Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Last camping trip of the year

Friday past we headed north to Wilderness Resort, one of the 5 resorts that we belong to. As this was scheduled to be our last trip of the year, we wanted to be farther north to enjoy the color change. However, the change was already over “up north”. But we still enjoyed ourselves.

Our best friends, Gary and Cheryl, were camping with us for the week end. Gary asked me if I was planning on bringing my “camping jacket” to burn. Of course I told him. So now your are wondering what I’m talking about, so here goes the story about my camping jacket.

DSC_1284Back in the mid 1980’s I purchased a nylon jacket and had embroider on the back of it the name of the company I worked for, General Dynamics,  an Abrams M1 tank, and “Skilled Trades”.  I wore this jacket every where I went. To and from work, around town, and on every camping trip. Needless to say I guess I got my money’s worth because it held up pretty well. About 20 years ago, a group of our friends while camping asked me how long I was going to wear that jacket. I then said I was going to keep it until I retire, then I’ll deposit it on a campfire.  

DSC_1286

So being true to my word, and having my “best buddy” along with us, I just had to choose this particle trip to perform the ceremony. So as we watched my famous coat enter the flames of the campfire, we both stood with our hats removed, remembering all the years of comfort that old jacket gave me. 

Good by my jacket friend, you served me well!

DSC_1293

 

Wilma took this shot of our campsite. As you can see most of the leaves have already dried and dropped off the trees. We really enjoyed walking in the leaves hearing the familiar rustling of the leaves under our feet.

 

DSC_1295

Here is the famous “Brown Bear” one of the trademarks of this particular campground. In the background you will notice Gary’s motorhome to the left and our motorhome next to his. We almost had the entire campground to ourselves, except for maybe a dozen others.

 

DSC_1281

The employees of the park were busy Friday blowing the leaves off the campsites unto the roads and burning the leaves. They were very cautious not to let the fire get out of control or have the smoke blow toward any of the campers who were through out the park.

 

DSC_1304

DSC_1313

Later that evening, as it started to sprinkle, we moved to the “Adult lounge” to play pool and Euchre. It was the guys against the gals. From this picture you can see the excitement of the gals as they commenced to whip us. I think out of 8 pool games the guys may have won 1 game! I really don’t want to go into the Euchre games we played. Lost all 3 games to the gals. Gary and I won’t hear the end of this for many years to come. And being the evening of the historic jacket burning, I’m sure it will be burnt into our minds of the huge success of the gals. OK girls congratz to you both, now STOP bloating about it already! Smile

Saturday comes and after a great breakfast, Gary comes over and asked if we would like to go with them to the Casino. Sure, we would really like to go donate to the local tribe! So off we went and after several hours our wallets were a little lighter, emphasis on little lighter. After all I’m getting ready to retire you know, we can’t afford to loose too much!

Arriving back at the campground, we all needed a nap. As the sprinkle of rain fell on the motorhomes’ roof, it helped to put us off into dreamland for a couple hours. Awakening from our nap, we knew anytime we would have a visit from our friends Denny and Kathy.

DSC_1316

DSC_1318

Here we are under the awning keeping dry. Denny asked if there was a restaurant around, Wilma said sure it’s called “Our Place” serves the best burgers. It took Denny a little while before he realized we weren’t talking about a real restaurant, but we were going to eat here at our RV. We all got a chuckle out of the name Wilma gave the restaurant. Winking smile

DSC_1319

It wasn’t very long until I had the burgers cooked and the 6 of us were inside our motorhome all enjoying our dinner. Cheryl contributed with a few dishes, Wilma added more dishes, and there was more food than an army of a dozen could consume.

During dinner we noticed the rain had stopped, so after we had finished dinner we all headed out for a great campfire. Sitting around the fire, liquid beverages, friendly conversations…..what could be better?!

We arrived home Sunday afternoon around 5pm. unpacked a few items when Wilma said she would finish unpacking the next day. We had our supper and was in bed for the night by 9pm.

What a great weekend with friends doing what we enjoy the most!

