Wheres Ray/Wendy yr 2

Friday, September 28, 2012


Hello all.
                       The big day finally came. I am officially retired.
  After 37 years working, it is weird thinking I will not be going back. It really hasn't sunk in.
 Maybe next week it will when 9 pm comes and I don't have to get ready to hit the door.
  I have spent almost all of my time working on 3rd shift. It was mostly my choice. It worked out well when the kids were growing up and always gave us a head start on Friday mornings for the weekend campouts.  The big downfall was Sunday nights going to work.
  So now Wendy gets to hear me snore nightly (lucky her). It will be a change. We have had a quirky nightly ritual ( OK mostly me) At some point in the evening I would ask if I could stay home. She would always say no-you gotta go or they might miss you.  Well now I can hear her turn it to can't you go to work tonight?

  They had a nice gathering for me on Thursday morning.  Two nice cakes and some cupcakes.
 I guess I wasn't prepared, as they said a little something and then handed the floor to me. It was one of the most uncomfortable times. I should have made some notes. I am not a big fan of being in front of a group and there were quite few quiet moments where I was looking for a hole to crawl into. But we finally got through it.

                                  On Thursday night my coworkers put on a nice little feast.

 Then after work I snuck out early, ran home and got Wendy and met some of the guys for a couple beers and chit chat.
     As always it is the nice people that will be missed most.

      As I jumped in my truck to leave work for the last time I started it up and right while I was pulling out Zac Brown's song "Free" was playing. Wow, how fitting.



Monday, September 24, 2012

Early Halloween Fun

Hi all,
  Getting excited now-only 4 more work days. It still doesn't seem real.
 Already wondering what we'll do next week. Plans are to stay a couple more weeks around here before we head out.
 We have the retirement/hitting the road party planned for Oct. 6th. We are having an open house at a restaurant and will be having pizza/beer and cake. (my kinda balanced diet , ).

   We had a great Halloween weekend. It was a bit cool but we kept enough jello shots and such flowing to keep us warm. We went to Indian Trails Campground in Pardeeville, WI. They usually do about 3 Halloween weekends do to the high demand.

  Indian Trails has been our favorite private campground. We have camped there for many years sometimes up to 4 times a year. They have a nice 15 acre lake with camping all around. It also makes a nice 2 mile walk around.

 We were trying to think and believe we have probably done about 20 Halloween camp outs there.
Super Isaiah
 We usually don't act our age and dress up and walk around with the kids getting adult treats.
 Some of the people really go all out decorating. We have some years in the past also.
 Wendy likes to get creative for our costumes.

 We are thinking that our plans are to return back here next Sept./Oct. for dr. appointments and visits with family. So maybe this is one tradition we can continue. We'll see?



Tuesday, September 18, 2012


  Hi all.
Wendy and I just got back with what may have been the shortest longest trip yet.
 We left on Sunday for South Dakota to fix a little uh-oh.(thx. Susan)
 We were heading out to complete getting our drivers licence.
 This was the second try at this and whoopee we did it.
  Got there in pretty good time (about 8 hrs). We stayed the night at the Fairfield Inn.
  We were up at 6:30 and at the DVM by 8:00.
 All went well and we were out of there by 8:30.  We just needed to go one floor down to register and licence our RV.
 Now that went good to a point. We were told we needed a picture of the camper weight tag. The tag is glued to a kitchen cabinet inner door.  She looked at the picture we had took and said it wasn't acceptable. She said a certified scale receipt was needed. Great  ;(  we figured we would have to go home without it. But knew our mailing service could complete this for us without a return trip.
 Well she went to the back and talked with someone and wallah- she would use the picture.
 We were outta there by 9:00 with a quick stop to get our mail and register to vote we hit the road back to WI.  and pulled into home at 5:30.  A nice quick 945 miles and a story to remember part of the journey to fulltime.
 Looking forward to our annual Halloween campout this weekend at Indian Trails campground in Pardeeville. We usually dress up, eat jello shots and take the gkids trick or treating.
   Take care and thanks for reading along and comments.



