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Thursday, June 12, 2014

FINALLY -- a blog post about RVing!

Yup....  ever since coming home from the vacation last April, we have not gotten out and about yet in our motorhome!  I think the tires were going to grow into the ground.  Soooo it was time to start loading it up and be heading out for a five day adventure.  How far are we going you ask?  Well.....   twelve miles.  Yes.  12 miles.

See, the Wisconsin Sheltie Rescue group is gathering for a reunion.  It happens to be held once a year at the Calumet County Park, just south of Steve's High Cliff State Park on Lake Winnebago.

Over 150 people and 120 dogs will be gathering for this year's reunion.  These are dogs who are somehow connected with the rescue, often not wanted or disposed of, or sometimes taken out of horrific situations.  They are assessed and then carefully adopted out to fully-screened and approved folks who will heal them, train them, love them, and promise them FOREVER homes. Lisa Martin is the driving force between all these connections of dogs and people, and raises funds to help take care of the medical needs and support during the adoption process.  And of course, all dogs are spayed or neutered to not create any more unwanted pets down the line. She also puts on this big reuion.  Where she gets the energy, I don't know!

There will be events, silent auction, picnic meals and a seafood buffet on Friday night.   I promise to blog more about that as events unfold.

We began loading up the rig on Tuesday as we made reservations for Wed-Sun at the park.  I gave the rig a good cleaning first, and Steve carried out and loaded up the items we normally keep in the rig all summer.  It took a while.  But a lot of those things could freeze during the winter months, so it's necessary to do a full clear out of stuff, and restock again in the spring.  (once the danger of freezing is past).

Wednesday morning I bathed both doggies so they will be fresh clean and fluffy...   and then I had an extra task to do.  By mid-morning, I got to run up to Green Bay and pick up our oldest grandson from his final day of KINDERGARTEN!   They were only having a half day, so that meant one or the other of his parents would have to take a half day off work to go get him.  It was Granmuddah to the rescue!

His class was going to assemble outside 15 minutes before the release bell would ring.  They lined up and sang a great song about

"we love our teacher, 
and friends that we made, 
goodbye Kindergarten, 
moving on to FIRST GRADE"

Here.. you can see it for yourself: 

I had tears in my eyes as I filmed this, so I am glad I was able to watch now on video.  Oh my, that little babe is now going to be SIX years old and a First Grader???  What happened when I blinked my eyes?  I guess he is growing up?

We planned to take him for Thursday and Friday too... The daycare he is set up with for the summer charges for a full week, even if you only come a few days.  By us taking him, I could have some company at the campground for Thurs and Fri while Steveio buzzes up the road to High Cliff State Park to work each day.

After saying "good bye" to his teacher and friends, we hopped in the car before it started to rain.  Yup, it was raining all of the way to Chilton, but we stopped off at Taco Bell (his request)  and had a little celebration lunch.

We waited for the afternoon at the house, while it rained and rained and rained some more. Not a good way to start out a camping trip, that is for sure.  While hanging out on the front porch, the Little Graduate took a wee nap.  The dogs were antsy to get out to the motorhome, and so was Jameson.

Once Grandfaddah was done with work at 4, we could head out.  One anxious little guy rushed to his car seat, securely strapped into the co-pilot seat in the motorhome.  (I followed in the car so we could have an extra vehicle at the park)

Oh my.. he was in charge of telling his Granfaddah where to go... and what amazing sight he saw as they crested the edge of the cliff and saw the big huge Lake Winnebago before their eyes.  Not only did it stop raining, but there was SUNSHINE!

We got situated in the park on our reserved campsite, and got out the hotdogs and mac n cheese to please a little guy's appetite.  Yup, we ate it too.  Just to please him I guess.   A few walks around the park with the dogs was next on order.

Instead of towing our Tracker behind the motorhome (and hooking it up in the rain)  we decided to leave it at home and run back there with the car to pick it up later. We got back to the campground in time for one more walk around the campground with the dogs... and saw this GORGEOUS sunset!

I didn't happen to have my camera along to capture it, (imagine that?)  
so my friend Sarah Schneider Kopf graciously allowed me to use her photo.  
Awww thanks Sarah! 

We woke up now on Thursday to sunshine and no rain!  Let's hope it stays that way.  Grandfaddah got ready for work.  His Little Tiger shared breakfast with him.  Note the Giant box of Frosted Flakes for my Big Tiger, and the little box for the Little Tiger?  

Like Granfaddah --- Like Grandson ! 

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Five Days of a Fishing Widow

Oh my what a long long five days it has been!   Steveio left on Wednesday afternoon for a five day fishing trip with his dad and brothers to central Wisconsin.

The dogs and I held down the fort here at home....

I got in some sewing and some weaving, here and there, but mostly got SICK and didn't like to do much of anything!!!   By Friday I was down and out.  I slept on and off most of the day, I read a few emails and posted a few facebook things, but that was about the extent of it.

I drugged myself up good with Nyquil and dozed off, woke up and watched old movies, and fell asleep again.  

By Saturday I finally felt good enough to head up to Oconto.  You see, our youngest daughter Heather and her husband Jesse bought a house!  They had some snafus on the closing date, so they didn't know when their moving day was getting pushed ahead to.  Otherwise Steve would not have gone on his fishing trip if he had known they were moving on Saturday.