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Canterbury Village

Today the weather was just perfect. Sunny, mid 60’s. So Wilma and I decided we would take a drive out to Canterbury Village to just walk around, look at the Christmas store and maybe have a bite to eat at the restaurant there.

As we entered the parking lot, I commented at how there were hardly no cars here. Wondering out loud if the place was even open. Wilma assured me it just opened 10 minutes prior, which made me feel like “great, we beat the crowds”.

DSC_1261

 

As I parked the car, we were just in front of the Large Musical Clock. I noticed right away that there were vines growing up the front of it and the doors at both sides of the face were opened. Not normal I thought, as the doors are supposed to open when the clock strikes the hours and figurines travel around in front of the face of the clock.

 

 

DSC_1262

 

 

But this didn’t dampen our spirits. We were here to enjoy the day here at Canterbury.

 

DSC_1263

 

Our first stop was the “Always Christmas” shop. This building has 3 floors with everything Christmas. You are welcomed by the freshly painted red, white, and green banisters.

 

DSC_1264 

Just inside the door you are greeted by this guy. Wilma couldn’t resist patting him on his shoulder.

 

 

 

DSC_1265

 

The building is huge, with wonderful solid wood work.

 

 

DSC_1267

 

It doesn’t have the variety of  Bronners in Frankenmuth, MI but it comes in a close second. Plus it’s much closer to our home, saving a long drive to and from.

 

DSC_1270

 

Walking the grounds, we noticed the “Merry-Go-Round” building was still in operation.

 

 

DSC_1276

DSC_1278

 

Inside, the Merry Go Round was in full motion with a few kids having the time of their lives.

 

 

DSC_1274 Toward the rear of the complex are these small colorful buildings. The last time we were here a few years ago, they were each occupied with venders selling their wares. Today, we noticed two of the buildings were vacant. A sad sight to see. I guess that reflects the hard times Michigan is having this day and age.

 

Our last stop was to the Restaurant. Of course, the last time we were here we enjoyed a great Chicken dinner. Today the restaurant is open, but…. We entered the large wooden, hand carved doors, and were greeted by a lady welcoming us and explaining that there are two separate restaurants now. One is like a sports bar, the other fine dining. She handed us the menu’s of each and as we looked them over, we both decided we were not ready to eat just yet. WOW the prices! Now we know the food is good….BUT NOT THAT GOOD!  We thanked the lady handing back the menu’s and we departed.

As we drove out of the premises we both wanted to find a restaurant to eat lunch that wouldn’t break the bank. So I got out our trusty “Sleeze Sally” GPS. Looked up restaurants nearby and decided on Applebee's. Here we enjoyed the 2 for $20 lunch of Oriental Chicken Salad.

Great lunch, nice Sunday afternoon drive. What could we ask for next? I know….an agreement between the Union and Company where I work so we can complete our plan on retiring! Open-mouthed smile

 

Until next time, be safe and God Bless

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Haley’s 18th. Birthday Party

DSC_1245

 

 

Today the family gathered to celebrate Haley’s 18th. Birthday.  And Haley was her typical self,  “happy go lightly” showing not a care in the world. She really seems to be enjoying life!

 

 

 

 

DSC_1230

 

Na-Na made a delicious meal of Lasagna, Haley’s favorite. The kids were in line just as the plate of Lasagna was put on the counter. I do believe they were a tad hungry, don’t you think?

DSC_1233

 

 

 

 

 

After DSC_1235dinner, everyone moved to the family room where Haley opened her gifts. All eyes were on Haley.

 DSC_1234

First was “Opapa” her Great Grandfather’s gift. It’s always “special” when my Dad gets to show up for these special times.

DSC_1240

Haley receives her present from Aunt Angel and Brooke. An assortment of goodies along with some $$$.

 

DSC_1249

Following the opening of gifts, all returned to the kitchen table to sing Happy Birthday to Haley. The wish was made, deep breath taken, and a mighty gust of wind from Haley managed to blow all 18 candles out. Of course I was afraid the smoke alarm was going to alarm from the smoke of the candles. Winking smile

DSC_1252

I said I could smell bubble gum! Who has bubble gum? You can’t chew bubble gum and eat cake and ice cream!

