Tuesday-Wednesday - May 30 and 31

Hello from Catrina in Deltaville, VA......been gone 6 weeks so a little cleaning up was in order followed by all the unpacking after we arrived at 12:15 today.
But to back track a bit......yesterday morning we said our good byes with hugs and cuddles to Annette, Brooke, Luke, Blair and Maeve (everyone else was either gone or still sleeping).  Stopped at Drew's Diner for breakfast and then headed off to Clarksville, VA (4-hour trip).    Cloudy most of the day but after many winding roads in the boonies, we came upon a little bit of paradise!

We met Jud and Sue 2 years ago in Okeechobee at Water's Edge RV Park.    We've kept in touch and they were with us just over a year ago at the Lynchburg, VA air show enjoying the Blue Angels along with their 2 grandchildren.

So.....they had said if we were ever near them going back and forth to Catrina or driving Daisy, to stop in and stay awhile.       We had so much fun at their lovely 100-acre homestead of lush landscaping, forest, water, etc.      Jud and his brother-in-law built their very homey, charming home 35 years ago.    Along with a pool, large deck, screened-in porch, outdoor kitchen, it is so quiet and peaceful!

We had drinks and vegetable pizza and off we went on a golf cart ride thru the woods, with the sun shining as we meandered along the water, here and there!     Then they served a fabulous "lowcountry" meal or "Beaufort Stew" with red potatoes, kielbasa, corn-on-the-cob and shrimp.    WOW......also a delicious salad.     We had so much fun to catching  up on all the Okeechobee happenings amongst all this beauty to soak up!

After a great night's sleep, we enjoyed breakfast sandwiches this morning before saying THANKS and good bye till we meet again (God willing) next January at Water's Edge.

Jud and Sue
We arrived here at Zimmerman's Marine around 12:15 and started digging in...
Did some grocery shopping tonight, put things away, stored truck here at marina till ?  and enjoyed some delicious seafood salad for supper.   
Here are a few more pics from our weekend at Lake James

Luke feeding his shark some little fishies

Nice catch for Davis

Maeve hanging out with Mommy at Camp Lake James

Grandma with 4 of her grands
Luke, Maeve, Davis and Blair

Drew started his first job yesterday at the Mimosa Country Club

My gosh, tomorrow is June 1st......the  first 5 months of 2017 have flown by!!!


Memorial Weekend - 2017

Today we celebrate and honor all the brave men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.    God bless them and God bless America!
Special prayers for the Navy Seal and member of the Leap Frogs parachute team, who died in
New York Sunday.
It's been a busy, fun weekend here at Lake James with 16 of us staying overnight (Friday thru Monday) and Bob and Judy joining us each day.    Sorry Philip couldn't be here as he worked all weekend
We sat on the dock, kids played in the lake and then there were boat rides, checking out Philip and Annette's new home, playing cards and dominoes, bonfires, enjoying the antics of the 3 little ones, and of course, lots of great eating.
Beach baby

Maeve and Luke overlooking the view from upstairs porch
Sarah, Drew and Jinx
Brady and Luke leaving Mass 

Brady playing with Maeve in the pool
Brady with a big catch
Blair at Camp Lake James
Oldest and youngest grandchildren

Anne and family have been camping all weekend in southern IL and back home.    sounds like a good time!     Ryan is in Hawaii for a few days and then onto Alaska.
Despite the threat of rain past few days, we really lucked out with beautiful weather.    We did have a nasty storm roll here in the wee hours of Saturday morning with 60 mph winds and lots of rain!
Tomorrow we move onto Clarksville, VA to visit friends, Sue and Jud and then Wednesday....
back to Catrina.

