Thursday, May 31, 2007

RV Dr. Chuck on a 911 call!!

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Happy Hour socializing.....

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Jim C. enjoying Happy Hour!!!

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"Happy Hour" fun times!!

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Campfire "doings".....

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WOW……what a wonderful fun day at the 2nd International Cedar Creek RV Owners Club Rally!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The day began a bit late for the 1st Lady and I as we just kind of slept in for a change…….and therefore we missed the Waffle Breakfast. However….that is better for our increasing poundage that becomes sooooo evident at each of these rallies which we attend.

The morning was here and gone by the time we walked around the campground and visited and laughed and talked with all of the other members who were doing the same thing: visiting and laughing and talking with all the other members!! What a great way to begin a fun day……

The 1st Lady and I had lunch and then before long we decided to run into town and doing some window shopping. Here at the Dells, the “downtown” is much like Branson or Osage Beach, MO….or any other tourist area that has been around for many years. The buildings here at the Dells are the old stores that are no longer in business as a “regular” business…..but are now Fudge Shops, T-Shirt Stores, Old-Tyme Photo Shops, etc., etc., etc…… know the kind of places that I am talking about, don’t you? Nothing much of interest……or of value to those of us who have lived long enough to visit these touristy towns many times in our lives.

We returned and before long we were in “Happy Hour” with the Club members…..and it did begin to get a little loud…..hahaha!!!! It was a GREAT time………and we were enjoying sooooo much being with everyone, which includes our good friends, Jim and Sherry from St Louis, who just arrived this afternoon. WOW……did we have a great time……and it didn’t take long for me to overdose myself on my dark red medicine. And….Jim was on the same medicine….and amazingly he has the same prescription as I do!!!!

After an hour of appetizers and vino, we had dinner of which the main entrĂ©e was Wisconsin Brats served with the trimmings and many various salads and other sides. VERY GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh my God…..but did I eat way tooooooooo much!!!!! Sure glad I missed the Waffle Breakfast this morning……whew!

I have many pictures from the Happy Hour and Dinner, but will only post a few this evening. After dinner, we joined many of the others around the campfire for some more memorable times………

Tomorrow morning we are off to a neighboring village to visit and tour a Cheese Factory!!!! YUM…YUM!!!!! Should really be interesting. Then I have a meeting at 1:30pm and in the late afternoon we are all going out to dinner at one of the local restaurants…….egads!!!! MORE FOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Saturday morning……a carry-in brunch…..MORE FOOD!!!!! What the hell am I going to do?????? My body is sagging and gravity is taking over more each day………I am being pulled downward with each and every meal!!!!!!!

Yep…….are we having a good time???????????? Your DAMN RIGHT!!!!!! These fellow club members are the best!!!!! This is where it is all happening!!!!!!! Those who have missed this Rally have absolutely NO idea of the great times that they have missed….and those who are not members…..well, that is a damn shame!!!!

We are beginning to plan our fall trips: We have a District Rally in Carthage, Missouri in late September….and then the second week of October we are seriously considering going to Albuquerque for the Balloon Race!!! Many members are going out and it will be such great fun to be there at that time…..hmmmmmm, really need to get serious about deciding to go!!!!

You know…… can it get much better than this?????? Not sure it can……but it doesn’t matter because…..

LIFE IS GREAT!!!!!!! And, I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!!

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

THIS is a Duck?????????

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QUACK, QUACK......let's get this thing moving!!!

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Sandstone Rock formations in the Lake

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A Ducky ride back to the RV Park

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Day 9: Cedar Creek RV Owners Club Rally.....a GREAT place to be!!!

WOW……did we ever sleep last night!!! We had turned on the a/c to get rid of the humidity, even though the temps did not warrant the use of it to cool down TheHowserHouse………and losing the humidity kept us sleeping soundly until almost 8am!!

As I looked out across the rv park, it appeared that there weren’t many, if any, others who were out and about very early. I had my Fr. Roast coffee….(where were you Doug?) and the 1st Lady had her tea….and then we began to wander around the park visiting with others who were enjoying the morning.