DSC_1254

So they both showed me how they were going to  save their bubble gum. Of course this was all in fun.

 

Then Na-na joined in the fun! Who wants some whipped cream? Of course the three youngest wanted whipped cream. So Na-na gave them some.

DSC_1256

DSC_1259

DSC_1260

No one got choked, but there was quite a bit of laughter following this.

What fun they all had.

 

And our final picture is taken from our deck, looking down our street. I guess Fall has arrived.DSC_1229

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Another week closer….

Yes, another week is gone. As of today there are only 68 days until I retire! Can’t wait!

Today at work we heard nothing from the Union or the Company on how the talks for a new contract is going. It looks like it will be just like 5 years ago. I didn’t know if the Union called a strike or a tentative agreement had been reached until I entered the drive into the parking lot of the Company. As it turned out 5 years ago, there was no strike. I HATE STRIKES!  In my career I’ve been in 3 of them, and in all 3 we didn’t gain anything! So, my thoughts are, “Lets all go to work and forget about a strike, especially in these times”!

1992-10-15 Today is the 18th Birthday of our eldest Grand Daughter Haley, born 10/15/1992. Here is proud “Pa” that’s what my grandkids call me instead of Grandpa.

This picture started a series of pictures of all my Grandkids. Each one that was born, I wore a red shirt and sat in a rocking chair within hours of their birth. Wow, where has the time gone?!

 

Birthday cakeTomorrow the family will all gather to celebrate her Birthday here at our home. Wilma (Na-na) has the meal all planned, as it’s Haley’s favorite. Lasagna, with all the extras that goes with that plate. You just know the camera will get a work out tomorrow!

Happy 18th. Birthday Haley! Na-na and I love you, and we wish you many, many more birthdays to come in your beautiful life.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pumpkin Picnic

Today was planned for a “burger-n-dog” lunch on the deck with the family. We were also going to give the kids a pumpkin to take home and carve for Halloween.

This is actually a “change in tradition” to what we used to do every year with the family this time of year.

We used to all get in the Motorhome and drive to one of the many “Pumpkin Patches” in our area. Let the kids pick out their pumpkin from the fields, drink apple cider, eat fresh made donuts, and generally have a great family outing.

This year Wilma suggested to me that we take a drive to a different pumpkin patch that has farm animals to pet. So a couple weeks ago Wilma and I got in the car on a mission to find another pumpkin patch. To make a long story short….it went out of business. So on to the next pumpkin patch. This one just had a few pumpkins in the front of the building to pick from. No more hay rides out into the fields, and the prices! WOW, since when is a pumpkin of average size going for $6.00? Not from this cheap Grandpa!

We traveled for hours, checking out every pumpkin patch/cider mill around. The same scenario, limited pumpkins and very high prices. That’s when we decided to have a family lunch on the deck at home and let them pick out a pumpkin that we purchased from Aldi discount food store for only $1.99.

Angel was the first to arrive with Brooke. Within a half hour, Tina arrived with her family. She had with her a large white envelope. Angel and Tina were explaining that they wanted to give us our Christmas gift early this year. Totally unexpected by us of course, and Tina handed the envelope to Wilma.

2010-10-10 The FamilyInside was a 16x20 studio photo of them all taken just yesterday! Beautiful was all we could say. Along with that photo was an 8x10 photo with a change in layout, but also beautiful.

I was able to scan the 8x10 photo for posting.

What a surprise for Wilma and I and we will treasure it forever with it hanging in our living room for all to see.

It caught us so off guard we didn’t have the camera close to get a shot of Wilma receiving the gift, but she did manage to get a few during our lunch.

DSC_1189

Great shot of me, showing off my physical physique Surprised smilegetting the burgers and dogs on the grill. I’m going to have to be more aware of where that camera is in the future!

DSC_1195

Haley is letting me listen to her new “ring tones” when I must have pushed a button on the phone and a different one started playing that she didn’t really want Pa to hear! Funny thing though, I didn’t hear anything before she was able to grab the phone away from me, that’s when this  picture was taken.

