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September 2008
September 1 - 7, 2008
Monday, September 1. Labor Day. After a slow start to the day, we drove up to Portage to hang out with Dan and Sharon. Rachael, Rob, and the kids joined us later in the afternoon. It was fun playing with the kids. We got a kick out of Reanna, as she now refers to us as "Rock and Roll", not Mike and Rose.

Dan fixed a free range chicken on the grill using the beer can method - it turned out delicious. Rachel brought country ribs and we had an assortment of potatoes, salad, watermelon, and yummy peach cobbler for dessert.

Tuesday, September 2. Chore day. It took a good part of the day to get the laundry done as a young gal was doing the laundry for a party of about 8 people, so I had to wait for machines to open up. A job that normally takes about 1.5 hours ended up taking 3.

She had quite a story. They were in the park because they had a tire blowout on their vintage Bluebird yesterday. They waited in heavy traffic and near 90 degree conditions before being towed 10 miles to the park. Their party consisted of 7 very large people, an infant, and a large dog - all traveling in that old motor home.

Pat came over and helped me clean up my computer. Guess I had quite a lot of stuff running on it that I didn't need and also he upgraded it to the newest version of Windows XP.

Later in the afternoon, Rosemary (my brother Rocco's ex-wife), her husband Rob, and their 2 children Paul and Rachael came by for a visit. Sure was nice to see them again - we had a great visit. The kids had fun in the motorhome, playing on the playground in the park, and playing with Frisco.

Wednesday, September 3. It was hard to get up at 6:30 this morning, to allow us time to get the motorhome ready to roll again. We had an 8:00 appointment at an RV repair place to get the windshield replaced on the passenger side. When we arrived here, we noticed that a small crack was forming and before long it was a large crack. A cold front came through last night and the temperature dropped to about 50 degrees with a high of 70 expected for today.

While waiting for the repair, we drove up to Wyocena to visit with Mom. She was not having a good day today. She was quite blue and weepy about not liking it where she is, not understanding why she was there, and just wanting to run away. We took her outdoors and found a nice sunny place to sit and visit. Today, it seemed like a very long couple of hours and we both felt so helpless.

The motor home was ready to be picked up at noon. Another $1330 covered by insurance - sometimes it pays off. We were back home and hooked up and settled in by 1:00. Time for naps.

Thursday, September 4. Rain, rain, rain. All day long since some time during the night. And COLD - today's high is only expected to be 60. Welcome back to Wisconsin! Needless to say, warm clothes, extra blankets, raincoats, and the little heater came back out of storage. It looks like we are getting some of the effects of Hurricane Gustav that hit the Louisiana coast on Monday (not nearly the damage of Katrina from 3 years ago). Right now there are 3 more tropical storms forming in the southeast with warnings for evacuations along the Carolina coast. We're glad we are where we are.

It was a good day to use the oven, so I made a homemade pizza for dinner. It doesn't take long for this little space to warm up with the oven going. We watched a movie, then watched the last night of the Republican Convention and John McCain's speech.

Friday, September 5. The rain stopped and the skies cleared, resulting in a beautiful bright sunny day that kind of had the feeling of autumn. We drove to Stoughton to spend the afternoon with Pat, taking advantage of our time together as he will be going back to work on Monday, after being laid off for the past month. He cooked one of the Highlander beef roasts in the slow cooker, complete with potatoes, onions, celery, and carrots. Yum! Yum!

Saturday, September 6. Frisco and I started the day with a nice, long walk. It was a cool and crisp but bright and sunny day.

When we got back, Mike and I prepared our dish to be entered in Dana and Justin‚??s cookoff to be held this afternoon at their home in Stoughton. The recipe we made was Cowboy Beans ‚?? we simmered them in the crockpot most of the afternoon.

We arrived at the party around 4:00 and filled out a label for our entry, considered to be in the ‚??side dish‚?Ě category. The other 3 categories were meats, vegetables, and desserts. Mike and I and 6 other people volunteered to be judges and there were 2 judges for each category. Once all 33 entries had arrived, each judge taste tested each recipe in their category and then gave them a score of 1-70 for taste and 1-25 for appearance. All guests also submitted the favorite selections in each category. There was no way all entries could be tasted by every person but every one that I did taste was excellent.

