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Monday, October 4, 2021

CAMPGROUND REVIEW- Veterans County Park, West Salem Wisconsin --- and Olive Juice Quilt Shop

We woke up Sunday morning, and it was dark and dreary. Steve decided it would be a good day to make a nice big breakfast. He starts out with shredded dehydrated hash browns (Hungry Jack)  and while those are reconstituting, he gets out the thick sliced bacon from the Mennonite store near our house that we brought along in the freezer. He sets out the toaster and gets everything ready. 

While he was busy doing that, I decided to get out my cute little Singer Featherweight sewing machine.  This is an adorable vintage Featherweight that I picked up at the Escanaba State Fair, of all places. I have nicknamed her "My Fair Lady". Most Featherweight owners name their machines, like people name their classic cars or boats.  LOL 

My sister Linda spotted her when we were going over a display of old textile equipment that was being demonstrated in their Antique Village. The gentleman there had restored it and had a price tag on it. She started bargaining on my behalf. He quoted my sister a much better price. She had no interest in it, but she was haggling for me!! I snapped it up and it is a wonderful traveling machine. It's a compact lightweight machine, thus the nickname Featherweight. I love how it gives such a nice straight stitch, and this one is from 1953.  I brought along my pineapple pattern blocks and the fabric to create some more blocks. 

They are made with beautiful pieces of batik fabric in blues and purples, with a bright pink center square. It will be made into a queen size, and have a pretty border all around. When this one is finished, it will go in my Etsy shop for sale.

He was working on the bacon and the hash browns while I got things all set up to spend the day sewing. Once he has everything else ready, then I do the eggs. That's my specialty. I love how we cook together. We really take turns on most meals, and some we work on together like breakfast.

We were all nicely settled in, eating our late breakfast and planning on spending a relaxing afternoon. I was going to sew on my quilt, while Steve was going to settle in front of the TV and watch some football. I listen to the games while I sew, and glance up for the good plays. First was a Vikings game we would watch, and then at 3:30 would be the Packer game. 

At noon we had a nice little polite knock at our door. Here it was some people that had camped a few sites down from us a couple days before. The fishing was so good, they found our campsite was available for 4 more days so they booked it. They wanted to know when we would be leaving our campsite?  Huh?  They were going to go fishing and said no hurry! 

We thought we had paid for 4 nights, which would bring us through Sunday night and we were to leave on Monday! Evidently not, because he was able to reserve our site for Sunday online. This particular park doesn't do "post tags" and we only had a credit card receipt with a total, not the exact dates we had paid for. Ugh!  We went and checked and sure enough, the gal in the office made an error. Our walk up booking only paid for three nights and not four. Since we had already stayed Thursday, Friday and Saturday, our time was up. 

The other gentleman was very apologetic and said he would just go find another campsite. There weren't any with electric, only rustic left for him to choose from. We said no no no, not on your life. We could be packed up and ready to leave in 20 minutes. He said again he was in no hurry, they were going fishing. So he left his pickup camper and trailer in the boat launching parking lot while we made ourselves roadworthy. It was fine with us, the next park on our list of places to go check out was a county park just Northeast of Onalaska near West Salem Wisconsin. So it really wasn't a problem for us to pack up and move along, and that way he could have the nice big electric campsite, the one that we have enjoyed for three nights.


In no time at all, we were heading up to the north and to the east past Onalaska. We easily found Veterans Memorial Park and Campground. What a nice place! It's just a short distance off the interstate but yet quiet and clean.

Some of the campsites are monthly rate, and some are for seasonal. And others were just overnighters like us. The rate was $30 per night with electricity and Wi-Fi. This time, it was very strong Wi-Fi that didn't cut in and out like it did at Goose Island. Both are run by the same county. 

There are newer bathroom buildings and some older buildings too. The newer one even includes a laundry section. There's a dump station and fresh water fill. Some of the sites have water at the site. We chose site number 328. It was near the playground, but with no children around now that they are back in school, that wasn't the problem.

We got set up on our campsite and I easily got my sewing stuff put back into place. We tuned in the antenna and pulled in the television channel that the Packer game would be aired on. Steve arranged his snacks and drinks while I arrange my sewing stuff.  You can see that Steve has snacks, because Binney is watching him intently in the photo below. 

I started connecting my blocks together into long strips. This is really going to be a pretty quilt. I have some of the border pieces already assembled at home. But I have to make enough blocks to form this into a queen size quilt.

Section by section I put the quilt together. In the meantime, the Packers were winning the football game. It was a pleasant afternoon. 

Tah dah! Look at this! It's halfway assembled. Now I will work on the other half during the next time we stop somewhere for a day or two.

In between sewing and football, I simmered up a pot of chili for a late lunch / early supper. Being such a cold and dreary day it was perfect to warm the stomach, and so good to accompany a Packers win!

I don't normally put noodles in my chili, usually I keep them separate. But because it was such a small amount for the two of us I mixed it all together. I didn't have elbow noodles but I had these cute bow tie noodles that I usually use for tuna salad. I thought they sure looked cute.

While we were watching the end of the Packer game we heard a knock at the door. Oh, my first thought was somebody's going to come to kick us out of our site again? 