There were 6 pumpkins lined up for them to choose from, so as they were getting ready to leave the pumpkins went with the kids.

Good burgers-n-dogs, much laughter, a great time with our family, and to top it all off, perfect weather in the high 70’s.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Haley’s Homecoming

This evening our 1st. Granddaughter Haley will be attending her Homecoming Dance with her boyfriend Josh.

It’s been raining all day with temperatures in the low 50’s, and the plans were for everyone in the family to meet at George George Park to take a few pictures.

The rain did let up to just a light sprinkle just in time as we all met. There was a wedding also taking place at the park, so we stayed toward the entrance of the park to not interfeer with the wedding. Wilma took all the pictures as I tried to hold the umbrella over her.

DSC_1065

 

Haley and her date Josh.

 

DSC_1068

 

Here is Shelby, who is one of many friends of Haley. She is also planning on attending the Homecoming Dance this evening.

DSC_1070

 

I have to say they both make a nice looking couple.

 

 

 

You look beautiful Haley, you are growing up and becoming a lovely young lady.

Na-Na and I hope you have a wonderful time this evening, creating fond memories of the Dance.

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.

Friday, October 1, 2010

I think I’ve crossed over…

Yep, I think I’ve crossed over. To what you are now thinking. Well, I really don’t know how to word it, so I’ll just have to try to explain it the best I can.

Do you ever think to yourself, when someone of “age” does something that you perceive as being strange and blame it on their age?DSC_0351

Well I think I have crossed over to that “age”.

Wilma and I were discussing on what to do with Kybee, our little Pug. He just doesn’t ever want to be left alone when we go out in the Motorhome. If we decide to go for a bike ride he will constantly bark, non stop until we return. We have tried everything, from putting him in his cage with the TV on, to letting him have the run of the Motorhome. He just wants to always be with us.

We are planning on taking a trip to Myrtle Beach in the Spring. Knowing the size of the RV Park is humongous, and we will be wanting to take bike rides everyday, makes us wonder what to do with Kybee. We just can’t continue to leave him barking all the while we are gone, it’s just not right.  What to do.

I started surfing the internet for a “dog carrier” for a bike. There were quite a few “basket” type devices that you connect to the handlebars. But as he weighs 16lbs. there is only one made to support this heavy of an animal. It had terrible revues, ratings of just 2 stars out of 5. Mostly that it drops down onto the front tire from the weight of the animal. So I decided I didn’t want to spend the bucks for something rated that low, and not be satisfactory.

Wilma suggested a pet trailer for a bike. I never heard of one, so another search on the internet was done. Yep, there is a company that has one. It kind of looks like those lightweight trailers one connects to the back of a bike to pull a couple small kids around in, but on a smaller scale. But the price was out of sight!

We started talking about getting one that would handle children. Had a few laughs between ourselves, and did another search on the internet.

A Schwinn child carrier bike trailer was found at Wal-Mart for an agreeable price. Wilma and I headed to Wal-Mart. They had two carriers, one in an opened box, and one in a sealed box. I took the sealed one and headed to the register expecting to pay the advertised price. Upon getting to the check out, I noticed a price tag which was $20.00 less than the advertised price. I questioned the clerk, who asked the manager, who gave me the discounted price. Great! Now it was a much better price than expected.

Arriving home we had to try it out on our “King” to see if his royalty would approve.

We rode for about 45 minutes, Wilma keeping behind and to the side of the trailer to keep an eye on Kybee. She kept reporting to me how he was doing. It seems that he agrees with his new “Carriage”.

It works great as I can’t even tell I’m pulling him when riding on the bike. And as we talked about it, we can use it if we have to go for an errand and have things like a few groceries to carry.

So, you see, I’m thinking up reasons other than carrying the dog around, for purchasing this “child carrier” bike trailer? Now do you believe me when I say “I think I’ve crossed over”? 

I can just hear my buddy Gary laughing now. Laughing so hard, tears will be flowing and he will be holding his side.

Yep, I think I’ve crossed over!

But…my little buddy Kybee will be riding in style!

 

Until next time, be safe and God Bless.