We have such a wonderful compatible group!!!! It has always been said that RV’ers are the friendliest people that you can find……and I certainly believe this is true! We knew if from our winter journey when we met sooooo many other rver’s …..and now, well this Cedar Creek RV Owners Club is really, really something special!!!! We have become friends soooo quickly with this group, of which most of them we have not known for more than a year at the most, and yet with each passing hour, these friendships become closer and tighter!!

By the end of the day tomorrow, we will have 27 units here from as far away as California and Nevada to South Carolina, and a couple of rigs from Ontario in Canada. What a cool sight it is to look across the park and see all of these various Cedar Creek 5’ers sitting there connected with their umbilical cords to their power posts…….the posts that can give them soooo much life and energy to furnish their needs for luxurious living while “camping”…… is REALLY camping?????? I think not…….at least not as we used to know and understand as “going campin’”.

There are many different styles and floor plans, as well as different years/models of Cedar Creek 5er’s. All of them have different amenities……..mine has a fireplace, surround sound, central heat/cooling, microwave/convection oven, a desk, king sized bed, great shower, etc., etc., and some even have a washing machine and dryer on board. Not like the original tent camping, is it?

I still find myself amazed at how many people, not only Cedar Creek owners, but other rv’ers who are reading my blog…..daily! And because of these many, many readers……I feel sooooo damn guilty when I have difficulty getting online as I did last week while camped at the Corps of Engineers cg at Mark Twain Lake. I want to thank many of you who wrote to me concerned about me and the lack of my blog posts!!! Nice to be wanted and needed……hahaha!!

Today…….after the morning passed by in visiting and endless chattering with many of our fellow Creekers…….a “Duck” drove into the park to pick us up and take us on a ride through town and then into Lake Delton. By “Duck”….I mean the kind of vehicle that drives on land and also can drive right into the lake and operate as a boat. We had a great time…..even though the “tour” and sights were not overwhelming! The 1st Lady and I had been on a “cruise” on the upper end of the Dells by boat three years ago…..and quite frankly, the scenery and the cruise on that trip was much more interesting and prettier than today’s. However, that being said…….the trip on the “duck” was fun, even though a wee bit cramped for many of us who have a few problems with “Uncle Arthur” in the joints.

Returning back to the park, the 1st Lady and I went over to WalMart Supercenter to pick up some food items for the next few days. This was a nice one……clean, wide aisles, and not crowded AT ALL!!!! GREAT!!!!

Many of the Creeker family went out to a restaurant for the evening meal, however, the 1st Lady and I fixed ourselves a ham sandwich and some corn on the cob……a Corona with a lime slice….and just sat back and enjoyed the early evening outside as we dined and wined. A very pleasant way to begin the evening!!!!

I had called a committee meeting for 8pm at TheHowserHouse…….the nominating committee to select the candidates for the national Club secretary, treasurer, and asst. treasurer. As of tonight, I can’t discuss the nominees because they have not all been contacted for their “ok”…..and some of them are avid readers of this blog.

Anyway…..our meeting was over rather quickly, but the guys remained and we chatted about our individual lives and occupations and travels for over an hour. It was a GREAT way to get to know each other better…….as small groups are always the best way to learn about each other!!!!

As I write this, the raindrops are beginning to patter on the rooftop……as predicted! And…..they are supposed to hang around for tomorrow, also…….UGH!!!!! Oh well……we have a shelter are where we can hang out and discuss our rv’s and our travel’s if the rain continues. The rest of the week there are activities scheduled if we want to join the various little jaunts around the area. The 1st Lady and I will be going on the tour of a cheese factory close by here…….and we also want to get down to the “city center” to do some shop looking……of course!

Ahhhhh……..a relaxing day……a day of enjoying our friendships…..a day of just visiting and, of course….riding the “duck”. What more could we ask for?!!!

Life is GREAT….and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Happy Hour scenes, Tuesday

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An OLD dog teaching a young dog tricks!

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Happy Hour at the CCRV Club Rally

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Rachel and Meghan......

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Hang On, AVA!!!!

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1st Lady and Ava on a scooter ride

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TheHowserHouse at Indian Creek CG at Mark Twain Lake, MO

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Day 8: Tuesday....a Day of Traveling....

