Sunday, July 29, 2012

Still Porchless...But Hopeful… + The Twins.

No porch yet but we stopped by the shop and saw the work in progress.
This is our porch, being built some 20 miles away at Danny’s work shop.

This is the top of our Porch sitting on the ground. The angled cuts on the side logs are where the roof will go.  That is Danny standing in the center.  Danny is truly a master craftsman, but you can easily tell he isn’t from around here. He works barefooted, wears cut-offs and has a pony tail.  He fits the description exactly like the boys we were used to dealing with in Florida where we built our last house. He is another one that visited this area and fell in love with it and stayed. He has built quite a name for himself with his log handy work. His home that he built here in the woods is a big beautiful log home.

These are the poles that our Porch will sit on and this is where the logs are cleaned and prepared. Danny says  this is the kind of a mess we would have in our front yard if he hadn’t built them here at his shop.  I’m glad he did that, cause you know what I say about MESSES!  

There is a lot of work in making one of these Log structures. You don’t just go to the lumber yard and buy the material. We drove around and looked at some of his previous jobs and decided what color stain we wanted.  He says he will stain them at his place, too, because that is very messy and he doesn’t want to get it on our new concrete. 

WOW, I can hardly wait.  I think this is going to look great. They are supposed to bring the porch to our place on Tuesday…Hot Dog!!!  But you know what, I won’t hold my breath. Something usually comes up and delays these type of projects, so I have learned not to get my hopes up too high.  When it happens, it will happen. We were happy to see the progress they were making. 

The weather has been beautiful lately, it has cooled off considerably and we get a little rain now and then. I snapped this picture of the rainbow that we so often get just East of our place. 

I just love this picture of the twin Great Granddaughters that Grandma Michelle sent to us.  What beautiful babies.  That is Cora on the left and Alice on the right. They live in Lincoln, Nebraska and that is where we are headed the minute we leave this place. Shala, their Mom, tells us they are doing great and both very healthy.  Ms. Pat can’t wait to get her hands on them.  Neither can I, but I’m a little afraid of babies. They are so small, I’m afraid I’ll break them. But I’m gonna hold 'em anyhow, and be real careful!!

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!

Thanks for stopping by, travel safe and may the good Lord take a likin' to ya!

Maybe Wednesday I can show you our new Porch!!    (hope-hope-hopeSmile!


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Our Place Just Wasn’t Complete!

OK, here we go again! The front of our “Cabin” that we built in our “Toy Barn” here in the Black Hills of South Dakota just didn’t look complete. Plus, the main problem was that the front door caught a lot of weather.  It faces directly North and the rain, snow and wind did a number on it. Even when the wind was from the South it whirled around and really caught this front door. If you remember, last winter the wind ripped the door from it's frame and threw it about 30’ feet away. We had to get someone to come out and rehang it for us.   It just needs something to protect it. We thought and thought. How about a wall on one side? But which side and that would block the wonderful view of the Hills that we cherish so much…   decision's, decisions!

As we were driving out to Stockade for our walk one morning, I spotted this Porch…   Hey, that looks kinda neat I told Ms. Pat.  She we stopped and took a picture of it.  Something like this would not hamper our view too bad and still give the front door some protection along with giving us a place to sit out under and enjoy the great elements surrounding us.

So we headed to our local lumber yard/hardware store to check with our friend Jeff, the Manager.   We asked “Who could we get to build us something like this”?     He knew of just the guy that specializes in this type construction.  So we got in touch of “Danny” and began getting ideas, estimates, etc.   Soon we had made an agreement to have our front porch built.  What, more construction…….? Oh No!!  When will it stop? I’m getting tired of all this. Will we ever be done so we can just set back and say “THERE”?

As with all construction, comes a MESS!   It's MESS time again!!  First, we had to expand the front patio and pour a floor for this new porch.

OH NO!!  They had to rip out our present sidewalk to make the new porch all one section. I understand that was easier than trying to keep it all level.  They could “pin” it and attempt to make it stay level, but they decided this would be the best….   They did have to drill and pin the entire section that joined the driveway.  I just hope that works because I don’t want one section higher or lower than the other.

They got it all tore out, framed and filled in and smoothed out. But they sure made a mess just out our front door! Sad smile

Well the forms are all in and now we wait for the concrete truck. Ms. Pat stands back and gives it the once over.  She laughs when I ask her “was this really necessary”?Smile

The next morning the truck showed up and they were pouring concrete!

