Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A Short Update

Just a short update to say all is well with the Traveling Cardinal's.

Haven't done a lot since the last post travel wise; unless you call running back & forth to Warren traveling!

Last Thursday was Girls Day Out with lunch at Maryanne's with Marilyn, Toni & myself. Enjoyed a great lunch, a glass of wine & the hot tub. Good thing it was overcast. The wine & the heat makes my body feel funny! Thank you Maryanne for setting the timer!! Also, thanks for a being a gracious hostess. It was fun & we always seem to pick up right where we left off!

Maryanne, Toni, Marilyn enjoying our lunch.
Maryanne & Toni relaxing in the hot tub.
Saturday was the annual Community Trash & Treasure Days in North Warren where we used to live. That is always fun. Didn't buy a thing, other than a chicken BBQ dinner prepared by the firemen. Great job guys/gals! Let me tell you though, I walked my legs off!!! I didn't miss too many tables, but I was only looking for ONE thing & if they didn't have it, I would just walk on to the next house with a sale. Sorry, Roger, I never saw one Whirley Industry coffee mug!!! I did look them up on the Internet & they were produced in 1973 so you have a "golden" mug there; you'd better hang on to it!!! Bill's nephew, Robert M. works there & he is still looking for us too. So we won't give up the ship just yet! My kids each have one, but I don't want to take theirs either. Since they are so rare, they'd better hang on to theirs too!

Sunday after church we went to visit my niece Donna & her husband Larry who has Leukemia. He looked a little tired, but he says he is doing better. Had a cold (both of them) but he said he feels a little stronger each day. That is good news. He doesn't have to go back to Pittsburgh for a month, so that is encouraging too!

This morning I went for breakfast with my other girlfriends from the old neighborhood. Again, we seem to always pick up right where we left off the last time we saw each other. Judy, Sarah & I have seen each other a few times this summer & we will all be together again before we leave. Sunday we will be at a baby shower for Judy's daughter, Kendra, & then Sarah wants to have a wiener roast some evening around the first part of the month.

Now is the time we are trying to hurry & get all our visits in with those we haven't seen yet. Time is running short. I'm ready to travel again. Anxious to see my little boys & daughter & then on the road again.

Since we had so much rain the bugs & gnats are out in full force here at the campground. You can't even stand outside & talk without them being in your hair, nose, ears, eyes, & if you aren't careful, your mouth! It seems every August they come out & seem to hang around until the first frost. I remember raking leaves & they were everywhere then too.

They have moved one of the trailers that got flooded to a new spot & I believe another smaller trailer is to be moved tomorrow. The worse part is finding other permanent spots for them within the campground. There are several other trailers that would like to move their trailers too just because the bank to the creek is washing away so much. Another words, they are getting "too close for comfort"! I just hope we will be able to have a spot next year. I don't know where else we would go that would be convenient to each of our families. I guess we just have to wait & see.

Scenes from the trailer that got it the worst. Don & Sharon, thankfully, have a motor home to stay in.
This is how far the deck was separated from the trailer.
This shows how the trailer was washed off the frame.
This is the mud on the living room floor.
Diane washing out t-shirts, sweatshirts, jackets, etc. from Navy Memorabilia saved for Don's reunions.
Brad & Walt taking a break. It was HOT!
Jay, from Lime Lake Marina & RV came yesterday & installed our bigger motor for the jacks. Seems to work okay. The awning is still being temperamental & didn't work right for him while he was here, so he's going to call the company AGAIN! If any RVers are reading this & you are thinking about buying a power awning.......Don't!!!! Or if you do............don't hit a telephone pole, 'cause the next one installed won't work right!!!! Experience..........the best teacher!

We didn't have electricity or water (well water, no electric, no pump) this morning when we got up. According to one of the other campers, the township up the road didn't have it either, so I guess it wasn't just the campground. Needless to say, we didn't get our showers this morning. BUT, thank goodness we keep extra water in our fresh water tank just for occasions like this! So I at least got to wash my hair & my face! Bill is in the shower as I write this, I guess I'll get mine when he's done.

