Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015 to Saturday, November 28, 2015 - Wichita and Oswego, KS

Sunday, November 22, 2015 to Saturday, November 28, 2015 - Wichita and Oswego, KS

Sunday, November 22, 2015 - Wichita, KS

We left Kansas City about 8:45 this morning and moved along pretty good to Wichita, arriving at 12:30.  The RV Office was closed but they had left information for us on the site we would be in.  We quickly got pulled in and set up, turned the heat and refrigerator on, ate some lunch and then headed to Heath & Casey's to visit and watch the KC Chiefs football game.  Fortunately the Chiefs had another great win - we can only hope things have truly turned around for them and the season continues to improve for our team.

We had a good time talking with the kids in between watching the game, and later Casey ordered pizza for dinner.  The pizza was wood fired and really delicious.  We ordered the meat lover's pizza and it was the best of it's kind we've ever had, having a nice smoked flavor.  Heath had one called "Itis" which was also very good.  This is definitely a place for repeat orders.

We headed out not too long after dinner so the kids could get ready for bed.  We will see them again on Tuesday at Grandparent's Day.

Monday, November 23, 2015 - Wichita, KS

It was nice to take our time getting around this morning.  We ate our breakfast and then headed out to visit a few places.  We walked through Mennard's just checking on a few things, but no purchases.  After lunch back at Bentley, we decided to go to the movies - we've seen more movies in theaters this year than in the past 3-4 years put together I would guess.  This time we chose "Love the Coopers".  Just now as I am writing this I asked Dean what the name of it was and he said, "Getting to know the Crow's".  I'm still laughing.  He is too funny.

While most people probably didn't or wouldn't enjoy it much, like Dean, I liked it very much.  I love feel good, sappy stories, good time endings, etc. so it was right up my alley.  I'm not much for any type of violence, vulgar language, etc.  I want to feel good when I leave a movie, and I did.  

We are meeting Andrea and Jarred for dinner tonight so once we returned we got around and headed to their house about 5:30 or so.  We chose "Longhorn Steakhouse" for dinner.  Dean and I have tried the one in Joplin a couple of times.  The first time for lunch was really good, but the second time I was really disappointed in the steak they brought him.  It was so thin, although had good flavor.  Tonight we had an excellent meal.  He ordered the ribeye and I ordered prime rib.  They were both quite tender, and mine almost melted in my mouth.  I would definitely return here.

We stopped at Lowe's on the way back to pick up a breaker that Jarred needed to replace and when we returned the guys took care of that job.  Since tonight was Dancing with the Stars we moved downstairs and watched parts of it as we visited with Andrea's cousin, Stacey.  Stacey is staying with them this week and through the holiday while visiting from Dodge City.  I really enjoyed visiting with Andrea and Stacey.  Stacey is a big fan of DWTS so it was fun to talk with someone who knew what has been going on this season.  Tonight was the semi-finals, and tomorrow night will be the finale.  I am rooting for Bindi Irwin.  She's amazing and of course Derrick Hough is one of the best dancers and choreographers on the show, in my humble opinion.

We headed back to Bentley.  We need to head to the boy's school tomorrow by 9ish, and we need to have everything packed and ready to go when we return so we can get on the road home.

Today is our granddaughter, Dacy's birthday.  She is 14.  I will be taking her and our granddaughter Haleigh shopping for their birthdays this Saturday in Joplin. (Haleigh's was October 30, but we've not had a chance to do hers so we'll combine them this year) I really look forward to spending the day with them and we always eat at Olive Garden.  It is one of my favorite restaurants - and theirs as well.  You might remember our granddaughter Kamron's favorite is also Olive Garden.  Girls after my own heart!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 - Wichita & Oswego, KS

Fortunately we got a great night's sleep and we were up early this morning so we had our chores out of the way in plenty of time to head to Abram and Gideon's school for Grandparents Day.  This is our 3rd time to attend the event.  This year they made some significant improvements on getting parents in the building much quicker by providing a signup ahead of time rather than having to check each person in individually as they have in the past.  If we had been here before and provided ID we could sign up via the internet. They would have our badges made for us, using information from our Driver's License to confirm who we are.  It went quite smooth and we were soon seated in the gymnasium where they had chairs set up for us.  Their choir sang a few songs before they had us visit the student's rooms.  The choir was excellent.  Mike and Brenda (Addis), Casey's parents were also attending so we split duties.  We visited Abram's class first while they spent time with Gideon, then we switched half way through.  In conjunction with the day's events they also hold their book fair.  As it was, Gideon ran into Abram in the hall as Abram was leaving the book fair, and they discussed the books to get.  Between them they ended up with all 4 books on the game "Minecraft" which they love to play.  We bought Gideon 2 and the Addis' bought 2 for Abram.  I understand that Gideon had them read in no time.  By the way Gideon is in first grade and Abram is in the 2nd.

We left the school slightly before noon, stopped at Spangle's to eat a burger and fries and headed back to the RV Park to hook up Bentley for the return trip home.  Something I failed to mention earlier is how much we love our new truck.  It rides so smooth, with no chugging and it takes the road bumps almost like they are non-existent.  What a difference and how comfortable I was the entire trip to KC, to Wichita and on our trip home.  We are not sorry we bit the bullet and upgraded.  Once home I was looking at the number of days we traveled this year and we stayed in Bentley more than 125 nights.  With the holidays, we are glad to be home but come January I will begin to miss our travels very much.  However, I do have a few projects I want to work on and I hope they will help pass the time so we can uncover our dear Bentley about mid-March in preparation for the 2016 travels.

