Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Poor Brother!!






Hi, this is Sox.  Remember me?  I’m the little girl furkid in the Frericks family.




Between the upcoming wedding, Dad not feeling good, and now Ditka’s problems, Mom and Dad are REALLY stressed right now so I thought maybe I should drop by here and post a blog to update you on some major Frericks Furkid happenings.

Unfortunately it’s not good news.  My brother, Ditka, well he’s not doing good right now. 

Let me go back and explain from my point of view.

You might remember that back during the summer when we were at Bennett Springs State Park—that really cool place with all the fish--Ditka fell down the motorhome steps.  When he got up he was crying and you could see his leg bone pushing up on the top of his back.  Mom and Dad found him a  furkid doctor there in Missouri but she couldn’t fix it except that when he came back to the rig he was a real bore – slept for the next 3 days straight.  Well, it apparently had something to do with whatever Dad was putting in those balls of cheese.  He called it really good drugs.   Anyway whatever that stuff was, I just couldn’t rile up my brother for nothin’ even when they’d lay him outside on his rug he wouldn’t even help me bark a welcome to all our neat neighbor furkids that would walk by in the campground.

Ok, so when we got back home they took him to another furkid hospital.  I have what they call littermate anxiety issues and just can’t seem to help crying and crying when he’s taken away from me.  I was so, so happy when they brought him home two days later but he must have had some more of those really good drugs.  This time he had to stay in his crate so I stayed on the floor right by him.

He had this awful looking tube and needle in his side that Dad said was time-released morphine, apparently more of those ‘good drugs’ since Ditka mostly slept.  I felt bad for my bro though since when he was awake he’d moan a lot and he looked awful.  He had all the hair shaved off his leg and these ugly marks on his side. His side sort of looked like one of the pillows we chewed apart after Mom tried to sew it back together.

Mom and Dad said the furkid doctor said Ditka had to stay in the crate and have one of those awful cones on for 14 days.  You know that’s like over  3 months in dog life!  Anyway, Ditka was doing the moaning bit really well.  Every time he did I’d pace around nervously by the crate just to make sure Mom and Dad were getting the full impact.  It worked since it wasn’t even 24 hours and Mom took Ditka out of the crate, and put him on the couch by her sans cone.  Ditka just cuddled up gratefully and ceased moaning at that point.  He really knows how to play Mom.  She couldn’t leave him alone without the cone or outside the crate for fear he or I would mess with those ugly stitch places.  They were right—I’m sure I would have gotten that junk off of him given the chance.

As it turns out, the doctor had taken off the head of Ditka’s  leg bone (femur).  For many weeks Ditka would not walk on that leg.  Well, duh….how are you suppose to walk when your bones aren’t attached anymore.   I thought it was really funny watching him trying to do that dumb boy lift-your-leg thing.   He’d have to keep re-positioning around the tree since if he tried to lift his good leg he’d fall down since his surgery leg wouldn’t hold him up.  But gradually it seemed a miracle occured.  Mom and Dad would dance with him, try to get him to jump for treats and take him on walks, especially up hills, and little by little his muscles started taking over and making his leg work.  They called it ‘doggy rehab’.

What makes me really sad about the surgery was that it seemed to make Ditka old.  He just didn’t seem to want to play with me as much anymore even though I would do some of my very best pouncing.  The other strange thing is that my usual Macho-man Ditka who was always too cool to cuddle is now on the couch with his humans playing lapdog.  He even is letting his big-guy Trevor hold him and loves to watch TV cuddled in next to Trevor.  What kind of furkid hospital stuff did they do to change my brothers whole personality—geez!!  Dad is concerned because he says that the surgery has really aged my brother and he now seems old when we are only 7 dog years old.

Ok, so I’ve been going on and on and never really telling you about the new problem—which from what I understand is that we have to now go through this whole business again---grrrrrr!!!!

Yesterday Dad put us out in the backyard for our afternoon ‘business’.   I can’t tell you exactly what happened but I looked over at my brother and, there he was, suddenly in terrible pain and not able to walk on his good back leg.  I was horrified and started howling and howling.   As I expected, my commotion got Dad’s attention.  I kept looking over to Ditka until I got Dad to realize it was Ditka I was crying about.   He was in so much pain and looked so, so sad all I could do was cry for attention to help him.  Later Mom and Dad told me I did really good on that part.