Here you can see the “pins” they put in the existing concrete. Hopefully it will keep the new section level with the old section. No guarantees but it usually works and is the best they can do.

They are getting there. Soon we will have a new front patio.   You know if I had ever had any thoughts about us building this “cabin” in the Toy Barn, I could have built it this way in the first place but I had no idea.  I planned on it being just that, a Toy Barn.  I planned on having a separate house but plans change as you get older and you just never know……..  I love it this way!

Ms. Pat continues to keep a watchful eye on them as they splash concrete all over her front door…     They tell us “Don’t worry, it will come right off as soon as it dries”.

Yuck, what a mess!!  But they were right, the next day Ms. Pat and I washed it right off.

So there it is.  We now have the floor ready for the new porch.  We have the forms removed and waiting for the carpenters. They just called last night and said there would be a slight delay as there was a problem with the person that builds the brackets for the logs.  Hmmm, always a hang up…….none of these deals go by without a HANGUP!   NEVER!!   This is it, NO MORE construction!!!  Famous last words.   So we play the WAITING game!

This is a picture from our back yard of the raging fire that has been burning all week just south of us. From here it looked as though Broken Arrow Campground was on fire.  It started about a week ago and they are just now getting it mostly contained. Last night they opened US 385, one of our major highways through Wind Cave. They have the cost of this fire at over 3.5 million dollars.  The historical Williams Ranch was totally destroyed but no lives were lost. Praise the Lord and bless these Firemen!!    There are hundreds of them camped out and sleeping in tents at our high school in Custer.

 It is a GREAT WEEK!!!!      We are so thankful for the rains we have had the last three nights.  It is truly a blessing from GOD!!

Thanks for stopping by. We will keep you posted on the progress of our “Porch”!

Travel safe ya’ll…


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Wonderful Weekend with Son Patrick

We were so happy to have my Son Patrick visit us this weekend.  He lives in Lake Havasu, AZ. He came to the area to see a man about a Railroad.  Here is a picture I took of him and Terry yesterday just as we finished a long day of touring the Nebraska Northwestern Railroad in Chadron, Nebraska. 

Terry is the owner of this Railroad that headquarters in Chadron, Nebraska.  He was interested in talking with Patrick about some technical operational procedures and attempt to interest him in becoming his General Manager.  My son has over 30 years experience in every aspect of railroading……..just what Terry is looking for.

I wish I had taken more pictures of his Railroad and the Roundhouse and yards as we toured it, but I was so engrossed in this outstanding operation and so overwhelmed I didn’t take one picture…..  Shame on me!!!

Here is Patrick this morning as he prepared to head back to Colorado Springs and catch his flight back home to Lake Havasu, AZ. He had a long drive ahead of him. I sure didn’t want to see him leave but I knew he had to be back to work Monday.  This is the first time he had seen our place here in the Black Hills and he was very impressed .   He said he would be coming back soon.  He has so much going on that it is hard for him to find a spare minute for himself.
Pat travels an awful lot with his job with the Federal Railroad you can see he has a big suitcase!   All that travel scares me a lot and I constantly ask God to protect him.

The only car the rental agency had left was this little Fiat.  It was so small he could hardly get his suitcase into it……. but it ran beautifully and was really peppy..

He kids about the cap that he has worn all over the US.  His “N” cap.  You can take the boy out of Nebraska, but you can’t take the Nebraska out of the boy…. :-)   Go BIG RED !!
I am sorry my Blog is late today.  I thought I would get up early and get it done before Patrick was out of bed.  Well, like Father like Son.  Pat also loves to get up real early.  I enjoyed visiting with him so much and wanted to spend every minute with him.

However,  all too soon it was time for him to head south.   Gina, this picture is for you, my Dear.   I told him that you always told me to hug him, so he said OK but I know he knows how much I love him.   I am so proud of what a great son he is………

There he goes leaving out the driveway in his little car headed home.  Come back again soon Son!

It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!

Thanks for stopping by………Come on back Wednesday and I’ll let you in on the latest news….you won’t believe it!
God Bless you all, and God Bless our Firefighters!!


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Arizona Storm

Storm near Wickenburg July 2012
I subscribe to a link from ABC channel 15 in Phoenix, so they send me news flashes by email. I received this picture in one of those News Flashes. The caption under the picture stated “ Chad Haring sends us this picture of the storm from near Wickenburg, AZ.” It took my eye because Chad is a fellow I know and Wickenburg is just a few miles from where we live. Chad’s nick name is South Dakota Slim and he came from the Rapid City, SD area. He also owns a Foretravel and a PressurePro system.