Friday, September 14, 2012


Hi all,
 It is getting really close to the big day. The day we are actually real fulltime campers.  The house sold July 2 and we have been living in our RV since. Some may say we are already there, but with still working and in the area it has not felt like a change.
 Today I said we had to do something in the house and my future sister in law laughed. Well it is our house now.
 Wendy says she has no problem saying we are going home - wherever the camper is.
 Retirement date for me (Ray) is Sept. 30. After 37 years of working there it will be tough thinking I won't be going back to work (there anyway). 
 A reader had asked if it was scary to leave the house for only a RV. To us it did not seem so. We had been planning on doing this for so long and the actions required doing this consume your time and thoughts. A person can always go back to the stix and brix if it doesn't work out. We thought if that happened we would not want a big place with all the upkeep required.
 I sometimes wonder what Wendy and I will talk about after we're out there.
 The hardest time for me will be leaving loved ones that we are used to seeing regularly. Still wish we would of done a lot more things with the kids and grandsons this past summer.
  We plan to head out mid Oct. It seems like we are always waiting and planning for the next step.
 I believe what they say about it not the destination but the journey getting there is life.

 We are starting to get more serious about finding our workamper position for next summer. With so many opportunities we have not made a decision as to where we want to go.

Enjoying the beginning of fall



Sunday, September 9, 2012

Excel-lent weekend

Hi all,
  We spent the weekend at Country Roads Campground in WI. Dells.
 Country Roads is  a campground for adults only, which was a big change after camping in a Jellystone Park. It is a nice clean park and the owners and workers were friendly.
   We were camping with our Excel Club of WI. Our club is made up of owners of Excel campers made by Peterson Ind. in Smith Center, Kansas.

 We had a nice showing with 13 rigs attending. We camp twice a year officially, one weekend before Memorial and the weekend following Labor Day.We do fish fry on Friday and potluck or dinner out Saturday. We do like to eat :).
 We also have been having another camp out during the summer that is not official to club members only. One other thing we have been doing is having a winter icicle outing. No we don't camp but stay at a motel. We go out to eat (did I tell you we like to eat :) and find a tour or activity on Saturday.

  On Saturday we toured the International Crane Foundation located in nearby Baraboo. We took the guided tour which was quite interesting. The work they do there is multi purposed. They promote habitat conservation, assist endangered  species and education. They maintain a flock of over 100 cranes including the only complete collection of all 15 species. It was very interesting and a good time.

Yvonne & Jerry

 On Sunday we had breakfast and said goodbyes. With handshakes, hugs, and all the well wishes it got to be a happy/sad moment. With our plans for fulltiming and workamping next year we do not know if we will be able to camp with them next year. Hey, you can all come and see us anytime!
 We came back home to Ottawa State Park until Sept. 21, then a Halloween camp out at Indian Trails in Pardeeville, WI.

Sandhill cranes at Ottawa

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Labor Day weekend

Back to the peace and quiet!

 Not that we didn't enjoy camping with family over the holiday weekend. But the campground we stayed in was not to our liking. We booked it back in March after trying to get into some of our favorite parks. You have to book early to get sites in WI. For state parks, you have to book exactly 11 months ahead of date for a holiday weekend to get a site.
  Back to the weekend, we had good sites on the end of a row across from the horseshoe pits, baseball field, pool and a small playground. This campground has around 500 sites and a good share are permanent sites. With the size of the place, the only way people were getting around was driving golf carts. They were EVERYWHERE! Teenage kids joy riding all the time. The dust was coming off the dirt roads around our sites. Then they had a poker run on the golf carts. 42 went by the site on Saturday afternoon. We put up a tarp Saturday night to block some of the dust and enjoy our campfire.
  Sunday morning we took out our extra hoses and watered down the road to keep the dust down. They had a small parade and another poker run. We kept the road wet through out the day. The kids had fun spraying the road.

Isaiah and Lukas

candy bar bingo

Dutch oven French Toast Casserole
with lots of whipping cream and blueberries

 We had fun spending time with our family. Now we're back at Ottawa State Park. Love the early morning bike rides and walks around the park (No golf carts). We'll be here till Thursday and then we'll be with our WI Excel group for the weekend.


  Fellow blogger Janice (Hosting Posting and Marshmallow Roasting) wanted me to post the recipe for the dutch oven cookie. 

  Ooey-Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookie

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 cup butter flavored Crisco
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 bag semi sweet choc. chips

 Sift flour, baking soda and salt together. Set aside. Cream Crisco, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs. Stir until well mixed and fluffy. Add flour mixture, a little at a time. Add choc. chips.
 Line bottom of 12" dutch oven with foil. Press mixture firmly and evenly into oven.
 Use 30 coals to bake. Place 4 coals under middle of oven and 6 coals around the bottom outside edge. Place 4 coals in the center of the lid and 16 coals around the rim. Bake for 30 minutes. Lift cookie out using foil. Cool on a baking rack. Cut into pieces.   Enjoy!
  I have made it with M&Ms, other types of chips and added nuts. We also used Coleman dutch oven liners found at Walmart.