Thursday, May 24, 2012


Today is my sister-in-law’s 65th birthday, quite a milestone!! My family is so lucky to have Barb in our lives. She is always fun to be with and will never ever act her age. NEVER!

My children have her wrapped around their finger, as they are wrapped around her heart. Though Barb never had children of her own, she has been a big part of my children’s life and treated them as her own. While growing up, she took them to many places and events, bought them lots of toys, clothes and sweets. All they had to do was ask, even just suggest, and whatever their wish, it was granted.

To this day, they can still get her to do most anything, foolish or not. Many pranks have been played on Barb and she takes it like a good sport.

One Thanksgiving, my son and daughter went to Barb’s house and took the bale of hay, scarecrow and pumpkins from her yard and placed them in our yard next to our porch steps. When Barb came to Thanksgiving dinner at our house, she was amazed that I had the same scarecrow in my yard as she did. When she got home, she realized that what was in my yard was really hers!

At work, Barb and her co-workers had a gift exchange. For some unknown reason, one man opened a package containing a black and white hat exactly like the one Barb had purchased in Pittsburgh. It took her a while to figure out that once again, the hat was really hers!

We had a couple of stray kittens around our house one year and it was cold outside. Karin and Kenny convinced Barb to take one of them so it wouldn’t die in the cold. The only problem was, finding the kitten when Barb was around was not always possible. So they decided that when the kitten showed up they would call Barb to come and get it. One bitter cold evening, my doorbell rang and there stood Barb in her nightgown covered by her winter coat, boots, and curlers in her hair. She said, “I’m here to get the cat.” The only problem was there was no cat to be had.

This morning she called Ken to tell him about what she found in her front yard. Yes, again, my son pulled it off. Below is a picture of the yard signs he had placed during the night. I know she especially appreciates the fireman, trying to put out all the flames.
Barb's little man
Barb on porch

Sign says: "Happy Birthday Aunt Barb. So Many Candles, so Little Cake"
 While we were there to take pictures of the yard signs, Barb came out not quite ready for work. I said, “Let me get a picture of you on your birthday.” She posed so nicely on her porch and I snapped the picture. Did it bother Barb that she still had curlers in her hair? Not at all. That is the kind of person she is. She is not vain, not selfish, nor mean. She is a caring, giving and happy person, ready to experience the next event in life without hesitation or fear of embarrassment.
We love you Barb. Happy Birthday! We need lots more birthdays with you.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Still Around

Just a quick note to let everyone know I am still around. We (I should say-Ken, Kenny, Randy, Joe, Wayne, Billy, etc) got the shed moved. We have most of our site set up and love our new surroundings!  Very quiet, more privacy, and lots more wildlife.

I have to say too that I have the best kids in the world! For Mother's Day, my daughter, Karin, and daughter-in-law, Marissa, brought breakfast fit for a queen and her whole kingdom.

Also this past weekend, my brother, Gene, and his wife and youngest daughter came out to the campground and we had a GREAT visit. I look forward to many more from him and his family. Now if Erin (my niece) and I could just convince Gene and Char that they need a campsite at Leisure Lake....that would be wonderful!

Saturday, Ken and I went on a bus trip to Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, PA which was a campground activity. Sorry to say, the money in our pockets was lighter when we came home but we had a great time with friends, walking along the river, exploring the area, and relaxing. The buffet at the Rivers if really good too. The bus trip was filled with lots of entertaining games and gambling options, lots of food, and also laughter. We even found out that we had a "potato hater" on our bus.

Friday and Saturday is Relay for Life in Liberty Twp, Ohio. I will be participating on the WeatherTite Windows team once again.

Have a great week!

Friday, May 4, 2012


Sunday is our projected day to move our shed from the old lot to our new lot. Ken and our son, Kenny, have done lots of planning. I have done lots of thinking about it. The idea of moving a shed is overwhelming to me.

Some of my fears:  Getting it on the trailer- from the ground to the trailer, and traveling from one site to the other without it falling over, getting it to fit through areas, getting it off the trailer. How do men physically accomplish this?

I looked online for ideas. some were plain stupid, some were only moving the shed across a yard, and others required EZ movers. I called around to see if those could be rented anywhere near here but could not locate any. One of the easiest ways I found online were these wheels you could slide under the shed and attach and then you pulled the trailer. But you needed some special equipment to pull it with and we don't have that either.

So I guess I have to leave this project to the pros, Ken and Kenny and Billy and anyone else who volunteers to help. I definitely have no mechanical abilities to add any input.

Does anyone have any ideas that might help? Here's a picture of the shed. It is 8 foot wide and 10 feet deep.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Making Progress but Work Still to be Done

We got off to a good start with our moving plan here at Leisure Lake Campgrounds. Tuesday was the first day we could put anything on the new lot. We started with (wonder of wonders) the woodpiles. Remember, we are seasoned veterans of moving woodpiles!!

