Our Open House was scheduled for noon to 4pm, and we needed to get things picked up and made neat and clean.   I was a realtor for 9 years, so I knew the drill.   Soon all the lights were on, the house smelled great, and soft music playing in the background.

Steve hauled some things out to the motorhome, like our dogs, their dog dishes, all our computer stuff and medicines ... (ya never leave medications or valuables laying about during an Open House)  and his big ole jar of change!  LOL  

We then moved the motorhome and the Tracker over to the neighbor's driveway.  He was out of town for the weekend and offered to let us park it there.  No sense letting prospective buyers think we are big whigs or richy rich folks with a huge motorhome, right?  (even if it IS a 16 year old motorhome, it looks kinda impressive)

About 10 am we were ready and had most everything set.  I had mopped all the tile floors and Steve vacced the carpeting.  The kitchen was cleared of anything excess on the countertops and the loom room was as reasonably organized as it has been in years.  All personal photos were taken down and only a few tasteful paintings and prints adorned those spaces.

For the outside, I had purchased some floral baskets that I set in scooped out sections of the flower beds where I normally space clumps of coleus plants among the hostas that are just poking up.  We have been having some frost the last few mornings and below 30 degree temps, so we need to pick the baskets back up and carry them into the garage each night.  It does look nice though, as if I had the magic touch and got some lovely flowers to grow at this time of year in Wisconsin!  LOL   I also added a bunch of geraniums to the big pot near the door as a friendly greeting with a red blaze of color.  Another planter full of geraniums for out on the deck under the gazebo added a dash of color too.

Can you imagine I was sooo  busy that I didn't even take the time to snap some pictures???

Steve put up the Open House signs to help guide in the people to our home from the highway and the county road on the other side.  We had ads in two of the local papers, on Zillow and Craigslist, and also some notices left on local bulletin boards in town.   About 20 flyers were taken from our tube out front during the last week or so, a few each day, with notices of the upcoming Open Houses attached too.

The weather was chilly and cold and windy, but we did get three people  to come to the Open House.  One looks quite promising, but I don't want to say a thing to jinx it.

At 4pm we moved the motorhome back to our own yard, let out the dogs, and came into the motorhome to cook supper and spend the night.  Who wants to stay in the house when it's in tip top perfect shape???

Besides, we took down the ugly antenna we have on the deck for recieving broadcast television signals, so we don't have any tv reception in the house for tonight.  All of our neighbors have dish tv.   But we really don't watch that much to justify the cost.  Thus we put up an ugly antenna.  We even have to go out and rotate it by hand a bit if we want to get in channel 26.  Haha.   So Steve took it down to make our deck look a lot nicer.

But in the motorhome we do have an antenna.  Tonight is the Michael Orr movie on ABC called "The Blind Side" which we never saw when it was in the theaters.  We don't go to many movies, they are 30-40 miles away to go to a movie.

So in order to watch the movie, we have to stay out in the rig anyhow.   Heh heh any excuse to spend a night in our rig!   I am looking forward to waking up in our rig, and perking a pot of coffee, and maybe baking up some muffins.  Even if we are only in our own driveway!!!

Tomorrow is the same drill again, from noon till 4pm.

Now for the part of the blog that deals with gushy grandkids!  ----

On Thursday I had the chance to babysit for little Clayton for a few hours.   His daddy had Lasik surgery, so his Mommy had to drive him home.  What a lucky Granmuddah I was to get him at only 3 weeks old!

Had to take a few pics, of course....

They came and stole him away, but I got the chance then to pick up active boisterous Chelsea from her daycare at 4pm to give them a restful break in the evening for Mark to recuperate.  We kept her occupied.
She helped me spread new red lava rock in the flower beds, and she also inspected the new coating of deck stain I rolled earlier in the afternoon.  Good job, Grandmuddah!

On Friday, I was invited to come back to the day care for a special pancake breakfast!   Her little room of 6 children had set up a table for Granmuddahs like me!   Sad to see I was the only Granmuddah out of 6 kids who have invited theirs.  But that was okay, there was plenty of me to go around, and they all tried to sit on my lap during story time, and all gave me hugs and kisses when it was time to go.  Awwwww

And when they were all done eating, each child is given a cloth to help clean up! 