Dad yelled for Mom and they just sat thereon the ground  in the backyard with my brother for awhile.  They all looked very, very sad.   They brought us inside and Dad got on the phone.  Then, before long, it seemed all the nasty stuff started all over.  They left me all alone here crying for my brother while they took him away.  Ditka couldn’t walk so Dad carried him to the jeep and put him on Mom’s lap. 

When they got back home, Ditka was sleeping.  Trevor came home from football and he was very, very sad too.  Mom said she had the horrible fear that they wouldn’t be able to do anything for Ditka but that instead the doctor said they could do the same surgery on the other leg and my brother should be able to walk again.  It made Trevor less upset to hear that but still all my humans seem really sad right now.

They had out-of-town plans for the weekend to go help with some wedding stuff in Carlinville but now all is changed so that my brother can have surgery on Friday.   All my humans are trying to figure out how to regroup around the wedding activities and Ditka’s recuperation schedule. 

Mom said that two $1200 vet bills in 3 months were not in her retirement budget so they might all have to tighten their belts for awhile.  That doesn’t sound like fun—glad I don’t wear a  belt!!

Ditka won’t lay down by himself because it hurts him too bad.  He just stands by his rug and pretty soon his surgery leg starts shaking from trying to hold him up.  Ditka doesn’t like it but Dad or Trev will have to pick him up and lay him on his surgery leg.  It must hurt because he doesn’t like it but he settles down after a minute or two, relieved to finally be in a resting position.  Once there he doesn’t make a move.


I know it hurts Ditka to move because normally we just can’t get comfortable without having our rugs just  perfectly rumpled and our whole body on the rug.

This morning, although it took some nudging, I was able to get Ditka to hobble to the patio door and do our daily morning estate survey. 


Then he went outside with me but now he has a real problem.  How does a guy lift-a-leg when you don’t have any strength in either hind leg.  Maybe he’ll just have to watch me and do it the girl way.  So far he just seems to be spending lots of time worrying through the situation with no results – poor big brother!

One thing that Mom said really worries me now.  Apparently the furkid doctor said that since my littermate has this awful thing called hip dysplasia I have an 80% chance of having it too.  I guess my being so scrawny is a good think in this case since it puts less stress on my hip bones.   Guess this is all pretty bad luck since our breed, Shiba Inus, have a less than 3% chance of this genetic disorder, compared to the big guys, like golden retrievers, who are like 10 times more likely to get it.

Well, I guess that’s pretty bad luck, but Ditka and I have been lucky to be in a human family that loves us so, so much --- guess that good luck makes it all even out!!

Luvin Licks!


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Saturday ‘Grooms Side’ Shower

On Saturday, September 25th, a shower was thrown for Jenni, our son, Kyle’s bride-to-be. The shower was hosted by some of Kyle’s aunts and cousins.

Here is Jenni with the the hostesses from left to right, Cousin Erin, Aunt Mary (Ken’s sister), Godmother Sheila (my niece), Jenni, Aunt Lois (Ken’s sister), Aunt Betty (my sister) and Aunt Kathleen (my sister). IMG_0945

The ladies had a wonderful luncheon of tuna salad and fruit. The big hit though was the special homemade pistachio dessert from Aunt Kathleen’s kitchen. It’s a combination of ice cream, pistachio pudding, whipped cream with a crushed Heath bar topping and a buttery Ritz cracker crust – quite the rave. It was chosen, of course, since Jenni’s ‘highlight’ color for the wedding is pistachio green.


There were games and lots of socializing among all Jenni’s soon-to-be relatives.


A lovely day put together by lovely ladies. Thanks to all!!

Hugs, C

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Celebrate, Travel, Celebrate

Saturday was full of fun.  (Seems to be a theme here—we are having lots of fun lately!!)

We woke at the Prairie Pines Campground in Rantoul, IL to yet another lovely September day.  I awoke early and since I had wifi at this park got online.  It was then that I realized that it was Jim Smith’s birthday. 

Now how can we celebrate our neighbor’s birthday before we pull out?  While Ken dug out candles, we did’t have a cake, cupcake, muffin, cookie, nothing to put those candles on….hmmmm.  Well, a bit of duct-tape-ingenuity won the day. 

We went out to surprise Jim on his birthday with candles taped and lit on top of a Bud Lite can!


