Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Dave, Janice and Dusty

Tonight I met Dave, Janice and Dusty, visiting here from Lead Hill, Arkansas, population 290, correction now 289. Dave says everyone in Lead Hill is related except for Jan and him.

Dusty greeted me heartily by placing his paws on my shoulders, sniffing a little, then giving me a gentle lick on the face. What a sweet guy he is and very well behaved at only 1 1/2 years old.

Dave and Jan greeted me graciously as well with smiles and admonitions to Dusty.  They are Coast to Coast members and will be staying at Leisure Lake Campgrounds until Wednesday. I wish I could be here to talk more with them but we will be at home until Friday evening.

Jan is a petite and friendly gal with beautiful blue eyes that stand out in her pretty face. Dave, well tanned with a big smile is the social one of the pair according to Jan. I found them both to be kind and friendly with no qualms talking about their travels during their retirement. They have been married 22 years, having met one day when Jan asked him to move her boat. A big grin crossed his face as he remembered that lucky day.

They considered doing full-time RVing but have decided against it. They do travel quite a bit and love visiting National parks. They have seen 34 so far and today will make 35 when they visit Cuyahoga Valley National Park.  They are staying at Leisure Lake since Cuyahoga Valley National Park  does not offer camping and we are not far from their destination. They love waterfalls so I hope they find the Brandywine Falls or Bridal Veil Falls (if there is enough water to even create a waterfall).  The Ohio and Erie Canal runs through CVNP and was a waterway from Lake Erie to the Ohio River. The towpaths are now great for hiking and biking. The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railway also runs through CVNP.

Dave said their favorite national parks so far were Glacier National Park in Montana and Bryce Canyons in Utah. They prefer to do most of their sightseeing from their car, since they are not big into hiking.

They started this trip from Arkansas on July 18 and plan to be gone until approximately August 19 or 20th. Jan has a horse at home being cared for by a neighbor (one of the perks of living in Lead Hill where people are friendly and help each other) so she doesn't want to inconvenience her neighbor much longer than that. They traveled to Wisconsin to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of one of Dave's friends. Dave was his best man and served again when the couple renewed their vows this month. They also visited Dave's mother, 92, and his two sons. They were also in Michigan and experienced a severe storm in which several trees were knocked down in the park. Dusty loved this as they walked around the next day because he had his pick of sticks to chew on. 

They are traveling in a Surveyor by Forest River, the latest of many RVs they have owned. She loves to fish and although Dave does too, he says lately he just enjoys sitting there relaxing with the pole in his hand. I commend her because she baits her own hook, something I have never done.

After their trip to Cuyahoga Valley National Park they plan to go to Niagara Falls. Of course, they are "waterfall people" as Dave told me.

Enjoy your journey Dave and Jan and thanks for the interview!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Words that should not have been said

Harsh words flew out of my mouth
In my moment of impatience,
When I was being selfish
Expecting something from another,
With no regard to what he was doing at the moment.

It seemed such an inconsequential request
It would take but a moment
And help me get my task done quicker.

Why was my task more important than his at the very same moment?
Why didn’t I notice that he was doing his own thing at that time,
Wanting to get his done as much as I wanting to be done with mine?

The words stung, were mean
They hurt his pride, his feelings
They can never be taken back.

The hurt will sting for a long time
If I could suck them back in and swallow them now I would
If I could use a Magic Eraser and take away the pain caused I would.

I can’t
I can only apologize

For being selfish
For not being aware
For not being kind
For not being patient
And for uttering words that cut like a sharp knife through the heart of a melon
Only this knife cut through the heart of the person I love most.

I utter these words now with sadness in my heart
For hurting, cutting, stinging

“I’m sorry.
Sorry for saying mean things.
Sorry for hurting you.
Sorry for not being patient or understanding,
and most of all,
sorry for not being a loving person at that moment.”

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Around Camp

I took an early morning walk around the campground. There is a 5K walk/run in August that I would like to take part in so I am trying to get ready.
Throughout my walk I noticed how each camper made their campsite their own. Since this is a year-round campground and we don’t have to remove our campers, people have gotten very creative with their sites.

Some love geese 

And dress them in their favorite team outfits

Steelers and ohio State fans
And pelicans
this one needs a nose job

Many are patriotic with banners

and there are lots of flags

This camper created this unique tree that lights up

In our campground we have:
A bald eagle

Bumble Bees  

Mickey and Minnie

the white picket fence

This bear hanging around


  We even have a pig here at camp

Flowers make a place look pretty

This camper used an old tree stump to grow brown eyed Susans

And this camper has great landscaping

  With a bench to enjoy the view

There are lots of signs around here
This camper named the driveway with a sign

And only special people can park here
There are warning signs

And more warning signs

Signs welcoming us

And signs that look like collector's items to cover a shed

We have a st0p sign that doesn't work

We have wishing wells and flower carts

We couldn’t do without a tiki bar at Leisure Lake


But remember, in Northeast Ohio this is definitely Cleveland Browns territory.

Yes that is a camper painted in the Browns colors and that is a Browns helmet stuck on a pole

Monday, July 23, 2012

Berlin Lake Trail

Ken and I have passed the Berlin Lake Trail several times while traveling in this area. I always thought to myself, "One of these days I want to walk on that trail." Last week when we went past it, Ken looked at me and said, "You want to try that trail out don't you?"

So Saturday, we did just that. We debated whether to take Sugar with us because until then, she didn't walk very far on the leash. She usually gets distracted or hears a dog bark, a golf cart traveling nearby, or some other mysterious thing that scares her and she runs back to the camper. I didn't know how far she would walk but figured if she got tired, I could handle carrying all five pounds of her.

I forgot my camera so Ken took a few pics with his phone. Sorry they are not so clear.