I said I'd make this short, so I'll end for now. Until next time...............The Traveling Cardinal's

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Ride in the Country

Thursday Bill and I spent taking a ride around my old stomping grounds in Western NY, Chautauqua County. Most of the sights are barns, farms & hills. We wanted to check out to see what other storm damage was done in and around the area near where I grew up.

Deb, you will enjoy a lot of these pictures. I have many more for you, but you will just have to wait for my "project"!

(Just a reminder, if you want to see a bigger picture, you can always click on it to open it up to a larger size.)

We left the campground in Kiantone, NY around 10am. Our first sight about 1/4 mile from the campground is this huge farm located on the Kiantone Road. (The Cheney Farm). We were on the Riverside Rd. headed toward Fentonville, NY.
Next, this is the Eckman barn in Fentonville, NY. This gentleman was the man who bought my dad's farm. Both have since gone on to a better life. Unfortunately, I didn't take a picture of our barn, as it burned in a fire & was never rebuilt to look like "our barn". It is little more than a "feeding" station now.
This was my Uncle Luther's Barn on the Wiltsie Rd., now run by his grandson, Brad.
This is the creek that runs in front of the home I grew up in. As you can see, more & more of the bank has washed away with all the flooding. Since everything has grown up so much over the last 40 some years, it's hard to tell, but I think the tree that had my swing in it has since floated down the creek! The back yard to the right held many memories of reunions, games of badminton, crochet, fox & geese in the winter, & just plain having a great time!
This is my childhood home. It is owned by my 2nd cousin.
Side view of kitchen, back door, & garage.
This is the bridge in front of the house. I've seen this washed out many times over my lifetime. A previous, older bridge, was washed out on the day of one of my sister's weddings & cars had to drive across planks to get back to the main road.
I spent many, many hours playing in this creek!
This is one of my Grandfather's barns. Not too much left of it, but on the 2nd board from the top, there is a date carved into it.
The date is 1865. I guess if I was that old, not much of me would still be standing either! That's 144 years old!!!!

This is my Grandpa's main dairy barn. I never knew my Grandpa as he died a year before I was born. But my Grandma lived in the house across the road/creek for many years. I loved to go there to visit to play dominoes & eat her big sugar cookies! She had the prettiest white hair I ever saw. To get to her house we either had to walk up the dirt road a little ways & go around by the woodshed, or across from the barn was a foot bridge that went across the creek. No railings, just the boards to walk across. We used to stand in the middle of it & jump up & down. (Especially if somebody else was crossing it!) I'm glad I was young when I did that. I don't think I'd dare today! Funny, I never used to be afraid of heights!!!
This is one of the roads I used to ride the school bus home from school on. (It took me 1-1/2 hrs. to get home. My bus route had every dead end on that end of the district because we were close to the PA state line.)
This is the Jones farm on Wheeler Hill. Now, I want you to close your eyes & imagine with me. See the corn on the side of the road? You know how tall corn gets. Imagine you are in a school bus right at this spot & snow is 3 times as high as that corn! Yup, you couldn't even see over the top of the snow piled along the road on this stretch of road. School Delayed 2 hours? What was that? Snow Day??? You've got to be kidding!!!
This is an old barn that I can remember my Dad taking his thrashing machine to to help other farmers. It was in the next county over from us. Quite a drive with an old Farmall & huge trashing machine (in those days anyway). Today the machinery is humongous compared to then!
This is a sight (rather hazy as it was a hot day), from the top of Oak Hill Rd. out of Frewsburg, NY. Had it been a clear day, you might have been able to see Chautauqua Lake. For those of you who read this that live in the west or midwest, our farms are quite a bit hillier than yours!
Along the roads everywhere here in PA & NY these pretty blue corn flowers (at least that's what we call them) grow. I always loved to pick bouquets of them, but they don't last very long once you pick them. Over the years, I've found it's better to let Mother Nature bloom where she's planted & enjoy them from a distance.
We went by way of the Kinzua Dam/Reservoir. What a beautiful picture perfect day. We didn't get to see any eagles though. We see the nests, but some of them have been taken over by hawks I think.
After our stop at the Indian Reservation to buy our diesel fuel, we return almost the same route. We stopped at my sisters to tell her we wouldn't be there to play cards as Bill was going to the Warren County Fair. This is my brother-in-law's farm. Okay Deb, did I do okay? At least I ended with your dad's!
Today we took a different route & I didn't have my camera. I still have quite a few more pictures of barns to take. Deb told me when we were in Michigan she loved old barns & it's amazing how many you see & no two are alike. They do make a pretty picture!

