Saturday, April 24, 2010

More music...

So earlier this week a friend and I loaded up all of our kiddos and went to Cedar Rapids, IA to the Rock & Worship Roadshow. One of my kids is crazy about Family Force 5, and another one is crazy about David Crowder Band (I have to admit that one, too--haha!) Anyway, it was a long drive, but oh-so-worth it. What a great concert & great way to share the Lord Jesus Christ with families! Tickets are $10 at the door, which makes it quite affordable for entire families or youth groups. If you want to see if they're coming near you, click here and then on TOUR:

Mercy Me performed last, and this song was so touching when performed live--I think we all feel like this during our walk with Jesus. What a glorious thing we have to look forward to!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Easy Schmeasy Gifts

This year's easy-schmeasy gift is a fun one! My monthly crop last month was our Open House, and our hostess had made these little gems for us as gifts. They were travertine tiles hand-stamped with a cute picture and greeting, and tied together with adorable ribbon. She had applied small felt pieces to the corners on the underneath side--coasters! A few of us talked it over and thought these would be great emergency gifts for people--teachers, etc...I'm even making my mom, sister, SIL, etc a set.

After looking at the ONE box of travertine tiles left at Home Depot, I decided that they really weren't going to work as well for my coaster gifts as I had hoped because they had an uneven surface and I was concerned about how well they would stamp. A floor store could order smoother ones, w/o ridges and with a slightly porous surface, but not in the 4x4 size. Fortunately Steph was going to KC and was able to pick a few up for me--she ended up buying an entire case and we split it. :-) She also picked up the permanent ink. Our tiles are some kind of tumbled Italian stone, and while porous, they are smooth and free from uneven surface ledges.

I think I have all the necessary accessories, and will post pics as soon as I do some!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Oops! I Did It Again. . .

I seriously have a travel trailer addiction. What I NEED is a travel trailer dealership, because I love camping, love travel trailers, and LOVE learning about them. But that's a dream for another day. ;-)

I traded down a year this time, but I did my research and once I got there, and walked inside, I was sold. It could have had an eyeball growing out of the fridge and I think I would have wanted it. What is it this time? It's a 2002 Keystone Outback 25RS-S.

This has the hard slide out queen bed in the rear, double entry doors, remote ducted ac/furnace, 2 bunks in front, and bike storage door (bottom bunk stores up and you can put your bikes, etc through the access door. Neato Skeato!) My fave features are the white cabinets and wood-like floors, which make it seem much cozier and welcoming. I also like the outside cook center--this one doesn't have the sink, but that's okay. The Keystone people added quite a few little "nice" extra touches--the pull out hamper in the bathroom, canvas storage with mirror for the kiddies on the top bunk, and cargo net and shelves along the entire front. We paid for it and pick it up next week--we're getting a power jack on this one, and it needed the Dometic fridge recall, etc. I've done enough cranking to meet my needs for a while. hehe

Monday, August 10, 2009

My Matchbox Twenty Song of the Month

When I first heard this song last year, I fell in love with it immediately. It was one of many of Rob's songs that I could hear for the first time and just want to hear it again & again. Maybe it's just that I could apply it to my life and a situation I was dealing with, or maybe it's just that Rob is a brilliant song writer who seems to always know what's going on in my life and writes a song about it. "Hey...the Shasta girl has seriously HAD it with this relationship! I'll write a song about it!" (hahaha) Okay...maybe that didn't really happen, but he did write an appropriate song for the situation.

So enjoy..this is "All Your Reasons" from Matchbox Twenty's album, "Exile on Mainstream." (Love that title!)

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Going to meet Rob Thomas!!


Did you hear me screaming all the way from (insert wherever you are??)

So earlier this week I ordered tickets for a friend & I to go see Rob Thomas in October. I was pretty psyched about it, feeling oh-so-happy...looking forward to it, and then I got a phone call that would change my life forever. (I just had to say that. Sorry.)