We got on the road before 10 am heading down I-57 and I-72 where there was a sea of orange heading the opposite direction to the University of Illinois football game.

We were certainly happy we had made reservations at Beaver Dam State Park since the park was full except for our site that waiting for us.  It’s wonderful to pull in to a park where you are known.  The host couples were sitting outside and told us our site was ready and waiting, just wondering when we’d pull in.  A packed park is not our preference but we aren’t planning a lot of time out-and-about the park on this visit so no big deal.

Since we had evening plans, after a quick lunch of brats, coleslaw and chips, Ken kicked up his feet and watched college football while I did little cleanup items like updating  actuals in our budget spreadsheet, and then took a nap.

Saturday evening, a couple of Kyle’s law firm and tennis friends hosted a party for Kyle and Jenni at a local pub, The WoodDuck.

They did a really impressive job of decorating in Jenni’s theme of black and white tulle, including beautiful monogrammed  candles, table runners, and a montage of picture frames with black/white photos of Jenni and Kyle. 








The candles, holders, and picture frames were all gifts from the hosts to the happy couple.  Really nice touch!






While the decorations were a perfect fit for Jenni, the food was a perfect fit for Kyle!  They had a buffet of absolutely awesome pub food including hot wings, shrimp cocktail, bbq sandwiches, even jalepeno stuffed olives—they obviously have paid attention to our boy’s favorites!!


The finishing touch was a beautiful cake.






Later in the evening, the kids opened some really nice gifts.  I think this bow is now the prettiest I’ve seen on their gifts so far!






It was a really enjoyable evening meeting so many wonderful people and knowing  Kyle could call them his new hometown friends after having made Carlinville his home just two years ago last month.  It does a Mom’s heart good!!

We drove the 9 miles back to the rig amid a light show across the skies as a late summer rainstorm pressed in.  By the time we were in bed the downpour had begun and continued through the night.  The rain made for nice sleeping except when the weather alarm went off middle of the night with a flash flood warning.  I’m not complaining though since it is comforting to have the weather radio and know that we won’t sleep through weather warnings, even if flash floods are not an issue here up on the hill at Beaver Dam. 

Well, it’s Sunday morning, and I’ve just drained the coffee pot.  Time to make a second pot!

Hugs, C

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Myrddin hasn’t Moved!!

Thursday evening we attended the Escapade closing ceremonies and the fairwell picnic. 

I then got to learn a new card game, ‘Hand and Foot’.  What fun!!  We had 20 RV-Dreamers playing, girls against guys.  I sort of got thrown in to the fray, learning as we went, so my poor partner, Karen Martin, and her husband, Don, along with Bob Williams had to teach me as we went.  This is a really fun card game so Ken and I are going to find some ‘Skip Bo’ cards now.  You can play with regular cards but we really liked this version of the game and hope we’ll run in to folks again to play.

There’s a simple sentence that really says so much about this lifestyle and I heard it a lot on Friday morning….”We’re in no hurry”.  The majority of our friends were heading out on Friday but everyone was taking their time and standing around with coffee and conversation, enjoying the last hours together.

After 30 years at a job where things always had to be done faster, faster, faster, this way of living is a real dream come true for me!

These kinds of partings  with friends could be sad if it weren’t that we are feeling more and more re-assured that we will meet these folks again down the road.

And, as proof of that, we got a big surprise later in the day.  Because we wanted full hookups to take nice long hot showers and also to do some tank backflushing we decided we’d stop overnight in Prairie Pines Campground in Rantoul IL.    As we got near the gate I noticed that Myrddin was still parked in his comfy spot right where we had left him last week.

Jim and Linda Smith had told us that they would be leaving a few days after we saw them last week but as it turned out they had not done all the visiting in the area that they’d planned and were staying a bit longer.  Since my online access had been limited in the last week I hadn’t been checking in on them through their blog and we were thrilled to see that, yes, we got to visit again with these friends who we didn’t think we’d be seeing again until next April.

As it turns out we sat around and talked from out 2:00 arrival until the guys went and picked up Monical’s pizza for us about 5:30.  


It was such a nice way to spend the afternoon.

