Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Enjoying Down Time Between Games

Trev, to the right of the coaches, waiting to enter the stadium through the tunnel and all that really cool theatrical smoke!

Great picture of Andre (94), Trev (99) and AA (#1) surrounding the ball carrier for a quick takedown.

Sandy also liked the combination of my hat and the EIU fight song I was wearing at the game.

Since the second game of the EIU season is at Indiana State, only 45 minutes from Eastern Illinois, Ken and I decided to stay on the road rather than head back to Quincy. This gives us 8 days between games to have some unstructured time and get a bit of a feel for what it might be like to be on the road fulltime without an agenda.

Since we will be here at Fox Ridge State Park for a total of 13 days we’re adjusting our routine for the longterm stay including doing a lot more set up outdoors and organizing to be more ‘holding tank’ conscious. Ken picked out a site across the road from the water spicket. We make regular runs over to it keeping our large water jug full rather than using from our fresh water tank whenever possible.

This includes setting up the kitchen outside as much as possible since we really prefer being outside especially with the gorgeous weather we’ve been having.

We do seem to do a lot more cooking for Trevor and his friends when we are so close but in between those meals, Ken and I try to get to know the area a bit better.

For example, they have a great little produce store in Charleston called Sugar Mountain Produce where we were introduced to locally grown pink and grey oyster mushrooms. They are grown by Mill Creek Mushrooms in Clarksville, IL

We were told that if we cooked them with egg and cracker crumb like you did Morels, the taste was very similar.

They were right. We’ll be buying some more of these tasty treats on our next visit. I thought at $10 a pound they were a bit pricey until I realized that a quarter pound was more than another for a meal for the two of us.

Speaking of mushrooms, on one of our walks, Ken and I came across these neat-looking little mushrooms hiding out under the pine trees.

Don’t they look like something straight out of a cartoon?? Anybody remember 'Fraggle Rock'?

Fox Ridge State Park has many miles of trails for walking and during the week it is so quiet it seems like we have the park to ourselves. This is the small pond where they have a few cabins. An 6-year-old boy camping near us caught a 3 lb bass in this pond a few weeks back. Boy is it fun to see that kind of excitement in a little kid.

We saw this little flower which was new to us. It's an orange jewelweed and the sap is suppose to be used as medicine for Athlete's foot and poison ivy rashes.

For those of you that are outside of Illinois, these blue boxes in trees might need some explanation. This is an emerald ash borer trap…apparently like the old roach motel, the ash borer checks in but they can’t check out! These nasty pests are playing havoc on the ash tree population in this part of the country and the reason no one should be transporting firewood.
Instead we’ve been playing ‘wood thief’ on this Monday after a long holiday weekend—I prefer to consider it as being ‘eco-friendly wood recyclers’. The campground was totally full this weekend and now that the weekenders are pulling out we are finding lots of nice ‘partially used’ logs left behind.

These tend to be much longer burning and cheaper than the small sections of wood sold by the state park for $5 a bundle.

Our tradition of cooking for the boys the night before the game has been compromised since the school is now providing a feed for the full team on the nights before games. I’m really glad they are doing this but the guys were hoping we’d still have them out for a meal too so we will play it by ear at this point. This week the boys plan to come out one of the night’s midweek instead since we will be here all week.

We’ll have to drop in to Charleston periodically this week in order to check emails and publish blogs.

Sometimes we’ll drop by the Jackson Avenue CafĂ© to enjoy some ‘fu-fu’ coffee and great piped-in 70’s music with our Internet time.

The other option is to stop by Trev’s house which has its own added benefits of getting to play with the house-pups.

The black and while pit-bull puppy is currently being foster-parented by the boys since the football player who owns him is not allowed to have him at this rental property. As you may recall this is second time Trev has foster-parented a pit bull. He has a tremendous love of animals but understands that until he has a place of his own, getting a dog of his own would be a problem, especially since Sox and Ditka aren't real keen on sharing their space with other animals.

King is obviously partial to Trevor and has a place he stakes out as his own for TV watching.

Nalla, the adult brindle Heinz-57 variety has been living in a house with Trevor most of his time here at EIU. She was first owned by one of Trev’s first housemates, Drew, and now is owned by Chris, Trev’s current housemate. Nalla can sound really ferocious and but once she knows you she’s really cuddly. She is amazingly patient with the antics of the puppy, King. She puts up with him mostly but if he really get nippy or out of control she just holds him down with her paw until he settles down. I love watching their interaction.

It’s really great to have this time to spend on the simple things….like playing with puppies!! Oh, by the way, our grandpuppy, Staley, is doing quite well --- Kyle texted us to say she has almost doubled in weight since her last vet visit 3 weeks ago.

Hugs, C

PS. I don’t get to check internet much but since last visit have found that my niece, Michelle, has not gotten good news from her latest tests. You can link to her journal from the left sidebar on this website. Please keep her and Jason in your thoughts and prayers.

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