1st and 2nd place prizes (ribbons and $25 gift cards) were given for each category. The 1st place winners were Pat‚??s BBQ ribs, Diane‚??s Mediterranean salad, Cheryl‚??s Tomato Bacon Bites, and Dana‚??s Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownie Cupcakes. Second place winners were Justin‚??s Surf and Turf (beef tenderloin and shrimp), Eileen‚??s Squash soup, Linda's Bacon Bites, and Megan's Strawberry Cake.

After everyone was good and stuffed from trying to sample everything, and the prizes were given out, we sat around a bonfire and told stories. It was a very enjoyable evening with lots of good company and great food.

Sunday, September 7. After a relaxing morning and a nice, long walk we headed to Monona to visit with Tom and Karen. Mike and Tom watched Brett Favre's 1st game with the Jets while Karen and I took off and ran some errands. After that, we all had a nice time playing with the dogs, enjoying the beautiful afternoon, and visiting. Frisco and Tiller (their Airedale) got along great.

For dinner, we had some of Tom's delicious lasagna, a special treat as he makes the best that we have ever tasted. It was a great day just hanging out with family.
September 8- 14, 2008
Tuesday, September 9. BRRRRR. The thermometer read 44 when I got up this morning but the sun is shining so we will see improvement today.

Yesterday was cold and rainy and it continued all day long. We stayed indoors except for a few short walks when the rain let up. It felt good to just hang around the house all day and do nothing.

We stopped by the cheese house next door and bought some cheese curds and sausage, then made a stop at a farm market and picked up a cantaloupe and some fresh tomatoes, then headed over to have lunch with Mom. She was so appreciative and loved having some of the things that she doesn't get any more, especially the tomatoes. It was such a beautiful afternoon that we took her for a nice, long walk through the neighborhood.

We both were hungry for ribs so we stopped at the meat market and bought some on our way home. Then sat at the picnic table, played some Farkel and had some *bleep*tails while they cooked. The ribs turned out great, but not quite as good at what Pat made on Saturday for the cookoff.

Thursday, September 11. Not much happening the last 2 days, kind of felt like our "normal" lifestyle. It was quite rainy this morning, so I didn't get out for much of a walk until this afternoon. It has warmed up again, to the low 70s.

We've been watching the news about Hurricane Ike that is expected to hit the Texas gulf coast - it looks like a bad one. Hope we still have a place to go to for the winter.

This evening, we met our longtime friends, Jim and Sue, at Paisan's in Madison, voted "Best Pizza" year after year. The location has moved again but the decor is as we remembered and the pizza and salad was delicious. We had a nice table overlooking Lake Monona and we talked and talked and talked. It was so nice to hang out with them again. Hopefully, we can fit in one more visit before we leave the area again.

Friday, September 12. I spent the morning in Madison looking for garage sales (not many around) and ended up at the mall where I got a haircut.

Friday night around here just isn't right without going for fish fry. So we hooked up with Pat and Rog and headed to the Westside Inn in Columbus where we met Kim (Pat's niece), her husband Rich, and their 2 daughters, Courtney and Brooke. Had a real nice time and a delicious dinner. Mike ordered the Walleye and I ordered the Lake Perch and we shared. Both were delicious. German potato salad or au gratin potatoes and salad bar were also on the menu.

Saturday, September 13. The pitter patter of raindrops falling on the roof was going on all night long. It didn't really keep us awake but we were aware of it, so didn't sleep the greatest. It continued on most of the morning, so had to get walks in when it died down to a sprinkle. The roads are filled with lots of puddles.

Hurricane Ike hit the Texas/Louisiana gulf coast early this morning and it looks like lots of damage around there; flooding, collapsed homes, tree damage, and litter everywhere. People that we know of in the area are safe, but power is out for more than 3 million people. Rockport and Corpus Christi were spared. We were wondering if our site in Rockport would still be available for the winter, looks like it won't be a problem. It is a huge storm, nearly 500 miles in width.

This afternoon we had a reunion with Mike's cousins and their families at Vicki's house in Monona. Fortunately, the rain stopped and we were able to hang out on the patio; laughing, joking, and telling stories. The usual picnic fare of brats, beans, potato salad, veggies, melon, and cake was excellent. The company was great and it was a really nice time.

