Sunday, April 26, 2009

A wonderful weekend for a Spring Game

First we’ll start with a picture that was left on the camera.

Kyle and Jenni on their 6-month 'dating' anniversary…a first for Kyle, and buying flowers for the occasion at that! Wow! Who is this guy?

Ok, so this weekend started out with Ken picking me up at work with the RV at 11:30. The weather was to be gorgeous all weekend, in the 80's for highs, 60's for lows. The winds were gusty but we still pulled in to spot #11 at Fox Ridge State Park by 4:30 pm. (the flamingo showed up again)

Trev called about 5:30 to say he’d be out for dinner so we had him pick up some extra pork chops that Ken did on the grill.

Kyle and Jenni called to say they were running late so, since it was such a lovely evening Ken and Trev set up the tent and air mattresses outside for them.

It was late when Kyle and Jenni pulled in. Temperatures overnight were in the 60’s and breezy…absolutely wonderful for sleeping.

Of course, since the EIU spring game was at 9:30, Kyle was not thrilled at our wake up call at 8am….at least 2 hours earlier than his idea of when you start Saturday mornings.

Chef Ken made the whole campground hungry for breakfast, with his great sausage, eggs, and fried potatoes, with plenty of juice and coffee. We had some trouble getting moving from the table to get in to town on time.

Before the game, we dropped off a triple batch of Ken’s Italians Sausage and Potato Soup at Trev’s house so that it could warm up in the crockpots while the game was on. The guys on Defense were having a picnic at Trev and Andre’s house after the game and the soup was our contribution.

Since Trevor is still on the ‘disabled list’ because of his wrist surgery, he was named the honorary coach of the blue team for the scrimmage. That allowed him to also be part of drafting his team.

It turned out that the teams were pretty evenly divided with Trev’s blue team only beating the white team by 3 points.

Most of the seniors, some of the new recruits, and even some of last year’s graduates were on the sidelines to enjoy the scrimmage with their past and future team mates.

We found out this weekend that Pierre Walters, one of Trev’s comrades on the D-Line last year, and one of our regular guests at our Friday night feeds for the boys, is going to the NFL, having signed with the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free-agent.

I couldn’t resist this picture of Trevor and Coach Rock. See, Trev really has picked up that ‘coach look’, I think.

Sheriff Brent Fisher, from back home in Adams County, came over to enjoy the spring game at his alma mater where he played football for the same Coach Spoo some two decades earlier. Since he now does some coaching with our QND high school in Quincy, he is able to see two boys from QND at EIU now – Trevor and Dominic Pagliari who is a recruit joining the team next year.

After the game, we checked in with Trevor to be sure they had all they needed for the party. Hmmm, ok, no plates, no silverware, no cups….just a few minor items missing. We made a supermarket stop and then headed to his house.

Of course, they really had what to them were the key ingredients already for a great football picnic.

Lots of meat for the bbq, plenty of beer and plenty of friends to share it with.

You could find some of the players and their families partying in the backyard

Some of the players were watching the day’s replays in the living room

And there were always a good number of them in the dining room chow line, where they were making a ‘Mom-approved’ use of Trevor’s beer-pong table as the serving table.

They had Dad Frericks on Chicken, with Dad Odom on Steaks and Chops

Ken and I left the picnic at about 3:30 so that we could drop by the EIU versus SIU baseball game. It was a unique situation where we had 3 past QND high school players all on the field of a Division I game. Brian Morrell was relief pitcher for EIU while Blaise and Colin Haxel were on the field for SIU. It was pretty obvious by the end of that game that I was getting too much sun and so we headed back to the RV.

I lathered up with some Aloe Vera and we enjoyed a quiet evening doing some brats over the open fire.

Kyle also realized he’d had too much sun and he and Jenny decided to call it an early night rather than try to keep up any longer with the college crew.

Sunday morning Ken and I enjoyed quiet coffee time outside, and Jenni joined us about 8:00. We left Kyle sleep a bit longer this morning, all the way to 8:45.

Ken, Jenni and Kyle took their tent down to let the base dry out before we packed it in.

We’d told Trev it was ok to invite friends for breakfast so I ran in to Walmart to pick up some extra groceries.

This time, Trevor’s guests turned out to be all of the female variety…members of the EIU swim team.

Ken and I were back on our own again by noon, to begin the packing, dumping and trek home.

I’m keying this on the trek home which has turned out to be quite the adventure in itself. Ken is battling 50+ mph gusty side winds. Luckily we had no required time to be home and since shows the winds dying down in evening he has pulled over a few times and just sat listening to the Cub's game for awhile, hoping the worst of the winds would get past us.

That’s the nice thing about being empty-nesters… nobody waiting for us back at home so we’ll get there when we get there!!

Hugs, C

PS. It took us from 2:00 - 8:30 to make the normally 4 hour trek home since we gave up on the winds and pulled over in New Berlin until after 7pm when winds finally died down. We've gotten really good at our unloading routine though so I still made my 10pm bedtime!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Short trip to Mark Twain Lake

This last weekend we decided to go to Mark Twain Lake. It is a Corp. of Engineers Park in Northeast Missouri. We were in Ray Behrens campground.
Nice site, but where are the flamingos!