Next we took the deck pieces and extra cement blocks that were under them. Any extra wood, trash can, etc. that would fit in the truck went with each trip. By 3:00 pm we had mostly everything we could take without having the camper at the site. We heard the dump truck and knew that the gravel needed for under our shed was on its way to the new campsite. We followed in the golf cart. Now that the gravel truck had gotten into the site, there was nothing holding us back from bringing the camper. We got everything unhooked, stowed away and pulled it to the site. Two trustees okayed the spot we chose and we set her up.

By this time we were feeling pretty good about ourselves. We had gotten everything except the shed to our new site in one day. That doesn't mean that we didn't have work left to do. By evening we had stacked the woodpile in its temporary place until after the shed is here. We needed to keep it out of the way so the truck and trailer could get into the area where we originally planned to place it. Yep, I said, "originally." Once we got here and got acclimated more, Ken decided the shed should go in the back right corner instead of the left corner. So here we are with all this gravel, 8.1 tons, that we could have done without anyway! GEEZ.  The right corner of the lot already has plenty of gravel on which to place the shed.

One of our friends brought our picnic table on his truck because it was too hard to get in Ken's truck with a cap. By this time, we were tired and hungry as were a few other people who had worked all day. I went for pizza and wings and we had those hungry people over for dinner at our picnic table.

While eating, one of them asked who stacked all the wood. We both proudly said we did it. He told us it was leaning and was going to fall. OF COURSE!!! Isn't that what woodpiles are supposed to do? By 9:15 we were in bed when we heard it. The tumbling woodpile. It sounded something like water rushing over a waterfall....NOT. We knew we had more work ahead of us for Wednesday.

Woodpiles and gravel in our future
 We spent most of Wednesday shoveling and spreading gravel on the left side of the lot where we discovered it gets really wet after a rain. Good thing we got the gravel after all. We got three deck pieces in place, brought the extra refrigerator from the shed still on our old lot, and got it situated temporarily next to the camper. Every redneck needs a fridge on the porch right?

Redneck Ken on his porch

Just before going in for the night, I restacked the woodpile so hopefully today we will be able to place more deck pieces. We still have more gravel to shovel and more work ahead but things are looking good!

More stuff to put away and set up.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Kids Still Love to Read!!

I spent a good part of Saturday with my grandson, Aaron. We went to the Davis Center at Mill Creek  Park  (same place Aaron and I go for writing group)  for a free event for children. It is called, "Children's Book Festival: Plant a Seed to Read."  We have gone there for the past three years with the A-Team. This year Aaron saw it on the schedule early in April and asked if I would take him. His brothers were welcome to come along but chose to watch their cousins in a soccer game instead.

Each year the building was packed with families and youngsters, all eager to see the latest books in print. Each child received a free book of his choice. There were lots of tables set up with activities for the children, crafts to make, bookmarks to decorate, games to play.

The OH Wow Center in Youngstown had a reflections table set up. Each child was shown a bookmark on which the words were written backwards. Once they figured out what the problem was, they were given a practice sheet of paper and told to write their name backward. Once that was mastered they were given a real bookmark and told to do it again. Then they held it up to a mirror in front of them and saw their names spelled out correctly.

There were stories being told throughout the building and one had lots of puppets that the children could use during the storytime. Healthy snacks were also available free to the children.

There were animals there from the Akron Zoo but we never got to see them before they left. Aaron has been to the zoo a number of times so he was okay with that.

One of the galleries in the Davis Center had a display of a book written and created by children from Youngstown. The children came to the park for a day trip. Then an author helped them describe in writing something about the park that had impressed their memories. They were taught how to make paper and created the pages for the book. Each original creation was displayed on the wall and below it were the pages of the book taken from their creations. I was amazed at how beautiful their artwork was, how sharply they portrayed what was important to them about the park, and the vibrant the colors in their artwork. The book was available for purchase and it looked like several were being sold. This awesome display is worth a trip to the Davis Center.

After we browsed for a while, we had lunch at the Garden Cafe overlooking Lake Glacier. The crowd had thinned some by this time so after eating we went back downstairs to look around some more. I had time to interact with some of the authors and ask questions about being published. It is so interesting to talk to people who enjoy doing the same thing as me. I purchased a book from one author who had been in Africa teaching for seven years. During that time she read to the children and they learned English from her. She invited the children to her home to paint and got to know them even better. One of the stories in the book was about an event one day after the painting session at her house. Both Aaron and I found it very interesting that she actually was part of the story and that most parts of the book were based on true events. Aaron and I are both eager to read her book. I explained to Aaron, who also loves to write, that by talking to people who already have done or are doing the things we enjoy, we can learn so much, just by asking questions.

Sometimes Youngstown gets a bad rap but there really are a lot of good programs and people here that care about our children and others. The Davis Center always has something going on from yoga classes, knitting, book festivals, flower sales, weddings in the gardens, and lots more. If you are in the area, be sure to stop and see this beautiful part of Youngstown. Mill Creek Park is a beautiful park within a large part of Youngstown, something most communities cannot boast having.