Wednesday - September 30

This last day of September was beautiful.....fall-like temps, clear blue skies and breezy!    We went to 8:45 Mass at Corpus Christi and along with Anne and Patrick proudly watched Liam
serve his first mass.
Will and Liam  
After Mass, Mark and I went to Panera for breakfast and then to the storage unit.    Stopped in to see our friend, Paul (Margie passed away in August).    Sooo good to see him and after catching up, we made a plan to get together in Florida this winter.
Mark went on to do his thing, I picked up Donna Rae and we had lunch (petite Maurice salads) at Jim's Steakhouse along with a good visit.    Then to shop at Dollar Tree and HyVee.   Fun afternoon with a dear friend!
Took Donna Rae home and I picked up the boys from school.    Mark and I are staying with them tonight as Anne and Patrick are in Chicago.    We went to Red Robin for delicious burgers.
Working on art project and practicing the clarinet
Luke, Mommy and Daddy went to Chicago today - 1st Amtrak ride for the Lukester!
He loves trains - looking tired on the ride home!
The Blue Angels reached ONE MILLION likes on Facebook today!
Going to be in the 40's by morning!
Bye bye September!!!

Tuesday - September 29

Today is National Coffee Day and I did my part having 2 treats at Starbucks - 1st one this morning when I was running a few errands (cinnamon dolce latte) and then a warmer upper this afternoon with the girls (pumpkin spice)...
Linda, Vicki, Sue and Vereen taking a break from shopping
My sisters-in-law, Linda and Vicki and their friends, Sue and Vereen came.   Linda had appointment at the eye doctor and then we were off to shop, meet up with the others over lunch at Destihl, shopping, Starbucks, shopping and then I said good-bye and was off to therapy.
I had Jim today and told him how sore my neck has been since last Friday's 1st traction treatment.   He said that is not unusual after 1session.   He strictly focused on the neck (shoulder is doing great) and did a wonderful massage, ultrasound and then 10 minutes and 8# of pressure for the traction.
Time will tell....
Back to Daisy at 5:15.....we had BLT's for supper and happy to be in.    The temperature dropped earlier today and been very windy.....fall is here!!!

Monday - September 28

Cloudy, but warm day.    I left Daisy at 8:15 for dentist appt. to get my new crown - easy does it, but the painful part was writing the check!   Mark and I met the Monday morning breakfast bunch and then each of us went our merry way.   I had a few errands, he picked up some firewood and then back to Kamp Komfort.
Did some cleaning and tidying up inside and outside Daisy....
Last day in the 80s for a while....

Tonight I entertained the Monday Night Friends here at Kamp Komfort for a wiener roast.    We had a potluck of wine, appetizers, roasted hot dogs, potato salad, dill orzo salad, baked beans, deviled eggs and then pie from Busy Corner!    Everything was so yummy.  
 Beautiful evening with wonderful friends!

 Three of the hubbies joined Mark at Busy Corner for dinner and pie.
Pat (Brenda), Bob (Linda), Jerry (Sue), Mark (me)

Brenda, Pat, Tamara, Sue, Ruth, Connie, Jody, Linda
Love the sun's reflection on Daisy's window


Saturday-Sunday, September 26-27

Saturday - we were off this morning in Miss Daisy heading north for Mark's 50th class reunion.   Nice to have our "home" with us and not have to do any packing for a change!    We took Grandma out for lunch at Arthur's Deli and had a good visit.   My cousin, Eileen was there eating with a friend, so always good to see her.
Eileen and Pat 
We settled Daisy in at Lake LaDonna Family Campground out in the boonies (no cell or internet service).   I walked for a while, we changed clothes and we were off leaving early as Mark wanted to check out the White Pines Roller Skating Rink where he and his siblings and parents went every Thursday night (back in the 50's-60's.)   The kids all have fond memories of this weekly entertainment with live organ music.   Mark remembers his Dad giving them each a dime to spend however...  And what made this place so unique was the marble floor which still exists.   We talked to the current owner (just 3 owners since the place began in 1948) and they are in the process of doing some massive renovations to inside and outside.  
Mark at his ole stomping grounds -
The White Pines Roller Skating Rink
Then we drove thru White Pines State Park (lots of tent campers), a wedding party, several young couples were all gussied up for homecoming pictures.   And a girls getaway weekend at the Woodcote Cottage where Mark's sisters and I had a fun weekend several years ago.   Also drove thru Lowell Park and more memories for Mark
 (he went swimming there and worked the concession booth).
Went to 4:30 Mass at St. Pat's and then reunion at Timber Creek Country Club - there were 160 in Mark's class of 1965 and around 60 were there with spouses from all over the country.    They have 22 classmates who are deceased and a votive candle was lit for each of them on a special table.   They also honored those who served in the military and the present cheerleaders from Newman came to cheer for us.   We had a very good buffet dinner followed by chocolate or white decorated cake and ice cream.   Lots of visiting and since I know a few of Mark's classmates, it was a really fun evening for both of us!
Class of 1965
Newman Central Catholic High School
Sterling, IL
Sunday - we picked Grandma up for breakfast and ate at Town and Country which was a happening place.   Took her home and we came on back to Kamp Komfort.    It was a mostly cloudy day with just a tiny bit of sunshine around 11, but didn't last long.
Connor, Liam and their friend, Blaise posing with
Pope Francis this morning after Mass....

