Thursday, July 24, 2008

Summer Fun!

The Croppin' Cabin has been sitting peacefully in the driveway...last week we spent nearly every night sleeping in it, enjoying the cozy atmosphere and closeness that it offers. I haven't been scrapping in it because we've just been enjoying our yard and being outdoors so much, and we've spent the hot summer days at the park pool & at the library. We love the vintage Shasta, and we love our firepit and patio with the tiki torches & lights...but our little hearts desired something more...We knew we'd really like a pool of our very own.

On Sunday I heard from a neighbor that the easy-set pools were on clearance at Walmart. We've been admiring them for a while now...hoping to find one on sale. We ran to the store, and they were out of the metal-frame 15x4 pools, so we bought the 13x3.5...we decided the metal-frame was sturdier than the easy set, and it did have better reviews.

Monday morning we made another trip to the store for some heavy-duty tarps to lay under the pool, and I mowed the lawn and we started clearing the flatest spot in the backyard. The kids helped take parts out of the box and assemble the frame, and we were up & filling in an hour or so. It took about 8 hours to fill...I filled it 3/4 of the way on Monday, and then finished filling Tuesday morning. Unfortunately Mother Nature decided to bless us with some heavy storms, wind & hail Monday night. The kids were at VBS & they had to move everyone to the basement, and Reta's tree left a big branch in my front yard. The pool was FILLED with tree bark & about Intro to Pool Cleaning 101.

Here is a picture about half filled...we just couldn't wait any longer!

And here you can see the Shasta peeking out in the background...Hi, Croppin' Cabin!

And here we are, filled up with all 2888 gallons of cool summer refreshment:

Yesterday was Day 2, and I was very pleased to see that after running the filter overnight and with no storm aftermath, the pool stayed remarkably clean. I bought a "Pool Care Kit" at Walmart for $ has a telescopic handle, skimmer net, and pool vacuum. I probably spent 30 minutes total yesterday skimming the bottom & surface of the pool, and I realized that I am grossly uneducated when it comes to pool maintenance & care. I picked up a "floating tablet dispenser" and some 3" chlorine tabs, as well as a package of pool shock. I think I need to go back & get a testing kit, but as of Day 3, the water was clear & clean.

It is raining & storming today, and supposed to rain the rest of the week into the weekend, so I guess this will also be a learning experience.

If any of you guys have tips & suggestions from your OWN experiences with these pools, I would appreciate hearing from you! I'm still toying with some ideas to add to the pool area...I've seen people put a rock area around the pool, but I'm afraid one would somehow slip underneath & give us a good-sized complication. :-) I realize the odds of that happening are slim, but yet...I wonder. It would definitely be easier to mow around. I've also considered adding a plastic mesh/net fence on stakes to help keep the toys/balls in the pool as that seems to be an issue, too. We'd also like to string lights & Off lanterns around as well. Suggestions or pictures?? I would love to hear from you!

In other news, we found someone on Freecycle with free firewood, so we spent most of yesterday afternoon loading wood and unloading wood. Then Reta's boyfriend cut down the branch from her fallen tree, so now we have a lot of firewood. It's all still wet, but it's nice to know we have some wood stocked up.

Friday, July 18, 2008

My Naughty Friend Michelle

I have a Shasta Sista named Michelle...and she's great. You can find her blog at

Anyway, Michelle is intelligent, funny, witty & clever...but today she got herself into trouble. Maybe it was the Jack Daniel's Lynchburg Lemonade she enjoyed yesterday...Michelle did the unthinkable..she uttered a bad, bad word on what she thought was the Classic Shasta chit-chat thread..but instead she sent it to...(gasp)the Classic Shasta site.

I know, I's unthinkable...I really don't think she meant to. I think it just slipped out and I suppose the consequences of said slip up will haunt her for quite some time.

So if you feel like it, hop on over to Michelle's blog and give it a read..Even though it won't help her remove the foot from her mouth, I thought it would be nice to share the blog lovin'.

I've been really, really good lately with my scrapbooking hobby. If you're wondering if that means if I have a plethora of lovely pages & projects that I've completed the past couple of months, ahhh...uhm...that's not EXACTLY what I mean. You see, I have this thing for scrapbooking, and that means I have a thing for buying things TO scrapbook with. One day I realized that the supplies were spilling forth from every crevice of my scrapbooking space, and said space was spreading farther & farther into the living space of our tiny living room. I thought for a brief moment that perhaps I had plenty of supplies, but then I came to my senses because can you ever REALLY have too much scrapbooking stuff? Nonsense! I did decide, however, that maybe I should try to use them up before I buy more, unless it was something special, or something I run out of, like cardstock, adhesive, etc. And I've done very well...remarkably well if you will. I purchased 2 ATG refills and that was it for a long time. I don't know if I've ever had that long of a dry spell. I saw sales, and I resisted. I didn't even GO to the craft sites or craft section at Walmart. I was proud..and then Joann' had a sale.

