Canasta

Good morning. This will be our last day in Peoria. Tomorrow is a travel day. Our next destination will be Berea, Kentucky to see our daughter Karen and her family. We have really enjoyed our time here in Peoria even though we have had to endure cold weather and snow. We will miss Scott, Mel and Tina, but it is time to move on. We will be back here again in the fall. That is the best part of living in a motorhome – we can take our home anywhere we want, any time we want, for as long as we want.

Day 142. Scott came over for a while in the afternoon to spend some time with us. We decided to play Canasta. It is a rummy type card game that we haven’t played in years. It was a very popular game in the 1950’s when my parents used to play it all the time. I learned how to play it from them. You can either buy the card game (which we have) or you can use 2 decks of 52 playing cards with 4 jokers.  It took us a little while to refresh our memories and learn how to play the game all over again. Once we figured out the rules and the strategy of the game we decided we should play it more often. It really is a good game and I can see why it was so popular. It can be played by 2 to 6 players. We had the 3 of us, but it would definitely be a fun game to play with 4 players and have a partner. The strategy would be completely different. Another plus is that it is a good game to play while camping. It doesn’t take up much room and is fun.

For dinner Scott, Tina, Clyde and I went to Pizza Works. Mel missed out due to work. But we made sure to send some pizza home for her with Scott. Pizza Works is an old favorite of ours. We have been there many times before, whenever we are in the area. We weren’t disappointed. It was just as good as I remember.

Loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

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Hy-Vee

Good morning. There is snow on the ground, again. We got a couple of inches last night. The good thing is the temperatures are going to be a much warmer all this week so it should melt fairly quickly.

Day 141. The closest grocery store to the park is about 9 miles away. It is a very nice, very large, upscale supermarket. The Iowa based Hy-Vee was founded in 1930 and now has more than 245 stores throughout the Midwest. We do not have any Hy-Vee stores in Michigan however, so this has been our first Hy-Vee experience. You can find almost anything you would want or need here. We have shopped here a few times now during our stay in Peoria. I couldn’t believe the quality and selection of fresh fruit I was able to get at Easter for my salad.

Hy-Vee also has a restaurant attached to it with an entrance from both inside the store and from the street. Last night our group decided to eat in the Hy-Vee Market Grille. I shouldn’t have been surprised, but I was, at the quality of the food. Every bite was mouth-watering delicious. I had grilled salmon with wild rice and broccoli. A couple of the others decided on one of the pasta dishes. Everyone said the same thing, the food was very good and they would highly recommend this restaurant.

I’m going to miss eating out so often when we leave here. If you asked me which was my favorite Peoria restaurant I would have a hard time deciding. The Peoria area has so many good restaurants to choose from.

I think all of us would agree the most memorable restaurant moment was when we were eating hamburgers and tenderloins with French fries and we asked the server for some silverware. You could tell the young server was new and not experienced. Her response was not sassy or sarcastic or rude, but more of a puzzled one. She looked at the food and then at us and said “you need silverware?”.  It was like in her mind our food choices were meant to be eaten with our hands, not a fork. I don’t think she ever did bring us the silverware. I think Scott just took some off another table. We still laugh at that.

Enjoying our lifestyle. Have a good day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Museums

Good morning. I’ve got my cup of coffee and I’m looking outside. The sun is coming up and it looks like it’s going to be a nice clear day. The only pit-fall I see is the snow they are predicting for later this afternoon. I sure hope the forecasters are wrong.

Day 140. With all of the cold weather we have been having and the prediction of snow forecasted, we decided we had better dump our tanks (grey and black) and fill up Winnie with propane. We still have no idea how we are going through so much propane, as we are using the electricity for heat and our “foodie” family has taken us out to eat more than I have been cooking. That’s one more item to put on our list to be checked out when we take Winnie in for maintenance at the end of May.

We were done taking care of business here, at the motorhome, and ready for a fun day with family just before lunch. Of course, our group had another restaurant for us to try. The Peoria area sure has a number of good restaurants. Today we went to the Blue Duck in downtown Peoria. It is right on the river and across the street from the museums we were going to after we were done eating. Three of us ordered the Brisket which was very good. I believe the other two ordered the tacos, which they had enjoyed before and wanted again.

When we were done eating, we walked across the street where we met Tina’s sister Jo and her son Edward to tour the museums with us. The two museums are right next door to each other. The first one we went in was the Caterpillar museum. As you walk into the building the first thing you see is the huge piece of machinery. The tires on it are enormous.

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Scott & Tina

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797F Mining Truck

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We were led inside of the truck where we sat down in a theater to watch a short movie about Caterpillar. As I said, this truck is huge.  The presentation was very informative. One interesting tidbit of information we learned about this truck is that 75% of the drivers are women, so watch out guys.

We enjoyed looking at and learning about some of the very old pieces of equipment.

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Clyde

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Scott

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When we finish perusing the Caterpillar museum it was time to see what the other museum had to offer. The Peoria Riverfront Museum has different main exhibits displayed throughout the year. This time the special exhibit was celebrating 200 Years in the Land of Lincoln.