As usual Ken and Jim spent lots of time talking about various rig maintenance issues.  It was nice to hear that after taking a quick tour of our rig, Jim, with his decade of experience fulltiming felt that our current motorhome was quite adequate for fulltiming.  He also agrees fully with the general recommendations we heard at Escapade –> especially with the number of quality issues being experienced in new rigs lately, if you have a rig that has no functional problems, stick with what you’ve got!!   While we don’t have as much basement storage as they do in their Beaver, we have lots of interior storage and can adjust what we are carrying  to make more room and carry different stuff for fulltiming than ‘vacation/tailgating’ mode.   There are some cosmetic enhancements we’d like to make but we can start working through them a little at a time.

Because we wanted those long showers, Ken and I headed back in to the rig about 7pm.

It’s now 7:30 Saturday  morning and Ken’s cooking breakfast while I finish this blog.

We plan to be on the road before 10:00 hoping to get in to Beaver Dam State Park by mid-afternoon so Ken can get in a nap before we head in to party with Kyle’s law firm tonight.

Hugs, C

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Escapade Update

It’s Thursday, the last official day of Escapade and its raining so I’ve decided to kick back in the Hospitality building and get caught up on blogs.
We’ve really enjoyed the last few days.
As if we can’t find enough to eat at meals, the Amish have on ongoing bake sale set up at the center of the rally with a tempting variety of homemade pies, breads, and canned goods.
Because this number of motorhomes require quite a lot of space, they provide a tram to transport folks. Here one of our neighbor’s, Mark Hall, is taking his turn volunteering as tractor driver.
Every afternoon during social hour there is a lot of silliness going on on-stage.
At one of the social hours, Jenny and Don won a gift pack from Dollywood, including the darling little bear she is carrying. Dollywood comes to this event to look for Dollywood Work-Campers among the full-time RVers
After the event, some in the group surprised the newlyweds with a ‘honeymoon’ package which covered a day’s outing to go on an organized tour of Amish sites.
We made a trip over to Shipshewana for another enjoyable Amish meal at the Dutch Maid. As is the case in most parking lots in this area, you are sharing spaces with horse and buggies, and have to be careful when walking to be sure you are missing what they leave behind!!
Our dining friends at the Dutch Maid Diner included Jim and Dee, Jim and Ellie and Darrell and Judy.
I attended a presentation given on Amish history and traditions. I did not realize that the Amish came from the same portion of Germany as my mother’s ancestor’s, the Alsace-Lorraine territory. The language spoken by the Amish is Pennsylvania Dutch, which is actually a German dialect of this area. This now begins to make more sense to me as I recall being confused as a child when my father would mention my German relatives speaking Pennsylvania Dutch. It also explains why the Amish cooking seems like Sunday dinners at home!
Little Princess Sox has spent a great deal of time in the bedroom of the motorhome, waiting for Mom and Dad to show up between events to get a walk in. As usual she searches out the most comfortable point in the room. In this case between the bedroom pillows.
She and Ditka were very happy that they did have some events specially for furkids. They particularly enjoyed the agility training session. Both seemed keen on the fun of jumps and tunnels although it is obviously it takes at least as much people training. Ditka has been making an amazing recovery from surgery and showed no hesitation on the short jumps despite doing them with only muscle, not bone, connecting that left hind leg.
There have been two firsts for us this week. One was that after 4 years of RVing, I took my first shower in a public shower room. Ken marked that on the calendar! The second was that we had our first experience of having our tanks pumped out by a honey wagon. These poor guys had 2 hundred rigs to get through and at their fastest were only averaging about 7 rigs an hour.
One of my favorite parts of the last few days has been watching a movie over at Dee and Jim’s place. I’d heard that ‘In to the Wild’ was a really amazing movie. It was absolutely awesome. It is a true story and must be seen, probably a couple of times, to be truly appreciated. When it was over all I could say was ‘Wow!!’. It really hit home with me. Ken loved it as well. This was the third time Dee and Jim had watched and they say they enjoy it more every time. I think this is a movie for anyone that will have a wide audience of repeat viewers for years to come. I don’t often buy movies, but this will be one I want to keep.
We spent a little time inside with Jim and Ellie, getting the dime-tour of their Phaeton. While these are great rigs from the factory, Ellie and Jim have also made some really nice enhancements to make it an even better rig for fulltimers. We really love those motorhomes but, at least for now, because we have been so lucky without problems on ours, we will live without those added amenities rather than risk an upgrade. There’s just so many things that can go wrong on these moving houses that the common wisdom is that if you don’t have problems with the one you have, stick with it.
That doesn’t mean that we haven’t come away with lots of ideas (spelled $$$$) on how we could upgrade the coach we have in terms of cabinetry, furniture, window coverings and flooring. I’ve developed quite a wish list!
Well it’s about time for closing ceremonies and the rains seem to be giving us a break to move without getting soggy so its time to move on.
Hugs, C

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Escapade 2010 Highlights – Part One

We’ve kept so busy that I’m tempted to simply say “See other Escapees blogs for details”.  Those attending are all marked with ‘**’.