My sweet, thoughtful, and funny-as-heck friend managed to get us 2 tickets to a small, PRIVATE ACOUSTIC CONCERT AND MEET & GREET with Rob this week. I thought it was a joke..the radio station was giving them away and they GAVE them to us after the DJ heard my story about how Rob helped me through some really, really, really rough times. He just...gave us the tickets. We find out more details on Monday, and then Tuesday we go to this mysterious MEET & GREET with Rob. Rob Thomas. I'm going to meet Rob Thomas.

Did I mention I'm going to meet Rob Thomas? I am so happy. I am truly, truly, thrilled! Happy! I just want the chance to say to him how grateful I am for the words he writes...that his music reaches out and helps so many people through so many things. He truly is a lyrical genius, and I am finally going to have the opportunity to tell him how much that has meant to me.

This is a no-autograph Meet & Greet, but we can take pictures, so I'll be sure to post them.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

First "Official Trip" in the Coyote

The kids & I left last Wednesday and spent 4 nights, 5 days in the new KZ Coyote. This was the first official trip, so I feel I can legitimately give a review. Robert & I camped in it one night after we first got it, as our trial run, but this was the first real trip.

We love it. It's just really nice. From what I can tell, compared to the other 5 travel trailers I have owned, KZ has nice quality workmanship from the cabinets to the fabrics and color scheme. Our color scheme is a nice array of fall colors--perfect for me--deep browns, dark greens, etc. We had looked at a few Rockwood Roos, and the blue color scheme really held me back. I'm a girl. What can I say? I also don't notice as much "bounce" in the floor as the Cabana had...most hybrids have some bounce as part of their lightweight nature.

The mattress on the hybrid bed is super comfortable. I have pressure point pain from most mattresses, and pain from fibromyalgia, but this bed is wonderful. At some point on Saturday night, I traded places with Robert, and it took about an hour before I was in extreme pain from the dinette bed. My mom stayed Saturday night at the campground with us and she slept on the bottom bunk. She has pressure point issues, too, and she was miserable the entire night. They must have used lower quality foam on the dinette and bunks. My kids sleep great on the bunks and the sofa bed, and Robert didn't have any complaints of hurting from the dinette so I'm assuming it's just those of us with sensitive bodies. I sleep like a BABY on the hybrid bed though.

The only REAL complaint that I have with the Coyote is the closeness of the's much easier to leave the door open. My only other issue is the big cabinet to the left of the stove/oven wants to fly open going down the road. I solved this problem by bungee cording the door shut, but I will just replace the latch and hope it works.

The outdoor cooktop was wonderful and we used it twice--once for boiling water, and another time for cooking sausage. This kept us from adding unnecessary humidity and smells to the inside of the trailer. :-)

And this picture--if you squint, you can see our new camping table. I love it--I think I got it from Ebay because it was cheaper there, but it's so worth it. If you'll recall, our other table was stolen on Memorial Day weekend camping, so we needed a replacement. I love the storage--it zips, both sides...and both ends have pockets just right for bug spray bottles, sunscreen, etc. It's called The Big Easy Table, by Pacific Outdoors. It was $65, but again--totally worth it. If someone steals this one, I will hunt them down. . .

I especially like the cables on the hybrid bunk end as opposed to the poles that we had with the Keystone Cabana. Set up is super easy with the cables--I'm done in 3 minutes or less. With the Cabana it was sometimes difficult to hold up the end and get the poles lined up. I don't miss it. The velcro all the way around the bunk end makes me feel more secure, too...the Cabana used a bungee cord every so many inches, and left noticeable gaps for bugs, etc. I feel like the bed is sealed up nicely on the Coyote. The bungee cords inside to hold the mattress up during travel is easy to use and I prefer it over the velcro straps that the Cabana had as well. Our Coyote still has the "old-style" latches on the hybrid end, but we've camping in pouring rain, and it's set in pouring rain, and has not leaked or been wet. The seal around the bed is much puffier and heavier than the Cabana. (Sorry to keep comparing, but I feel it helps if you're used-hybrid shopping to compare different features.)

I also like the rear storage and side storage on the Coyote--no slide-through tray though, and that would have been nice, but the entire back area is storage (under the bunkbeds) so that makes up for it. My only wish is that it was a WEE bit taller as it's a tight squeeze to get my Weber Smokey Joe grill inside there.