Friday Bill took a trip to the doctor to get medication for his congested lungs. This damp, humid weather has not been good for him. Arizona looks better & better every day! He is doing better this week after being on the medication for a few days.

Friday night my girlfriend, Judy & I planned a night out for supper & then to the Library Theater. Since my Bill wasn't doing too great, he decided not to stay at the Fair that evening & came home & went with us. We saw The Hunt Family. They were fantastic. Bill said he wished they would come to Arizona & entertain at our resort! There was a mother & father & 7 children. The oldest were twin girls & the rest were all boys. All between the ages of 11 & 19. They sang, played fiddles, guitar, drums & keyboard & could they Irish Step Dance! So much talent all in one family! If you are ever anywhere that you can see them, be sure & go. They are from Chesapeake, VA & have performed at Busch Gardens several times. Several of the boys have competed in Scotland & Ireland for the World Championships in Irish Dance.

Sunday we went out for breakfast & then to church. Visited with Bill's sister, Carolyn & husband Neil to get our mail, then came home. My nephew David, came to measure for some more welding work for us. We had our generator removed from our trailer since we haven't used it in 2 years. The front compartment where it was, has holes in the bottom, so David is going to make us a metal sheeting to place in there. He will caulk & attach it with screws. So far he has made us a flag pole holder to go under our back tire for our new telescoping flag pole & fixed me up with a metal rod to place my revolving flag pole on. He's an all around handy nephew to have! A lot of talent & not afraid to fix up anything. Now I'm just waiting for his last project & my bill! Before we sold our home, he welded me an arch to put between our 2 stone pillars so I could grow my wisteria over it. He surprised us by making letters of our last name & welding them onto it. I loved it. Unfortunately when the wisteria grew over it, you couldn't see the letters except in the winter time! We love you Dave!

We've had some pretty hot, humid days this past week & the weekend was beautiful. Last night we went to Bemus Point, NY to see the Chautauqua Lake Idol Finals contest on the floating stage. It was very good & a young man of 22, named Shawn Kirk, was the 2009 winner. A favorite?? You bet!! He sang country & sang from the heart. He wrote a song for a couple that was his friends who had a stillborn baby & the song had everyone in tears before he was done. He truly was favorite of the crowd!

Today we paid a visit to our friend, Tammy, who has moved her restaurant from downtown Jamestown, to another street still in the city where the old Ironstone Restaurant was. We had some delicious Italian cooking for lunch today! It was good to see her & she is very excited about her new venue. I didn't have lasagna today (that's an evening meal), so I guess that means we get to go again before we leave the area!

Tonight we had a pot luck supper at the campground. I wasn't very hungry, but of course I ate! Such a habit!!! Wish I could break it! I told the doctor today, that is my only complaint. It gets harder & harder to keep the weight off! I think I'm more active in Arizona during the winter, but I seem to eat more there too (I think). Maybe I'm just plain eating more anyway! Oh well. I got a cute Maxine Joke today that said something to the effect I don't worry about what others think too much anymore & I like myself just the way I am. Being happy is the name of the game! Besides, Thursday is another lunch date with my friends Toni, Marilyn & Mary Ann for a "hot tub" party! Then next Tuesday it's out to breakfast with my other girlfriends Judy & Sarah. See.......I never stop eating!