The museum also has other permanent exhibits which is where we went first. The first area was an interactive, very kid friendly, exhibit which we adults enjoyed too. Another area was about the formation of the land, rivers and lakes throughout Illinois and about the wildlife native to the region. Again, I really enjoyed and learned some things I had not known before.

The Lincoln exhibit was interesting also. One piece they had on display that caught my eye was a framed quilt map of Illinois from 1888. It is pieced together in silk, wool and velvet. As a quilter and crafter I can appreciate the time it took to create this piece.

 

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Callistie Anna Anderson Alsop – 1888

We had a very enjoyable day with family. There is so much to see and do in the Peoria area.

Enjoying our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

 

Brasky’s and so much more

Good Morning. A very cold morning it is. We got down into the teen’s last night and we won’t see the temperature here in the Peoria, Illinois area above freezing until after noon. For our southern friends, who enjoy letting us know what we are missing, it looks like we are going to be getting more snow; 2″-4″ more on Monday and Tuesday. Someone forgot to let old man winter know it was time to leave.

Day 139. We enjoyed a nice day going to various places with our son Scott and his wife Melissa. It was very cold and windy so the plan was to do inside activities for the day. We got together mid-morning to have brunch but the restaurant Scott had in mind was closed and reopening in a new location in a week or two.

His 2nd choice was to wait a half hour and eat lunch at one of his favorite pizza places that was in the same shopping complex as his 1st choice. The outdoor shopping complex, know as Junction City, is very inviting with a number of different shops and restaurants to peruse.

Melissa suggested we go into the Pumpkin Glass Gallery & Studio which turned out to be a very nice jewelry and bead store. The bead section of the store has everything a crafter could want. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Scott kept apologizing to his dad for bringing us in here. I, on the other hand, thanked the two of them numerous times. I didn’t have any problem killing the 1/2 hour we needed to wait for the pizza place to open. I was able to get a few things I had been needing and wanting. With a very happy smile on my face we left to feed our bellies.

As we walked into Brienzo’s Wood Fired Pizza you could smell the delightful aroma from the wood fired brick oven. I couldn’t wait to try the pizza. We were not disappointed. The pizza was delicious. I especially loved the crust. It was flavorful crispy and soft all at the same time. I will definitely want to come here again.

Scott and Melissa then took us to the Luthy Botanical Gardens. On a nice warmer day we could have walked around the grounds and enjoyed the many themed gardens. Today we stayed indoors and checked out the greenhouse where they have many tropical plants and flowers.

Our outing would not be complete without having something sweet to eat. Trefger’s Bakery is in a huge old building with plenty of parking. We walked around trying to decide which of the many mouth-watering delights we couldn’t live without trying. They have breads, coffee cakes, cinnamon rolls, turnovers, cookies, pies, cup cakes, cakes, and so much more. We each made our choices. The bakery also has an area where you can sit and enjoy your baked goods and a cup of coffee. We didn’t have any coffee, but we did try our baked goods. Yum. Another good choice by Scott and Melissa.

It was time to split up for a while so that each of us could take care of a few things. We needed to go back to the motorhome and let Patty Pepper out. After that we went back to Scott’s and Melissa’s for a game of Trivial Pursuit. A game that took longer than Monopoly. It’s not one of my favorite games, but I enjoy spending time with family.

As I’ve mentioned before, Scott’s business is entertainment and events. He started out as a DJ but his business has evolved into much more. He is still a DJ at heart and has standing gigs around the Peoria area. Once a month he is at Brasky’s Bar & Grill where he plays music and does karaoke. We went with Melissa to kick back and have some fun. The place was packed and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. The karaoke was a hoot. Clyde and I both enjoyed our evening.

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*Scott with Clyde, Sue & Melissa*  Singing “Love Shack”

Loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

Goodbye Mouse

Good morning. I can’t believe it’s Friday again. Time sure is flying by. It seems like the older you get the faster the days and weeks go by. I want to savor every minute I have with those around me while we have this time together. Life is short, but it seems like the time we have with those we love is even shorter. Especially with everyone scattered all over in different states. This is our last week-end here with this group of family. Next week we will be leaving Peoria and heading to Berea, Kentucky to see our daughter Karen and her family.

Day 138. Yesterday we stayed in and just relaxed. I had fun beading bracelets and Clyde got some steps in. One of the times he left with Patty Pepper to walk the garbage down to the dumpster I was on the phone with my daughter Melissa. I had just gotten up off the couch and was headed to the refrigerator to get my water when I was greeted by Mr. Mouse. He was just as startled as I was. We both froze in our spots not moving an inch. If I moved I was afraid he would take off and I wouldn’t be able to find him again. So I did what any normal person with a phone camera would do. I took his picture.

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Mouse in the House

Sorry I couldn’t get him to turn around and smile for the camera.