Friday - May 26

Happy Heavenly Birthday to Mark's dad who would've been 96 today!!!    We sure miss him and know he would be so proud of his ever-growing family....
So today was just beautiful with clear blue skies and in the 80's.       Played with the 3 little ones - so much fun and never know what's going to come out of their little mouths!    We went swinging and had a picnic lunch outdoors.
Here's Luke swinging away.    He and Blair took 2-minute turns riding in the swing
Just relaxing on the log after lots of swinging

Spectacular day at Lake James

Blair in deep thought

Big helper feeding Maeve
Brooke's brother Scott and family will be with us at Lake James this weekend.    The adults went to Camp Lake James for a dock party and Grandpa and I are holding down the fort.
Congratulations to our grandchildren who are finished with this school year (except for Brady who has a few days next week) and moving on (Drew, senior; Davis, sophomore; Liam, 7th grade; Brady and Connor, 6th grade, and Luke and Blair, 4-year pre school)
Liam and Connor will be in a brand new junior high at Corpus Christi this fall!
Hope you all have a safe, fun holiday weekend!


Thursday - May 25

We left London at 8:15 - chilly and misty rain.    The rain came down harder as we traveled east but around 10:30, the sun came out.    So pretty driving thru the mountains with everything so lush and green as they've had lots of rain, too.     Unfortunately, the rest of the day was pretty cloudy and cool.
We arrived at Lake James at 12:30.......workers here doing things to the house, Luke and Blair running around and Maeve just smiling away.    Michael worked in his office, Brooke went back o town as Brady is still in school and Mark and Philip were off to Marion to look at some rock for landscaping.    Annette went into town in the afternoon and I was here with the 3 little ones while they napped.    My head is spinning...ha!
The rain started at 4:00.....ugh!   And then the sun came out; rain, sun, rain, sun!    Crazy weather!
Michael, Philip, Annette, Luke, Maeve, Blair, Mark and I went to Slices for dinner.    First time for Michael and us - very good!!!
Mommy and Maeve

Blair loves her Grandpa

Sweet Pea

Luke, Philip, Michael, Blair chowing down
Back home to a nice roaring bonfire!    Life is good at Lake James.   
 They've had 7" of rain since last Saturday!

Wednesday - May 24

"On the road again....just can't wait to be on the road again"!   
That was us this morning as we left Kamp Komfort at 8:45 with Mark driving Daisy pulling Toad and me in the truck.     We stored Daisy and Toad in Gridley in Roger's shed and then
North Carolina, here we come!
An icky day with some fog, very dreary and in the 50's.    But that was just the beginning as the rain came and came and came (sometimes really heavy) all day long! 

We are in London, KY tonight (I drove 2.5 hours) and just 270 miles from this little muffin...

Maeve's little bottom tooth has poked thru!

We went to El Dorado's Mexican Restaurant (hotel's recommendation) and it was sooo good.   Nice crispy, warm chips and yummy salsa, excellent margarita and then an incredible chicken quesadilla.   Not the usual quesadillas but one large one filled with lots of good stuff.....awesome!     Mark loved his beef burritos, so we are 2 stuffed, but happy nomads back here in our hotel tonight.

The rain finally stopped about 1/2 hour before we arrived in London, but more coming tomorrow and lots of storms all around! 

I walked up and down the hallways - trying to get in some steps after sitting all day AND not walking much these past several days with all the rain, cold and wind!

Onward ho to Lake James...