Jarred and Emerson will be coming to Oswego later this evening to spend the night and Wednesday with us.  She's the happiest little girl and we enjoy seeing them both.  As it was, Jarred was able to leave work a little early and arrived here about 2 hours after we got home.  As soon as we parked, we started hauling clothes, food, toiletries, etc. into the house so we had that out of the way.  We no sooner finished and Jarred was pulling in.

I made spaghetti for dinner.  Misti, Haleigh and Logan came over to eat and to see Ms. Emmie.  It was a nice meal with Misti and Jarred and their kids here.  Jarred told us later that Andrea, his wife had called, and her maternal grandmother passed away this evening. She has been ill for several months and while expected it is still hard losing someone you love so much.  Her grandma was such a nice lady and I see her in Emmie.  

Wednesday, November 25, 2015, Oswego, KS

Dean and Jarred went to Tina's for breakfast this morning.  I spent most of the day doing laundry, getting the last of things put away from our trip and doing some cooking to make Thursday a little less hectic.

We enjoyed visiting with Jarred and playing with Emerson throughout the day.  She's really such a good little girl but she is getting pretty fond of her mom and dad, especially if they walk out of the room.  She had a little walking toy that she was quite happy to play with for a good part of the day.  

Later in the afternoon, I made some chicken chili and cornbread - thanks Janie, for the recipe, and soon after we ate, Jarred and Emerson loaded up to head home.  Tomorrow will be a big day so we headed to bed pretty early.  I'll be getting up early tomorrow to finish the meal.  Fortunately we are not eating until 4pm so I've got most of the day to get ready.

Thursday, November 26, 2015, Oswego, KS

I didn't waste too much time reading RV blogs this morning.  I made of list of what needed to be done, when it should be put on to cook, when it should come out of the oven.  I picked up things around the house in between my schedule of cooking.  Before I knew it was near 2:30 or 3:00 and Brett, Renae, Dacy and Tucker and Heath, Casey, Abram, Gideon and Roman were here.  We visited in between me getting things together.  Renae made 4 homemade pies that were all delicious.  I know because I tasted every single one of them.  This year I tried a different dressing and I loved it.  It will be my new go-to Thanksgiving dressing recipe from now on.  My sister Cindy, got it from her sister-in-law Nancy.  Great recipe!

We had a good time visiting and later daughter Misti, boyfriend Chuck, and Misti's kids Logan and Haleigh stopped by.  Brett and Renae left awhile afterwards as they were both getting very tried.  Misti and Chuck followed not too long afterwards.

Tonight Logan, Haleigh, Dacy, Tucker, Abram and Gideon are spending the night here.  After Misti and Chuck left I started pulling out all of my blankets and pillows onto the living room floor.  It is almost an annual event to have the kids spend the night on Thanksgiving.  They spread out on the floor, and we find a movie for them to watch.  Tonight's movie was Night at the Museum.  I think the kids really had a good time and enjoyed getting to see each other again.  We loved having them.  

Dean and I headed to bed about 9:30 or 10:00.  I think the kids drifted off pretty quick after we did with only one or two making it to the end of the movie.

Friday, November 27, 2015, Oswego, KS

I got up pretty early this morning, made the coffee and then headed to the playroom to have my first cup and talk with my sister Cindy on the phone.  It wasn't long before kids started waking up and can you believe after all that food yesterday and last night, they were hungry again.  I was pretty lazy this morning and it was breakfast cereal and frozen waffles on the menu.  Everyone seemed quite happy with the choices though.

Abram and Gideon went to their Grandparents (Addis') about 10.  Dean brought in my scrawny Christmas tree soon after for the kids to decorate. I asked the kids if they knew what today was.  They said, "Papa's birthday"!  I asked them if they wanted to sing Happy Birthday to him and they did.  Tucker led them in the song as they walked into the living room where Papa was working on the lights on the Christmas tree. He was pleased with their singing to him.  I wasn't very happy with the lights, and we decided to replace the ones on there plus buy more.  It took a couple of trips to the Dollar General before we got the lights I wanted, and by the time the lights were on the tree, Brett and Renae showed up to get Dacy and Tucker.  We all had leftovers from yesterday for lunch and then visited for awhile.  Logan had basketball practice at 9 and had left a little before 8 to take his mom to work so he would have the car.  His car is out of commission right now.  

Once everyone had left and I had cleaned up, I decided to go ahead and add the ornaments to the tree.  Misti called later to see if we were doing anything this evening and if not, could she and Chuck take us to dinner for Dean's birthday.  They let him choose where to go in Pittsburg and he chose Chicken Mary's.  Fried chicken is his favorite meal and we all love it too.  We had a nice evening visiting with them and Haleigh.  Thanks so much for dinner.  It meant a lot to Dean.

Saturday, November 28, 2015, Oswego, KS & Joplin, MO

Well, I am running on pure fumes at this point.  It seems like we have been on the run since a week ago Thursday when I was trying to get laundry done and Bentley loaded for our trip to KC on Friday.  I drug myself out of bed so I could have at least one cup of coffee before I started getting ready to pick up the girls for our shopping trip.  Logan spent the night with us and I had to get him up to take him home.  From there I headed to Brett and Renae's to pick up Dacy, then on to 4 corners (69/160 Highway intersection) to meet Chuck and Misti and to get Haleigh.  We were soon headed to Joplin.  We had put together a plan.  Our first stop would be at Ross for Less.  We expected to be there about an hour and then have lunch, but they were ready to go in 20 minutes or so, so we threw in a quick trip to Khol's.  Dacy found a really cute dress here that she wanted to get for a choir program that is coming up in December.  She made a call to her mom and since we didn't hear from her before we left, we asked them to hold the dress until 12:30 and they did.  I decided I wanted to look for a heavier sweater to wear for the day as it was quite cold out.  In fact, the coldest day we've been out this fall so far.  I found one I really liked and it was on sale.  Fortunately the day before I had received a 20% off coupon that also helped with this purchase.