On the way home, we talked about not being very good about taking pictures lately, so there are none to post of this occasion. I'll have to start carrying the camera in my purse.

Sunday, September 14. Pat called this morning to let us know that they were accepting our offer of help on their painting projects. We still have the window trim to finish on the exterior back of the house but since it is another rainy day, we will be starting on the interior ceilings.

We arrived around noon and proceeded to get going. It was nice to have 4 people working,(although we were in each other's way and at times we sounded like the Bickersons) we made good progress; patching, taping, covering furniture, and then getting the ceiling done in the living room, dining room, kitchen, and hallway. As usual it needs another coat of paint to cover consistently. I had planned to help Tracey again later on this week anyway, so it looks like we will have an additional day to complete the project.

We had a delicious pizza from Page Street Pizza for dinner, then headed home to watch 60 Minutes.
September 15 - 19, 2008
Monday, September 15. It was another cold, brisk morning but there are a few breaks in the clouds, something we haven't seen for a few days. I had to put an extra layer on when Frisco and I went for our walk this morning.

We took off around noon to drive to Christmas Mountain, near Wisconsin Dells where we met up with friends and coworkers whom we met while working at San Francisco RV Resort in Pacifica, CA. It was great to see Gail and Elaine again and to hear their stories about how things are in Pacifica and about their trip to the east. They thought South Dakota, Minnesota, and Wisconsin were beautiful, as they have never been to this area before. At Christmas Mountain, they met up with friends that they met while leading a caravan to Alaska a few years back. The friends are from this area.

It really is a small world, as one of the ladies was a friend of one of my former bosses from Covance, Fred Decker, a man I have always had great respect for. I was sad to hear that he had passed away since my retirement.

After visiting for a couple of hours, we said goodbye and then made a stop at the Tanger Outlet Mall in Wisconsin Dells.

Wednesday, September 17. Yesterday was laundry and visit with Mom day. She was in very good spirits this afternoon, was taking a nap when we arrived. It was a gorgeous, sunny day and we went for a walk and sat on the deck to visit. A stop at the local apple orchard resulted in having fresh cherry tomatoes and apples to snack on. She appreciates that so much as I don't believe the get too many fresh vegetables and fruits.

Today, we headed to Stoughton to review our investment accounts at Edward Jones. It has been 2 years since we've seen Kent, so it was nice to visit with him again. We have trusted him with our investments for about 20 years now. Although we have taken a huge hit over the past year, we continue to make more than we spend and can continue to live the way we do. When the market turns around (when, not IF), then we will be much better off. We left there feeling reassured and much more confident than when we arrived.

Another reason for being there was to help Tracey paint this afternoon. She works from home until 2:30 so we got started right after that. By 4:15 the ceiling had a 2nd coat of paint on it. We left and Tracey continued to put a primer coat on the walls.

Shortly after we got back home, Rachael called to see if we could sit with Ryan while she took Reanna to see a doctor about a possible urinary infection. It has been so long since I've been around little ones but I found that I still have my diaper changing and dressing skills. We spent a lot of the time in the rocking chair, as he was a tired little boy. What a sweetie!

Thursday, September 18. Tracey and I had another painting party at their house today while Mike hung out with his brother Tom. Since we didn't finish the priming yesterday, Tracey worked on that while I got started on putting the color on. We finished the living room (except for the front door), the dining room, and the hallway. The only part left to do is the wall and hallway going to the basement. Not bad for an 8-hour day. It was fun! We talked a lot while plugging away on the project. One more afternoon shoot finish it off.

Mike picked me up around 6:30 and we headed to Madison to pick up Baby. Baby is the 1993 Mazda Miata that we owned until we decided to full time in the motor home. At that time, he was sold to Diane and she lives in Madison. She offered us the use of Baby any time we were in the area but we haven't taken her up on the offer until now. We will be taking a long drive with the Hoovey's this weekend, while Frisco stays at Pat and Tracey's house. Mike enjoyed the Zoom Zoom of driving Baby again. It was 9:00 when we got home, both of us tired out after a long and active day.
Wisconsin Northwoods Trip September 20 and 21, 2008
What a great weekend! It all started yesterday morning at 9:30 when we met up with Pat and Roger at the De Forest Family Restaurant for breakfast. There, we discussed the route we would drive to the Wisconsin northwoods, our ultimate goal being Phillips. We took a zigzag route right through the center of the state, traveling more county roads than state highways where we would be able to see the countryside and the start of the fall colors.

