Sunday, August 19, 2007

Pre-Season Visit to EIU, Aug 16-19

Hi, my name is Sox and I thought I'd try my hand at writing this blog once!

Yes, I know I’m a dog, but I’m 3 ½ years old now and that makes me an adult with my very own opinions to voice too!

Anyway, Mom wrote a long letter to friends Wes and Jan, on the drive here and, in typical blonde form, did it online then lost her connection just as she went to send. Since she and Mr. Laptop here have not been on very good speaking terms since then, I thought somebody better get the weekend's blog entered.

Thursday, Aug 16, Papa Kenny did a great job, once again,of getting everything packed up, hooked up and ready to go while Mama C was at work.

The only problem is that when Dad gets ready to put Ditka and me in our travel ‘pup’ tents he doesn’t feel it necessary to bribe us with special treats. Mama C saves the special ‘T-Bone’ treats for travel time!

We were in the Gardner Denver parking lot at 4:30 and on the road by 4:45. It’s a long trip to see Trev but he’s definitely worth it! We miss him and Kyle both a lot and we make sure they know it when we see them.

We went to the Fox Ridge State Park which is 7 miles the other side of Charleston. It was nearly 9pm and dark when we arrived. This was a new experience, doing the backing in to the site and set up in the dark. The Mom and Dad team did well and we were soon on our cables under the pine trees and the stars. Thank goodness, 4 hours is a long time between bio breaks!!

Come Friday morning, Ditka and I had a good look around and were quite happy with our surroundings at site #11. I did get in a bit of trouble early on by laying in some of the pine tree sap. Be forewarned now, that junk doesn’t want to come off your fur, I tellya…Mom and Dad were not any too happy with that. Thank goodness we have a grooming appointment Tuesday.

Papa Kenny took us for a long walk while Mama C did her Nordic Track and watched the morning news.

Trev came out to visit after his morning practice and once he gave us our fair share of attention, we made sure he got a good breakfast.

He had several things he wanted Dad to take care of at his place so they spent several hours there while Mom cleaned out his moldy frig – (can’t let the door close, Trev, when you’ve got it unplugged).

Dad put up a new shelf in Trev’s bedroom. It’s now the location for the ‘D-fence’ sign that Uncle Buddy made for him. Dad repainted the sign last week to EIU versus QND colors!

Dad also fixed a hole in the bathtub surround.

Trev had to go back for afternoon ‘film’ at the football offices. Mom and Dad picked up some extra food-stuffs at the store and fed Trev and a couple of the other D-tackles supper so they could get a break from the 2-a-day food.

Here’s Andre Lima and Jeff Sobol with Trev enjoying some of Dad’s grilled wild salmon. Ditka and I don’t have much hope for leftovers when Trev brings his football friends for supper!.

We spent the cool evening watching football practice under the lights.

Here is Andre and Trevor lined up on defense. Andre is #94 and Trevor is to his right.

Trev got banged up a bit and had to be put back together by one of the trainers between plays.

It was nice to get back to the motorhome and take a walk around the campground in the dark. There aren’t many lights in this campground so it’s really dark and easy to see the stars.

With all the heat in recent weeks, it was the first time in a long time we got to enjoy sleeping to the sounds of the forest, with the windows all open to let in the cool breeze. There were no sounds or smells requiring us to bark out warnings the entire night, so everyone slept in until almost 8am.

Mom and Dad then went through a full pot of coffee sitting out with us on the patio, enjoying the morning sights, sounds and smells. This is the best family time for us. Everybody is quiet and happy and just enjoying being where we are and being together!

They then took us for a long drive in the jeep all around the state park. It’s really very big and has lots of places to walk.

Here’s Dad on one of the path’s over a fishing pond. We also found a place to put in and take out the boat. Right now is not the time though with the river being really low at the height of summer.

They did find that Lake Charleston, just down the road appears to be a perfect spot to launch to boat for some leisurely, floating and fishing. Ditka and I are hoping we get to go with Mom and Dad next time they take one of these raft excursions..

Denny and Kevin Mahoney joined us for Papa Kenny’s grilled brats at lunchtime. Denny had come from Ohio to spend a little time with his son but had to head out on Saturday afternoon after we ate.

After lunch, it began to rain so we decided that with the sound of the raindrops on the RV roof and the fresh, cool breeze, it was the perfect nap time. Dad and Ditka were watching the Cubs / Cardinals game, mostly with their eyes closed. Mom went into the bedroom to read.

I found her in there snoozing and so found my perfect spot to cuddle up nearby. Dad must have snuck in to get this shot to prove to Mom she can really sleep during the daytime!.

Saturday evening was another beautiful night for watching football practice.