 In the parking lot is a sign saying that the trail is 2.5 miles. The trail runs along Berlin Lake which has lots of fingers and bays and coves. There is a very nice campground at Berlin Lake also which we stayed at years ago.

Along the trail were paths that led down to the lake. Some of them were marked with these little signs with the fishing hook and fish symbol, telling us this was a fishing spot.

On the post is the fishing trail symbol

But there was no one fishing in these areas and this is the reason why: 

Looks more like the beach than where the lake usually is

We have not had much rain and the lakes are low. This lake is also a reservoir and the water has to help maintain river levels in the area.

 There were a few brave boaters on the lake but not many.


There were benches that were donated by people in memory of family members. The one we stopped to sit on was dedictated to a family dog who had passed on. I know how it feels to get attached to those four-legged family members.

During our walk Sugar found ways to amuse herself. She chased leaves that were blowing, ate grass, picked up rocks, and carried sticks like she had the world by the tail.

She amazed both of us and walked the entire way without any problems. We were proud of our little three month old  puppy.

We walked .75 miles then turned around and went back to the car.

 I think we will go back to this trail and also try some other ones now that we know she will walk. It is good exercise for her and GREAT exercise for us.

For some reason when we are walking in such beautiful areas, we don't think about how far we have walked and it doesn't seem to be as hard as when we "mall walk" for exercise or get up early to walk before work.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Do You Know Where your Parents Are?

There is a commercial on television where a 20 something guy says something like this, “I moved back home. My parents are getting older. I figure they need me.”
He goes toward the bedrooms and calls out for his parents. They don’t respond so he assumes they are sleeping behind the closed door.
As he walks into the kitchen, the commercial shows his parents along with several other couples their age out partying in the woods.
Tonight I felt like we were his parents. At Leisure Lake Campground, lots of campers park under the trees near the pond for some cool shade and also fellowship. There were more golf carts there tonight than I have seen since we came here.

It was so nice to sit and chat with so many different people who come from all over. Many of them are full-timers who stay here in Ohio for the summer then go to Florida, Texas, or Arizona for the winter. We get to hear about their travels, where they stay in the winter, how long they have been here at Leisure Lake, how they are enjoying their retirement, and also stories of how the park was long ago.
Most golf carts had a cooler with beverages of choice and lots of them were also stocked with snacks. We were not aware that this was standard protocol, so we went back to our site and filled our cooler with some beverages and ice. This is such an easy way to meet new people and develop friendships here.
The people here are of diverse backgrounds, education and skills. We have people who have or still work as engineers, electricians, barmaids, utility company workers, steel mill workers, business owners, mechanics, bookkeepers and even one guy, (we won’t mention his name) who works in an art museum, along with several I haven’t met yet.
When we decided to move to Leisure Lake Campgrounds we were told that everyone looks out for one another here and “We are all one big family.” You hear this phrase often, sometimes at work or in an organization, but it proves itself to be true here. We don’t know the majority of the people here, but everyone still waves or takes time to talk to you.
Now if I could only remember everyone’s name!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Jalopeno Poppers on the Weber

Ken is a great cook and loves his Weber grill. If you have never tasted food cooked on a Weber, you are missing out. It uses charcoal not gas. Ken also bought an add-on for the Weber called a  "smokenator." It sits  inside the Weber and by using flavored wood creates a smokey taste to the food.

In February when we came out to the campground for the day, he made Jalopeno poppers. We bought gloves to wear when we were cleaning and stuffing them. I remember well how my eyes and face burned from touching seeds last year.

Is that an alien cleaning the peppers?

He stuffed them with ground sausage, cream cheese and some cheddar cheese. Mmmm. They were good.

The second time he made them he skipped the sausage. They were just as good.

If you make them, be sure to get all the seeds out with a small spoon or knife. The seeds are what really make them hot in your mouth. We mixed the filling in a bowl and then he scooped it into the hollowed out peppers. He then wrapped a half piece of raw bacon over the top fastening it with toothpicks to hold the bacon on.

We had to improvise and invented our own holders for the first batch of poppers. We took a foil throw away pan, turned it upside down, and cut x-shaped slits in it. Ken then pushed the filled poppers into the slots to keep them upright. It worked pretty good.

Patent pending invention

Ken found popper holders online that cost anywhere from a few dollars to lots of money. One day while he was walking at the mall, he found these really neat popper holders at a Kitchen Store.

Shaped just like a jalopeno

I'll bet you don't know anyone else that has enough popper holders to be able to make 88 poppers at once. They were on sale so he couldn't resist.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Sometimes we see wierd things

I have been carrying my camera with me a lot more lately and have been glad of it. We see some wierd things out there.

On the way to work last week, we were following this

Gazebo on Wheels

 One morning this weekend when I went to the shed, this is what was staring back at me

Kind of looks like a face to me

I caught this picture at breakfast Monday with the boys. Paco was showing them what he looks like without his glasses

And Tuesday when I didn't have my camera we saw a cow being hauled on the highway. It had its tongue sticking out through the holes in the carrier. How I wish I had taken my camera on that trip.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A Project Well Done

Last summer while we were at Mosquito Lake Campgrounds, our youngest grandson, Austin, made a bluebird nesting box for Paco Ken. Paco had wanted one for a couple of years and knew that it was a regular activity for the children at Mosquito. Finally one of the boys had enough time while there to finish the craft for Paco. Austin was so proud after building.

6 year old Austin in 2011

It was near the end of the season when Paco received his gift so he decided to hold onto it before putting it up. This weekend we had the A-Team at Leisure Lake from Sunday until Tuesday. One of the things that Austin did was paint the birdhouse, getting it ready for installation.

They had to decide where to put it.

Austin was the helper in the installation handing tools to Paco

The final piece of the birdhouse goes up


Teamwork paid off