Our Wonderful Followers who come back again and again to read about us...

Saturday, June 22, 2024

Staying Home This Week - and Jamming with Granddaughter

In my last blog, we left the campground on Friday afternoon and headed on home. The weekend was all reserved at the campground, so we needed to vacate our site anyhow. The weather looked hot and humid and icky for the next four or five or six days so it was a good idea just to stay home!!

Someone that Steve used to work with at the University was selling this absolutely beautiful leather couch!! It is in wonderful shape, and they just had the leather professionally reconditioned. New, this couch is $4,000.00!!!

They were selling it to make room after rearranging some of the other things in their living room --- for only $250. 

I have always wanted a couch like that, and decided that it would go perfectly in our She-Shed instead of the smaller loveseat and perhaps removing one of our mission recliners.

These recliners have been comfortable, but I think the coach was going to add a lot more versatility. I felt that we needed it for evenings while watching TV with two dogs who insist on being on top of me. Not only that, but also for more seating for visiting company and grandkids ... and perhaps for afternoon naps!!!  It's not too squishy, and firm enough for sitting in and getting out of. 

We were debating on how to haul it back from Green Bay up to Oconto. We could drive all the way up to Wausaukee to the kids cabin to get the trailer and bring it back, and then go to Green Bay, bring the couch back. And then go back to the cabin to return the trailer, and then come back home. That is about 250 miles total. 

Instead, I came up with another idea. Heck, who cares if we look like the Beverly Hillbillies? We have a boat trailer that we use to transport our 17 ft canoe. It would work perfectly to haul a couch. 

And we did just that!

All of the cushions were stowed safely inside of our Kia.  The woven blanket just added to the "flavor" of the task!   We saved approximately 160 miles extra running around by just going directly there and back with our boat trailer. 

We carried out the love seat, and carried in the couch. Boy oh boy, that thing was not light!! Us old folks in our '60s can still hustle and get things done. But it took a bit of ooomph from both of us. 

Now we had to rearrange the entire She Shed to accommodate the longer couch. We had to think and think and look and look and measure and measure until we decided on the best layout. My quilting frame and long arm quilting machine are the biggest obstacle, but it's necessary to be placed where it can be used easily. 

The dogs got a little discombobulated during the move around. But they decided as long as their beds were safe underneath my biggest barn loom, they were happy.

We tried rearranging it a couple different ways and try still keeping both of the recliners. Nope, that wasn't going to work. It was just too crowded. So instead, we kept one recliner and the couch. 

We like the view out the big windows to the yard, so postioning it facing outwards was a "must".  We tried 2 chairs facing inwards and moved the couch back towards the quilting frame.  But Steve didn't like that.  It could work, but I would have to move the couch forward every time to work on a quilt! 

This layout seems to work the best, and it's just perfect for an afternoon nap.  

Both of my looms are off to one side now, and can easily be pulled forward to work on when needed. My sewing desk is back where I liked it from before, near the door. Now I can use the tall platform behind it as an ironing table surface.  Still have a little more organizing to do with some of the boxes and baskets, but it's getting there. 

Steve's recliner was more "worn" so we opted to get rid of his. Granddaughter Chelsea was here visiting, and assisted to carry out his recliner chair. She really is a helpful young lady. 

To reward her for her work, we wanted to do a project together. We headed on over to Berryland in Abrams. It's that time of year, the strawberries are at their absolute best!

We have had so much rain lately, the berries were just bursting with flavor and juiciness. The mosquitoes were crazy and we did not feel like picking the berries ourselves. Instead, we bought two flats of pre-picked berries. Berryland allows kids to come and pick berries and put their names on the flat. When a customer comes and purchases the flat, part of the proceeds goes back to the kid who did the picking.

Ours happened to be picked by two girls named Amelia and Abigail. Looks like they were really busy. Amelia had picked three flats and Abigail had picked two. I'm glad that we were able to help them along in their summer job by purchasing the berries that they worked so hard to pick.