How cute is that? 

Sunday, April 22, 2012

HAPPY BIRTHDAY STEVEIO - still camping - some motorhome stuff

Today is my darling Steveio's 54th birthday!    So far we celebrated with freshly perked coffee and baked muffins in bed, then a pile of presents and cards from everyone (that I snuck along)   and now a big breakfast that we both cooked together.  Look at this happy man!

Quick little muffin mixes from Betty Crocker--- just add water, mix up with a spoon, and they are ready to bake.  No eggs, milk or oil needed.  Wonderful for boondockers who don't keep fresh ingredients on hand all of the time!  This one was called "Triple Berry" -----  You can even bake all of the batter like a little cake in a small cast iron fry pan if you wish too.

My Birthday Boy thanked me for making him come camping this weekend.  He said he is getting too wound up with house projects and really really needed a break. awwwwww  

He will be fully retired in just one short year, and let us hope it passes with no complications, no health issues and no snags in our plans!

Steveio's project for today will be to WORK on his birthday!  What a guy... but this is something he WANTS to do!    Work on the motorhome, that is.

See, he wants to flush our radiator and refill it with the long life antifreeze.  To do so, it is recommended that one uses a special quality flushing fluid that needs to be circulated for 60-90 minutes at operating temps, and then drained out.

Well, how about that?  We just HAPPEN to be 60 miles from home?    
 (this was my subversive plan to getting him to come camping this weekend instead of house projects ya know) 

So here he is, draining out the old antifreeze (which he brought along 2 big buckets with lids to haul it home to dispose of at our mechanic friend's shop) and he is adding the special flushing agent and fresh water as I type this.

Once we get home, he will then drain that out, (also saving to bring to friend's shop for disposal) and then adding one more rinse and bringing up to temp by idling for 10-15 minutes in the driveway.  Then he can dump that and make sure the radiator is fully cleaned out.  Finally he can add the long-life coolant and reverse osmosis water he gets from work at the science lab.   We should be good to go for 500,000 miles.  WHEEEEEEEEEE

I mentioned in yesterday's blog about some projects I did around the motorhome.   Besides normal cleaning, vaccumning and sorting stuff, I also took care of some decorating.

Our motorhome has mostly windows all around...  and very little wall space for hanging things like pictures.   I have these two wonderful metal frames we had gotten for wedding presents and wanted to take them along in our rig.  I stuck heavy duty velcro to the walls, but the backs of the frames were velvet lined.  The Velcro didn't stick too well to that, so I had to use some very thick glue on the velcro where it attached to the frame.  It was actually Sevylor brand thick glue for patching air mattresses and swimming water toys!  Worked great....      and now the picture frames are on the only available wall space in the bedroom where we can gaze at them last thing before going to bed and every morning as we wake up.   Also in the same pic, you can see that we had attached two wooden bars of tall coat hooks for our re-wearable clothes, one on his side and one on my side.  We used to have regular shaped hooks, but our clothes fell off.  These taller coat hook style work much better.

Another thing I glued was some rubber skid proof shelf liner material to the bottom of this adorable raccoon crock I had gotten from Steve's mom a long time ago.   The Sevylor glue stuck great to the bottom crockery base.  I set the crock in the sink while travelling, this just keeps it from scratching up the corian type countertops in the rig.   Another cherished item in my camper kitchen is from fellow bloggers  Dee and Jim of Tumbleweed blog  when they came to visit us last summer.  Dee gave me this little swivel lidded garbage can for on the countertop in the motorhome.  Perfect to set next to the sink for tiny scraps, trash and plate scrapings instead of going down into the cabinet for the larger trash can.  It takes the small size kitchen waste bags, and is easy to grab and tie off and toss in the campground trash each time we go for a walk or at a gas station.  When I look at it, I smile and think of Dee!

My mother-in-law, bless her heart, also gave me this adorable pillow one year as a gift.  I love it and it's perfect for tucking under the head for a quick snooze in our recliners.  My mom had a Tshirt with the same saying on it.  How cute is this?   And my daughter Erin gave us the salt&pepper shakers and spoon rest as special surprise too for the motorhome.