Tuesday - May 23

Mark and I were out Daisy's door by 7:15 with 4 loads of  laundry.   Came into town and while the machines were doing their thing, we went next door to Gloria Jeans for coffee and muffins.     Lots of rain this morning and off and on this afternoon.
Took our clean laundry back to Daisy, put things away and did some more packing.     Came back to town, ran some errands including shopping at the new Gingerbread House and buying a few gifts for our granddaughters' birthdays.   
We took Donna Rae to Baxter's for her 85th birthday.    Great lunch and complimentary gooey butter cake!   Always a treat to be with this dear friend.
The birthday girl and her gooey butter cake/chocolate ice cream/fresh raspberries and blackberries
Took Donna Rae home, I got a mani/pedi and then we picked Connor up from school and on home.    Patrick and Anne are in Chicago today for his doctor appointment.
Connor and I played 2 games of RummiKube with each of us winning a game.
While we were in town today, there was an apparent suicide along I-74 which runs behind Kamp Komfort.   Traffic was backed up for 4 miles.   
Anne and Patrick returned home around 7.   After hugs and goodbyes we came back
to Daisy on this rainy night.  
Our boys with their new summer "do's"!
We'll see them in 1 month and 2 days!
It's been a very fun, fast-paced, calorie-laden 24 days here in central IL.  
  Lots of good times and memories - tomorrow,  moving on to North Carolina and spend
memorial weekend with our other 6 grandchildren!

Monday - May 22

Most of today was nice and sunny (75), but the clouds came in the afternoon and rain coming our way and cooler temps again...
Mark and I drove separately into town - met the breakfast group and then he had some errands and on back to Daisy.    I met Claire in Uptown Normal - we browsed some shops, had a delicious lunch at The Garlic Press and then sat in the warm sunshine at the new Hyatt Place Hotel.
A selfie in Uptown Normal...
As the song says "See you in September"!
Back to Daisy and did more packing up of clothes and stuff to take with us Wednesday.
Met the Monday Night Friends (7) at Mandarin Garden for yummy Chinese and good gabfest.    When I return in September, there will be 2 bridal showers coming up!
It's raining......A G A I N

Sunday - May 21

Another chilly, windy day.....gee, what happened to the nice sunny, warm days we enjoyed earlier this week?   This is crazy....
We had a big day leaving Kamp Komfort at 7 AM and driving to Sublette to visit my parents graves 
 hanging a basket of red geraniums on the shepherd's hook.   We had breakfast and nice visit with Mark's sister, Sue and Tom and our niece Sarah visiting from Indianapolis.    Tom is recovering from double knee replacement and doing well.
Sue had a yummy sausage/egg casserole for us along with fresh fruit and some pastries we brought from Ivy Lane Bakery.
And then onto Glen Ellyn for our great niece, Kaylee's baptism.   The ceremony was held at St. Petronille's Church and there were 5 babies (2 girls and 3 boys).    It was a very nice service.   Back to Jennifer and Jake's home to celebrate with their family, friends with wonderful food, wine, cake, etc.
Great Aunt Pat with Kaylee and big sister, Leia
We arrived back on Daisy at 6:45 - 15 minutes shy of being gone for 12 hours!
It was a really special day (other than the weather)!!!    Burrr
We are down to just 2 more days here at Kamp Komfort and central Illinois..

Saturday - May 20

Lots of rain in the morning and then a cloudy afternoon but in the low 70's.
We had a busy day starting with hockey.   The boys played well and it was close throughout, but they lost 9-8.   This ends their spring season....

We visited our friends, Rose and Larry and took them some treats from the Ivy Lane Bakery.    Rose is recovering from double knee replacement and doing really well!
We ran several errands and met Bill and Charmaine for lunch at Destihl - good food and conversation.    We were together at Caney Creek camping in April and they are back for their grandson's high school graduation tomorrow.    Hoping to see them later this summer at Lake James (they live near Linville, NC). 
Back to Daisy for a little nap, Mark exercised and then off to 4:30 Mass at Holy Trinity.   We met Barb and Roger at The Ozark House for another excellent meal and as always, really fun to be with them - 1st time since February in Florida. 
Congratulations to Brady and his golf team at Concordia Christian Day School for winning the WCCAA Conference Championship.   I was not able to download the picture on facebook! 
Luke and Blair
Happy 10 months to Maeve....
Cannot wait to see my 3 sweet babies in less than 1 week!