However, since one of my main objectives in blogging is to maintain a family history for future years and a central repository of key photos I’ll jump in to some highlights….

Saturday, 9/10, was a dreary day in terms of weather but still great for enjoying time with friends.


We decided to take in some of the great Amish food in the area, travelling with Jim and Dee Walters to Das Dutchman Essenhaus in Middlebury.


The food is served family style or off-menu.  We chose family style.  It was absolutely delicious but the desserts included were just plain amazing.  Dee enjoyed the shoofly pie so much that we stopped by the bakery on the way out so she could buy a pie to take back.


On our way home it seemed the sun was battling to make a showing, just in time to set.


Sunday, kickoff day for the Escapade, it was obvious, just how big this rally would be.

Ken took our neighbor, Darrell Patterson’s lead and climbed atop the motorhome to takena few shots of all the rigs crammed in all around us here at the Elkhart 4H Campground.IMG_0813


The largest building was packed to capacity for the Opening Ceremonies.


On Monday, we got up early to be sure that we were registered for a visit from the honey wagon.  I’d rather pay $18 for a mid week dump rather than have to scrimp on my shower time all week!!

Ken then had to remove our ‘RV Dreamers’ identification ribbon on the rig and replace it with the tag used by the honey wagon to find the rigs they were scheduled to dump.



We got a surprise when Linda and Howard Payne came in for a one day visit.

Linda and Jenny were obviously thrilled to see each other.


Monday evening, Howard and Linda participated in the Full Timers Panel Discussion.  Fellow RV-Dreamers, Mark and Dortha Hall (in center of picture below) also participated.


We said our ‘good byes’ to Linda and Howard after this seminar and then Ken and Dee headed off to play ‘Hand and Foot’ with a group.  I was happy to go back to the rig at this point, walk the dogs and cuddle up with my book.

As has been the case since we got hit, the Tuesday morning started out  nice and cool.  It was 57 degrees in the rig when I got up.  Ken had moved out to the couch early morning and obviously he and Sox considered 57 degrees a bit too cool since they were really bundled up together!!


And so, it’s time to sign off and enjoy the rest of Tuesday.  I suppose we’ll have to get back to reality and do a Walmart run, maybe a little cleaning in between all the fun stuff.



Saturday, September 11, 2010

Escapade “Pre-Gaming”

We arrived in Elkhart Campground late Wednesday afternoon.  We were not particularly thrilled by the front desk greeting at this park.  They weren’t busy at the time but still did not seem particularly friendly or interested in answering questions for us.

Luckily, I just dialed Dee Walters number, one of out RV-Dreamer buddies and she was able to tell us which sites were near the group we were meeting here.

We pulled in and said our “hellos”.  Since the group was on the way out to an Amish dinner, we had time on our own to get set up and then head to “Between the Buns” for dinner.  Good pub food but not a lot different from most sports bar/restaurants.

We slept in Thursday and then did some exploring on our own in the area since we wanted to check out some of the RV salvage supply shops and also wanted to get our bearings on the route to the fairground since some folks wanted to meet us along the route.  As it turned out the route identified was a disaster with construction.  With 14 rigs already trying to do the 20 miles together from Elkhart campground, we had to nix plans for meeting anyone else along the way.

Ken and I enjoyed the ‘soup-salad-breadsticks’ lunch at Olive Garden and then after a grocery store stop got back to the rig in time for happy hour.


Most of the folks are also bloggers so if you look to the left of this blog, any of those blogs marked with ‘**’ are folks that are part of the group and have lots more pictures and info on our activities here.

We went out to dinner Thursday evening at Culvers with Dee and Jim Walter.  I’ve never eaten at a Culvers so it was quite a treat for me.