Each little bit of our decor has a meaning and memory behind it.  We are taking along the best of the best as we prepare to hit the road!  Here is a link to another blog post about some of the things we have in our rig as decor and how each one is a special item from someone important in our lives:

Ahhhh the other camper here just pulled out.  Now we have the place to ourselves!   For a few more hours anyhow.  Then we too will have to turn towards home and get more done.... 


Saturday, April 21, 2012

CAMPING - Chalk Hills Campground and doing a few motorhome jobs

Brrrrr we woke up to chilly temps of 27...  but we were snuggly warm inside the motorhome of course.  We perked up a pot of coffee, and then had some apple turnovers while catching up on the RV Travel newsletter that comes out each Saturday morning.  http://www.rvtravel.com  It's full of interesting and fun RV stuff, blogs, articles and news about the RV world. 

Then Steveio pulled open the local weekend shopper's guide paper that came in the mailbox on Friday before we left home.  Lo and behold, there was our ad!

We are appearing all month in two printed papers - one bi-weekly and one daily, 2 sources on the internet, signage on both rural corners plus an info tube in front of the house with flyers.  (over a dozen taken out already)  We hope the Open Houses the next two weekends bring in some possible lookers.  Will see..... word of mouth is the biggest asset to selling a house, and all of our neighbors are told to "help pick their new neighbors" by putting the word out!  LOL 

After a while we got up and about, and Steveio cooked us a big breakfast too.  We took the doggers out for a walkabout and got the day underway. If you have been reading this blog for any length of time, you will know we don't often sit still.  We had some motorhome projects to do!  

Last fall when we winterized the rig, we have to tear out the lazy susan to reach the back of the water heater to do the bypass for blowing out the lines and adding pink antifreeze to the lines for the winter temps.  We have to actually dismantle the whole cabinetry housing to get to the back side of the water heater to preform the bypass, so we leave the assorted cabinet pieces setting out all winter long.  Today was the day to put it all back together!   

Here on the left are the bifold corner cabinet door and the lazy susan tray, and on the right photo you can see how the water heater is wayyyy back in the corner.  

Steveio got down on his knees to put things back in, while I handed him the screws, boards and fittings. There... most of the panels are put back together in the pic on the right.  Once the lazy susan is back in place, then my baking cake pans, cookie sheets and muffin tins go in along side in the space to the right.  Then the canned goods can go on the lazy susan tray. Whew.. feels good to have it all back together again!  Soon we won't HAVE to winterize any more... we will be living in the rig all of the time, and living in warmer climates for the winter season for years to come.

Next we did some cleaning and sorting of a few cabinets and closets... planning and figuring out things for future storage areas when we move more of the things from the house out into the rig.   I hung some photos and did some gluing repairs to a few things.  Steve adjusted the hinge on the fridge and we fixed a few drawer glides.   I forgot to pack in window cleaner, because they sure could have used a good wiping down too. Oh well, next week at home is just as good.

Remember back a few weeks ago I had ordered that antenna and booster from Amazon?    It works great at our house, but this was the first time to try it out "on the road"   Stuck the antenna on the side window, and then set the booster on the desktop computer area in the dash of the motorhome.  They need to be at least 6 feet apart.  We have power cords for both AC or DC to power up all of our computer thingies....  and the booster too.  So while boondocking, we will be just fine and having internet connections from the batteries without having to run an inverter.

See the little green light on the grey booster device?  That means it's getting a signal.  You set your items nearby the booster, such as our cell phone and our Galaxy Tablet (which is our internet source and router to our laptops)  ... and it increases the signal amazingly well!   With the booster off, its one bar or nothing... and turn on the booster and it goes up to 3 or 4 bars!   Ahhhhhh what a success!  $143.00 and well worth it----
(see my little green tags on all our cords? that is to keep straight what cord is for what item!)
 You can find the antenna booster here:

The sun was shining and things were warming up nicely.  We took a walk around the campground again with the dogs, winding our way around the empty sites.  While we were out walking, the owners stopped by our campsite to drop off a bundle of kindling wood and little box of personalized matches. Cute!   What wonderful service each time we come here, as they bring us some.   