Well.....DAMN!!!!! There is no way I will ever catch up on this blog. Read below in the previous posts that I just published this evening.........I have never been THIS LONG without being able to get online since I began posting on this blog two years and several months ago!!!!!!!! I am having horrific withdrawal problems.....and to make matters worse.....for some damn reason that I know no why I have lost ALL of my precious, most important bookmarks!!!!! Internet Explorer will not work...and...and..and..and......and I am pissed!!!!!!

Let's see......the main news: Sunday evening as we returned to the COE campground on the west side of Mark Twain Lake at the Indian Creek about 8:30pm I was driving about 63 mph....and out of absolutely nowhere......a deer appeared in front of the car from the side of the road....and I HIT IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Well....the noise was a BAM....and a few crinkling sounds and then there was no place to pull off the small narrow, shoulderless road.....and so I had to drive on about a quarter of a mile....and then I pulled off. Damage: A crushed front, heavy duty Ford Tough bumper......and some collateral damage. No deer was in sight behind us....and so we just liquids pouring onto the road, etc., etc. Very driveable, thank God!!!

Yesterday was a day of preparing to leave for Wisconsin.....and that about was the main item of the day. A boat ride with family for the 1st Lady.......and lunch with Dr. Jeni and family at the Marina....and then a small supper at TheHowserHouse with the 1st Lady's brother and wife.

TODAY.....up early...and on the road by 8:00AM......and 8.5 hours later we pulled into the camping resort here at Lake Delton, WI.....and joined many other Cedar Creek RV Owners Club members at the International Rally here. WHAT FUN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We had hardly turned off the engine and our "yard" was full of friends from the all over the USA and Canada coming to greet us!!!! And from then was drinks, snacks, and laughter and stories as we sat around until dark....and then continued by lighting a fire and sitting around it....enjoying the great friendships we have with each other!!! More on this later.

Currently I am sitting on the bench outside the restroom buildings....mosquitoes nipping at my aging hulk of sagging skin as I write this....the Wifi doesn't reach to TheHowserHouse assigned site, but that is ok. At LEAST I HAVE ONLINE CONNECTIONS!!!!!!!

Sooooo, more in detail tomorrow, or phone my cell phone tonight. My sagging body is getting eaten alive out here.......NOT GOOD...for me, or for the damn mosquitoes!!! Will try to post a few pics before getting off of here.........

And with friends like those that are can't be anything BUT:

LIFE IS GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And...I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!

Day 6: Sunday

For some unknown reason…..everyone slept until about 8:30 this morning!!!!???? After a very quick shower, I managed to get the Fr. Roast coffee going…as the 1st Lady made some biscuits with honey and/or molasses for breakfast. There also seemed to be some donuts that came out of the pantry somehow….and they, too, disappeared very quickly.

After several showers and a bit of Sunday morning tellie with the “talking heads” programs…..and another cup or two of Fr. Roast……we loaded up both vehicles…and headed into Monroe City to the 1st Lady’s home. We visited for about an hour with her mother…and then went south past the Cannon Dam to the cabins that her sister had rented for the weekend. Before long…..the charcoal was going….and the hamburgers and polish hot dogs were cooking.

Lunch was served outside on the picnic tables behind their cabin……and with 18 of us “chowing down” under a cool cloud covered sky…..the great food didn’t last very long. Following the late lunch…..the kids all went to the indoor pool….and then before long the rest of us were playing the card game “31”. The afternoon and early evening flew by and as the sun set, we departed for the western side of the lake….about a 30 mile trip around the south end.

Hmmmmm…….a new experience then occurred for me as we were driving down the highway!!! All of a sudden…….a deer was in front my tough Ford truck….and BAM!!!! I hit it with a jolting thud and a bounce and it was over with for the poor little thing. There was NO place to pull over…no shoulder….and so it was about a quarter of a mile before I could pull over to check the damage. Welllll……not as bad as I had imagined……the front bumper was pushed inwards to the right of center….and a few other things were re-arranged, but there seemed to be no damage that would prevent me from driving!!!! We went on up the highway, after looking back and not seeing anything on the highway that might have been the dead deer.