Our next stop, Olive Garden.  We wanted to get there when it opened as we were not sure how busy it would be.  The girls both had fettucine alfredo with salad and breadsticks and I chose the pasta fagolia with salad.  As usual it was DELICIOUS!  Because it was their birthday celebration, we splurged and had dessert.  The dessert was little fried dough treats with powdered sugar, served with both rasberry and chocolate sauce.  Oh my, they were so yummy!

Renae texted Dacy and told her yes on the dress so back to Khol's we went to buy the dress, with that 20% off coupon.  Woohoo!  From there we headed to Northpark Mall.  We were all over that mall.  Haleigh was looking for shoes.  We didn't find any but she ended up buying a pretty sweater at American Eagle and a T-shirt at Hot Topic.  Dacy bought jeans at American Eagle, a shirt at Ross, a sweater at TJ Maxx and they both bought beanie hats. We made a stop at McDonald's before heading home.  It was a great day and I enjoyed spending time with these two young ladies.  They are growing up way too fast.  

Tonight we put a big dent in the leftovers from Thanksgiving.  It was good, but after the 3rd or 4th meal, I do begin to get tired of it.

I started working on the newsletter for the Ozark Chapter 17 of SKP's.  I took on that duty and my first one is due out in December.  I hope to have it out before the 15th of the month.

See you next week.

Sunday, November 15 - Saturday, November 21, 2015 - Oswego & Kansas City

Sunday, November 15 - Saturday, November 21, 2015 - Oswego & Kansas City

Sunday, November 15 - Oswego

After our morning coffee we walked at the park.  I came home and managed to get quite a bit more done around the house before getting ready for church.  I guess I am going to have to begin making notes about what I do each day or write on the blog more often as I can't remember what we did on Sunday.  I did make several lists of things I wanted to get done before we leave for Kansas City on Friday.  I want to get as much of my Thanksgiving preparation out of the way before we leave.  

We did not have a sister's meetup today as Crystal (3rd in line) watched their grandson Dempsey overnight and they were taking him back home to Missouri today.  I'll be gone next Sunday so I guess I will miss out until the first Sunday in December when I host next.

Monday, November 16, Oswego

It started raining yesterday evening, and rained through the night.  So walking in the park was not a welcome idea.  We wanted to keep our momentum going, so I dug out my Walking away the Pounds DVD and we did the 2 mile walk.  It involves more than walking so we felt like we had a good workout when we were done.

Today I had a long list and managed to complete it.  We will be going to Wichita after our 2 day stay in Kansas City.  Our grandsons, Abram and Gideon, celebrate Grandparent's Day at their school prior to Thanksgiving each year so that is what we'll be doing next Tuesday morning.  It's always fun. The teachers always have some fun things for us to participate with the kids on during the day.  I think the boys really look forward to it.

First thing, was to get us registered for the Grandparent's Day event.  Since the weather seems to be getting colder each day I thought maybe it was time to make sure I have all of our winter clothing out.  This gives me a good chance to sort through everything and decide what I want to keep and what can go in the giveaway pile.  Of course, that means laundry needs to be done, as well.  That chore never seems to go away, however, at least it's not a daily job like it was when the kids were all at home.  I actually enjoy doing laundry but once or twice a week is much nicer than 1-2 loads daily.  November is a big birthday month for not only family members but several very dear friends.  Since they start this week I needed to get my cards made out and some of them in the mail.  

I used a new roast recipe today.  I first heard about this while having my hair done about a year ago.  It's called Mississippi roast, according to Pinterest.

Using a 3-4 pound roast, add 1 pkg. au jus mix; 1 pkg. hidden valley dressing mix; 1 stick of butter and several pepperocinis around the top of the roast.  Cook 6-8 hours on low.  It was really good.  Since we needed to eat and be on the road to attend a basketball game soon afterwards I cheated with a package of instant potatoes and some frozen corn.  

Tonight is our granddaughter Kamron's first basketball game.  They are playing in a pre-season tournament in Bartlett, KS.  My son Marc is coaching her team. It was not the best way to start the tournament with a loss, but they will play again on Thursday night.  Hopefully that will be a better game.

Tuesday, November 17, Oswego

It was still raining this morning, so we walked with Leslie Samsone again this morning and did the two mile walk again.  I made a batch of homemade noodles this morning for Thanksgiving.  I think I'm going to need a second batch to feed my bunch so I'll get that done later this week.

After cleaning up the kitchen I got ready to meet some friends for lunch.  Peggy and Linda are good friends who I have known for a long time.  We served together on the Oswego Chamber of Commerce board many years ago and we've tried to get together for lunch periodically since then.  We also served on the Oswego Community Foundation Board together.  This was the first time we've had a chance to get together since Dean and I returned from our trip.  It was great to visit with them and catch up on what was going on in each other's lives.  I shared some of our travel stories with them and before we knew it, it was time to head out.  By the way today was Peggy's birthday so it was fun to celebrate with her.  When we first arrived Linda and I told her Happy birthday.  Evidently the waitress overheard us, and once we were finished with our meal (at our local Mexican Restaurant, Mi Pueblo), they brought out a plate of sopapillas with honey and whipped cream.  Peggy was nice enough to share with Linda and I.  They were very good.