My sister, BIL, and mom camped with us, and my nephew came out with his girlfriend and their new baby. It was so much fun!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The new-to-us 2003 KZ Coyote 23 hybrid

I have taken the plunge into the hybrid world--face first. For a brief period of time we owned a 17' 2001 Keystone Cabana, but after spending 4 days at the campground in the rain with 3 kids and a dog, I realized I had grossly underestimated our camping needs. After all, we did have a 32' before...17 feet? What was I thinking? I was TRYING to be earth-friendly, gas-friendly, and driveway-friendly. I achieved that, but I lost my sanity in the process. I did decide that I am fully sold on the HYBRID travel trailer though.

So..on the way home from the campground, we stopped at the dealership and looked at this adorable 2003 KZ Coyote hybrid. It was 23' long, about 27 with the front hybrid end out. Two bunks in the back, a full 3-piece bathroom again, an outside cookstove, a nice new awning, and get this--a SLIDE. We may have achieved camping bliss, folks!

So..I am up to my ears in carpet cleaning today (trying to take advantage of the cooler weather) but I wanted to share pics...Enjoy!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Long-time update! Apologies, and randomness...

Long time, no post, right? When I started working at the massage therapy spa in December I really had no idea how difficult it was going to be to manage working, 3 kids, a dog dogs, 2 cats, a house, a car, a yard, etc...and my poor neglected HOBBIES, AND maintain a blog. I did manage to make it to most of my monthly crops but I wouldn't say I was overly productive since Steph was always there, and Tina...But that's the fun of it, right?

And before I say anything else, I want to be sure and apologize in advance for the sporadic randomness of this post. I feel like in order to keep this post under a billion words long, I just need to toss out the key elements of the update and skip the thorough explanations. Most of you know me well enough to know what's been going on in my demented little corner of the planet anyway.

I did sell the mini-Winnie to a couple who planned to completely restore her. I'm sure this will be a frame-up rebuild, and wow--are they courageous! I do get a longing for Winnie now and then, but then I remember how I don't have the time/money or skill to rebuild a vintage trailer right now. I think I saw my '71 Shasta on CL though--but that's a whole 'nother story for another day.

I ended up selling the '28 Prowler and buying a '32 Prowler. I didn't really mean to, but I fell in love with the bathroom. I know that sounds like a silly thing to fall in love with, but I did. Then I had to find a tow vehicle cause I was fairly certain the Kia minivan wasn't going to tow anything, much less a 32' travel trailer. I sold Dad's truck that was so graciously given to me and bought a Suburban, and the 32' was still a load. Then when I got it home I realized that it was entirely ridiculous to think that I, a girl, was going to learn to hitch that monster up and tow it anyway. Seriously? That was very stupid & I'm not afraid to say it. I could barely lift the monster load-leveling hitch that it required for towing purposes, so you guessed it--I sold it for $1500 profit. (big cheesy grin)

You'll never believe this, but I was without a camper for a while. It was so serious that I started to worry we'd be tent campers again this season. *gasp* I decided that I needed to go as small/light as possible, but nothing vintage--I needed something that I could manage on my own. I started to look at a nice pop up, but then decided it was a lot of work for someone that camps with 3 kids and 2 dogs. Then there's the entire potty/toilet thing--even a mounted toilet in a pup requires dumping via handheld method. I can do that--nothing I haven't done before during our camping escapades, but why? LOL Selling the last 2 travel trailers put me at enough $$ to buy something small, but self contained.

And that leads me to our new baby...a 2003 KZ Coyote 23. It's THE PERFECT size, VERY lightweight, and I can lift the load leveling hitch. I don't even think I need the hitch but all the guys in camper world tell me otherwise. Plus the guy threw it in so you know--it was worth the taking! I went to the campground and "interviewed" (or stalked) a few hybrid owners and spent hours researching, and felt like this was the right decision for us. It's nice to have the slide out, and the 2 bunks in the rear, as well as the hybrid bed in front. I'm looking forward to using the outside cooktop, too. It also makes a nice "privacy fence" from the creepy neighbor.