As we drove on toward the cg, we called the local sheriff….and he gave us the number for the highway patrol. We then called him after arriving back at TheHowserHouse and told him the story so that the insurance would have verification of the accident. Hmmm……have never hit anything that large before!!!! Think we were damn lucky….no fluids leaking, no shaking while driving, no tires/wheels out of balance!!!! Ford trucks ARE tough!!!

As I have been thinking about this… sooooo brings back to my mind of an incident almost like this in northeastern Thailand: I had flown up to Chiang Mai, in that far corner of the country which is surrounded by China and Burma(used to be called that). I hired a guide with an open jeep to take me through the jungles and high up into the mountains to visit a Meo hill tribe village. On the way through the jungle as we started up through the mts., a very LARGE tiger jumped right out in front of my hired jeep and went right across in front of us!!! It all happened soooooo quickly, like the deer incident did tonight, that I couldn’t believe what I had seen. And as it happened that quickly, the only picture of the tiger that I have……is in my memory. But…..I have never lost that picture and will carry it with me forever…….

Ahhhhh……..what little surprises Life can bring to us….good and not so good! And with these different surprises…….

Life is GREAT…..and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!

Day 5: Saturday

No one slept very late this morning!! The little ones were up and full of energy and ready to look around this new place… them! And…..after a breakfast of mixed “want for breakfasts”…….we decided to take the girls to the playground. They played for about a half hour on the equipment there……a really nice playground!!!

Then we decided to take a walk around the campground……and took about an hour ambling through the various cg circles, which are ALL FULL!!!! No camping vacancies at all!!

Back at TheHowserHouse, we all had a bite or two of lunch….and then we had a phone call from the 1st Lady’s sister and said they were in their boat and would be at the Marina next to our cg in about 15 minutes. So….we scurried around and I took Dr. Jeni, Rachel and Meghan down to the Marina and by the time we arrived they already had their boat tied up and were getting some food to eat.

I watched them all pull away for a bit of boating on the Lake….and I returned to the RV to join the 1st Lady who remained behind to stay with Ava while she took her afternoon nap. I did some reading….and just enjoying the relative quiet here.

Then the phone rang and her sister called to say that Rachel was sick, had thrown up from the boat, and I should meet them at the Marina. Soooooo, back over there I went and waited for almost 30 minutes before they pulled up to the dock…..seems they had become a bit “lost” as they tried to locate the cove where the Marina is located.

I took Rachel back to TheHowserHouse, and once again, she was ill. We soon had her laying down on the bed.……and just gave her some quiet time to herself. It wasn’t long until the thunder and rains began……..and so I put a DVD into the system and the girls did well as they ate some supper while watching a couple of movies. Rachel continued to just lay around…..alternating between feeling “a bit better” and not feeling good at all.

Dr Jeni left earlier to run down to Montgomery City to pick up Darrel…..he was to drive in a race tonight, but it was rained out. Soooooo, they will be back here later this evening.

The 1st Lady and I took care of all three little ones……..and at one time it became a bit hectic as there seemed to be a minor problem with each one, just as there was a phone call on each of our phones!!!! Doesn’t that always happen??????? But…..everyone survived their “emergency” without a hitch!!!

After getting the girls bedded down….on the floor of the den…..and after they were asleep, we finally turned out the lights and they were “gone” for the rest of the night. Dr. Jeni and Darrel didn’t return until about 1am……but never did hear them arrive. And… it always is….

Life is Great....and I hope it is for all of you, also!!

Day 4: Friday

Another day of mixed weather!! Clouds, rain, sunshine, wind………but, NO snow! Just the usual Missouri spring weather daily cycles.

We spent most of the day in Monroe City at the 1st Lady’s mother’s home. The 1st Lady’s sister and son had arrived Thursday evening and so we enjoyed some visiting with them during the day. The 1st Lady and her sister took their mother to several of the local cemeteries to place flowers on the graves of their family members.

When they returned to the house……the remainder of the day was spent in doing some shopping and preparing for Dr. Jeni, Meghan and Ava, and Rachel to arrive later in the day. More of her sister’s family were also going to arrive during the early evening….and they all have reservations made on the east side of Mark Twain Lake…..about 45 minutes from where we are staying.