Once I returned home, I changed clothes and headed to Bentley to give him a good cleaning before we leave on our trip next week.  A few hours later, the carpets were clean, the bed was made up with clean sheets, and I had moved out quite a few things that we will not need on this trip.

Wednesday, November 18, Oswego

We had to be up and ready to leave the house by 7 this morning as I have an appointment with an endodontist at 8 in Joplin.  What a way to begin the day, huh?  I am not a fan of dentists, or endodontists, but I guess I should be thankful they exist.  I have a tooth that has been bothering me for quite awhile and I guess it's time to get something done.  I will be returning after the first of the year for a root canal.  

We had a list of things we wanted to get done while we were in Joplin, so our next stop was at Sam's Club.  They have large 2.5# bags of salted almonds.  Dean goes through them like candy --- just kidding --- but he does eat them often.  They are the cheapest packages I can find and we are almost out of almonds.  While there I wanted to check out prices on converting all of my family's old home movies to DVD's.  Unfortunately the lady who handles this was out until 9:30 and we didn't want to wait around that long.  I picked up information and I'll call her after Thanksgiving to get more details.

Our next item on the to-do list was to find Dean a new pair of tennis shoes.  I thought buying shoes for me was tough.  We stopped at Academy, Shoe Carnival, Penney's, Champs, Finish Line, Kohl's and finally found something he liked and that actually fit him at The Shoe Department at Northpark Mall.  He about wore me out!

Next stop was Joe Harding's, a restaurant wholesaler that sells to the public as well.  I was looking for a large mouth funnel, but no luck.  We are looking for a dresser for the extra bedroom so we visited a couple of flea markets but again, we had no luck.  After I got home I was sharing this with Cindy and she told me I should have gone to Connie's (a large flea market in Joplin), so I'll have to check it out next time.

Before our last stop we had lunch at Golden Corral.  We really like the Joplin GC.  It's a good option for choosing great food that is great for your diet.  I just cheated with a little bit of bread pudding.  I think they make some of the best bread pudding I've ever had.  After lunch we made a quick stop at Wal-mart to pick up a couple of things and then headed home. One item from Wal-Mart was a rotisserie chicken which I deboned once I got home.  I'll use it to go in my dressing for Thanksgiving.

I turned the step counter on my phone on while we were out and about and we walked over 6,000 steps while in Joplin.  That's about equal to walking in the park each day.

Thursday, November 19, Oswego

We were able to walk this morning and it was a beautiful day.  I didn't even need to wear my coat over my sweatshirt this morning the first couple of laps like I usually do.  We walked 2.63 miles this morning and had our best time as well.  

After we returned home, we had breakfast and I started laundry which went on for a good part of the day.  I made another batch of noodles, browned 5 pounds of hamburger for the freezer, and cleaned the bathrooms.  Bathrooms are not my favorite job, but it must be done.  I also packed Bentley with our clothes for the next five days, food to eat and did some general cleaning in the kitchen.  It seems you get everything done and it's time to start on something else all over again.  I guess that's why they say a housewife's work is never done.  
We made hash from the leftover roast we had for dinner tonight.  As always it was wonderful.  Dean typically makes the hash because he does a better job than I do.  Growing up hash at our house was left over meat, potatoes, carrots and gravy with bread and butter. Dean fries potatoes and adds the roast when the potatoes are almost done to give it just a touch of crispiness and to warm it.  We have it with pork and beans.  I have to add a little ketchup to mine.  I really like Dean's way better, but both are good.

Today is our Uncle Gary West's birthday.  He is married to my mom's youngest sister, Lil.  I tried to call them earlier today but they were not home. I hope he had a great day.

I called Cindy earlier this afternoon to see if she was able to get my pecans.  She works with a lady from Chetopa, who with her husband have a storefront of various nuts.  Cindy had them and told me she would run them by as she had to stop by the drug store.  It wasn't but 10-15 minutes later and she called to say she had locked herself out of her house.  Dean and I headed over there to help her try and get in.  Dean was finally able to get the door unlocked and we got her fixed up.  She decided she'd have some extra keys made to leave with some of us in case this would ever happen again.  

Marc called later to see if we were coming to Kamron's basketball game.  I had entirely forgot about it.  We had not eaten yet, we would need to get cleaned up and I was afraid we wouldn't make it in time so I apologized and we'll keep up with them after the game to find the outcome.

Fortunately when Marc called later, it was with great news.  The girls one their game and they will play again tomorrow night.  Unfortunately we will be in Kansas City, so they will call with an update after the game.

Friday, November 20, Kansas City

We loaded up the last of our things in Bentley this morning and then headed to Tina's for breakfast.  As usual it was quite good.  We made a stop at the post office to have them hold our mail until we get back, and then headed home to hookup Bentley and head north.

We were on our way about 9:30.  It was a nice drive and the new truck pulled Bentley very well, nice and easy with barely a bump or chug even on bad areas of the road.  What a difference it is from our last truck.  While the truck itself was great, it was not a smooth, comfortable ride.  My back and legs were always tired and this trip was a dream in comparison.  

We pulled into Walnut Valley RV Park in Merriam, KS around noon.  The owner called me to ask how much longer before we arrived.  I think he was surprised when I said about 10-15 minutes.  He was watching for us, and waved us in.  I'm glad he was near the road because we most likely would have driven right past it.  It was right in the middle of a housing addition, but the best part it was less than 1 mile from IKEA.  