Friday was a new experience for us in trying to do a caravan 20 miles.  We did a relatively good job of staying together, with 9 of us, who are in the area with no sewer, now parked together next to the ‘Rabbit’ building at the fairground.  The four in our group that have full hookups were able to get together but about 2 blocks away from us.  They had quite a scare when ‘Mac’ (Gregg McHenry) had a health emergency and ended up being transported to the local hospital.  He’s been released and we were happy to see him bouncing around in his golfcart this morning.


So now the Happy Hours are looking much the same except they are simply set up outside the rabbit hutches!


It’s been really great to finally meet so many of the folks with whom I’ve communicated online for years.

It seems a bit strange to be heading in to a September weekend without preparing for a football game.  We did get a reminder of that as the Goodyear blimp passed over us on its way to the Notre Dame game.


It’s now Saturday and raining.  I washed some of the inside windows this morning and then Ken walked the dogs and me over to the hospitality area where I stayed to catch up online.  Where we are parked the wifi is not good, but excellent here in the main buildings.

We’ve plans again tonight to head out for dinner and meantime, Ken is going to watch some of the college games while I finish my latest favorite book “The Lacuna” by Barbara Kingsolver (Thanks Joann and Laurie for the recommendation!)



Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Meeting with Myrddin

We left Quincy about noon on Tuesday for the 200 mile leg of our next adventures that landed us at our overnight destination, Rantoul, IL, at the Prairies Pines Campground.

Back in April we had met Jim and Linda Smith at the RV-Dreams Rally.  Their motorhome, named Myrddin,  writes their blog, Myrddin’s Travels. I had noticed awhile back that they had good things to say about this Rantoul campground which just happened to be at almost exactly the halfway point between home and Elkhart, IN, so we set our trip plan to make this our overnight stop.

I was thrilled to notice earlier this week that Jim and Linda were actually back in Rantoul and so we let them know we’d be there.

They were wonderful hosts.  When we got there Jim had already talked to the office and had us in the site right next to Myrddin.


After spending time re-acquainting, we decided it would be a good idea to throw some food together.  Jim got his grill going and we did brats.  Linda just happened to have thrown together one of Ken’s favorites – green bean casserole.

We continued our visit inside their coach.  Myrddin is one impressive 1993 Beaver motorhome. It has this massive digital control panel over the driver that looks right out of Star Wars and absolutely beautiful woodwork. 


It’s easy to see why Beaver is considered such a quality coach when you see one like this 17 years old.

By the way, Myrddin is actually another name you may have heard for Merlin.  It’s thought that there was actually a Welshman back in the 6th century by the name Myrddin who was the basis for the mythic Merlin.  Ken and I are both really in to that kind of literature and so it made perfect sense when we found at that Linda had been a high school English teacher with a particular interest in mythology.

Jim and Linda will soon celebrate 10 years of full-time RVing so its especially interesting to hear their views on different aspects of the lifestyle.  They seem to have a lot in common with us in terms of what they enjoy and how they like to travel.  It’s also surprising to realize the number of mutual friends we share along the road.

Before we knew it, it was 10:00.  How time flies when you are enjoying the evening.

It was a perfect evening for sleeping with the windows open and with the exception of a few trains the campground was very quiet.  (Is there a zoning restriction in the Midwest that campgrounds must be located near train tracks??)



There were morning glories to greet us outside the rig Wednesday morning.





Ken accuses me of kicking him out of the rig so I can do my 45 minutes of Nordic Track but I know that’s an excuse.  He really doesn’t seem to have much problem extending the dogs walk to an hour or more considering the amount of talking he does along the way.




In fact, by the time he got back this morning after another nice morning talk with Jim, we missed our normal 10am departure time.






We said our good-byes about 10:40.  We are so glad we got to spend time with Jim and Linda.  While its nice to meet people at rallies, you don’t get much of the one-on-one time like we had last night with such special folks.   It’s also good to know that we will get to see these them again, at the 2011 RV-Dreams Rally in April if not before. 


It’s becoming very comforting to know that when we make good friends like this and then have to leave saying ‘see ya down the road’, we can expect that we will since so many of our paths seem to intertwine in our RV travels.

And so, as I write this, we are on Highway 24, making our way toward Elkhart on 2-lane highways. 

We’ve already had a good omen that our wonderful September-to-remember will continue today since Ken got to see his all time favorite vehicle, the Oscar Meyer Wiener, on the highway.