A winding campground road is good to keep down the speeders, but not too tight of curves to impede RV maneuvering into the campsites.  

Incidentally, last fall we were in lot number 4,  for one of our last camping getaways for the year.  Steve had buzzed up some extra firewood with his chainsaw and left it behind for the next camper.  Well, nobody must have camped on that site since, because the same firewood is STILL there!  LOL

After lunch, we walked down around the campground on the Nature Trail, noticing the deer tracks in the soft spots.  The deer probably use this trail to skirt around the edge of the campground to get across and down to the river nearby.   

It felt so good to turn my face upwards to the sky... all blue and crisp fresh air. You can smell the dried grasses yet from last year's growth, as the new stuff hasn't started to poke through yet.  Rich moss here and there has a pungent scent, along with the pines as the sun is drying them out after the cold frosty night air has gone.

This is a no-frills campground, with only 25 sites near the Menominee River between Wisconsin and Michigan.  Great fishing and boat landings nearby to launch your fishing boat if you wish.  Close to ATV trails and wonderful hunting areas.   Electric at the sites, $15 a night.

It's a "pay on your honor" system, with a little building at the entrance.  There is a water faucet there to fill up if you need to, but the faucet is not threaded.  You need a "water thief" device to hook a hose onto it to fill an RV tank.  (we always carry one along-- it's a rubbery device that slides on a hose bib and lets you screw on a hose)   We had filled up at home, but it's good to know it's here if we come camping once we are homeless.  heh heh

We came back to our campsite and did a few more little projects.  Then I hauled out my sock cranking machine and got a few more orders done. No rest for the wicked sock cranker lady, eh?

Woodticks are out.  Steve had one crawling on him, and we will give each other a good going-over tonight with our showers.  Tee heeeee

By that time supper was cooking, it was a good long day of just doing a lot of little things.  This is going to be what our life will be like on the road, I am sure.   Hope we didn't bore you too much!

Supper was grilled chicken breasts, corn on the cob, salads and a bottle of wine... 


Friday, April 20, 2012

CAMPING- Escaped to Chalk Hills Campground

We have had enough weeks of house prep, so I decided we needed to ESCAPE!!!  We have Open Houses scheduled for the next two weekends, then it's Mother's Day and then a Weaving Workshop .... so the next four weekends are filled with events other than camping.

This is perhaps our only chance to go camping till the end of May!

Did you know it snowed in Wisconsin overnight???   We had about 4-5 inches of slushy wet snow this morning on the ground.  The temps rose and it was melting fast.  The weather forecast looked pretty good for the rest of the weekend, in the high 50's during the day and no more rain or snow.  That is doable.

I decided that we needed to go camping NOW.... so I loaded up the motorhome today, and got most of the de-winterizing done.   Had one little mishap because I could not find the washer for the fitting for the connection on the ice maker machine to reattach the line.  Turns out Steve had put it INSIDE the icemaker last fall! ARGGHHH   So we had a little bit of spilled water in front of it and down into the stairwell, but not too bad.

Steve was not due home till 4, so at 2 I ran into town for a few last minute groceries and then babysat little Clayton for 30 minutes while Erin ran some errands and picked up Chelsea from day care.   It gave me time to play with him.. some one on one time with his Granmuddah Pfun.  Watching him stretch and yawn and pull his arms wide and grow grow grow! He has gained back his birth weight plus a bit, and grew an inch and a quarter in 2 weeks!  My oh my!

Here is a pic of Erin 29 years ago and here is a pic of Clayton....

Guess they are related, huh?

Okay.. back to camping!   Steve came home from work, he tossed in a few more things, like firewood and finished doing the fitting on the ice maker.  Opened the door and in hopped the dogs.  We were good to go!  ----  We cruised along in the rig and headed up to Chalk Hills Campground, about 60 miles from home.
The reason why we picked Chalk Hills is because it's the only campground around that is open already in April.  Most of the county and national forest campgrounds don't open till mid May...  But we knew Chalk Hills was open up here near Amberg, WI   We drove on up Hwy 141 in sunshine and clear skies... east on Cty K  to the dam, and crossed over into Michigan's UP on the other side of the Menominee River.  We pulled on in and found a comfy spot.  Site number 5.

