This will be a one or two post for this trip. There's not a lot to report so would have a hard time writing every day.
Originally when we planned this trip to Grand Lake o' the Cherokees we were going to stay at Bernice State Park. We prefer the Bernice/Horse Creek area on the lake. A day or two before we left Oswego we heard that the beach at Bernice was closed due to a high E coli reading in the waters. UGH!!! On top of that it started to rain, and it has rained and rained and rained. Needless to say that means the high waters from the Neosho and Springs Rivers are running right into Grand Lake and the water level is rising. Now I don't want to really complain about the rain - because we needed it and badly, but it would be okay to slow down for a few days. According to the weather it is supposed to do that tomorrow and again Friday and Saturday so we look forward to some sunny skies and warmer weather. Just hope that we don't get the sauna baths with it - but beggars can't be choosy. Right?
So we decided rather than go to Bernice, at least through next Thursday (June 12) we would stay in Grove at the Cedar Oaks RV Park. It is a very nice resort and sits on shoreline along Grand Lake. Unfortunately the weather has not been right for getting the boat out so we've been finding other things to do. We pulled out of Oswego on Thursday, June 6 around 12:30-1:00 p.m. since it rained pretty good all morning. We didn't have but an hour drive so we decided we'd wait to see if the rain wouldn't pass through before we left. Sure enough it did. As we pulled into the park we noticed their sign said "Musicfest 2014". At the office they told us there would be music every day beginning Sunday at their Idle Hour community building. Hmmm! I love music so I'm thinking this might be interesting. We found our spot and were set up by 2:30 or so. By this time I knew Dean was probably starving - he really likes to eat pretty close to the same time every day so I headed inside to get sandwiches made. He visited some with our neighbors to the east Bill and Donna, while finishing up some chores outside. They are workampers here at Cedar Oaks and live in Bartlesville, OK when they are not here.
After lunch we took a drive over to the storage unit where we keep our boat. The owner is having some work done on the building to prevent some leaking that has been occurring inside and needed to have a key to check the work when they have completed it. We had a nice visit with the owner. We drove down to take a look at Bernice State Park. This is such a nice place and we are really disappointed about the beach being closed. Hopefully it will reopen before next weekend since Heath, Casey and their boys will be down to spend the weekend with us. After that we made our drive through the Bernice area looking at houses that are for sale. We have done this for so long it has become habit. I don't know that we will ever move there but it's something we talk about once in awhile and if nothing else it's fun wishing! HAHA
We didn't do too much else today - cooked brats for supper and visited with neighbors Bill and Donna. Bill's a character and has done a number of things during his life. He's interesting to talk with. He used to work for Cities Gas Company and worked some in Chetopa; he worked for Phillips 66 and then at Woolaroc Museum (love that place!); he served in the Navy; he worked for ABC and he's been involved in the music field. He has a lot of stories and some are pretty interesting. We didn't hear all of this the first night----but we have visited with them almost every time we've been outside for very long.
Tomorrow night we are going to meet Marc and Jennifer and the grandkids for dinner and then Kamron is spending the night with us.
Friday morning while having coffee I did a quick search on Trip Advisor to see if I could find a good place to eat breakfast in Grove (restaurants change frequently here and I didn't want to miss a new place that has really good food). While only a few reviews for Nu-Wave were listed there were some great ones about their wonderful biscuits and gravy so we decided to give it a try. We both ordered B&G, a small for me and a large for Dean. Well, what a disappointment. It was not the worst B&G I've ever had but it was far from the best. The gravy was luke-warm and the lightest, fluffiest biscuits as noted in the Trip Advisor review were very similar to the canned biscuits that I use, which while good were not light and fluffy! Hmmmm. It was edible but if we return we'll definitely try something different.
From there we went on to Wal-Mart to pick up a few groceries. After putting up the groceries after we returned, I did a quick look at rv parks in the Grove area (in case Bernice doesn't work out for next weekend) and we found one listed just south of Honey Creek bridge at the south end of Grove so we just drove down to check it out. Well, that listing must have been pretty old - you could tell no one had been at this park for quite sometime. Oh well, it was a nice drive. The plus to being at Cedar Oaks - we don't have to drive so far to get to things in Grove.
Marc called later and asked about waiting until Saturday night to have dinner and we agreed that would work well, so after having dinner at my new favorite restaurant in Grove - American Grill - we drove over to where they are staying. We stayed and visited for awhile and then brought Kamron back with us. After making a stop at Braum's for a little snack we headed back to the "rig". Kamron and I camped out in the living room on the blow-up mattress. Man, were we in for a wild night.