(And we didn't get eaten up by mosquitoes)

First step was to wash all of the berries. I love hanging out in the kitchen with Chelsea. She enjoys cooking and baking and creating things. She has taken extra classes in culinary arts through school during the summer months. We sure have fun together. My little Mini Me. 

It was very hot and humid, not quite the kind of weather that you want to process strawberries in. But we have a propane burner unit that came from a turkey deep fryer. Works perfect to set the canning kettle on and keep all the hot steamy air outside during processing of the jars. Steve set it up for us while we were inside working on the berries.

We sure had a lot of fun. And of course, a few berries were consumed during the process. Making memories, and hoping to pass on the skills that I learned at my mother's elbow when we canned and processed our garden vegetables and made apple jelly.

Chelsea is an old hand at canning jam with me and is very careful about measuring and super cautious about cleanliness when processing with the jars and lids.

My new GoPro app called "QUIK" takes photos and video clips and puts them together into a short YouTube segment. It does a lot of the editing and adds the music for me. I am learning as I go and thought I would put together a little YouTube clip of us doing our jam:

We did up a total of 13 pints and 19 half pints

Now that the she-shed was all rearranged, I was able to finally get out my newest quilt and finish up the binding around the edges. This is the position that I like my sewing desk. I had it like this before, but we moved it around to a different place with the last loom aquisition.  I think I got it all to fit and still keep it in this position now.  

This newest quilt is so pretty, it's made of red white and blue fabrics. Just perfect for a summertime picnic. Actually, that's what I named it!

Summertime Picnic available in my Etsy shop:

Again, I put together a little slideshow with that GoPro app. I really think it turned out cute! I figure it's one more avenue for selling my quilts, to show them actually being made from start to finish with a cute little YouTube:

I enjoy doing it so much, I put together this one with the photos and video I had on file. This beautiful pineapple quilt I have named Pieces of Wisconsin Northwoods. I sewed a lot of blocks for this quilt while camping up north. 

While I was at it, having so much fun with this app, I also put one together for the third quilt that is in my Etsy store called Coffee Break:

We are pretty glad that we are not camping this week. It's been horribly hot, and lots and lots of rain. 

Actually today, it's been raining and pouring almost all day long. Absolutely perfect for simmering up a pot of homemade chicken vegetable soup. We treated ourself with a rotisserie chicken from Jack's Fresh Market for dinner the night before. Then the leftovers of their huge rotisserie chickens are perfect to pick apart and make into soup.

It's been so dark and gloomy and cloudy and rainy today. We actually had to turn on the lights in the She Shed as the rain was pouring down. I insisted to Steve that we needed to light the gas fireplace in the She Shed.  

It really took out the dampness and warmed it up nicely. What a perfect place to curl up and take a nap on my new couch!!!

It was actually so cold and damp in the rest of the house, Steve turned over the thermostat from air conditioning to heat! It took the chill out and I think this evening we may even bake something in the oven for dinner! 

Time to get this blog posted, take care and maybe next week we will have some camping posts again. 

Sunday, June 16, 2024

CAMPGROUND REVIEW - Fox Park near Escanaba Michigan

It was Monday, and we looked at the weather report. The week looked really, really nice. So we decided to pop on the internet and check out one of our favorite parks located in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. 

Fox Park is located between Menominee and Escanaba, Michigan, on M35, right along the Lakeshore.

From their website:
Fox Park is a 10 acres park and campground located on M-35 along the Bay of Green Bay. The campground offers 20 electric campsites. The campsites are spacious with many located on the water. Water is available near the entrance of the park, and there are several porta-potties conveniently located throughout the park. Firewood is also available at the park. 

The park offers a picnic area with picnic tables and barbecues, making it a great location to take a break and enjoy lunch. Located conveniently between Menominee and Escanaba along a main corridor, this a popular park for visitors to the Upper Peninsula. The park is located just 5.7 miles north of Cedar River, which offers gas, food, and a full service marina. 

