Has It Really Been Three Weeks?

I knew it had been a while since I wrote a post, but I didn’t realize it has been three weeks! My life seems to be going in fast forward in some areas and slow motion in others. Is it just me or do weekends seem to fly by twice as fast as weekends?

I had a very enjoyable 4th of July with my family. On the 3rd my kids and I went to the park to watch a fireworks display. It was nothing short of amazing! On the 4th my daughter and I went to watch the city’s annual parade. Since she is moving soon, she wanted to make sure she didn’t miss it. After the parade we rested in the afternoon. I BBQ’d ribs, corn and burgers for our dinner. Once it got dark, we shot off the fireworks I had bought. I also went out and shot my handguns. I figure it is the only day of the year I can get away with it. I think the 4th of July is one of my favorite holidays.

I went back to work on the 8th of the month. The first week was a little difficult sitting for so long, but I think my body decided it was finally time to heal. It has been hard getting up for work, but I love being back in the office. I missed my co-workers so much. My first week back it was time for my yearly evaluation. Luckily it went well and I am back in the groove of things. I think my dogs are having a hard time adjusting to me being back at work. They are so excited when I finally come home. I have to go check on my mom everyday after work to make sure she is taking her medications and doing ok. This causes me to get home later, but I would have it no other way. She took care of me when I was young and now it is my turn to take care of her now that she is getting old.

July 12th was our first camping trip. I cannot describe how amazing it was. Having my own camper made it so much fun. My daughter and the dogs came with me and we had a great time. The dogs were leery of the camper at first, but they soon made themselves at home. We went to the European market on Saturday and bought tons of food. We ended up with a dozen cookies, 6 cupcakes, 6 pretzels, cheese popcorn, blackberry jam, dog treats, Italian ice and of course lemonade. I can’t wait to go again next month. We kept the weekend restful and just enjoyed being outdoors at the campground. The weather was perfect not too hot and not too cold. The camper has almost all of the amenities of home. I think we loved the toilet and the air conditioning the best. I have already bought a huge tower fan for the camper for next time. I am still learning what I need as I go but it is sure a fun adventure.

This weekend is a very special time of year for us. (And not just because my birthday is next week! LOL) Friday the 26th starts our annual Pierogi Fest. The city closes down main street and has a big party. On Friday there is a super crazy and funny parade at 7pm. There are over 70 food vendors at this event. FYI Taste of Chicago has only half as many. There will also be over 30 arts and craft vendors. There are so many foods I am looking forward to like steak sandwiches, potato pancakes, bacon wrapped cheddar hot dogs, elephant ears, alligator, lemonade shakeups and of course pierogi. It is a time when people come back to town and you get to see so many long-lost friends. This might be my kids last year for the festival since they are moving. I want to make sure they have a great time and eat like pigs.

Well this is an update of what is going on with me. I will try not to wait so long to post again. My kids are moving out for good on August 9th. We have so much packing to do. I will try to write again and let everyone know how the festival went. I hope everyone is enjoying their summer. Mine is OK only it would be better if I had some one to share it with. Maybe someday….

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Finally…I had a great day!

I thought it was time to share some good news in my life for a change. I have to tell you about my Thursday. The day started out for me with an appointment to my foot doctor. This went very well. I was able to get my stitches out. It hurt like hell, but I am so glad to be able to get my foot wet and wear my own shoes! I was also told I could drive short distances. Considering I have been confined to the house for the last three weeks, this news was a blessing. I will never take my mobility for granted ever again.

After the doctor, I went to work. I have only been going in once a week per doctor’s orders. It was nice to get out and be around people. I was able to clear up all the problems that were waiting for me. It felt good to clean up my paperwork. The doctor said I can go back to work in two weeks. It looks like I will be at work for eight days before my next surgery. I am so grateful to my company for supporting me in working from home.

I also made an exciting purchase yesterday. I am now the proud owner of a 2000 Palomino Mustang pop up camper. My sister-in-law heard about it through a friend. She knew I was looking for a camper with a very limited budget. When she heard it was for sale for only $500 she thought of me right away. My sister-in-law is the one who got me started in camping. She knows her trailers so much better than I do. Especially with my recent foot surgery, I asked my sister-in-law to take a look at it for me and give me her opinion. She went to look at it yesterday and called me to say it is worth way more than the $500 they are asking. The only problem was that they wanted her to take it right now. I told her to bring it to my mom’s garage where I will be keeping it and I would give her the money. My mom has a two and a half car garage and the camper pretty much fills it up. It is 14 feet long! Listen to all the camper has to offer! It is air-conditioned, sleeps 8 with a king size bed, queen size bed and two couches that make into beds. It has a refrigerator, three burner inside/outside stove-top, sink, two dinettes one of them U-shaped, a large outside storage box, plenty of counter and cabinet space. It also has a cabinet that stores a portable toilet! I cannot tell you how anxious we are for our first camping date in July. I have to get a tow package installed on my Lexus but that is a small price to pay.  We are so looking forward to camping at the Indiana Dunes with the two dogs. It will truly be a family affair.