We finally got settled down, watching TV laying on our big old queen size mattress that is about 2.5' high. I thought I'd get up and make a trip to the bathroom, but I was having a hard time getting out of the bed - we were losing air!!!! Dean was already asleep so I didn't want to wake him to help us so I turned the air control back on and refilled it. Okay, back to bed we went and it was now nice and firm. Kamron and I talked for awhile. She wanted to know what I did for fun when I was a little girl. I started telling her about playing outside with my sisters, riding bikes to the cemetery (up the hill from our house); playing in the pasture next door and at the creek finding tadpoles, froges, etc. and we both fell asleep very soon - not sure if we were just really tired or if I bored us both!!! I wake up two hours later and we are in a well in the middle of the bed. WHAT!!!! Yes the bed is leaking again!! Okay, I've had enough of this, so I finally crawl out of that big hole, as I could not lift myself out and even if I could I was afraid I'd hurt Kamron if I fell. I finally got her out of the bed and put her on the couch. I tried to lay there with her but that wasn't working with her feet bumping me every few minutes, (gosh that girl has grown) so I made sure she was comfortable on the couch and I went to my own bed. Finally fell asleep and I'm sure it was only about 15 minutes later I heard Dean say "Kamron." I jumped up and sure enough she was awake and afraid that she could not find me. Wow, would I ever get some sleep tonight and about that time, it was as if the sky opened and it poured, and it poured ---- so hard in fact, the rain hitting the slide-out's sounded like a river running above us and I had to turn on the lights to convince myself it wasn't leaking somewhere. Fortunately it was not!!!! Then Bill and Donna's outside lights came on and they are now outside trying to put up their awning in the middle of this storm. For those of you who are campers, you know how close the sites can be - they sounded like they were in the next room. All through this the wind was blowing hard and rocking the trailer. We turned on the weather and other than some fairly strong winds (but not destructive) and rain there were no serious advisories. So, convinced we were safe from any harm and since we were all very tired Kamron and I gave up the mattress and climbed into bed with Dean and finally we all slept. Whew - it makes me tired just thinking about all of that.
The next morning we laughed at the wild night we had. Kamron was hungry and she wanted waffles. So for a second morning we headed into Grove for breakfast. We decided we'd give Nu-Wave another try. Kamron and I both had waffles and Dean had pancakes. They weren't too bad. We came back and got things straightened up and put away. Marc and Jennifer are coming over to pick Kamron up and we will watch Jaxson for the day. They have some friends who loaned them the use of their waverunners so they are going to spend some time on the water. They arrived about mid-morning. Jaxson brought some of his little cars with him. I turned on his favorite TV shows - pre-school ones and he intently watched those, playing with his cars during commercials. I also discovered he is quite the dancer. Every time any music was playing he was shaking his booty, moving his arms, and going back and forth from one leg to another, tapping his toe and laughing. Watch out - he might be the new Elvis the Pelvis! He was such a good little guy and was easily entertained. After lunch, we took him outside where he played with his cars for awhile and then we took him for a ride in the wagon that we brought from home - knowing this would be put to good use while he was with us, plus we think the next round of grandkids will love it too. Jaxson LOVES to ride in the wagon. So we walked around the park with him. Wish I would have got a picture of him. If I had put a pillow in it where he could have laid back I'm sure he would have gone to sleep. His little eyes were getting pretty heavy. We thought we might take a drive and see if that would do the trick and sure enough he slept for about an hour. As soon as we pulled into the drive he woke right up. He played with his cars though and was such a happy little guy. There's not much to do in this park for kids - no playground, no pool, and while it is lakeview the water is not real close to the park area and they do not keep it mowed near the water.
We met Marc and Jennifer at a new Italian restaurant just down the road from us. I can't remember the name of it but it's just south of Sailboat Bridge where the old Siver Dollar Restaurant used to be. We got there about 5:00 p.m. As we walked in we noticed there was a guy with a sound system set up and he serenaded us while we ate. He was getting quite a kick out of Jaxson as he sang and it kept us all entertained listening to him. I didn't catch what Jaxson was doing when he started laughing, but now that I think of it maybe it was some of those fancy dance moves he had earlier in the day. :) The meal was really good and soon we were all stuffed. I had chicken parmesean and Dean had fetticuine alfredo. We are so predictable!
After dinner, Marc and Jennifer headed back to their place and we headed home. We just hung out at the trailer the rest of the evening.
I really don't remember too much about what we did Sunday morning - ate breakfast, picked up things around the camper, did a little cleaning and then set outside for awhile. I went inside to fix dinner and when Dean came in he told me that someone we knew was staying in the park. I asked who is it? He said that couple you know that live outside of Oswego that we ran into over at Joplin earlier this year. I immediately knew who he was talking about - George and Betty Faulk. They have been coming down to the Musicfest here at Cedar Oaks for the past couple of years. After dinner Sunday, Bill and Donna invited us to ride down to the Musicfest with them. The musicians are mostly older than us, in fact, we might actually be the youngest ones here, but we really enjoyed the music. These are people who just like to get together and jam. Some are pretty good singers and some are just okay but they are having a great time and the music itself is pretty good. There were two keyboards, 2 or 3 steel guitars, 2 fiddles and several guitar players. There are several folks who just sing. On Monday they will all get together to pick groups and then they will play together the rest of the week.
We visited with George and Betty a little after the music Sunday evening. I guess after the music everyone loads up and heads to Braum's. We'll have to try that one night. We really are trying to cut back on the sweets and we've already hit Braum's once this week.