We had a nice easy pull through spot that Dean loved.  I headed inside to put out the slides and soon yelled at Dean, we have a problem!  Yes, again.  There was water all over the kitchen floor and running down from the bathroom.  We filled the water tank before leaving since it is supposed to freeze here tonight.  Evidently the stool was running and the water sloshed out of the stool on to the floor, running down the stairs and over the kitchen area. It's always an adventure!  We grabbed some towels and began mopping it up.  It wasn't that much water, but it was annoying and cold, because we didn't have the heat on yet, of course.  I ended up running over to the laundromat to wash the towels.  At least it was warm in the laundromat!  By the time I got back to Bentley, he was nice and warm too.

We chilled the rest of the afternoon and about 5:15 we drove to O'Neill's to meet Jeff and Leigh Allison to surprise our friend Donnie Allison on his 60th birthday.  Donnie and Janie arrived a little after 6.  Donnie was surprised to see us and was totally unaware we would be there.  As usual we had many good laughs and enjoyed spending time with Jeff and Leigh's little girl Lilly.  What a cutie she is!  We had a great meal and Leigh surprised Donnie with his favorite, homemade lemon pie!  It was DELICIOUS!!  We visited for awhile and then Dean and I drove to (across the street) Donnie & Janie's apartment to visit for awhile.

We always have great laughs and good times with Donnie and Janie, and tonight was no different.  We decided we would meet for breakfast tomorrow at "The Big Biscuit" and then make plans to spend the day together.  

Saturday, November 21, 2015, Kansas City

Donnie and Janie were already seated at the "Big Biscuit" when we arrived.  They gave each of us a small pot of coffee.  The food was great.  I had scrambled eggs and diced ham with browned potatoes and a biscuit.  I ate about 1/3 of potatoes and 1/2 biscuit with the eggs/ham.  It was very good.  I would definitely revisit the Big Biscuit again.  The biscuit was very light and fluffy. I'm trying not to eat a lot of starches but it tasted good to have a little bit.

After breakfast we headed to Donnie & Janie's apartment to determine what we would do for the day.  The plan was to head to IKEA and take a look around, have some lunch and then visit a big sportswear sale they are having at the old mall at 95th & Metcalf.

The guys were so excited about visiting IKEA - well, not really.  They were great sports though.  Dean and I actually bought something, a small dresser to put in our spare bedroom to hold blankets, sheets, etc. I do not have enough storage for everything and this will come in really handy.  When we have guests we can clear a few drawers for their usage, especially when the kids are here for several days at a time.

We tried out a BBQ place for lunch.  It was very good, although I cannot remember the name of it. Everyone was pleased with their meal.

We headed back to Donnie & Janie's for a bit while Janie put some things together for a meal tonight, then we took off to the sportswear sale.  We were shocked at the number of vehicles in the parking lot.  It was packed and we wondered if something else besides the sportswear sale was gong on.  Donnie asked one of the guys he met as he came out if it was worth going in, and he said we didn't want to hear what he had to say but finally told us, no it wasn't.  However, Janie was looking for something specific and she hit the jackpot and found a few sweatshirts she was looking for.  

We returned to their place and then Dean and I headed back to the RV.  Donnie and Janie will come over later and we'll eat at our place.  Janie made her chicken chili and cornbread. It was delicious.  We visited for awhile before they took off.  We had a great time and look forward to getting back this way to see them and have many more laughs together.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Sunday, Nov 8 to Saturday, Nov 14, 2015 - Oswego, Kansas City and Wichita, KS

Sunday, Nov 8 to Saturday, Nov 14, 2015 - Oswego, Kansas City and Wichita, KS

Sunday, Nov 8

Dean and I have decided to start walking again, and our first day was actually yesterday (Sat, Nov 7).  We walk at our park on the Northeast side of town.  Saturday we walked around the park 2 times, or 33 minutes.  
This morning we walked 42 minutes.  It was really nice outside and very hard to believe it is November with the weather we are enjoying right now.

After returning home and eating breakfast I got ready to attend church, where my sister Cindy and daughter Misti joined me.  Afterwards, Misti and I headed to the Community Center for the annual Methodist Bazaar, where we picked up "to go" boxes of chicken and noodles, potatoes, green beans, coleslaw, roll and dessert.  I purchased meals for Dean and I, and Misti purchased meals for her and Logan.  We brought it back to our house, before Misti and I headed to my sister Cindy's for our Sunday sister get together.  We had a nice visit and made plans for our family Christmas, the Sunday before Christmas this year.  

Dean has been looking at new trucks.  We want to upgrade from a 2500 to a 3500 for improvement in pulling Bentley and providing a better ride.  We spent quite a bit of time talking about the possibility of trading our vehicle in for one, before finally wearing ourselves out and needing a good night's rest.

Monday, Nov 9

Jaxson was back early this morning to spend today and tomorrow with us.  We played Hot Wheels cars, Tinkertoys, put puzzles together, built a bridge/tunnel out of chairs and blankets, played hide and seek and just had a fun time.  It was a fun day and I tried to get a few things done around the house in between his own play time and nap.

Dean took off to look at and drive another truck.  The one we really wanted sold over the weekend, but they have found a couple of others they want to show him.  He finally came back this evening, driving a new truck.  Haleigh and Misti stopped by, so we all loaded up and Papa took us for a drive around town.  I got really tickled at Jaxson when we came outside.  He said, WOW, look at all of the lights.  Later he looked up at the sky and said, WOW, look at all of the stars.  