But it all worked out and they got the go-ahead to move on in.  Where is this house, you ask?  It just HAPPENS to be about half a mile down the road from where our old house was-----  Gee whillickers!  They wait till we move 70 miles away and then they go and buy a house back in the town Heather grew up most of her teenage years in?

(Funny....when we built our house in 1997 up there, both girls HATED the idea of moving to "Hicksville" and now BOTH of them each own a house there and are raising THEIR children there???)

Erin and I kept all the grandtots and the granddoggers occupied in town at her house---

All the while the Big People moved in the loads of furniture, boxes and assorted things they have collected in preparation for the new house.  They had a full garage stall packed to the top of things, a storage area, and a very large apartment full of stuff to move from Green Bay to the new house. Plus they had gotten a whole bunch of furniture at an auction that had to picked up and brought to the new house too.

Once they were done with their last load for the day, we were then invited to bring out the grandtots, the 3 doggers and let Jameson show us his New Home.  He had seen it during the showings, but now it was filling up with his own things.  Mommy and Daddy were sure to take along his boxes of toys and crafts to put in his very own play room, and his things into his own bedroom before he even got there.

Once exciting part of the move is for little Jameson.  Not only will he now have a whole house, instead of an apartment.. complete with yard, trees, deck, and a farm nearby.... but the sellers included a PIANO!  That is all the little could talk about was "His Piano"

Plus there is an outbuilding on the property with some office space and soon-to-be music studio. They set up Jameson's drum set and even hung his Sponge Bob Square Pants Guitar on the wall... all in preparation so he could feel it was his space to enjoy.  How thoughtful!

Now.. here's the kicker----  I can NOT post any pictures yet until they have their housewarming party!   So all I can tell you is this and share the ONE photo that Jesse posted on Facebook.  (it doesn't show much and not NEARLY the wonderful inside of the converted school house in a tiny rural crossroads)

We know the people who sold the house to our kids, plus we know the craftsman who converted the school house from the original one room school formation to a completely modern and innovative home.  He is a very careful and talented person who worked many months on the conversion, and did a wonderful job.

Another sweet benefit is that I KNOW older people from the surrounding farms who went to school there, and also I KNOW one of the last teachers who taught there before it closed... and she is going to come to their housewarming party to tell tales of the school days!

Here is the history I was able to compile about the school house, and I printed it up and framed it for the kids to hang on their wall:

HISTORY Of The School
In the 1860's a small log school stood where the School now stands. In this school the parents of many of the oldest residents of our district studied along with a few Indian children who also attended the school

At about the turn of the century, it was decided to change the building. It was to be a wooden one. It has no basement and you entered it by climbing a number of cement steps located in the middle of the front of the building. 

The people were interested in education and as a result the school year was always nine months in length. Of course, it wasn’t unusual to hear a person mention the raising of only $250.00 to run the school for the year and also pay the teacher.

In about 1935 the school was remodeled. A basement was put under the building and you entered the school at ground level in the Southeast corner. The school's appearance has remained the same, but many modern conveniences have taken the place' of the old appliances.

In 1951 an oil burning furnace replaced the old jacket-type stove. Indoor washrooms and toilets were installed and the inside was beautifully painted in a pastel green shade with dark brown bulletin boards. The school was insulated and aluminum storm windows helped to stop the wind from sweeping through the building. An adequate library is becoming a reality because the district supplements the amount paid by the state for books with an extra $25 a year. The school was also used for card parties, 4-H meetings, and other gatherings. The school closed in 1964 as students went to Oconto for classes.

Jesses' folks supplied a nice meal for the moving folks.  Once the grandkids were all fed and we explored the new place from top to bottom, I was totally worn out.  I popped my 2 doggers in my car, kissed the grandtots goodbye, and headed on back the 70 miles to Chilton.

I got home late, dragged myself into the shower and off to bed.  Zonked out for the night, and no Nyquil needed, that was for sure.

Sunday was dreary, cloudy, humid and muggy.. with storms threatening.  But I didn't mind because I knew that would mean Steveio and his brothers would convince their dad to pull in the boat early, pack up the motorhome, and head on home.  Yay!

About 1 pm. I wanted to head down to the season opening of the Calumet County Historical Museum, but Steve wasn't home yet.  So I left him a note to come and find me if he came home!

He did.   AWWWWW it was so good to have him back home!

We wandered around the museum, and I got propositioned for a task for the local newspaper, (more on that later)  and we learned a lot about our area and the people and the houses and businesses as Chilton grew to the lovely town it is today.

To celebrate being back home, Steve said let's go to our favorite little mexican place, the El Camino in Kiel, another small town south of us.  We drove through the downpouring rain to get our favorites: Steve's chicken enchiladas and my seafood chimichangas.  The portions are so huge, we have enough left over for lunch tomorrow.   Yummmm and some margaritas!

We spent the rest of the evening watching the rain pour down from the comfort of our front porch.  Check out this little video clip (it's only 40 seconds long)  and watch for the silver SUV coming from the left side... wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee   now That's Entertainment in a Small Town

Boy oh boy it's great to have my sweetie home again! 

Finney thinks so too---