Hugs, C

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What a Weekend!!

In the 2500+ weekends I’ve experienced in my lifetime, I’d rank this Labor Day weekend among the best!




It started early with Trevor’s girlfriend, Leah, arriving on Thursday evening.








Ditka was almost as thrilled to see her as Trevor.  Ditka has never been a dog that likes to be held but since his surgery, especially if he seems to be having a tough day, he loves to be cuddled, especially by pretty ladies!!






Kyle and Jenni arrived for the weekend on Friday evening, in time to join us at the QND football game where the Raiders made easy work of winning their second season game against Macomb.

Trevor and Leah left early Saturday morning to travel with the QND Raiders to Iowa City to watch the Hawkeyes put it to Trev’s EIU Panthers.  The QND team coach always treats his team to one outing to a college game and they still have a former QND player on the EIU roster, Dominic Pagliara, so this was a good game for them to see even if it was a blowout as expected.  There’s nothing quite to compare to Iowa City on football game day!

If my mood Saturday morning had stayed around for the whole weekend, no one would have had a good time.  I was making 72 deviled eggs for the couples shower.  I followed all the rules that are suppose to make the eggs come out of shells easily and, lo and behold, the egg whites were sticking to the shells like they were glued. At about 11:00 our #3 ‘son’, Luke and his lovely wife, Lindsay, came by and walked in to the kitchen from hell.  Ken and Kyle were attempting to help with the eggs and I was generally throwing fits all over.  As a result we were running late for the couples shower, which, for those who know me, being late is a REAL pet peave.

Ok, so we got to the shower, poured down a couple of glasses of wine and the world became a much  better place!

Jenni’s brothers, Josh and JP, manned the grills, dishing out burgers and hot dogs.  We had lots of great dishes provided by the bridal party.

Ken organized a game of lawnchair baseball which was a lot of fun with the Cardinals and Cubs splitting the double-header.


At the same time some of the group were playing bags.   Ringbearer, Oaklee, found this to be the most fun and was happy to toddle around picking up the bags.







Kyle and Jenni opened  lots of nice shower gifts.









Meanwhile, Cousin Erin taught her new buddy, Oaklee, how to pop the bubbles in the packing.






As evening came, many in the group moved the party to our house where we could also watch the Tivo’d Iowa vs EIU game.


Sadly, not much to watch, but then no worse than the other first games of the season when Trev was playing.  You just always hope when they put these top 10 teams against EIU that the guys play hard and come away healthy.  The I-AA teams get huge payouts for these games so it is really good for the programs so long as the guys don’t get hurt.  It’s also allowed Trev to play in such great surroundings as Penn State and Purdue.  Of course, even those don’t hold water to playing in the Horseshoe against Ohio State when he was with Bowling Green.

It was a really enjoyable day with all our young friends/family getting a chance to kick back together and enjoy time together.

Sunday was another fun family day.  Ken started the morning making a big breakfast followed by his great bloody mary’s.  It was the first time in ages that we’ve been able to have Kyle, Trevor, Luke and their ladies all with us for the whole day.

Around lunchtime the guys set up the croquet set.   Trevor and Leah went to the store and cooked up some really great variations of brats with onions and peppers.  Ken, the bartender switched over to making another drink he does really well, vodka gimlets, which has now taken on the official Frericks name of ‘Croquet Juice’.  So now we know the official drink for all future Croquet outings!

Most of the day was spent sitting on the patio, enjoying the gorgeous weather and each others company.

After sunset the group moved in to the house and ordered pizza.  At that point, a euchre tournament broke out.  Not like this group needs constant competition or anything!

Folks started to drop off little by little.  Jenni fell asleep with Staley on the couch as her pillow. 


I dropped off to bed about 11:00 but the card playing went on well in to the night.

Luke and Lindsay to the train back to Chicago early Monday morning.  The rest of the group enjoyed Kenny’s big breakfast and then packed up for the road.

By late afternoon, Ken, Trev and I were once again back to a quiet house, and I headed to the store to stock up for Trevor since Ken and I would leave Tuesday for a 2 week outing in the RV, leaving him to man the house.

I’m finishing this post as we travel done the Illinois Interstate on our way to Rantoul, IL for our overnight stop enroute to the 2010 Escapade.

Wonderful, wonderful Labor Day and now it’s great to be on the road again!!

Hugs, C