Some of the sites have 50 amp and the rest have 30.  A bargain at $15 a night for a peaceful quiet getaway.   We try to come here a few times a year, as it's close to home but far enough away for us to feel like we are *vacationing*

There is one other camper here is wayyyyyy over on the other side.  See the red arrow?

Steve fiddled around with checking fluids on the motorhome while I got supper going.  Fried up some tilapia fish, made some pasta and a couple great salads with fresh tiny cucumbers and some really good tomatoes.  Topped off with a bottle of wine, we had a feast fit for a King... and a Queen.

After supper, we took the doggers on a walk around the campground loop.  We chatted with the folks on the other side a bit, and then headed back to our rig.  It's getting dark now and I think it's time for a nice hot shower, and then curl up into the comfy king-sized bed in our motorhome.  I sleep SOOO much better  in the motorhome than in our bed at home... I am REALLY looking forward to this weekend.

Plus, on Sunday, it's Steveio's birthday!!!!   What a great way to celebrate, hey?


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sock Cranking Day in Oconto Falls, WI

Ahhh finally a post for my Fiber Readers!   Sorry, I have been so busy between grandbabies and house preparation that I have not been paying attention to my fibers.  Bad Me!

On Monday morning I loaded up my Tracker with my antique circular sockknitting machine, my tool box, my stash of supplies and tools that I sell, including a How To DVD in case there were some newbies at the gathering.

It was hot and muggy, temps in the 70's, as I was loading up the Tracker. I was wearing sandals, capri shorts and a short sleeved top.  I even turned on the air conditioning for a few miles to cool down the interior of the vehicle.   (I saw the weather reports of what was coming, but heck, they are usually wrong.  Right?) 

Four times a year, Ann Jansky  chuckann@ezwebtech.com  and Anncille Engle chuckann@ezwebtech.com arrange this gathering of sock cranking folks from all areas of the state, and some from nearby Illinois, Michigan and Minnesota!    You can contact either of them at their email links to get on the list of the upcoming events, places, dates and times.

We all trudged in with our sock machines, various stools or tables to mount them on and all our plans, patterns, tricks, tools and troubles.  Many of us have old antique machines that are finicky, persnickety and frustrating!

Ann lends a hand with new knitters, and Georgia was there helping people with the newest machines being made from the The Earlbacher Gearhart Knitting Machine Company   She is kindof a spokesperson and helped in their development. This company is now making new machines from the old patents (they are like the machine I use now from 1925) but with even more improvements and new materials. If anything ever happened to the machine that I have now, I would buy one of theirs!

Here is Georgia working on fellow cranker Victoria's table, making some adjustments.  Talk about getting into her work?   What kind of wonderful customer service is that?  Also the company called Georgia during the event, asking her to doublecheck something on Victoria's ribber device too.  They keep track of all their customer's wants and needs.  How nice is that?

Georgia did a presentation on some of the features of the newly made machines and showed some innovative devices still in development.  What a wonderful thing to see something being Made in America with good old ingenuity and skill.

We had 16 people come to partake in the day...  
and a lot of wonderful information was shared among the cranky people.  

Silly Jan dumped out a bag full of done socks!   They are connected one after another in a long chain, and later need to be separated and the toes closed off with careful hand stitching so there is no seam. 

She joked that someone should video tape her pile of socks... 
so I did!  Here is the Utube link:

I learned some new things, shared some other things and had a nice time chatting, cranking and learning.  Besides socks, some folks showed holiday scarves they can make on the machines.

A fellow cranker that I had met long ago while doing a demonstration at Rainbow Fleece Farms in New Glarus, WI came and said she so appreciated the help and information I gave her way back then.  She brought a newspaper article that had been done about her in the Racine, WI newspaper.  How cool is that?