We had a quiet few hours on Daisy catching up on stuff before we went to Anne and Patrick's for delicious supper.....grilled pork chops, pasta salad, baked beans, rolls and wine.   We brought dessert from Busy Corner....pie of course
(raspberry, blueberry, caramel apple, coconut cream and lemon meringue)!

Lots of clouds tonight so very iffy if we'll see the "blood moon" or lunar eclipse???

Have a great week!


Friday - September 25

Mark was off at 8 for a haircut and other errands.   I went into town for some shopping, pedicure, and therapy with Donna.    Today started 5 sessions of traction. after therapy   I laid on the table with feet elevated.   Technician put a gizmo on my head that was secured with Velcro and then a neck brace around the back part of my neck very secure as 8 lbs. of pressure was applied.   I lay there for 12 minutes - felt sooo good    The shoulder is doing great!   Now to get this neck fixed!
Back on Daisy for a bit....the big RV's are rolling into the park.   Lovely day again and no rain predicted till next Thursday - farmers are loving this wonderful weather as we all are!
My goodness, Blair - you're all grown up since we saw you 2 days ago!  
 Pull-up on your head, sporty new specs and  good day on the potty!
Grandma is proud!

Luke and his Mommy are enjoying a few more days in the country with his Nana and Grandpa.   Daddy went back to Florida for work.

Anne and the boys are with friends at the Cardinals game tonight in St. Louis.    Ryan is on a 4-week trip with the Blue Angels....Ventura, San Diego and San Francisco, CA and then Hawaii.

Tonight we met Carol and Roger at Baxter's for wonderful dinner and good visit.    Then to their home for drinks, delicious pumpkin cake roll and coffee!    So good to see these long-time friends and catch up after many months.

Tomorrow we leave in Miss Daisy for Dixon and Mark's 50th class reunion.
Back in touch Sunday!    Have a fun, safe weekend!

Thursday - September 24

Had breakfast at the Comfort Inn in Brownsburg and as we were checking out, I thought the guy at the front desk looked familiar.....Michael Ryan (good name too).    He is a former neighbor 1 block away (years ago) and I knew his Mom well.   Had a nice visit and of course, "it's a small world".
Another beautiful day and we arrived in Bloomington around 10:30.   Picked up my car at the airport and I was off to get a manicure (had 2 torn nails....darn....but Lisa took care of 'em)!    Had lunch with Exchange Club and it was a real melancholy hour of reminiscing.    Our club was founded in 1934 and after much discussion we are disbanding the end of September!    Our shrinking membership, inability to attract new members and financial issues were the main decisions.  We have several long-time members, including one who joined in 1955.  I have been an Exchangite since 1993 and have so many wonderful memories and great friendships.   No more Santa letters after all these years - our big fund raiser each year.   We can all be very proud of our contributions to the community sharing with so many who have so little; our youth activities, and so many causes we pursued with the
 main focus of Exchange
"Prevention of Child Abuse".
The plan is to keep in touch and meet occasionally, especially in December for a Christmas party.
Unpacked our stuff and got some fall clothes out, but it's going to stay warm thru next week, so...
Good to be back "home" and the farmers are going great guns with the corn and beans - a lot has been harvested in the fields surrounding Kamp Komfort.
After spending time with both Luke and Blair recently, I have to share this little ditty that my friend, Allie gave me.....soooo true!
Today, two-year olds can unlock a phone,
open and close their favorite apps
When I was that age,

Wednesday - September 23

Happy Fall.....this first full day of my favorite season was beautiful and a great day for travel.    Mark took Drew to school, we said our goodbyes to Davis, Brady, Blair and Brooke and were on our way.    Always sad for Grandma to leave and of course, Blair is just growing up too fast!   A little more than 6 weeks till we see them all again.