Today he took a really long nap, and wasn't ready to go to bed when Nana was.  I laid down with him and we both finally fell asleep.  When I woke up I headed back to my own bed.  I really miss my pillow when I'm away!  HAHA

Tuesday, Nov 10

Jaxson was up pretty early this morning and I was surprised after his late night (11:00).  He was in his happy little mood.  He loves to crawl up on my lap when he gets up and he's a little lover which I figure I should enjoy as much as possible because that seems to fade as they get a little older.

While he played I made some pumpkin cookies for a meeting I am attending this evening. They turned out almost as good as the one's my own Nana made each year around Christmas time.  They are some of my favorite cookies.

Jennifer was able to leave a little early today as she has to go back and work an extra day this week so she picked Jaxson up not too long after lunch.  

Dean had to take the truck back and we decided we liked it well enough to go ahead and purchase it.  He was there until late afternoon filling out paperwork, etc.  Ugh.  I'm glad I didn't have to go along for all of that.  I had to leave before he got back home.  I picked up Cindy and Misti and we attended a women's meeting at the church.  We had such a good time with the 25-30 women who showed up.  There was several kinds of soups, salads and desserts.  It was hard not too try all of the various foods but I held out and thought I did pretty good at controlling myself.  I do love food.

Wednesday, Nov 11

Dean and I walked again this morning, 2.29 miles.  It was a little cooler but still pretty nice out.  Mostly it was the wind making it feel cooler.

After returning home I ate breakfast and then got around to head to a Bible Study at a friend's house.  I really enjoyed the morning with the 7 women in attendance.  I look forward to meeting with them again.

While I enjoyed having Jaxson these past two weeks for a few days, my housework had suffered so I tried to get caught up on some of it after lunch.  It's amazing how much better I feel when things are in their place.

Misti stopped by to pick me up about 1:45 and we attended the Veteran's Day Event at the Oswego Jr and Sr High School.  It was very, very nice and my brother-in-law Lonie Addis was the guest speaker.  Lonie served in the Marine Corps and shared some stories of his time in Vietnam.  It was very moving.

After dinner tonight I met Misti at the Oswego Gym to join her Bootcamp buddies in some exercises.  I did pretty well for almost the oldest person there.  A friend from High School who attended was a year older than me so I figured if she could get through it, so could I.  I won't mention she looks in much better shape than I do.  There were 10 of us attending and each person took a place at a machine where we did that particular exercise for one minute, then moved on to the next machine, etc.  The next set was leg exercises and the final set was various floor exercises, ball tosses, jumping jacks or jumping rope.  After that we did stretches on the floor while giving a brief positive comment.  It was great exercise and I enjoyed it much more than I imagined I would.

It sure has been busy since we've been home from our trip.

Thursday, Nov 12

Today Dean and I were brave and we not only walked, but after 2 full loops of the park on the 3rd loop, we also walked down the hill from the park, past the water plant and back up another hill to the road leading across the river bridge, then turn back and walked down that hill and then back up the REALLY STEEP hill leading into the park, to complete the 3rd loop.  It was the same as walking around the park loop 4 times the day before.   

Today I actually got some deep cleaning done which was really needed.  It felt good to get it out of the way.  I do not enjoy house work, it just has to be done, so you do it!   I really planned to do more but an hour or so after lunch they called from the car dealership and said the truck would be ready to pick up in about an hour or so.  We are 1.5 hours away and Dean needed to get his driver's license renewed.  We got ready and headed to Pittsburg where we had the most fun exchange with a Driver's License clerk I think we have ever experienced.  Dean told me later, he thought he would always go back to Pittsburg now.  
After we were through there we drove the remaining distance to the dealership where we had to wait another hour or so before the truck was ready.  Hmmm!  By the time we finished the walk through of the features, it was getting late.  We stopped in Pittsburg on the way home at Buffalo Wild Wings - not the best choice!  The food wasn't too bad, just really expensive and pretty loud.  I had wanted to pick up a couple of things at Wal-Mart but was too tired by then.  All I wanted to do was go home.

Friday, Nov 13

We always eat breakfast out on Friday's and we headed to Tina's here in Oswego a little after 8.  As usual it was quite good.  I overhead a couple of ladies talking about converting their old home movies into DVD's, so I asked a few questions.  She said that Sam's offers this service.  We have two large shoe boxes full of home movies my dad took when we were kids.  I will definitely look into this.

I was able to get several more things done around the house today.  I am still going through closets, drawers and cabinets, trying to pare down all of the "stuff" I have.  This house is just not as big as our previous home and I'm tired of walking over things, and digging through cabinets to find things.  I gathered up several things I want to donate.  My cousin's church has a nice building in Chetopa that they hold sales for household goods and clothing in.  I try to take everything down there.  They usually have a sale once a month, and if someone should lose their home or belongings to a fire or tornado they will let them come in and pick things at no cost.  I think it's a great help to many people.

I called Cindy to see if she wanted to run to Pittsburg after she got off work.  She did and we left soon after that.  I am looking for some winter tops.  We hit Penney's, Goody's and Cato's.  I found a couple of things at Penney's.  We made a quick Wal-mart stop for a couple of things and headed home.  By the time we got home I was tired, so Dean suggested running up to Parsons to the Hickory Hole for dinner.  This is a great little hole in the wall restaurant on the east side of town.  Their food is great.  They almost always have ribs, smoked chicken, polish sausage and pulled pork along with several sides.  I was good and ate green beans, cole slaw and meat only, no bar-b-que at all.  That as hard.