But no, lol, instead it was a fellow Safari motorhome owner. We had seen his rig parked near the office when we had pulled in. It is the same year as ours, 1996, but a different exterior color scheme in green instead of blue.

We had a great conversation and shared ideas and tips and fixes and upgrades. We learned from him and hope he learned from us as well.  It's great to meet up with other owners of our vintage rigs, and love them and care for them as much as we do. 

Here is the back of Don's rig. I asked his permission to snap a photo. We looked for his hidden animal and there was a dragonfly with his tiger.  Our mural has two white tigers and we have a hidden mouse. The Dame Family who paints the murals would often hide little animals somewhere in the painting. It's always fun to meet other Safari owners and see where their hidden animal is. Quite a conversation starter.

We walked around the campground in the evening light, getting Binney out for a bit of exercise. Just look at the cute method they use for people to purchase firewood and bring it back to their campsite. Someone repurposed old lawn mowers with these blue tubs. What a great way to send a kid off to go get firewood, and they can push it back to the campsite! How neat is that?

This one is all filled up and ready to go! 

When we came back to the camper, it looked so pretty with the lights glowing inside. Since we changed over all of the under cabinet puck lights to new warmer lumen LED fixtures, I really like the warm glowing golden color rather than the harsh LED blue or green tint of the old LED bulbs we had.

We slept peacefully overnight, and woke up in the morning to another gray sky. But the sun was due to peek out later and it was only going to get in the 70s. That sounds good to us. We kind of debated back and forth if we should stay another day at this campground or move on to our next destination. That's what is nice about traveling without reservations, we can kind of pick up and go home we want or change our minds and go somewhere else.

I did look up Onalaska on the GPS and search for quilt shops. I found one that sounded interesting. It was called the Olive Juice Quilt Shop. It made me laugh because my sister loves to drink the olive juice out of the jar after all of the olives are consumed!

We followed the directions on the GPS to an absolutely adorable Cottage looking building located right near a large Shopping Center in Onalaska. It was beautifully decorated outside and ready for fall.

Inside was even more beautiful! It was a shop full of bolts of fabric, wonderful notions, beautiful patterns and just about anything you could want in the world of quilting! 

There was a big classroom to the back where they hold various workshops and classes. I sure wish we were staying here long enough to join one but I think most of these are booked months in advance.

I wandered around for a while, and Steve was waiting outside in the Saturn, patiently. He did come in and join me for a while and we wandered some more. As I was looking around I have my next quilt in mind. Don't we all? 

I found what's called a "fat quarter" of some fabric that would work. It was exactly what I have in my mind's eye for the main fabricg on the quilt I am planning. For your information a fat quarter is 1/4 of a yard of fabric. It is 18" x 22" in so if you took a 44 inch wide piece of fabric, one yard long, cut into 4 equal parts, it's called a fat quarter. The print and color was exactly what I was looking for! I searched a little harder and I found one more fat quarter. But I would need about four yards of this fabric. I asked the clerk if she knew if they had any more or recognized the pattern or knew the manufacturer if I could order some? 

She said it's fabric from long ago from a line that sold out and those are probably the last two little pieces of that fabric. Bummer! What I had in mind was to create a quilt, replicating the same colors in my stained glass light fixture. A comment I have received on our bedroom ceiling work, when completed, was that our quilt no longer matched our bedroom lamps or our light fixture! So I thought this might be a good time to start a new quilt for our bed ---  once I complete the one I'm currently working on. I never try to get ahead of myself and work on two quilts at the same time. But it's okay to gather the materials for one, while working on the other, right?   I am going to collect fabrics and colors that match with this:

The other clerk was walking by and asked if I needed anything. I told her I was hoping to find more of this particular fabric, showing her the two pieces I have in my hand. Her eyes lit up and she said I think that is downstairs in our discounted clearance area! My oh my, is she ever speaking my language! She let me down some stairs to a whole other area in a roomful of discounted bolts of fabric. She led me over to one row on a shelf and sure enough, she found a bolt of that magic fabric!!! Wheeeeee! I took it to the cutting counter, but not to have it cut. I decided to buy everything that was on the bolt. There was just a little over five yards. This would be a perfect starting point for my new quilt. It was on clearance of half price, only $7.00 a yard! 

So here's a little blurb to advertise their shop. They were very courteous and kind. They had a lot of absolutely everything. There was a really neato kit I saw that was a little out of my budget right now, but it was a very cute applique of a Singer Featherweight sewing machine!!! But I might order it from them online, when I have a little extra in my sewing fund.

Thank you to Olive Juice Quilts.  
You made my day! 

Once our shopping was done, we headed back to the campground to get loaded up and ready to move onward to our next destination. Check out time was at noon. So we quick whipped up a little lunch, loaded up, and got roadworthy in no time flat.

Our next destination is about 120 miles away called Big Eau Pleine County Park near Mosinee, Wisconsin. It's someplace we've never been before, and we thought we would check it out. After all, that's what this week is all about. Going to different places that we haven't been before.


  1. Love your quilt! also your plans for the next one.

  2. Your visit to the quilt shop was a real bonus, after getting the surprise notice you needed to vacate your campsite on Sunday.


  3. You and Steve always seem to make lemonade out of lemons, so kudos to you for rolling with the punches over the campsite error.


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