I had heard that there was a pretty serious storm that passed through the area leaving several inches of rain. Heavy rain in that area always causes flooding.   That always makes us wonder how our place weathered the storm. We have friends (Paul and Nancy) that keep a close eye on it and we knew if something happened, we would hear from them.

Our place July 16, 2012
Shortly after that, I received an email and the above picture from a fellow Blogger and RV’er, “Retired Rod”.   They own a house in Mesa and were out driving around the area after the storm.  They ended up at North Ranch and snapped this picture and sent it to us.   Isn’t all this technology wonderful?  WOW!!!    It was so great receiving a picture of our house that we hadn’t seen since we left about 2 months ago. We were shocked to see how much the two trees in the front had grown.  I trimmed those to a good 6’ from the ground just before we left.  Look at them now… Unbelievable!!  While Rod was in the area, he also stopped up in Congress and took a picture of Al and Kelly's house (the Bayfield Bunch).    Thank you so much Rod....very thoughtful of you.
Every morning at 7:00 am, we head out to the beautiful Stockade Lake area and get our walk in. What a beautiful place to walk and it's only 3 miles from our house. We have some pretty steep hills to walk, so it gives our heart and muscles a jump start for the day.  It’s a nice challenge.  Nice flat, walking areas bore me but a hill or two will break that boredom real quick.

The above link is a good example of what a trained citizen can do when involved in a death defying situation. I hope you can view the video. This robbery took place in Ocala, Florida at an Internet cafe. Ocala is not considered a high crime area. So you can see these things can happen anywhere. I admire this gentleman's courage and ability. Notice that after he is done shooting at the subjects and they are gone, he immediately removes his finger from the trigger of his gun.. If more of these hoodlums ran into an armed civilian with that kind of training, there might be less of this kind of foolishness.  Take our guns away and see how these type occurrences run rapid…. just my feelings and opinion, others may differ….

Ms. Pat has been missing her Line Dancing. She couldn’t find any place out here that had any line dance classes during the summer, so what does she do? She proceeds to go the the YMCA in town. She spoke with the managers and gets permission to start Line Dancing classes there at the “Y”.   So, this morning is her first class and she is excited to see how many have signed up. She may be dancing all by herself, but she says that’s OK.  But I just bet that’s not the case, especially after the word gets out a little.
It is a GREAT WEEK!!!!

We are so excited, my Son Patrick is headed up to spend the weekend with us.  That is a great treat….. I can hardly wait to see him.

We just found out there is a fire in Custer State Park that has consumed about 50 acres and is still 0% contained.  Here is a link to the Rapid City Journal article:  Fire

Thanks for stopping by as we continue to Thank our Father in Heaven for all he has blessed us with.


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Our "Cache" Needs Attention! Plus "TACO SOUP" recipe..

Back a few years ago we started getting into finding local "Caches".  After we found a few, we decided to make our own “personal Cache” somewhere near our place. We looked and looked before we decided to put it near an old Gold Mine that is just a couple miles from where we live. We call it the “Old Gold Mine” cache and listed it on the National Geocache Web Site, "Geocaching".

A lot of people look for it and several have found it.  They made notes at the cache and also on the website.  The last person that located it advised that the Cache needed attention, as the lid was crushed and water had leaked into it.  The log book was soaked and so was everything else.   We headed for the "Old Gold Mine" with all the material to restore it.
We jumped on our trusty Polaris Sportsman 500s and headed out. We used to be able to ride right up to the Old Gold Mine and then just hike a few hundred feet up the mountain and be there.  Not any MORE!!

Our wonderful Forest Service decided to post these beautiful signs on dozens of the trails we used to ride for years.   Foot or horse traffic only. That makes a bunch of us locals very unhappy.  There are still a few trails around us that we can ride but very few.  Now if you want to load all 4 wheelers up and truck them 25 miles North, there is an area there where you can ride all the trails.. Forget that!!! I guess we were all such a wild and destructive bunch that they wanted to get us all up in one area.   I won’t go any further but I think you get the drift that I’m a little unhappy about the whole deal. But you know what, I don’t think they give a *^$@* !

Anyhow,we parked and hiked on up the road to our Cache at the Old Gold Mine…

Soon we arrived at the opening to the mine. It is an easy hike, probably only about 1/2 mile.  We could cut across the woods but we decided to just walk the road that leads right to it.  We have brought a lot of our friends up here.