The 1st Lady and I returned to TheHowserHouse and did a bit of shifting of things in the RV to prepare for the arrival of Dr Jeni and group. It will be a bit tight inside with all of the things necessary for three children………….and as we all know…they are full of energy at that age!!!

Later in the evening, Dr. Jeni called and said she would not be able to get started until 10pm…..which would make it around midnight before they arrived here. The 1st Lady eventually went to bed to read….and I remained up and awake so that I could assist in getting the sleeping girls into the RV and to bed.

And….it was midnight when they arrived. We had already put some blankets on the floor and got the pillows out and ready. We “poured” the girls onto the floor, pulled out the sleeper sofa and soon everyone was tucked away…..

A FULL HOUSE of HOWSER’s……….and…..

Life is Great….and I hope it is for all of you, also!! (a reminder that I have no access to the internet here…and will hopefully make another trip to Hannibal on Sunday to get these posts made)

Thursday: Day 3

Another quiet morning surrounded by the oak forest on the shores of Mark Twain Lake……quiet with one exception: the very loud chirping of the multitude of birds that inhabit this area!! Not a complaint!!! They are great to listen to… well as to see. Only one wish…….and that is that I had brought my bird feeder with me. Oh well…….

We went into Monroe City for a while…..and then I drove into Hannibal and became a temporary resident of the reception lobby in the Quality Inn Hotel there……using their wifi which is free and very strong. I only had 158 email messages in the past 48 hours…..hmmmm, not certain if that is a normal amount or not as I don’t keep track of how many I receive each day.

The 1st Lady and her family had gone into Hannibal also…..and before I was finished in the lobby of the hotel, she called and wanted me to meet them for lunch in Hannibal. A rather greasy lunch as we ate at Long John Silver’s…..and even though I enjoy their fish from time to time, it is not the healthiest food around to eat! Nevertheless…..I ate enough that I didn’t need….nor want….to eat the rest of the day…..haha!

After lunch….guess what I did!!! I returned to the hotel lobby and spent another hour reading some newspapers, etc., etc. I really do miss reading my daily newspapers online….and it makes for a very uninformative day when I don’t have that opportunity.

I returned to Monroe City….actually before the 1st Lady and her family…..and enjoyed a few minutes on the patio in the sun…which came and went with the increasing amount of clouds. The outlook for the weekend here is not good!!! RAIN….RAIN….RAIN….is predicted.

The 1st Lady and I returned to the COE campground during the early evening…..and just rather veggied out……enjoying the light rain showers…..and curling up with good books! We both love to read…..and oftentimes we don’t get a good chance to just spend an evening doing that.

And sooooo, another relaxing day……a relaxing evening…..and a couple of good books ………and…..

Life is GREAT….and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

DAY 2.........Great place to enjoy Life!!!

How GREAT it was to wake up yesterday (Wed) and see yourself surrounded by tall trees……and the quietness of the night before was just the same. We were lazy…..just enjoying my Fr Roast coffee and the 1st Lady her tea……sitting outside in the warm and very breezy and forested campground.

We took a walk around the campground and eyeballed some other sites that we might enjoy in the future, if we ever bring TheHowserHouse back to this area. As we are on our way to the Cedar Creek RV Owners Club international rally at the Wisconsin Dells area we are staying here for a week to visit the 1st Lady’s mother, as well as other family members who will be around here this weekend.

Late morning we went into Monroe City and spent the remainder of the day with her mother. We had purchased some new full length drapes to go over her French doors at night, so we spent some time getting the rod in just the right place for the length of the drapes. She seemed to like them…..and she was very excited to rid herself of those vertical blinds she had been using.

We returned to the cg in time for the evening meal…….salad and pizza…and a glass of my dark red medicine. I had to sweep off the outdoor carpeting and the table area…..the winds have continued to blow at about 30 mph all day…..and the leaves and twigs were really falling all around.

We are only on antenna tv out here……but, we were able to get the news off of the two local channels…..and were excited to hear that Jordin won American Idol over Blake. She is a great singer/performer…..and to be only 17 years old….makes her just that much more incredible!!!!