In other news, I got a new mower/mulcher that I've already managed to tear up the spark plug thingie on, my neighbor/friend Reta moved to a new house with her finance, my dad broke his hip twice in the nursing home, and my basement is flooding on a regular basis. We still have a window peeker, and the neighbor-from-you-know-where is still tormenting us by touching our cars, camper, etc. They're not "right." It's annoying..and not sure how much longer we'll want to stay here. We would miss our wonderful neighbors, but there comes a point when enough is enough. I bought new loft beds for the girls, a Captain's bed for Connor, and redid our bathroom. We switched internet companies and switched from Dish Network to Cable One so we could get local channels. That pretty much sums up the past few months.

I will post pics of the new camper--and my email has changed so please make note if you have the sbcglobal email saved in your address book.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

The trailer is a WHAT?!

Sorry for the long lapse of time between posts. Things have been busy/hectic here, and I do have an update on the new "Croppin' Cabin."

I contacted Juergen Eichermueller to help me identify the cute little canned ham trailer. After about a week of digging through his archives, I sent him an email of the hubcaps in case they were "important." I actually thought they looked like they had a "W" in the center, so I wondered if the trailer was an old Winnebago. I'd tried doing internet searches, but all the 60's model Winnebagos looked entirely different from this one. What's funny is that we nearly cross-posted on our emails..he had just opened his Winnebago archives as I was sending pictures of the hubcaps.

As it turns out, the trailer is a 1960 Winnebago 15 foot trailer. Only 28 of these were made & manufactured in Forest City, IA in the later part of 1959, and sold in 1960.

So...who would have thought? Due to the rarity of the trailer, I felt it best that I give it a chance at a restoration if anyone was interested. As of yet, the right person hasn't come along so it's looking favorable for it staying in my possession and becoming the new Croppin' Cabin.

Oh, and thanks for the name suggestions!! We have named her "Winnie," and it seems fitting for the time being.

I tried selling Winnie on Craigslist, but I had a lot of real interest that became lost among the weirdos. I had some guy INSIST that it wasn't rare at allllll, even though there were only 28 made. Gee, I dunno...28 is pretty freaking rare if you ask me. Genius.

I spent a day cleaning, disinfecting, bleaching, and preparing Winnie for whatever her future may have in store. The quilt is the quilt that my grandma made for me...I just thought it looked nice. The curtains are the Scrapbooking Bee curtians, Debbie Mumm Creative Woman line, and my mom made those for me when I was redoing the Shasta. I wanted to try them out and see if they "fit" in case Winnie stays in the family--I think they worked great!

So, as it stands now, Winnie is in limbo at the moment. I'd like to see someone buy her and restore her, and there had been some talk of putting her in a museum in OH. I have decided that if no one stumbles along and buys Winnie before it warms up, I am definitely continuing on with my plans to convert her into a scrapbooking studio. At first I was really disappointed and felt guilty for even considering doing anything like that to such a rare old trailer, but now I'm getting excited again. She really IS the perfect "canned ham" trailer!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Aluminitis, Part 3

Betcha' can't guess where this post is headed...:smirk: So we traveled to the big town of Corydon, IA last Sunday to check out this little piece of trailer history. I was really anxious on the way there because I was worrying about it not being what we thought, and hoped, that it was going to be.

We pulled into their driveway and the minute I laid my eyes on it, I knew it was just as I had pictured. I can't really say that I was even disappointed in anything other than the screen door was aluminum vs wooden as I had hoped. I have to say it was a little disheartening to open the door and be greeted with black paint glaring back at us. Black walls, black ceiling, you name it--it was black. "Love Shack" was written in neon glow-in-the-dark paint above the door, and everything original but the sink had been removed and replaced with a large dorm-sized refrigerator and a full-sized bed and mattress. First stop will be to find somewhere to dispose of the unwanted bed...the Love Shack will be no more.

We have no idea what brand, make, model or even year of the trailer might be. I checked all over for the faintest sign of a sticker or other identifying mark and found nothing. There were some numbers on the tongue, but I believe they were the serial numbers for the tongue, not the trailer. I'm hoping someone with more knowledge than I stumbles upon my blog and can shed some insight on year, make, etc based on the few original parts that are left.

We haven't towed the trailer home yet, but I did snap some pictures for you to see in the meantime.


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