Today, Tuesday we woke up to more rain - it has rained at least once or twice everyday we have been here but at least the weather has cooled and it no longer feels like you are in a sauna while outside, so I'll take it. However, I only brought one pair of long pants and I'm wondering how many times I'll have to wear them before it warms up enough I can wear capris. :) It doesn't take much for me to get too cold. I think I should live where the weather fits my clothe, as the song says!
We are going on a trip to Cancun with Heath and Casey and Jarred and Andrea in 4 weeks. Dean really needs some new clothes so we decided to head to Joplin. He does not like shopping to begin with and he hates shopping for him and he hates it even more when I insist that he try the clothes on before we make a purchase. But as usual he was the perfect husband and complied with my request. We found 4 shirts, a pair of shorts and some new shoes. Only two stores, so he couldn't complain too much. We had lunch at Logan's. They had a special menu - you could have any two lunch items for $14.99. I chose a grilled chicken salad with corn salsa and he had grilled chicken on a bed of rice and a side salad. Of course we had a few peanuts and some of their bread. When we got ready to leave our waitress asked if we would like peanuts to go at no charge. Well, of course! I told Dean I suppose that means we'll be eating at Logan's more. He loves peanuts in the shells and almost always has a stash in his garage to enjoy while watching sports on his big TV while leaning back in his big black chair! :) Knowing they now offer a free bag he'll be all for stopping in when we are in Joplin.
After we got back he headed over to the boat storage so he could change the oil on the boat to have it ready for this weekend. We are praying Saturday will be nice enough we can get on the water. Heath's family is looking forward to coming to the lake and we want them to have a great time. Not sure if we will be parked at Bernice yet or not. We did go by the park this morning before we ran to Joplin and no one was at the park office for us to ask about the status. We heard the follow up testing of the water was okay but they wanted to keep an eye on it and be sure it was still okay before reopening the beach. We appreciate the safety precaution! Evidently testing of other areas of the lake has been fine.
Well, that brings us up to date with the happenings here. I may write one more post at the end of this trip. We might take Bentley to Wichita in a week or so, but haven't decided for sure. After that Matt, Megan and little Joshua will be here to see us over July 4th weekend. We are hosting a dinner at our house for Dean's and my family on that Sunday so everyone can meet the newest Peine baby and the opportunity to visit with family. Matt and Megan have made the decision to move to the Niagara Falls, NY area where Matt will be attending law school this fall. Megan's mom, dad, and sisters live and it will provide a lot of support to Megan as she is getting settled in with a new job and baby. They will leave Oswego on Monday, July 7 to head back to Texas until the end of July. Dean and I will head to Wichita later that day as we will fly out of Wichita at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday, July 8 for Cancun! One week of laying on the beach or sitting by the pool doing nothing! Maybe I will learn what it's like to relax! Wait - I think we were supposed to get used to that with retirement. Somehow our lives have not slowed much, but it's all been GOOD!
Oh, speaking of relaxing - after we got home I was on a quest to do some work around the house. First of all landscaping. We've lived at our current home for 7 years this past Memorial Day weekend and have done little in the way of landscaping. So we purchased a few bushes that we planted behind the house near the road to provide some privacy (in time); some flowers for the bed in the back under the kitchen windows where I placed over half a flat of bright pink vinca; and another bed at the front of the house with the remaining vinca. Then we were on to making a new area in the front under the picture window by the front porch. We visited with the folks at Lavendar Landscaping who were so patient and spent quite a bit of time with me during several visits before making a decision on what plants to use. I am not a gardener but I really want to improve the looks of our house with some easy to manage landscaping. We finally decided on some boxwoods, two other bush type plants with dark purplish leaves that I can not remember the name of and several small laripe grasses along the front of the bed. We plan to add a small tree in this garden in the fall. Since we plan to be in and out from home quite a bit this summer I do not want to take a chance on losing a new tree if it gets too dry. We want to plant some various types of red buds in the front yard to the east as well to provide a nice sitting area with a little shade. We'll do those in the fall as well.
Then....since I was on a roll I told Dean we needed to decide what we wanted to do with the patio and start on that. So the past two weeks before this trip we have been painting the remaining brown vinyl trim under the patio, insulating under the tin roof and putting up bead board ceiling under the remaining open patio area. Dean installed new posts, and rerouted the electric wiring to rehang the ceiling fan once the bead board ceiling went up; and took down the old, ugly guttering. We still need to put one last coat on the bead board and trim after we get home so it will be finished before the July 4th shingding. The last step will be to paint the patio and sidewalk leading to the back garage door---not sure that will happen before fall. We want to use the new type paint that is supposed to be easy on the feet and keep the pavement cooler. The concrete under the patio has been there for many years and we added a pad the same size on to the south when we were remodeling the house. The paint will really made the area look much better. The old concrete is quite stained and the new concrete looks very different so in it's current state it's not very attractive.
We are so busy, I wonder what we'll do when we run out of projects - because we have definitely used up our project budget for 2014!
Check in Monday or Tuesday (June 16 or 17th) for any follow-up posts.