It is a neat old mine shaft and goes quite a ways back into the mountain.  But that’s not where our cache is. You have to hike up the hill a ways!

Ms. Pat has hiked on up towards our Cache…… If you look close at the top of the picture you can see her…

Here is a close-up of her using my telephoto lens. You can see she is loaded for bear...well, maybe a mountain bears in this country!  If you think she can’t handle that pistol, you're dead wrong!  We have had South Dakota gun carry permits for over 10 years but every since she took that course on self protection at the Ben Avery Shooting Facility north of Phoenix and spent 3 hours training every Tuesday for 4 months at the Wickenburg gun club, she almost always has a pistol on her person. Even in Wal-Mart!! She has been trained that if you are going to carry a gun, you should know how to safely use it and you should carry it everywhere!

She soon found the Cache and we replaced the container, added a few goodies and placed a new log book in it.  The last finder was right, it definitely needed attention. Everything was wet and the log book totally soaked!

When Greg and Bonnie get back from Canada this Fall, we want to bring them up here and at that time we will check it again. Then we won’t see it again until next spring in 2013…… “Good Lord Willin'"!

We were blessed with a nice 1/2” rain Thursday night. WOW, was that ever a welcome sight!! I’m telling you, it is DRY!!!! Even with that rain, it is still dry.  "High Fire Danger" warnings are out all over and we pray that a we don’t have a fire. If we did, it would be CATASTROPHIC! 

Slip on over and see Rollie and Gina’s blog.  He just posted a new one and it has some outstanding pictures of the kids, them and of course, Little Jolee!!
Gina and Jolee- July 2012
But this is my FAVORITE!!!!!    What a beautiful picture of two beautiful GIRLS!!! 

For those of you that asked for the Taco Soup recipe, I finally got Ms. Pat to sit down and type out the recipe.  Here it is:

                                     Healthy Taco Soup
  • 1 pound ground turkey or buffalo (or lean ground beef)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (15ounce) can black beans, with liquid
  • 2 (15 ounce) can kidney beans with liquid
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, with liquid
  • 1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) beef broth
  • 1 (4 ounce) can diced green chile peppers (optional)
  • 2 (10 ounce) cans Rotel tomatoes (regular or spicy)
  • 1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
Corn and/or Tostito chips, for serving
Sour cream, for garnish
Grated Mexican cheese, for garnish
Chopped green onions, for garnish
Pickled jalapenos, for garnish

Brown the ground meat and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned meat and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, tomato sauce, green chiles, taco seasoning,  and simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove or cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours .
To serve, place a few corn chips or Tostitos in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and jalapenos.  

This is actually "Gina's" recipe but Ms Pat has added a couple of ingredients.
Now I'm hungry! :-),,,,It's Oh So Good!

Thank you for stopping by......we hope you are all enjoying your summer.

May the good Lord take a likin' to ya!!!

It was a GREAT WEEK!!


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

What, Another Friday the 13TH,,,,,,?

I was surprised when I saw that Friday was the 13TH.  Seems to me we just had one of those, or maybe it's just my imagination. It doesn’t matter much to me, I’m not very superstitious.  I always like to turn it around and say that 13 is a lucky number and Friday the 13TH is my lucky day.
Of course anymore, every morning I can get out of bed and walk and talk, I figure it's my lucky day! It seems the older you get the more you appreciate each and every day. We go for a hike out in the park every morning and I often tell  Ms. Pat “It’s good to be Alive!” AMEN.

I ran a picture of this is my Blog several years ago, but my neighbor has had it all painted up like new so I thought I would put it up again. Since he is retired from owning his own Oil Company, he has an old Gas Pump and a Bulk Delivery Tank on display in his front yard.  It really takes my eye and brings back many memories.  I wonder if any of you can remember when a Gas Pump like this was actually in use…. I know I sure can but I also know that not many of you are as old as I am!

When I was a kid, there were a lot of these gas pumps in use at "filling stations" in town.  I will admit they were soon phased out and replaced by newer electric pumps but these pumps were neat. They were not electric in any way. You had to pump a handle on the side which pumped gas up into the glass chamber at the top. There were numbers telling you how many gallons you had pumped. Then you took the hose and gravity ran the gas into your vehicle. I believe the price of gas was somewhere around 0.19 to 0.20 cents per gallon.  Unbelievable isn’t it?