Grandpa took this one of Sweetie Pie yesterday
A few last cuddles before Grandma leaves
We are in Brownsburg, IN tonight - I drove 155 miles of the 575 we traveled today.     Had dinner at Sal's Pizzeria - good pizza, salad, chianti!!!
What's with the gas prices?   We paid $1.95 in Tennessee and here in Brownsburg, it's $2.45!

Tuesday - September 22

Busy day here with kids off to school and then soccer games (Davis and Drew) and practice for Brady.    Davis's team lost 6-2 - enjoyed seeing him play as its been awhile.   Drew's was out of town and lost his game, too.
Blair was her usual very busy self...she just never stops!   She took a good nap and then was rarin' to go again....
Tomorrow we head for always, enjoyed out time here in NC.   Happy to see these grandchildren doing well in school, enjoying their sports and then of course, the Princess is in a league of her own!   HA!!!
Getting some good photos though is a real challenge.    The boys want no part of "posing" and Miss Priss is "ALWAYS" moving so fast, so most of hers are a blur or back of her head!
Playing cards with Papa
I-pad time and her favorite "Peppa the Pig"  
Bubbles for Blair while learning her letters
And Drew off to do homework...
Nighty night from Bugle Lane...


Monday - September 21

39 years ago this morning at 2:20 AM, Mark and I became the proud parents of Philip John who weighed in at 7 lbs., 6 oz.
The Birthday Boy!
Philip and Annette are back from Alaska - WONDERFUL vacation!
Everyone scattered in different directions this morning here on Bugle Lane...Mark took Drew to school; Brady got a ride to school; Brooke and Davis were off to Charlotte for a doctor appointment and Mark and Michael went to the lake to prepare for take out of the boats!   Blair and Grandma just hung around home.   She took a 3-hour nap late morning!
I did a bunch of laundry and caught up on e-mails.
It's cool today and misty rain off and on.   Michael left for Indianapolis late this afternoon.   Drew had after-school meeting and then soccer practice.  
"Pretending" to sleep 
Saying "bye bye" to Daddy...
Luke and Daddy celebrating tonight

Friday-Saturday-Sunday, September 18-20

We've had a great weekend in Virginia Beach.....

Friday - We left Waldorf at  8:30 and arrived in Virginia Beach around 11:45.    Checked into the Hilton Oceanfront and met Ryan briefly to get passes for today and tomorrow.   Enjoyed the practice and lots of people at Oceana on this HOT day.    Good to see some familiar Blue Angel family members.   Back to hotel for showers and met Katherine (our VA Beach friend and Paul and Kathy's daughter) at Catch 31 for drinks.    This is a beautiful outdoor bar at the Hilton with stone bench seating around huge fire pits.     Always fun to hang out with Katherine.   Ryan met us and we walked to Murphy's Irish Pub for great dinner and visit. 
Drinks with Katherine at Catch 31 
Katherine and Ryan
Saturday - Mark walked to Starbucks and brought back some treats.    Our nephew, Tom and his girlfriend Smm came for the airshow from Fairfax, VA.    They rode with us in the Blue Angel caravan to the show - took the back roads with several police escorting the 10 vehicles.  
  Nice way to travel!!!   
Samm - Ryan - Tom
 Katherine and some friends were there....all enjoyed a great show!  
Katherine and Pat
 Took Tom and Samm back to their car and we cleaned up and went downstairs on patio and sat again around the fire  pits enjoying "Beach Blast" - tons of people there from 6:30-9:30 for music and entertainment, sky divers, and Blue Angels were introduced on stage.   We had great seats enjoying our drinks and dinner.

Sunday - We walked with Ryan to Pocahontas for breakfast and said our good byes till San Francisco.    Mark and I went to Star of the Sea for 10:00 Mass.   On our way to NC and good trip on Highway 58 with little traffic but nice 4-lane road and close to the Virginia/North Carolina border.
 I drove 115 miles.  
Stopped in Danville, VA and planned to eat a late lunch at "Jake's on Main" where we ate in July, 2014.......but Jake's is now closed.   Bummer as it was a really nice place.   Danville is certainly hurting with so many empty storefronts.

Kept driving and stopped in Greensboro at Zaxby's  (1st time and good chicken sandwiches and chocolate shakes).   

Driving along I-40 thru NC is so pretty with all the flowers in the median or along the roadway - today we saw pink and white blooms and lots of sunflowers.

Arrived on Bugle Lane at 6:40 and so good to be here.....