The first detour we took as we were driving north of Necedah on Juneau County Hwy G was a drive by the location of the cabin that Mike‚??s parents owned from 1968 through about 1985. It was a place where we spent lots of weekends and enjoyed so many great family gatherings. It all looks the same, with the exception of many more snowmobile and ATV trails and permanent homes located nearby.

From there, we traveled along the Wisconsin River for much of the drive north. The farther north we got, the more fall color we saw along the roadsides. West of Tomahawk, we stopped at Timm‚??s Hill County Park, the highest point in Wisconsin, at 1,951.5 feet about sea level. A short hike led us to a tower where we climbed 77 steps to get to the top. At the top, we were awarded with a beautiful 360 degree view of the countryside.

On to Phillips where we landed at the Comfort Cove resort located on Solberg Lake. Click Here to see Comfort Cove's website
We were a little afraid that we wouldn‚??t find a place to spend the night as there were ‚??No Vacancy‚?Ě signs on most of the motels in town. Comfort Cove just happened to have a very nice 2 bedroom cabin available, just what the doctor ordered after a long day of driving. We had a *bleep*tail, unloaded the cars, and headed down the road to the Sunset Bay Supper Club, on the recommendation of Pam and Jim, the owners of Comfort Cove. They make a delicious homemade pizza and we all ended up being stuffed when we left. On the drive back to Comfort Cove, we had two fox cross our paths. We went to the bar for a nightcap and enjoyed a nice conversation with Pam.

It was a beautiful night! The sky was full of stars and the moon‚??s reflection over the smooth lake‚??s surface was delightful.

After a nice breakfast at the Harbor View in Phillips, we made a stop at Fred Smith‚??s Concrete Park, where 200 concrete sculptures are on exhibit. Click Here to see the Concrete Park website
Fred worked on his sculptures for 15 years after retiring from many years of hard work as a lumberjack. He could not read or write, but created the sculptures to tell the story about life in Wisconsin and to represent other moments in American history. We were all glad that we stopped to enjoy the roadside attraction.

Other than the fall color and spotting a beautiful male Ring-Necked Pheasant along the roadside, the remainder of the drive was uneventful but yet quite enjoyable. It felt good to get back home, wind-burned and a bit sun-burned. What a great way to spend the last 2 days of summer, thanks to Diane for being so generous to let us use ‚??Baby‚?Ě once again. It brought back many wonderful memories of drives taken in the past.

We miss our little dog and look forward to seeing him again tomorrow.
September 22-28, 2008
Wednesday, September 24. The last 2 days were spent mostly hanging around. On Monday, we drove to Stoughton to pick Frisco up from Pat's house. Pat called him Osama Bin Frisco, the little terrorist because he was after the cats the whole weekend. Even if he is a terrorist, we still love him and were glad to have him back. We hung around with Pat until he had to leave for work.

Yesterday morning, we had an appointment for Frisco's annual checkup. It's hard to believe that he has been with us for a year now. We're going to try to treat him for allergies by keeping him on a lamb and veggie diet, adding Omega 3 fatty acids to his diet (to help his dry skin), and possibly Benadryl. I'm not sure about the Benadryl as it seems to take all of the spunk out of him.

We talked to Ben in the afternoon and found out that he was involved in a hit and run accident this morning while riding his bike to work. It happened in a very busy intersection with many bicyclists proceeding on a green light, and a scooter proceeded on a red light right through be bikes. Nobody was hurt but Ben's bike was damaged. Charges were filed because the driver of the scooter was aggressive and rude, endangering several people.

We spent the rest of the day doing laundry and just hanging close to home. It felt real good to not run around.

I got groceries this morning, then we will head to Stoughton to finish up our painting project at Pat's house. Looking forward to having that project completed. It looks nice, as Pat has installed all new fans, light fixtures and window dressings. Project finished! Yeah!!