Friday - May 19

Burrrrr....CRAZY Illinois weather.   Yesterday it was in the upper 80's - today, we're in the 40's along with misty rain and wind!    ARGHHHHH....this fair-weather walker is staying indoors Daisy.
We packed up some bins of clothes we want to take next week to NC and then the boat.  Played spades and then...
Allie and Owen met us at Busy Corner for lunch and pie.....so happy we could get together 1 more time before we leave these parts.   Of course, we enjoyed out lunch (especially the pie - apple/cinnamon/pecan, rhubarb and strawberry rhubarb)!
Owen and Allie and yummy pie
Made a batch of BBQ once we were back hibernating and read our books.    And then around 4:10 we got a nice surprise phone call from Lenny, the transport driver bringing Toad back to IL.   He was on I-74, wondered where we were and we agreed to meet in Carlock!    Yeah.....Toad left Daytona Beach at 7 AM Wednesday and at 5 today, we were reunited!!!
Welcome "home" Toad
Today is Mark's brother Jim's birthday - they talked and it is warm and sunny (84) in St. Louis!   

Played cards at night and really wanted to go for a walk, but wimped out!  
 49 windy degrees is not our thing!

Thursday - May 18

Wow, the winds just keep on blowing......and now predicted at least thru Sunday!    Very sad news from yesterday's dust storm when there were multiple accidents across IL cause of poor visibility and one man was killed and several injured.
I walked this morning and then left for Panera and met Mary Carol for breakfast.    She is so much fun and after being with she and Tom in Vero Beach in March, we had made a plan to meet for coffee.     So good catching up and plan to do it again in September and this time with the guys.

I left Panera and went to Bickford House to see Norma......she and her family were neighbors for many years on Jackson Street.   Norma has been struggling with health issues in recent years and now diagnosed with Alzheimer's.    I had not seen her since last fall but heard she has some good days occasionally.     She is so frail and had no idea who I was, but just sat in her wheelchair and smiled occasionally and then fell asleep.

I have so many happy memories shared with Norma - babies, grandchildren, birthdays, weddings and fun girlfriend outings.    My heart is breaking for this very dear lady and her family and for all those suffering from this dreadful disease, along with their families and caregivers.

Back to Daisy - hot 'n sunny with the winds still blowing but nothing like yesterday.

We saw the boys baseball team play at the Corncrib (minor league team).    They each got to bat once and although they didn't do too well (Liam did get on base), it was a neat experience for them to play on the astro turf where the big guys play!    And a nice evening to be at the ballpark.
 All Stars
 A transport truck picked Toad up yesterday morning from my Aunt Dee's home in Daytona Beach and is now on its way back to IL.    We'll be in the Chicago area Sunday and will pick it up!

Wednesday - May 17

Windy (30 mph with gusts to ?)......but warm day and mostly cloudy.    I walked in the morning, Mark did some organizing of his outside storage units and aught up on some e-mails.

We went to town and met Lee and Tamara (she used to be Mark's secretary many years ago) at the Fort Jesse CafĂ© which is wonderful.    Had been there once before for breakfast and really enjoyed my chicken and waffles.    Today's lunch was excellent (Midwest BBQ Salad)!
We had so much fun yakking away and made a plan to see one another in FL
 (they spend January and February on Anna Maria Island).

Tamara and Lee

Stopped at Gloria Jean's for a coffee fix and on back to Daisy.   The winds are blowing so strong here in the country that the surrounding fields look like a dust bowl!     We had a few sprinkles but otherwise just WIND!    I read, walked and we had a nice leisurely afternoon/evening.

Hard to believe it's been 2 years since we became full-time nomads.   Closed on our house May 15th, 2015.   Still having fun and so thankful we can continue on with our adventures.

Sun setting over Kamp Komfort

Tuesday - May 16

Hot, sunny and windy today.   I walked and Mark lifted weights.     Around 10:30, we left for Peoria and met Allie and Owen (they just returned from Florida last night), Jane and Joe and their great granddaughter, Cora Jane.    We had a wonderful Italian lunch at Sonny's Pasta and Steak House.
There was non-stop chatter as we all caught up together on what's been going on.....laughs and more laughs.    We reminisced about 1 year ago on May 14th (Sunday) when we were so cold in St. Louis (Chamberlain Family and Friends Day) watching the Blue Angels.