Sweetie Pie with her Papa


Thursday - September 17

Beautiful calm morning here at Tracys Landing....Mark went to the little café in Deale for breakfast (not even a coffee pod on Catrina)!      Today was all about winterizing Catrina - engines and generator + water system, air conditioners, potty, wash-down pump and shower pump.
This will be Catrina's first winter to be outdoors (since we've had her in 2009, she has been in heated that's why all this winterizing)!

It was a big day and after one final good scrubbing, we left the marina at 6:40. 

Tonight we are in Waldorf, Maryland.    Found a real authentic Mexican restaurant
 (Taqueria Los Compadres)
and had some awesome food and drinks....

A good end to the day...
Dos Equis and margarita

Virginia we come!


Wednesday - September 16

Oh what a pretty day and perfect for cruising on Chesapeake Bay,   We left the Maryland Inn, put our bags in the truck and walked to Chick and Ruth's Delly (an Annapolis institution that's been around forever) serving breakfast-lunch-dinner.   Had a great breakfast and then left for the marina to have Catrina put back on the water.   
By 9:30 we were on our way cruising to Herrington Harbour North (20 miles south) in Tracys Landing and where Catrina will stay put till next spring.   Still nothing decided on the engine issues.    With speeds of 8 knots, we had no problem (it's when you go faster that the coolant starts spurting out and the trouble begins)!    Just waiting for Sean, Tom or Karl to figure this all out!  
And then we will make the final decision!
My Captain is so happy to be back on his boat!

Pretty flowers at marina
Three hours later, we had arrived, were tied up and  walked around this beautiful facility.   It is huge with so many boats, brick pathways leading to the docks, flowers everywhere, big pool and so much more.   We had lunch at The Dockside - another nice feature and so loved our amberjack sandwich which we shared!   And my orange crush - favorite Maryland drink or anywhere else I can find one!
Mark worked on the boat preparing for winterizing tomorrow. 

Our friends Charlotte and Doug from Annapolis picked us up and we had dinner at the Annapolis Smokehouse - very good and so fun to catch up.  We met them in Marathon and they have a PDQ like Catrina.   We were with them for the Blue Angels this past May, too.    After dinner they took us the Jabin Boat Yard to pick up our truck.    Now we are settled on Catrina for the night!

Charlotte and Doug
and her brand new Prius

Thanks again for the ride tonight - much appreciated!

Tuesday - September 15

Perfect day for traveling with lots of sunshine and pleasant temps - would love to get out and walk, soak up all this beauty and breathe the fresh, crisp mountain air.    West Virginia and western Maryland - sooooo beautiful and just seeing the slightest change in fall color here and there.
We took a short break in Claysville, PA and lo and behold saw a bunch of dandelions in a grassy area?    Dandelions in September???    Stopped in Morgantown, WV for lunch - always enjoy a
Tim Horton fix!!!
Lost a good 30 minutes due to a several vehicle accident, but turns out that it happened in the westbound lanes.   Fire trucks were on our side, so big time back-up and once we were cleared, the long line of 3-lanes of traffic heading west went on and on and on!
Arrived in Annapolis around 4....stopped at the boat yard..   Catrina looks good although her engines are still ailing.    Mark talked to one of the mechanics and we stopped at CVS and West Marine before checking in to the Maryland Inn (very old,, historic boutique hotel).   I've always admired this place during our many visits here and along the way today, Mark suggested we stay here.   
 It is lovely and my man gets extra brownie points!
We walked to the Carrol Creek Café.  We've walked or driven by many times, but usually heading to the Chart House, so....decided to try it (highly recommended).   We got a table on the water and had wonderful salads with fresh crab and shrimp and the grand finale was a fresh pear with lemon sorbet coated with a cabernet reduction in a small circular pastry shell....HEAVEN!!!
Sooo good to be back in one of our favorite cities - it is a beautiful evening and enjoyed our walk back to the Inn....
Overlooking Spa Creek from our table
Ahhhh...tsk tsk!   Luke is drinking while driving!

Monday - September 14

It's been a busy day starting with breakfast with our old neighbors (Mark and I each drove separately), followed by a stop at the storage unit to do some re-organizing, put the pack 'n play and booster seat away, etc.   Mark went back to Daisy to do some things, load up the truck, etc.   I had therapy with Lee and wonderful workout with the neck.   Felt so good when I left there, but within an hour, all the crappy pain and discomfort were baaaack!!!!   
I met Sharon for lunch at Biaggi's - sooo fun to catch up
(hadn't really seen her since Florida in March)
Then to the Red Cross to donate blood.    Met Mark at the airport where we left my car, jumped in the truck and we were off by 4:00.    I had made some sandwiches so we ate along the way - it's been a gorgeous day and evening!