Day 2.……was relaxing and enjoyable with no pressing responsibilities!!! YEAH!!! Soooo……remember that I have no internet service while here, other than drive 25 miles to Hannibal and use the Quality Inn lobby/parking lot to piggyback onto their wifi service.

Life is Great….and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!

DAY 1!!!!!

As always……..there are many last minute items that need to be loaded into the 5er before we can get on the road. Not certain why that occurs……….we have lists made, but it just seems that these “must have items” are never discovered until it is time to pull out of the driveway!!! Hmmmmmm………

We did pull out of the driveway at 9:20am yesterday, Tuesday. We didn’t make any stops as we drove north, through STL, and on to Hannibal where we took US 36 west through Monroe City and then down US 24 for a few miles. Then we drove down a county road to the Indian Creek C.O.E. campgrounds, which are right at the Mark Twain Lake.

Arriving a little after 1pm……we were still in time to select from about 6 full hook up sties……and so the 1st Lady picked the one she had seen a few weeks ago. After the usual back up/in procedures and the difficulties which occur in not getting too close to the electric post, trees, etc., etc. so that the slides will not hit anything when they open……..the 1st Lady decided that this wasn’t a good place for us!!!!! As I had been adjusting TheHowserHouse for the “just right” position……she had been walking around and discovered that not many yards away the land dropped off of a bluff down to the Lake. And… just wouldn’t do with the granddaughters expected here for the weekend.

Soooooo, we took a walk around the cg looking for another suitable site that was still open and had the full hookups. After locating one, I told the 1st Lady to STAY RIGHT THERE…….as I didn’t want anyone else getting it before I could move TheHowserHouse over there. Soooo, she leaned on the post, waiting until I walked back to where I left it, and then drove it back over……and then began the same back up/in procedures as before. Hmmmmm……..and we then unhooked, attached the umbilical cords and then I took out the chairs, etc., etc. from the basement.

It had been a rather hard drive due to the high, blustery winds that at first blew from our rear end……and then began to hit us from the side…..causing the 5er to wobble some and jerk around when the huge gusts would hit us. Sooooo, after a glass of my dark red medicine, we went into Monroe City to visit with the 1st Lady’s mother for a couple of hours.

We returned to the cg as darkness settled in. This COE cg is really quite nice!!!! And……since we will be here until Tuesday morning, when we depart for Lake Delton, WI, I am glad that it is so nice: heavily wooded, long sites which are all paved, hookups located correctly, picnic tables…….everything that is needed to make living in the woods comfortable!

And sooooo……Day 1 of our short journey comes to a close. With the trees rustling outside in the winds, the quietness of the wooded area, and the complete darkness…..

Life is GREAT…..and I hope it is the same for all of you, also!!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

A day of preparations............

Felt a bit better this morning, but still a bit on the weak side. A cup of Fr. Roast coffee helped.....just a bit. Two pieces of toast.....and then I decided the lawn would not get shorter of it's own accord, sooooooo I put on my "mowing shoes" and began. It took several 5-10 minute breaks with lots of water, but I finished in about three hours.

After a lunch break.....I began to load the RV.....getting it ready to leave tomorrow for about 3 weeks. took all afternoon and into the early evening.......always, always it takes mucho longer than I think it will to decide just what is needed and then get it stowed away.

Soooooo, there you have it!!!! My entire day in two brief paragraphs!!! Wasn't it an interesting day for me??? Such an exciting day.....HA! we depart tomorrow.....AFTER the house alarms have been set.......we are going to spend a week at Mark Twain Lake in NE Missouri at one of the Corps of Engineers campgrounds. Then.....we will be off to the Wisconsin Dells area for another week......and finally after a slight detour through Indiana to New Castle, where we will have a couple of repairs on TheHowserHouse done and our new dining table installed.

For the next week, at the minimum......we will probably not have access to the internet. My cell phone rarely works up there unless it is on "extended network" and with that I cannot get online either. Soooooo, if there are not any regular posts or pics on here........try not to panic and get toooo upset with me. I will try to find some free Wifi.....somewhere during the week......and just perhaps.....PERHAPS I can get online from the cg.

And sooooooo.........after a very busy day.......

Life is Great!!!!.....and I hope it is for all of you, also!!!!!