Now... for the way home?  Remember the weather I was talking about? Just 6 short hours later, as I was attempting to load my items back into the Tracker, it was FREEZING!   Blustery winds were blasting, rain was stinging like needles against my face and arms and bare legs and feet!  (remember? sandals?)  The temps had dropped to 37 degrees and the winds were blasting at gusts up to 50mph!   I was frozen to the bone, and turned on the HEAT in the Tracker to get home.   Once I made it home, I didn't even unload the Tracker, I pulled into the garage, shut the door,  and hopped into a hot shower in the house.

Ahhhhhhhhhhh   Springtime in Wisconsin!   In case you are not familiar with our weather changes, we are known to get a foot of snow in April. Which happened exactly on this same date of April 18th, 2010!   See what can happen here?  This is why we don't plant anything till May.  LOL

It didn't get quite that cold on Monday as this pic, but it was still miserable, nevertheless.  

One final note:   Please vote for my RV friends Kevin and Ruth... for a trip to Austrailia... they are wise traveling folks on a budget and this contest might help them get there!  You do not need to register or give any personal information to vote.  They are at over 1,500 votes now and going strong.  You can vote once a day, so please mark this in your favorites, or keep on your desktop to CLICK CLICK CLICK them into the Land Down Under! 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

This is it! The HOME IS ON THE MARKET!

The sign is up!
The brochures are printed!
Print Ads (with photo) are placed in 2 local newspapers
Listed on Zillow
Listed on Craigslist
and we are holding 2 open house weekends the 28-29 and again on the 5-6

Anyone wanna buy a house?

 | (920) 328-4606

3985 N River Rd, Oconto, WI

3BR/2.0BA Single Family
offered at $179,900
Year Built1997
Sq Footage1,894
ParkingGarage - Detached
Lot Size45,302 sq ft


Custom built three level home nestled on the banks of the Oconto River. Half log exterior, 2x6 wall construction, tongue-n-groove pine interior. 

Located on a quiet country road, with wildlife and natural rural surroundings. Expansive views from all three levels overlook the calm waters of the Oconto River. 

Two sets of patio doors lead to the wrap-around decks, located on 3 sides of the home. Southern exposure lets you enjoy all four seasons of the year. 

Massive 18 foot cathedral ceiling, finished in knotty pine, encompassing the great room and dining area. Detailed construction features throughout, further enhanced with ceramic tile in the kitchen, dining area and Master Bath. 

Hickory kitchen cabinetry highlights over 60 sq ft of countertop space is a cook, baker or canning person?s delight! Open Concept Design with a snack bar and desk area nearby. All appliances are included, even the washer & dryer. 

Elegant corner whirlpool tub in the tiled Master Bath, and separate shower stall. Handy attached walk-in closet with abundance of space. The first floor laundry is cleverly hidden behind mirrored bi-fold doors in the Master bath. 

Custom built open staircase of logs lead up to the Master Bedroom Loft, a generous 400+ sq ft retreat. Loft overlooks the Great Room and a diamond shaped window. Tongue-n-groove pine cathedral ceilings extend into the loft area. 

Lower level walk-out design has two sets of patio doors leading out into the natural woods of the 1.04 acre lot. The lower level had originally been two bedrooms, but currently is converted into a large studio room. Usable as a Family Room or could be reversed back into two bedrooms. 

Newly painted full bath in the lower level with shower over tub. Versatile office/sewingroom is also in the lower level. 

Additional storage and built-in shelves for the mechanical room. 

Energy efficient 24 inch ceiling insulation and 8 inch thick walls give considerable heat savings. In addition to the propane furnace, the supplemental heat from the cozy woodburning fireplace with fan insert for added heating benefit. Bulk tank supplies propane for heat, cooking & dryer. 

Private well, septic (mound system), and water conditioning systems installed. 

Two+ stall detached garage with insulated finished workshop, 22x11, perfect for the hobby lover.
see additional photos below

property features

  • - Fireplace
  • - Waterfront
  • - Ceiling fans

  • - Deck
  • - Double pane / Storm windows
  • - Jetted tub

  • - Lawn
  • - Porch
  • - Patio

  • - Vaulted Ceilings

additional photos

STUDIO AREA (was 2 bedrooms, could be converted back)
STUDIO AREA (was 2 bedrooms, could be converted back)

Contact info:

(920) 328-4606
Equal Opportunity HousingEqual Opportunity Housing