Saturday, Nov 14

So, this morning I got up and started going through things in the extra bedrooms in preparation for Thanksgiving.  I'm not sure if any of the kids will be spending the night or not, but in case they do I've got to get things in shape.  I have a hutch and buffet that belonged to my Great-Aunt Aletha but I just don't have room for it here.  It has been in the extra bedroom but I want to move my piano out of the living room, and I would like to move it to the bedroom.  I also have a heavy wooden plant stand that belonged to my "Nana" Blackledge and a mantel clock that was my great-grandpa and grandma Blackledge's.  I talked to my niece Nikki, Cindy's daughter to see if she had any interest in them.  I had mentioned it to my sisters and my kids already.  Bless her heart she took all of them.  I was ecstatic.  Before the day was over we had moved everything around the way I wanted it.  I still need to make changes with wall hangings and such but that will happen after Thanksgiving.  Too much going on to get that done before then.  What a great day of cleaning and reorganizing.  

Dean I managed to walk every morning this week.  We are averaging 2.29 miles per day. Every day has been easier and we are now beginning to really enjoy the time we are outside.  Our park is so beautiful.  There are still quite a few trees with beautiful leaves on them.  As the sun comes up it hits the leaves and it is just magical.  Our park is located on a bluff overlooking the Neosho River and the Neosho River Valley.  It is a beautiful site whether it be autumn fall colors, stormy skies, fog laying across the valley, etc.  

See you next week!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Sunday Nov 1 - Saturday, Nov 7, 2015 - Oswego & Wichita. KS

Sunday, Nov 1 - Saturday, Nov 7, 2015 - Oswego & Wichita, KS

Sunday, Nov 1 - Wichita, KS

We attended church with our son Jarred, his wife Andrea and their little girl Emerson, who is now 7 months old.  Today was her dedication at church.  

Here is a picture of her with her daddy in her precious little dress that her mama and grandma Diane worked on for quite sometime.  

Following church many family members returned to Jarred and Andrea's new house for a luncheon of BBQ.  Andrea must have worked herself silly because the house looked wonderful--- and they just finished moving in yesterday.  WOW!  The food was delicious as was the company and we enjoyed our time with them.  

We returned to Bentley and I worked on getting some things done so Dean won't have so much to do tomorrow morning before leaving.  I will be leaving around 5:00 to drive back in the van.  I will pick Jaxson (Marc & Jen's 3 year old) up and he will be staying with us on Monday and Tuesday.  Dean headed to Heath's to help him with some wiring in order to get internet to their basement.

Monday, Nov 2 - Oswego, KS

I was up and ready to leave the RV Park at 4:30.  With no traffic to speak of, it still took me 30 minutes to drive from the park, on the far west side to the Quick Trip on the east side of Wichita.  I needed my morning coffee!  Leaving QT it was very dark at the intersection and I turned left - I thought it was farther to the right than it was, only to look up to see cars coming at me in the distance - Oh no, I was in the wrong lane.  I made a quick U-turn and turned back up the side road and into the QT parking lot.  Had to get my bearings before trying that again!!   That was an eerie experience!

The drive was really great with barely any traffic.  As I passed the exit to Highway 77 east of Augusta I could see the sun begin to break over the horizon creating a beautiful line of orange glow.  Unfortunately it was still too dark to really see the Flint Hills area, but the lights of the wind turbines dotted the sky with their blinking, bright red lights.  Soon I noticed this large black cloud building on the horizon and near Elk River I ran into a heavy,heavy fog.  It was difficult to see much more than 50' or so.  Fortunately traffic was still very light.  I just slowed down and enjoyed my music and the ride.  Unfortunately, I did hit an area that was extremely bad right where significant road construction was occurring.  Even though it was too early for workers to be on the job, the markers were difficult to see in such thick fog, but I made it through.  The fog continued until I reached the Labette County line.  I stopped in at Marc's to pick up Jaxson and we headed to Oswego.  Normally I would have taken Montana Road, especially since there is quite a bit of construction work on Highway 59 south of Parsons to the Altamont junction, however I'm glad I decided not to do that.  The fog turned quite thick south of Parsons and was like this all the way to Oswego.  It would have been much worse on Montana Road.

Jaxson and I had a great day.  He really loves to play hide and seek right now.  He was very ingenious with his hiding places.  I would walk through the house saying I wonder where Jaxson is.  I could hear him giggling as I would get close to him.  Once he turned the toy tub upside down and hid under it.  Another time he climbed up on my bed and used the pillows to cover himself up.  It was cute and lots of fun to find him and tickle him.  He loves to be tickled and will lay down on the floor and say "tickle me Nana".  

It was a fun day.  He took a good nap and I wasn't sure how well he would sleep tonight but he was out within 15-20 minutes after he laid down for the night.

Tuesday, Nov 3 - Oswego

Jaxson slept until about 7 or so this morning.  He was in a happy mood and was soon playing with the Tinkertoys.  We bought these several years ago when Logan, our oldest grandson was just a toddler - he is now 16.  All of the kids love coming to Nana and Papa's to play with the Tinkertoys.  It's the first thing they get out!  I mentioned to Dean that it amazes me how much the kids have enjoyed them over the years.  He agreed and told me we should look at buying more of them.  I told him I had the same thought and had actually looked on Amazon to see if the wooden ones were still available - they sure are for just under $200.  WOW!  This isn't a huge set either!