Back in those days it was unheard of to pump your own gas.  It was always done by the station attendant.  He also would wash the windshield, check the tire pressure, the radiator and anything else you wanted done.  We’ll never see those days again!! But I love seeing this old pump every time I drive in our driveway…….. more memories of the past..

Kent and Peggy, fellow Foretravel owners, stopped by to meet us yesterday afternoon. They were visiting and enjoying the wonderful Black Hills and were staying at a campground not far away. The Foretravel Owners Forum let them know we lived in the area, so they gave us a call and stopped by. They are from the Oklahoma City area and have their house up for sale and planning to travel and see some of this great USA.  It was so good to meet them and we also enjoyed their beautiful dog "Trip". Thanks for stopping by folks...enjoy the Black Hills and travel safe.  We will see you down the road.

It is a GREAT WEEK!!!!

We continue to have our daily "rain dances" but they don’t seem to be working. That little 6/10 of rain we had a week ago is the last we have had and it's getting dry again.  So please send some rain our way....and keep "dancing".  We get a few threats but it seems to always go around…… 

Thanks for stopping by and come on back Sunday……we’ll see what kind of foolishness we can drum up.

Travel Safe!


This Blog is Published every Wednesday and Sunday..

Sunday, July 8, 2012

A Little Rain and Some Cool Weather…….

All this week it was cooler than last week but finally Thursday night it rained!!!  My rain gauge showed 6/10, but others in the area reported 8-9/10. It really helped and the ground sucked it up like a sponge. The rain dances helped. Now we all need to do something so we can get a little rain like that every few days……..
On the 4TH of July, we took our usual morning hike in the Park, then we headed to town for the Parade.  It wasn’t a big parade like they will have at the Gold Discover Days in a couple of weeks but it was a fun little parade.  If you're in the area for Gold Discovery Days, July 27-29, don't miss it.  You're in for a real treat and don't forget to look us up.
It was mainly a Kids' Parade……..with lots of youngsters riding everything you could imagine.
Of course, a Parade is always a good chance for the local Volunteers to show off their equipment…. Ms. Pat and I used to work with the Search and Rescue folks when we worked out in Custer Stare Park…..
The local State Trooper was there…….We worked with them a lot too....P1030835
Now here is a neat Highway Patrol car.....kinda looks like my old one.   I could really “pedal” that thing!
I think Smokey lives here in Custer, he is in all the parades…..
One of the things Ms. Pat and I enjoyed seeing was the new paint job on the Custer Ambulance.  Isn’t that NEAT?
Ah Ha, now I see why Ms. Pat drug me down here. I think one of the main reasons was to see the Custer Piecemaker’s Quilt Guild booth at the Craft’s Fair. 
They did have some beautiful quilts on display……..Ms. Pats new interest in this quilting nothing but amazes me…  I can easily see it's hard work! Smile

As you can see, after our rain, we had some water “puddling” under the motorhome in our new addition. It was necessary for us to get another load of rock and get the proper slope to eliminate the problem. (Hopefully!)
Ms. Pat is helping me smooth out all the ridges and hopefully we have it so it will drain a little better…..
There everything is all spread and things are back to normal…………until the next rain at least…… We may have to put gutters down the side of the extension to get the water directed to the rear.  Let's hope we get another rain so we can find out.

It has been much cooler the last couple days, no more rain yet, but it sure feels good to need a long sleeve shirt on once in a while….   

We invited some good friends and fellow bloggers over last night for Happy Hour.  It was good to see the Weavers of "Where's Weaver", who are staying at the Broken Arrow Campground right down the road. Their last visit to the Black Hills was 30 years ago. They said a lot has changed and they were enjoying seeing all the changes.  Since they had never tasted Taco Soup, nor Buffalo, Ms. Pat insisted they stay for supper and have some Taco Soup made with Buffalo meat.  The weather was a little cooler, (notice the jackets and long sleeves) so the hot soup went over well.

Paul and Marsha will be leaving Tuesday and we are so glad we got to spend some time together before they left. They are headed back home to Ohio.  You will enjoy their Blog...we sure do!   Have a safe trip folks and we look forward to seeing you down the road.  Remember our invitation to visit our little "piece of Heaven" anytime.  The door is always open!

It's time for us to head off to Church.  We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday week and enjoy the rest of the summer…… maybe the weather will try and cooperate a little!!

 It was a GREAT WEEK!!!!

Thanks for stopping by.  May the Good Lord "take a liken' to ya'!


This Blog is Published every Sunday and Wednesday..