My next thought was how was I going to catch him and get him out of my house. I saw a clean disposable plastic cereal bowl drying on the counter that Clyde had used for his breakfast. Could I reach it and if I did would the mouse still be sitting in the same spot. I had to do something. We both weren’t going to stay frozen in our tracks all day. Meanwhile, I was still on the phone with my daughter who was trying to give me ideas. I decided to go for it. I grabbed the bowl and plopped it down on top of the mouse. Now what.

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Mouse under blue bowl

Step 1: Trap mouse. √ done. Step 2: Get mouse out of house. But how was I going to do it. The clean wastebasket was right there. Thankfully Clyde had just taken our garbage to the dumpster. The problem was how to get the mouse into the wastebasket.

I decided I would slide the bowl to the steps going out of the motorhome. I could put the wastebasket on the step. Then I could slide the bowl with the mouse into the wastebasket. It worked! I now had mouse and bowl in the wastebasket. Now what. I couldn’t stand there holding the bag with the mouse forever and I certainly wasn’t going to kill the little guy. Ugh. I just didn’t invite him into my home.

I decide to release him back into the wooded area. So I walked outside and flung the bag with the bowl and mouse in the direction of the woods.

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Mouse Released

I did my job. I would let Clyde pickup the bowl and bag when he returned. Hopefully the mouse would be gone by then and would not return.

So far in this park we have seen 1 squirrel, 1 rabbit, 1 feral cat (who wasn’t doing a very good job of keeping the mice away), a few birds and now 1 mouse.  We saw deer tracks in the snow, but not the deer.

Still loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

 

 

Making Reservations

Good morning. I’ve been thinking. My morning routine is no different now than it was before we began our journey. I get up early and make my coffee. I enjoy a cup of the freshly brewed caffeine while I look out into the woods and fields and tell you about our adventures. Sometimes my view isn’t as serene. I might have a highway or other RV’s out my window. But, still the routine is the same.

Day 137. I decided it was time to get busy and make our reservations for the months of May, June and July. We know where we will be during that time period. In Michigan, in the area where we owned our home.  We both have doctors appointments that will take up a bit of our time. Clyde will need to have cataract surgery on both eyes and the recovery time for that will mean we need to stay put for a short while.

We have two state parks in the area that are convenient and nice campgrounds to stay in. There is one private campground in the area we could use in a pinch, but I prefer our state parks. Michigan state parks have a rule that you are only allowed to stay in one campground for a maximum of 2 weeks. You then need to vacate for at least 5 days before you are allowed to return to that campground. I understand the reasoning behind that rule. This deters squatters and allows the parks to be used by many campers instead of just a few.

Planning out which of the two parks to stay at when was a bit tricky to maneuver around the holidays, but I managed to get it done. I just hope that we can now schedule his surgeries to coincide with our reservations. He will not be allowed to drive or lift heavy things during his recovery time. Unfortunately, the doctor’s office would not allow us to schedule his surgeries ahead of time. Changing our reservations would be not only costly (the parks are now imposing a penalty for cancellations and changes in reservations) but a big hassle.

I’m sure it will all work out in the end. I’m just glad I will not have to be concerned about the campgrounds being fully booked during those times. Still loving our lifestyle. Have a great day.

Until next time,

Kathryn

A Mouse in the House

Good morning. I don’t know why I get up so early or why some people find the need to sleep in. I’ve always been a morning person. I just can’t lay in bed wide awake thinking about all the things I could be doing. I would rather get up and get a start on the actually “doing”.

Day 136. We had an uninvited visitor in our motorhome. I’ve read about other campers with rodent problems asking for advice on getting rid of them or deterring them altogether, but this is the first time we have had an issue with one. I am fairly certain the cold weather had a little something to do with it. A motorhome is not air-tight and there are many small openings just calling for a little critter to come in out of the cold. And, why not, we provide both bed and breakfast.

We use the area where the washer and dryer hook-ups are as a pantry. We also store our pots and pans, slow cooker, toaster and other larger items in there. Yesterday when Clyde was getting his cereal, he noticed a small hole in a bag of sunflower seeds. After further inspection, he noticed other small holes in other packages with the remnants of the packages scattered about the cupboard. Now I can’t blame the little critter. We provided him with a nice selection to choose from. The salad topping packages with a selection of nuts and dried berries are a good example.

Thanks to our little friend, we got a start on our spring cleaning. We emptied the entire area and thoroughly disinfected it. I now once again have an organized pantry area. Any items we buy from now on that might entice an uninvited visitor will be put in an airtight container. I do not expect that to keep them out, but maybe it will help.

Clyde wants to get a mouse trap or two. Our daughter Melissa told us to tell Patty Pepper to do a better job of keeping the critters out or we will need to trade her in for a cat. I’m not sure there is a good solution to the problem. It is just something you learn to live with; much like spiders, stink bugs, lady bugs and other unwanted pests. It all comes with the territory.

Loving our lifestyle. Have a nice day.

Until next time,

Kathryn