I am writing this from a hotel room in Vincennes, Indiana. I cam to town to watch my beautiful daughter graduate college. The four and a half hour drive was well worth it to see the look of pure love on my daughter’s face when I got to town.  She knows I hate car rides more than anything and with my foot problems it was a real fun experience. NOT! It doesn’t seem like it has been three years since I brought my daughter down here for the first time. She has worked extremely hard and will be getting dual Associate degrees in Culinary Arts/Restaurant Management. I know she wishes her dad was here to see this.  I have told her he is watching from heaven. I will be in the crowd proudly watching my now grown daughter complete another phase of her life. This has been a great couple of days. I think it is about time that I have things go right for me. Hopefully this is a sign of good things to come….

 

 

 

 

Camping……an Ultimate Simple Getaway

English: Trail No. 4, Indiana Dunes State Park

English: Trail No. 4, Indiana Dunes State Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Looking South across Chesterton, Indi...

English: Looking South across Chesterton, Indiana’s main intersection. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: Indiana Dunes State Park, beach view ...

English: Indiana Dunes State Park, beach view from bathhouse on a nice sunny day. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Forest growing on dunes at Indiana Dunes State...

Forest growing on dunes at Indiana Dunes State Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

English: The dune climb near the bathhouse, In...

English: The dune climb near the bathhouse, Indiana Dunes State Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I decided it was time to get back to the roots of my blog.  I want to let anyone and everyone know that life can be simple and yet still fun and exciting.  Camping is a good example of this. There is a wide range of camping options available.  The simplest being pitching  a tent and totally roughing it.  On the other extreme, one can buy or rent a drivable motor-home that is the epitome of luxury. My version of camping falls somewhere in the middle.

I am not professing to be an expert on camping by any means. I have only been a camping enthusiast for a little over a year. I have a favorite camping destination and it is the only place I visit.  My place in the Indiana Dunes State Park.  I live about 40 minutes away, and considering I hate driving it seems like the perfect destination.  The park has a beach, multiple walking paths and is close to a nice little town called Chesterton, Indiana. When I go camping I am not looking to have a weekend full of activities, but to have a restful period to enjoy nature and get away from it all.

My camping experience has been spent in a pop up trailer. In the past I have camped with my sister-in-law in her trailer.  This year I am planning on branching out and getting a pop up trailer of my own. The number one rule will be it has to be air conditioned. I like the summer, but I hate heat and humidity. My daughter also has asthma and if it is really hot she needs to be able to go to a cool place as needed. I am going to get a camper that sleeps seven because my daughter and son-in-law will be camping with me and of course we have to have plenty of room for the dogs. On a rainy day we need to be able to be in the camper together without being so cramped we want to kill each other.

When we are camping, we tend to only spend time in the camper to sleep, cool off or to change clothes. After all we are camping and want to enjoy the outdoors as much as we can. We cook all our meals either over the campfire or on a small BBQ. A canopy to keep out the sun is essential for us.  We have also been known to bring fans from home if it is going to be very hot. Now before you jump on me, remember I DO NOT like the heat and if I am camping I do want to be outside and not in the camper all the time.  Going hiking is a favorite part of camping for me.  I love going for walks at home, but hiking in the woods is far more enjoyable.  The kids love to go to the beach when it is warm.

In the summer, the town of Chesterton, Indiana has a European market in the town square every Saturday. We have found some of the best hot pretzels there. The art and craft vendors always have great food and gift items to please anyone’s tastes.  I am looking forward to getting a hot pretzel and homemade blackberry jam on my first visit in May. Since we only tend to go camping once a month, we try to make sure we hit the market on every trip.

Our dogs love the fact that they are allowed to come camping with us.  They enjoy being outside and going for walks almost as much as we do. I think they like the fact that their owners aren’t rushing around and just taking it easy and giving them love and attention.  My dog loves sitting on my lap every night for the campfire. When it is chilly, I have a huge towel that I wrap her in so she doesn’t have to miss any of the fun.

I love sitting in my camping chair and spending hours alternating between listening to music and reading a favorite book.  Having quiet time to myself is very important. In the evening we love to play games as a family. We have bought many games just for this purpose. Laughing and talking together without the outside world distractions keep us close and remind us that family is what is important.

I feel everyone should experience a good camping trip with their family at least once. Nothing can bring people together like enjoying nature to the fullest and getting away from everyday life distractions. My family is so looking forward to a summer full of camping adventures.  Stay tuned for updates…