There was Trev, in his white uniform again, all clean, and decked out, and Mom didn’t even have to wash for him to look that way!. I think he looks like he needs a really good lick!

We got home about 10pm and after a short walk, and showers for Mom and Dad, we all enjoyed another cool night’s sleep with the windows open.

Sunday, Mom and Dad were to meet Trev for breakfast at the Lincoln Garden Family Restaurant in Charleston at 8:45. At 7am we were up and all went outside for what is becoming our morning ritual of greeting the day with a pot of coffee on the patio. At 7:45 Dad announced we should pack up and take ‘Baby’ in to Charleston when we went in for breakfast rather than come back from breakfast and pack. You should have seen Mom and Dad move for the next hour! They were dressed, and ‘Baby’ vacuumed, packed, dumped and on the road in an hour.

They dropped ‘Baby’ and us at the Panther Parking lot and then road with Trev to get breakfast.

This turned out to be especially good for us since when they got back Mom took us for a long walk before the noon scrimmage. This gave Dad time to fix the lights that were out on Trev’s car.

Ditka and I had a good time at the scrimmage although Ditka did get a bit worked up when the team was doing their chants...Ditka felt he had to join in then. He also had Trev picked out on the field early on and barked his protest a few times when he saw other players hitting ‘his boy’. I tried to explain to him it was just a game like when he and I wrestled…all good fun…he calmed down then.

Apparently like Trevor says, Ditka and I are ‘chick magnets’ because there were EIU ladies a plenty to come by in the stands and scratch our ears. I wonder if they do that for Trevor when we aren't around.

Here’s Trevor (64) and our new friend, Andre, (94), playing something Dad called real smashmouth football. That sounds painful.

Papa Kenny said Trev had a good scrimmage, but shouldn’t really have been playing at all because of his ‘sublexed’ shoulder. Apparently ‘sublexed’ means you get covered with ice cubes and Saran Wrap.

Mama C is hoping T will get to rest that shoulder plenty before the first game 11 days from now. She also says he thinks he's to old to listen to what Mom says...hey, I'm officially older in dog-years now...and I sure know better than not to listen to what Mom says.

Mid-afternoon, we jumped back into ‘Baby’ for the trip home…good news…Mom was settling us in so ….yes…it was T-Bone snack time!

Sorry but I guess I’ll have to close with this picture of my big brother, Ditka, here since he insists he get to say ‘hi’, too.

Thanks for reading my blog! Go Panthers!


PS. Mom said she needs to include some ‘Lessons Learned’ from this weekend…

1. Fox Ridge State Park has the ‘it’ factor for us. It’s quiet, wooded, clean and perfectly located 7 miles from the EIU football stadium. It would be a wonderful place for family and friends with RV’s or tents to come for a group campout/tailgating party. It has a nice playground in the center so if we bring family with kids we could circle the playground and have a really nice setup. Rates were $15 per night with electricity, no water/sewer per site but lots of water spickets that could be used for tank fill if needed and you had adequate hose.

2. Ken and I can do a complete teardown, packup, dump and move out in ½ hour if we need to.

3. Ken and I make a pretty good team setting up in pitch darkness. We just take it very slow in backing and I stand right by Ken’s window telling him which way to turn with lots of stops to walk around with a flashlight and check how close we are to things. This is not, however, something we want to have to do on a regular basis.

4. We can comfortably make it Thurs-Sun on our water and holding tanks, using our own toilets and showers daily, so long as it is just Ken and me. Using plastic tubs in the sink and shower as has been suggested is no hassle at all and helped us insure we had no problems with filling up our gray tank which we are told would be the first to max out.

5. My Nordic Track fits comfortably in the bedroom on my side of the bed, once Ken turned the feet around. I can move it around without a problem that way for daily setup and teardown. However, we need to figure out a better morning routine if I am going to Nordic Track. It takes an hour out of our morning, and that’s prime time to Ken, especially for making big breakfasts.

6.Don’t put the dogs out under pine trees. Pine sap does not come out of their fur!

7.Going to WalMart to get Trevor a bulb for his car turn signal can be expensive, to the tune of 6 new EIU T-shirts, a computer ‘firewire’, and gasoline on the way back for his car…and he wasn’t even with us!

8.Charleston’s Lincoln Garden Family Restaurant has good home cooking, football player size portions and reasonable prices.

1 comment:

Snackmaster & Jan said...

Good blog entry Sox!! And you even got it to "send" :-). By the way, peanut butter will take that sap out of your fur - and you will smell good enough to eat!

Glad to see all the photos. Sounds like you are having a great time and getting all the routines down pat. We have had to back in the dark a few times - not fun.

Keep in touch.