Tuesday, September 23, 2014

September 22 - 28, 2014, MN and MO

Monday, September 22.  I woke up to this cute voice saying, "Grandma, it's day time" at about 7:30 this morning and the pace hasn't slowed until just now, 8:15 pm.  After breakfast, we took a hike down a beautiful wooded path, spotting a cute little frog hopping across the path, and ended up at Lake Independence.  We walked out on the dock and talked to a fisherman and just ran and played for a bit before hearing back to the campsite for a snack and lunch.

This afternoon, I gave her the choice of going to the playground or back to the beach and her choice was the beach.  We rolled up our pant legs and played along the shore for an hour before heading back home.  

I wanted to reward her great behavior with an ice cream but after stopping for gas about 3 miles from the campground, she was asleep in her car seat.  We did stop just before getting back home and she was happy about that.  She became instantly cranky when we walked back in her house - whiny, cranky, demanding, and even having to have a couple of timeouts.  

Jill made a delicious lasagna for dinner and some blueberry crunch with ice cream for dinner.  

Tuesday, September 23.  Today is the 47th anniversary of the day that Mike and I became engaged.  I know it is strange, but as I was driving from Minneapolis to my camping destination near 
Des Moines today, I really felt his presence in the seat next to me (yes, he was sleeping).  I sure miss him and wish that our lives together could have lasted a lot longer.  In spite of having to go solo though, I am still enjoying my life and hope that the adventure continues.

It seemed like a long drive today and I guess that 265 miles at 60-65 mph is pretty long.  I had started out thinking that I would stop at Clear Lake, IA for the night but that was only 2.5 hours out of Minneapolis, so I continued on.  I went 10 miles west of Webster City but didn't feel comfortable there, then checked out an RV park in Story City and didn't feel comfortable there either (too many permanent sites), so a KOA just west of Des Moines is where I stopped for the night.  It would have cost me $35 for the night but I bought a bottle of Iowa wine for $15, only to find that I have no wine opener with me.  No problem, I have vodka and tonic, so will save that wine to drink with Rita tomorrow night.

Also just realized - I'm on my own.  No sons, grandkids, daughters-in-law, or friends around.  It's going to be a long, quiet night with just me and my buddy Frisco.  I love you all!

Wednesday, September 24.  It started raining in the wee hours of the morning and didn't stop.  It was a rough night, with only about 3 hours of sleep because of the 2 guys in the RV that pulled in next to me around 8:30 last night.  I kept hearing doors closing, heavy footsteps, discussions while they setup (it took hours), thumping around inside, and when I peeked out my window around 3:00, their lights were still on.  I took Frisco out in the pouring rain this morning - now I'm soaked and had to change clothes before taking off.  I was going to empty my tanks but was missing a critical part and the office/store wasn't open, so I hit the road around 8:30.

I drove through rain off and on until I got to Rita's house in Blue Springs.  Boy, does it feel good to have her arms around me once more.  We chatted, got me settled, and headed off to have pedicures - what a wonderful treat!  Denny was home when we got back and we had a yummy pot roast dinner, some welcome cocktails, and a very relaxing evening.

Thursday, September 25.  Denny headed off to work and Rita and I took our time getting ready for the day.  We both needed a pair of jeans, so off we went to the mall and we both got lucky.  I found a pair of $60 jeans on sale for $17 - you can't beat that!

We had some lunch and headed out to Cockrell Mercantile - a historic community where all of the buildings have been converted to shops with cooking related products - one has nothing but Fiesta Ware.  I never knew there were so many options - and the stuff is pricey!  This is a regular stop when I come here.

This afternoon, I followed Denny to an RV repair technician that he knows and the guy walked me through the items on my list that weren't working on the trailer or I didn't know how to work them. After 15 minutes and $60, we were heading back home and I had the answers that I needed.  Water leaks in my toilet and water heater were caused because I didn't have a pressure regulator on my hose.  My refrigerator was not working on battery power because I was turning off the master switch for the power.  My shower was not draining and I assumed it might be a problem draining into the holding tank - it doesn't go to a tank, but drains directly out where a hose can be connected and it can run straight to o the sewer - or on the ground (if no one is watching).  I am very relieved that nothing is broken - and I now understand how they work.  Thanks to Walks and his connections!

We stopped by Bob and Penny's this evening because they had their grandkids and I hadn't met little Harlow, who was born on Mike's birthday last year.  She is a doll and big brother Lincoln has really grown and is quite the chatterbox - full of stories of his imaginary family.

Friday, September 26.  I moved in to Bob's house this morning. He wasn't home when I got there, so I practiced backing up in his driveway a few times - I'm getting better!  When Bob got back, we went to a nearby car wash and cleaned up my car and the trailer, they both really needed a bath.  I got settled in at the spot where Mike and I parked the motorhome whenever we visited, another place that brings back so many memories of our wonderful times together.

Penny got off work at noon, so we went to the Canoe Club for one of their yummy fish tacos, then she and I headed off to Costco to get supplies for a family gathering and bonfire tomorrow night.

Sunday, September 28.  Bob and I are sitting here relaxing - company is gone and the Packer game is on - quiet.  

Our Saturday started with coffee and the we headed to Lincoln's soccer game - those little 4-year olds ar so cute!

We then went back home and began to get ready for a family gathering and bonfire tonight.  Randy was the first to arrive, he and his son Ryan rode their Harleys up from Springfield but Ryan had a previous commitment with friends.  Christel, Josh, and Barley came next and set up a tent in the back 40 so they didn't have to drive home later.  Then Amber and Joel arrived with Lincoln and Harlow, followed by Aaron and Olivia and then Brittany.  When Rita and Denny got there, our group was complete and the party began - we ate, played, talked and drank beer for the next few hours.  The 3 little ones had so much fun together!  Aaron brought glow-in-the-dark loops and they had a ball with them, they got rides in the wagon pulled behind the ATV, and they ran and played with the wagon a lot.

Lincoln, Olivia, and Barley

Bob started the fire and we had to stand way back, as the flames shot up at least 20 feet.  He and the neighbors have been building the burn pile since the spring.

This morning, I got to go on a motorcycle ride through some pretty back roads with Randy. It's been a long time since I've done that, and I really enjoyed it.  We cleaned up from last night, Penny made biscuits and gravy, Rita and Ryan came by, and we hung out it was time for everyone to head back home.  

Rita, Denny, Christel, and Brittany

Papa Bob annd Harlow

Rita and I

Randy and I

Ryan, Bob, Rita, Me, Brittany, and Randy

I fixed Zuppa Tuscano for dinner tonight and Penny's Mom, Norma joined us.  It was good to see that she has fully recovered from a fall last November that kept her in recovery mode for several months.  My soup was a big hit.