Fox Park is owned and operated by Cedarville Township. For assistance, questions, or to cancel a reservation at Fox Park, please contact Kathie Prestin at 906-424-0590. (Available Monday - Friday, March 4 through September 30 from 3PM to 7 PM & Saturday and Sunday, May 18 through September 30 from 10 AM to 7PM). 



Because it's only about 50 miles away from our house, we decided to take a drive up in our Kia and check out where we might want to reserve for the week.

Although we love site number 20, it was already taken for the week. So we drove on through and settled for site number 5. Sites 14 through 20 are really nice, but they were all booked. 

So while right there in the park, we went online and reserved site number 5 for four nights. It was reserved for the weekend, as was most of the rest of the park. That was okay, because we really prefer to only camp during the week.

We went back home and tossed some things in the motorhome, enough stuff to last 5 days. In went the dogs, and my GoPro camera. We were ready to roll.

Although the park is near M35, when situated alongside of the water, it kind of drowns out some of the noise. Upon entering the park, it turns immediately to a gravel road. All of the campsites are gravel.

There are a myriad of signs as you come into the park. It looks kind of uptight and daunting. But really, the place is very relaxed. The camp host occupies site number one.

Here are some of the signs by the entrance of the campground area of the park. Take note, there is also a picnic and day use area to the north of the park. There are a lot of signs there telling people to stay up in the picnic area unless they are a registered camper. This helps alleviate any unnecessary traffic coming down through the campground.

And yes, there was poison ivy here and there among the bushes. Stick to the cut lawn areas or the sandy beach, and you are just fine.

Check out time is 1:30 p.m. Please plan accordingly because just north of the park is the time change between Central and Eastern Time. It's easy to get mixed up. The park is Central Time zone.

As for facilities, the campground recently updated later last summer to electrical service on all 20 campsites. The new posts provide 50, 30 and 20 amp outlets. 

All of the picnic tables have recently been replaced with brand new ones. The fire rings are the heavy dual-walled culvert type. The park is well kept and a lawn service came in during the week and cut throughout the entire park.

All of the campsites have new gravel. Most of them are level. A few on the non-water side are slightly sloped.  

There is water available at the entrance to the park at this powered pump. There are no other water faucets within the campground. There are no toilets or showers, just rented porta potties at one section in the middle of the campground next to the dumpster. I'm not sure if in the future there are plans to put in a complete bathroom, but at this time the 4 porta potties are the only thing available. 

Also note there is no dump station, but there is information that you can go nearby to Shakey Lakes and use their dump station. I also know that further south along M35 there is Kleinke Park which has a dump station that you could stop by and pay a fee to utilize.

Cell phone coverage is one or two bars, mostly roaming. TV stations over the antenna fade out during the day but come back in during the night. You can reach the station in Escanaba and also the one across the water to the Lower Peninsula of Michigan! But only in the evenings.

Here is a You Tube of our visit,
please Like and Subscribe?

What is so great about this park? 


It is 

As long as everyone picks up after their dogs and don't create a nuisance, it will continue to be that way.

I took out my GoPro and we set up our silly little pup on a long cable attached to a concrete boat anchor. This gave him his very first experience on a sandy beach. There was nobody else around, otherwise we would not have put out such a long cable. As soon as anybody appeared on the beach, he was reeled in and put back on a 6-ft leash. 

But here's the creative little video that I put together about his very first hilarious experience with SAND!!!

We walked around the campground and took photos of some of our favorite sites to keep in our own records if we want to reserve again.

I also did a walking tour with my GoPro of each site. I will add that link below as soon as I finish editing it.

Site 16

Site 18

This one was called site 18A. We aren't exactly sure what that meant because it does not appear on the reservation list. But it's a very nice site with a path next to it leading out to the beach.