There they are ... why weren't they out?

While exploring on Saturday morning Cindy was able to get this shot of two turkey vultures.

Later on Saturday morning we drove into Perry to walk around the antique shops and eat at the Hootenanny Cafe. It is a good lunch spot but does have a limited menu.

After we ate we went back to the campground to laze around for awhile. At the campground we noticed that Ditka was biting and scratching at a spot on his back. I was keeping an eye on Ditka when I noticed a worm sticking out of his back. I got Cindy's attention and she got a tissue for me. With the tissue I gently pulled the worm from his back. It was white and about four inches long. Like a thin piece of spaghetti. Ditka had been acting rather lethargic and now finding the worm ... It really put a damper on the weekend.
We were worried about Ditka and if we should be concerned for Sox and ourselves. We packed up to head back home (50 miles) hoping our neighbor the veterinarian was home. When we got home we could tell that Jim and Jan were gone for the weekend. So Ditka was relegated to the garage till Monday morning.
Monday morning off to the vet we go. After examining Ditka, Jim told me that in 29 years of practicing veterinarian medicine he had never run into this before! From my description of the worm, he was able to show me an actual size picture of the worm and we identified it as a round worm. The oddity is that roundworms are intestinal parasites.
Jim spent quite awhile looking through various books and even looking at some of his college notes. He knew of a short fat worm that is some times found in the skin of dogs, but no long, thin worms. He did not find anything in his books or notes. So after he cleaned the wound he gave us some antibiotics and sent us on our way. He did tell me that we should not worry about Sox or us getting infected with worms.
Strange things happen!

Easter weekend in Carlinville

Easter weekend was our first weekend out this year! We are usually out by mid March but it has been a cold spring here.
We went to Carlinville so we could all be together for the weekend at Beaver Dam State Park. I drove over Thursday morning to get a camping spot. Cindy and Jenni were driving over Thursday evening after work. Trevor was coming from Charleston after football practice, and Kyle lives and works in Carlinville.

While I was loading the RV for the year I was able to rearrange enough to be able to pack the flamingos!
Beaver Dam State Park is a popular park. They have several long level sites but only a few with 50 amp service.

Friday was cold enough to force the kids to put on their winter coats.

While Cindy was on one of her longer walks, she walked down to the marsh area and was accosted by the mom and dad geese. Later that day she happened to mention the geese to the kids in the campground. Naturally they needed to investigate and came back covered with mud. In fact one boy had lost a shoe in the mud and one of the girls had mud up past her knees.

Saturday morning Jenni's mom and dad came to visit and to see Carlinville. After they toured the town they came out to the RV for dinner. Trevor and Andre had arrived earlier and were pitching in to help with dinner.

Andre was in charge of the fire and keeping the coals hot under the potatoes. We are always glad to see Trevor's teammates. Andre is originally from Brazil and is a great guy to have around.

Trevor got caught tasting the sauce! Everyone seemed to enjoy the food! Jenni's Dad, Danny, really enjoyed the potatoes. Trevor and Andre ate up the pork chops. I don't think we had any leftovers.

After dinner Jenni's parents wanted to get on the road so that they could drive most of the way while it was light. Jenni, Kyle, Trevor and Andre sat around the fire making plans for the evening.

Sox was shaking from the chill in the air, so Trevor put her inside his jacket to warm her up.

Later, after the Jenni and the boys headed into town for the evening, we sat down to enjoy the last of the fire. Smoke follows beauty!

Easter Sunday the boys joined us at the diner by the lake in the state park. This place has excellent food at reasonable prices. We enjoyed a good meal with good conversation before everyone went their separate ways. Us to pack the RV, Trev and Andre to Charleston, and Kyle and Jenni to Carlinville.

We got back home in time to get this picture.
There should always be flowers for Easter!


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Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I'm Glad We Were Not RVing!

We had snow! A few days after writing the last blog the weather turned cold with snow and lower temperatures. Currently it is in the low 30's at night and mid 50's during the day, so we are going out Easter weekend. I spent several day flushing the water system, checking batteries, oil levels, tire pressure and cleaning the coach.
I hired the neighbor to wax the coach and we got it half done and will finish it next week. He is done with high school and is not college material. He is a good kid but cannot find work. He would like to do body work but none of the shops are hiring. His second choice is construction, but it is the same there. It is going to be tough for him to get a job.
I got a call from the stem cell research people. They got my medical records and the study is showing surprising success. It has been so successful that they have had to terminate the study to reevaluate their procedure. Bummer!
Today I will finish loading the RV. I already loaded the staples, now I need to load clothes and food for the weekend. I made a list yesterday (I am definitely a list person). So off to the store for groceries.
The plan is for me to leave early Thursday AM for Beaver Dam State Park. This park usually fills up on weekends during the summer. I hope that by getting there on Thursday morning I won't have any trouble finding a spot. Cindy will ride over Thurs. evening with Jenni (Kyle's girl friend). Then Trevor will join us on Saturday after football practice. We will all be together for Easter.
Have fun! KP