Thursday, September 25. After a relaxing start to the day and a nice walk with Frisco, we headed up to Wyocena to be with Mom. As usual, she was real happy to see us. We sat on the patio and played Left, Right, Center (a simple dice game) for a while. Then we took her for a walk to the Wyocena Tavern, a couple of blocks away, and sat outside in the back yard and had a Virgin Mary. Her regular diet consists of pretty bland foods, so she thought the spicy tomato juice was real tasty - also enjoyed the condiments added to it (olives and pickle). There isn't much to see in Wyocena, so the tavern is one of the few options. After that, we stopped at a small farm market and enjoyed looking at all of the fall produce, especially the rows and rows of colorful Chrysanthemums. Mom's memory was pretty clear today and we had a real nice visit.

Shortly after we got home, Dan called to say that he and Sharon were at Rachael's house (less than a mile from here) babysitting. We took our dinner over there, cooked it, and shared dinner with them. It was fun playing with the kids.

Friday, September 26. I did my usual Friday morning garage sales, ending up in Sun Prairie, so I stopped to visit with Becky and the girls for a while. Fortunately, they were just coming around the corner and got home just as I pulled up.

Tonight, we met Dan and Sharon at the Owl's Nest in Poynette for fish fry. Thought we would get there early, but when we arrived at 5:00 the place was full. The food was excellent and there was plenty of it, it was a nice time.

Shortly after we got home, Carol and Richard (our dear friends from Sheboygan) arrived at the Holiday Inn Express across the street from us. I went over and visited for a while - Mike was asleep already, I think the fish did him in.

Saturday, September 27. Carol and Richard joined us for coffee and breakfast this morning and we spent the day just hanging out, catching up on the past 2 years. Pat joined us later in the afternoon and we had a great lasagna dinner.

After dinner, our neighbor Steve and his girlfriend Janet invited us to share their campfire. So we all went and joined the circle - telling stories and having a nice time. By 8:30 though, the party broke up. We sure don't party like we used to, but that is fine with me. We will be getting an early start to the day tomorrow.

Sunday, September 28. Carol and Richard stopped by and we all went to the De Forest Family Restaurant for breakfast. Then they headed back to Sheboygan and we headed to Stoughton. There, we met up with Pat and Justin and drove to Rockford to the Midway Village Museum where World War II Days were being held. Click Here for a link to Midway Village There, we met our friends, John and Marion and their two children Joslyn and John Jr.

The museum usually is a Victorian History Museum but today is was transformed into occupied France shortly after D-Day, complete with people dressed in period costumes; the USO Club, American, Russian, Polish, German and other Allied soldiers, and nurses, and an array of weapons. Skirmishes and mock battles took place in the town streets throughout the afternoon. Many of the participants were depicting a specific person and their experiences. The ‚??camps‚?Ě located in the woods depicted what a soldier‚??s life was like in the front line fox holes.

At 2:30, we watched a battle re-enactment, complete with spotter planes, tanks, jeeps, horses and infantry, ground troops, medics, and pyrotechnics. A narrator told the crown what was going on. They actually fired the cannons and the sky was full of sparks and smoke. In the end, the US and Allied troops forced the Germans back and they were either killed or they gave up. More than 800 uniformed re-enactors plus over 50 restored vehicles took place in the event, considered to be one of the largest in the country. Thanks to John and Marion for letting us know about it.

September 29 - 30, 2008
Tuesday, September 30. Yesterday was oil change for the car day. While it was in the shop, we had them repair the remote door locks that quit working a few weeks ago.

A trip to Trader Joe's followed the car repair. From Texas, the nearest Trader Joe's is in Arizona, so we wanted to stock up on some of our favorite items like their yummy organic ketchup, General Tsao sauce, 2 buck Chuck wine, and a bunch of other goodies. We really got spoiled on Trader Joe's when we were in California.

Back at home, we had a lazy afternoon.

After doing laundry and housecleaning this morning, we went to visit Mom in the afternoon. She was perky and feeling pretty good, having just had her hair done. Sure doesn't look her age. It was a little too cool outside (mid 50s), so we sat in the visiting area. There is a computer for resident's use, so we spent some of the time showing her some of our pictures from our travels.

Created on 09/03/2008 06:52 AM by bridge
Updated on 10/01/2008 06:39 PM by bridge
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