This is the turnaround at the end of the park standing near site 20 which is our favorite. 20 is tucked away behind the trees and facing parallel to the water. I could not take a photo of the site because there were people occupying it.

Here's the view from our own site, number five. It was a very nice site with trees to the north. Site six next to us was rather close but there was nobody occupying it for the week.

Here are some photos of our campsite number 5: 

(That is the old table still in the tall grass yet at our site, the campground hosts were busy removing all of the old tables while we were there)

All of the waterfront sites lead right out with their own little paths to the beautiful sandy beach.

There's not a lot more you can ask for in a little township campground for only $25 a night.

Because the campground faces the east over the water, the sun rises were absolutely amazing!!!!

The sunsets weren't too shabby either, as the sun went down over in the West behind the trees. The reflective pinks and purples and blues were soft and gentle across the lake.

All in all, it was a beautiful quiet week in the park. I will do a YouTube of our actual camping in the park and post a link down here: 

Will we be back again? You bet!

Wednesday, June 12, 2024

Weekend at Home, GoPro Fun, and Heading Out Camping Again

I left off with last week's blog about heading home from Governor Thompson State Park. We had to head on home and get there before 4:00 p.m. We were told there was a special sale going on and that we got the "grandparent discount" if we could get there before they closed!!!

It was worth it, for sure. We also tipped them very well. 

In a way, we were glad that we came home, because the weekend was going to be all rain anyhow. Sure enough, Saturday morning we woke up to dark skies and rain. 

The weather over the weekend was pretty miserable, on and off all day and overnight. Windy rainy stormy and just all over yucky.

I had mentioned in my last blog or two that I've been playing around with a used older GoPro camera. I am learning more and more, and realized that I needed an external microphone with a wind muff to help on my recordings. Especially when I was aiming out of the motorhome window as we drove through parks or interesting places.

The young man that was helping me with this Go Pro"mod" device that I was buying from him, suggested this product. It's called a Purple Panda microphone and he said it was the best one for its value to use with GoPro, or even cell phones to help cut down wind noise.

I found one on Amazon: 

It came in the mail and I was able to fiddle around with it a little bit. I'm learning more and more from the GoPro Quik website. They have a little program in there app that I can just download a bunch of short clips. It arranges them into a video and adds music for me. 

Here is one of my newest creations, just about flowers around in my yard:

On Sunday, Steve decided to get some motorhome maintenance done. It's a necessary thing to keep our motorhome in tip top shape. 

This time it was the EGR valve. It needs to be cleaned about every 40 to 50,000 miles. It is very, very expensive to replace with a new one. So it's best to keep the other one cleaned up and operational. It also helps with improved fuel mileage, and better pick up and get up and go! 

So I used my GoPro to film what he was doing step by step and put it on my YouTube channel:

On Monday, we were looking at the weather report and things were looking pretty good for the entire week. 

I had it in my mind to head up north to a campground along the lake shore. It's located on the baywaters of Green Bay where they lead out into Lake Michigan. There are four really nice campgrounds in a row on M35 between Menominee and Escanaba in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. 

It's only about 45 miles from our house, so we decided to take a buzz up to Fox Park and just check out the sites. It said that there were five or six of them open on the reservable website. We thought we would also check out how bad the mosquitoes were at the same time. 

We got up there and things were pretty good. So we got online and reserved campsite number 5 for the week. Yayyyyy!!!

On our way back through Menominee Michigan, there was a sale at Ace Hardware that Steve had been keeping an eye on. It was for the Stihl brand weed wacker that operates from the same batteries that he also uses for his leaf blower and chainsaw. Happy Father's Day to Steve! 

We headed on home and loaded up the motorhome. We had reserved four nights so we were going to take a chance on the weather. Tossed in the dogs, some food, and my GoPro. Things looked pretty good on the weather app, so off we went.

My next blog will be a campground review about our waterfront site at Fox Park near Cedar River Michigan. Here is a teaser for right now....