Jennifer works on Mondays and Tuesdays.  Jaxson usually stays with Jen's mom, Lou or Mimi to Jaxson, but she had some other things going on this week.  Jen called to say she would be home early today and would pick Jaxson up around noon.  

He will be back next Monday and Tuesday though and I look forward to having him back to visit.  He's such a cheerful little guy and loves for me to get down on the floor and play with him, and I love doing it.

Wednesday, Nov 6 was spent getting things done around the house, and getting ready to go to Wichita tomorrow, which I'll tell you more about later.  

Thursday - Nov 5 - Wichita

I had a hair appointment this morning to get my hair styled and then I came home to finish packing for an overnight trip to Wichita to attend the City Clerks and Municipal Finance Officers annual Institute banquet.  The Institute is a four year training for City Clerk's and the banquet honors the 4th year graduates from the Institute program.  The Board of Directors decided to invite all former CCMFOA Presidents and City Clerks of the Year to attend the dinner as well.  Fortunately I will have someone to enjoy the ride to Wichita with today.  I picked Mary Reed (former City Clerk & City Manager in Parsons, KS - and my mentor and very dear friend) up about 11:15 at her home.  We stopped at the Kitchen Pass for lunch before driving on to Wichita.  After an enjoyable ride where we were able to catch up with what was going on in each other's lives, we arrived at the hotel a little before 3:00.  We were fortunate that our room was ready and we were able to get right in.  As we entered the front door we ran into Gary Fees, Manhattan City Clerk and was able to chat with him for a few minutes before he headed back home.   Once Mary and I made it to our room, we freshened up a bit and headed down to the meeting room areas.  We ran into several other former and current clerks.  It was such a great time seeing so many dear friends.  This was my first time at a clerk's meeting in 2.5 years, and I was thrilled to be here. 

The reception was to begin at 6:00 so we headed to our room about 5:30 to change. Several of our friends was meeting in one of the rooms just down the hall and we headed down to visit for a few minutes before we all went down to the reception.  What a great time we had. Afterwards we all headed up to the Hospitality Room to visit with not only our friends but to also visit with the clerks who are attending Institute this year.  We were able to get a picture of "our group" and I hope to get a copy of it to share here before posting this.

What a great evening it was with wonderful, dear friends.  I miss them all so much and I am so thankful for the opportunity to come back to participate in this special occasion.

Friday - Nov 6 - Wichita & Oswego

Mary and I took our time getting around this morning.  We decided to stop at a couple of stores before we headed back.  Neither of us had ever been to a Costco, and there is a brand new one right across the street from the Marriott where we stayed.  I pointed the van in that direction.  Soon we were inside.  We asked if we could take a look since we are not members and they provided us with a tour guide.  Once he told us about their setup and the various areas in the store he allowed us to just look around.  It seemed their prices are not bad, however Wichita and Kansas City are the two closest to us.  I'm not sure we would benefit that much.  Now, if one of our kids living in Wichita are members we might take advantage of the opportunity to visit with them for a few things.  We'll have to check that out.  
Mary had never been to an "At Home" store.  There was a new one near us so we paid a visit there as well.  I did find a small rug to replace one at the front door.  If you  haven't visited one of these they really do have many things you might want for decorating your home.  I really do not need anything myself but I enjoy looking.

We arrived back in Parsons around 2:30.  I picked up my granddaughter Kamron, Jaxson's older sister at her school at 3:00.  She is coming back to Oswego with me.  We had a good visit on our ride home.  Once we got back to Oswego she tried to pull a little prank on her old Papa.  The kids love to "take" Papa's chair when he gets up and they really love it when he pulls them out of it.  It's a game they started years ago and it just seems to carry on as each new grandchild figures out what is going on and takes their turn in the fun. 

Dean came in to find Kamron in "his" chair and they went through the drill of Papa pulling Kamron out of it.  Once she was out and he was back in it, here comes Kamron with a piece of paper and asked Papa to sign his name.  When he asked why, she said I just want to see how you write your name, so he complied.  Then she handed him another piece of paper that said, "Kamron owns the Big Red chair.  Please give it to her or else it will be bad."
Then she said now I have your signature saying I do own the chair and you have to get out. He told her he didn't sign that, just a blank piece of paper, so under his signature of Dean Peine she wrote "approves this on the next sheet of paper" and gives him both pages.  We had some good laughs over it.

We drove back to Parsons to eat dinner at Chinese Chef, and then a quick stop at Wal-mart before taking Kamron back home.  We visited with Marc and Jen for awhile and then headed home.  I was pretty tired after such a long day.

Saturday - Nov 6 - Oswego & Parsons

Cindy and I decided to head to Parsons this morning to some of the Christmas open houses there.  They were also having a craft show so we had to stop and check it out too.  A lady from Erie, KS was selling all kinds of jelly and she had samples of each kind.  Oh my goodness, they were all good but I finally decided on a "bacon Jalapeno jelly".  I'll save this for Christmas when the kids are here.  It will make a great appetizer with some cream cheese and crackers.

We visited a few other stores including Jennifer's sisters store "Upscale Country".  They had some wonderful smelling candles that I couldn't leave without.  Guess who we ran into here but Kamron and her cousin Madison.  They were so darn cute!  From there we headed to George's Hallmark.  I was glad we stopped here as I did not have a Christmas ornament for Emerson yet.  I always purchase a Baby's First Christmas ornament for each of the grandkids to go on our tree.  

I was able to get some things done at home later this afternoon and evening and then we enjoyed some downtime the rest of the evening.  After a busy week, it was quite welcome.