I was just going to the site to take a peek, so I'm not sure what happened after that. I clicked on clearance items, and then I saw Die Cuts With A View, and the rest, as they say, is history. However, that being said, I did manage to keep it under control. I bought 2 new 12x12 Cricut mats, which I desperately needed, and which were on sale for $9.99. And I just had to have the DCWV Christmas Glitter stack that was on sale for $6.99, and then I added the Glitter Stack and the Spring Stack..for a total of 270 sheets of paper & glittered cardstock. Sigh. Such happy total was $36, shipped.

So while JoAnn's ruined my no-spending streak, I admire my ability to not order one of everything at prices like that. And since then I haven't bought a single thing, and today I'm going to use up some of these supplies & make a belated (oops) birthday card for my BIL.

(P.S..the paper smells lovely!)

Monday, July 7, 2008

4th of July Camping

First of all, I'd like to say "Happy Belated 4th of July" to my fellow bloggers & readers!

We decided to venture away from home this past week/holiday weekend, so we found the Catfish Place in Arbela, MO. I'd actually eaten at the Catfish Place once before..they have a little buffet-style restaurant with an outside eating deck that looks out over the lake that is stocked with can buy .25 bags of fish food & feed the fish, who are more than happy to jump out of the water & put on a show for your dining pleasure. Overlooking the lake is a campground with over 90 sites, as well as lakes & ponds for fishing. They have shuffleboard, pool, washers, basketball, exercise room, laundry, in-ground pool, & plenty of areas for golf carts & bikes to ride. I pulled the Shasta there on Thursday...arrived late afternoon after having to take a detour due to some closed roads from the recent flooding that part of MO has had. I remember seeing a sign that said we were 10 miles from IA.

The Shasta was just a few feet from the water, which made me nervous but as the weekend went on I became more comfortable with the water being right by us. There were some very friendly full-timers across from us that helped me level up and set up the awning...they also loaned Kid 1 a bike to ride for the weekend. Another set of folks loaned me an extension cord when we realized our electric didn't work and had to move closer to the other site.

There were some disadvantages....the road there made the kids carsick, the sites are really close together, and the BIGGEST problems for us were the campsites were lacking in picnic tables & firepits. (Not to mention the electric not working at a few, apparently.) Robert came up the next day & brought my firebowl from home, but I guess I'll invest in the folding Walmart firepit for future excursions. The lack of a picnic table was kind of sucky, too, but we made do. We were close to the bathrooms, showers, and pool..and we had a HUGE grassy spot next to us because the site wasn't occupied. Our site didn't have sewer, either, but we don't have the shower & toilet working yet anyway. (Poor us..)

There was a parade & fireworks for the 4th, a huge playground, lots of areas for the kids to play and ride bikes, etc...the fireworks display was easily seen from our site so that was wonderful!

So here's the pics...overall we thought it was great and will definitely go back sometime.

Sadie guarding the campsite:

The Croppin' Cabin at our site..right by the water. Nice!!

Nighttime at the Shasta Croppin' Cabin:

Pictures from the parade:

Fireworks at the Croppin' Cabin:

View from the back window of the Croppin' Cabin:

Robert posing, hoping to catch some orbs:

Me posing with the Shasta/Croppin' Cabin:

View from the restaurant deck:

Feeding the fish from the restaurant deck:

View of our Shasta far, far away..from the deck at the restaurant:

Other views of the campground area:

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


This post has nothing to do with camping, a retro trailer, or scrapbooking. I thought it would be fun to share some pictures of our golden retriever, Sadie. Sadie joined our family about 10 months ago when she was still just a pup. Kid 3 & I drove to Kansas City, MO & picked her up, and from the minute we brought her home, she fit in perfectly. She loves to camp, she loves to go for car rides, she loves having kids in her pack, and she even tolerates the cats most days.

So here are a few pictures of Sadie throughout the past year...a little "tribute" to Sadie, so to speak. And after the slideshow, check out the cute Sadie video made by Kid 1.



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