Our friend, Kassie and daughter, Brooklyn joined us for breakfast this morning!
Pat and Brenda's daughter and granddaughter.
And then we have our little multi-tasker, Miss Priss
 Blair took off her pull-up, put it on her head, sat down to do her business,
while playing a game on her I-pad and enjoying a nice cup of milk!
We are in Springfield, Ohio tonight....still 500 miles to go!

Sunday - September 13

It was a spectacular Sunday in September here in central!    The weather could not be more perfect with low 70's, lots of sunshine and a gentle breeze.
After breakfast and one more short walk in the park by Luke and Grandpa, we packed up Luke's stuff and drove to the Busy Corner to pick up a Triple Berry pie and off we went.   The trip thru the country was just delightful checking the crops and enjoying those deep blue skies.   Won't be long till the fall harvest begins.   While some corn and bean fields look "ready to go", others are
still pretty green
We arrived at Dave and Judy's (Luke's grandparents) around 11.    Grandpa Dave took Luke for a tractor ride, he fed the chickens and just ran and ran.    After lunch we said our good-byes to our little man and he went down for his long nap.   We 4 enjoyed delicious BLT's and watermelon, followed by the pie and ice cream....
Had a good visit and then on our way....sure have happy memories of our 6 days with Luke.
In the car with his I-pad off to see Nana and Grandpa Dave
Love this tractor 
Dave is remodeling their living room - Luke is showing Grandpa the tall tower that Grandpa Dave built for him (and... made all the blocks)
Lunch time!
Back to Daisy at 4:15 and started packing - the Nomads are going "on the road again" starting tomorrow afternoon heading to Annapolis to winterize Catrina; Virginia Beach next weekend to see Ryan and the Blues (it will be 4 weeks since Kansas City - we definitely need a "Blue Angel" fix) and finally to NC to see Blair and the boys!   We tidied up Daisy, vacuumed and "thought' we had gathered all of Luke's belongings, but found a little car....we'll give it to him at Thanksgiving.
Walked around the park - beautiful evening
Liam and Connor ended their fall baseball games today - Liam went 4 for 4 in a 10-4 victory!
Hockey season....bring it on!
Just got this photo from our good friends, Paul and Kathy in McKinney, TX who went to the Fort Worth air show yesterday with their daughter, Elizabeth and family.    After the show, they had their picture taken with the team AND Jet #6.....we've never had that (usually #1)!   Awesome!

Saturday - September 12

A mostly cloudy, cool day......we left Daisy with 4 loads of laundry, Luke and his stuff and after a quick stop at storage, we spent the afternoon with Liam, Connor and Patrick.    I did laundry, we had Jimmy John's for lunch and Luke took a long nap.   Patrick left for his sound job at 2:30, Colleen (sitter) came and stayed with the boys while Mark and I went to 4:30 Mass at Holy Trinity.  
Anne worked till 5.
We picked up Monical's pizza for supper and after a bit more playing, we were on our way home for bath time....Luke's last night on Daisy.    He and Grandpa went for a walk in the park and Cliff (owner) was driving around in his John Deere tractor and gave Mark and Luke a ride!   Luke loved it as he's had his eye on that tractor all week!
Cousins having fun playing outdoors 
Anne and her boys 
Blueberry pie a' la mode time
The big man driving Mr. Cliff's tractor!
Late afternoon, the sun came out - beautiful end to the day.

Friday - September 11

Thinking back to 14 years ago today...
 So many wonderful pictures and tributes posted on are a few:


We spent the morning at the Children's Discovery Museum in Normal - Luke has been there a few times before and had so much fun....
Checking out at the market 
Baking pizzas in the "HOT" oven
Driving the big tractor
Stopped at Schnucks for milk and back to Daisy for lunch and nap time.   I left at 1:00 for therapy and good work out by Donna.  
Really turned cool - time to bring out the jeans and sweatshirts!
Mark went to Farm and Fleet when I got home and at 4:30 we went to the El Paso Corn Festival.....lots of carnival rides, food, people and much more!  
 Grandma and Luke checking out the rides 
Sharing a corn dog with Grandpa
Nothing like corn dogs, pork chop sandwiches and lemon shake-ups!!!
Luke and Grandma rode the choo choo train, but the real highlight for Luke was... 
Getting to play the drums in Uncle Patrick's band who perform later tonight!