Miss Cora and Jane
Cora, Jane, Allie, Pat, Mark, Owen, Joe
Luke acting silly!
Meanwhile here are some beach-beauty babes...

Sweet Maeve wearing a bikini for 1st time and in the Camp Lake James pool 1st time.

While cousin Blair floats and naps at the Camp!
Ahhhh, life is good!
So proud of our Drew and Davis - golf champs today as they and their University Christian High School team won the State 1-A Golf Championship at Pinehurst, NC
And this is 2nd year in a row they've won!
So proud of these golf champs!

And the UCHS team!
Way to go guys!
The RV's just keep coming and going from all over the USA.    We've had neighbors from CA, AL, OR, GA and tonight, Maine!  
Still very windy out and strong winds coming the next 2 days!

Monday - May 15

Another nice day.....we went to town and had breakfast with the Monday morning bunch, then ran a few errands.    I had a doctor appointment (last of our spring health visits).   Off to meet friends, Jim and Nancy at Mandarin Garden for delicious lunch.    We met Jim and Nancy thru State Farm and church many years ago.    I ran into them a few weeks ago while walking at the mall and we made a date to get together and catch up.    
Nancy and Jim
Stopped at storage to get some empty bins and will start to fill with clothes and stuff later this week as we prepare to be "back on the road again" and head to NC and then Catrina.
Back to Daisy.....little power naps, walked around the park (86 today) and then we were off again to EAT......tonight at Busy Corner with the Monday Night Friends and we invited our hubbies to come along.    There were 8 gals and guys at 2 separate tables.

Bob, Mark, Mike, Gerry, Bob, Gary, Jerry, Pat

Linda, Pat, Sue, Donna, Nadine, Brenda, Connie, Ruth
Beautiful evening.....we walked around the park a few times when we got home (Mark had to "walk" his pie off.)    I still have mine from yesterday...

Mother's Day - 2017

I had a wonderful Mother's Day starting with watching the boys play hockey and win 11-4.    Connor was goalie and did a great job while Liam scored 2 goals and got an assist.   
Back to Daisy for a few hours and then stopped at Busy Corner which was a VERY busy place and picked up everyone's favorite pie.    Onto the Campbell's for a leisurely afternoon and evening.    Connor, Anne and I played RummiKube, the guys watched the Cardinals beat the Cubs and the boys played ball..    Anne and I walked around the lake and I did 3 loads of laundry.
Enjoyed chatting with my 3 boys, too.....
Unfortunately, Anne had to take Connor to Prompt Care and he was diagnosed with pink eye.
Patrick grilled filets and we also had cheesy potatoes, 2 salads, rolls and our pie!!!   
Very nice Mother's Day and hope yours was really special, too!
Happy to share Mother's Day with my girl and her boys!!!

Saturday - May 13

Lovely day.....after Grandpa made pancakes, we were off to Springfield around 9:15 and the boys had 2 hours of fun at the Sky Zone Trampoline Park.   It is quite the place and despite the beautiful weather and so many Saturday sports activities for kids, it was a very busy place!

Before all the bouncing and jumping....watching a video on the do's and don'ts

Sweaty happy boys
Yummy burgers at Red Robin and on back to Daisy.    The boys played ball a short time and then we  changed clothes and off to 4:30 Mass at Holy Trinity.
Ready for church
Sat with Anne and Patrick and the boys are back at their house tonight with 7:45 baseball game.
After Mass, Mark and I had a few errands and then yummy treats at Cold Stone Creamery and on back to Daisy!     Nice walk around the park on a super nice evening!
Meanwhile back in North Carolina...
Drew is giving Luke his very first golf lesson as cousin Blair munches on an apple