Well, that brings us up to date again.......So until next time...........The Traveling Cardinal's

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

A Very Wet Week

While staying at Bill's brother's house while the trailer was being worked on, I walked to a friends house to see her unusual plant. This is called a Hoya. It grows like a vine & the leaves are curly, almost like the baked chips you see in stores. The flowers are beautiful. The outer petals are like velvet & the inner ones like porcelain. Judy also had this beautiful gloxinia that she keeps from year to year. She has a green thumb & the perfect bay window!
What a beautiful huge gloxinia!

Well, on Friday afternoon we got the bad news that the motor for our front jacks wasn't going to be shipped until August 11th. We appreciated the hospitality of our family's home, but we wanted our home back. The temporary fix got us to Hidden Valley & UNHITCHED this time! The installation of the new motor when it comes in will be a "house call". They have agreed to bring it to us rather than us having to break camp & make another trip back to Delavan, NY! Thank you Don & Jay! We are waiting for your call.

We have had our share of rain this past week. Sunday afternoon we had the Bullock Reunion at Bill's nephew's in Warren. It was a cloudy, muggy day. We got the meal over with before the rains, but not the meeting or the auction. It didn't last terribly long, but it sure did pour. On our way back to the campground we could see where several places along Rt. 62 had washed gravel out into the road, so we knew NY State had gotten more than in PA.

During the night Sun. night & Mon. morning we really got hit. It thundered & lightninged & rained all night off & on. Becky & Randy, the campground owners, & several campers were awake during the night watching the rise of the creek. Around 7-7:30am it started to really rise. This is what we awakened to:

Looking out my bedroom window across the way there was a lot of brown! When I put my glasses on I realized the creek had overflowed. Thankfully these 2 trailers didn't get any water inside them. Beyond the blue cooler, you can see a green plastic hump of a turtle sandbox. This sand box contained 100# of sand & was swept from near the flag pole out into the roadway.
This is looking down the roadway toward Stony Point, just to your left as you cross the bridge into the campground.
Again looking at 2 trailers. The farthest one is the one that was once owned by my cousin, Maryann. The one by the rail fence is owned by Gary C. His deck was pulled away from his trailer.

The creek overflowing into Stony Point; taken from the bridge. As you can see, a lot of the water had receded when I took some of these pictures.
Creek behind cousin Helen's. The tree right across from the flag was waving pretty good when I was taking this picture. Ten minutes after I left, the tree went down into the creek.
This was the worst trailer hit. The trailer shifted & is about 1-1/2 ft. from edge of creek. The deck went the opposite way. Fortunately everyone was safely rescued. Including the kitty.
On the upper side of the campground the creek has receded, but this tree is hanging on the water line that goes across to HV II & III.
Here you can see where the water was. The trailer that is located here is for sale. Anyone in the market??? I don't think so. I told him he'd better get it out of there & sell it before it too, goes down the creek!
This is the upper part of the creek where my grandsons played while they were visiting! Also, if you read the last post & saw the kids panning for gold......This is the same creek!
The fire dept. had asked everyone to evacuate in case the bridge did go out, but most of the roads in the area were closed due to high water, so we all opted to stay here. If we had gotten another flash flood in the evening, it would have been mandatory evacuation. We packed some overnight things & went to my sisters to play cards, but it didn't rain again, so we came home. Since then it has been beautiful. We got a little rain yesterday morning, but not much & quite a downpour in Warren, but today is beautiful. Even got to go swimming in the pool, cool but refreshing!

Other communities in the area didn't fair as well. A mobile home park was flooded in Silver Creek, NY & even their fire dept. sustained damage. We thank God for the rain, but we are glad the sun is back. We know He didn't promise sun without rain, but He did promise strength for the day!

Hope everyone is having rainbows in their lives.

Bill & his brother are planning Thurs. & Fri. at the Warren County Fair. We all know it always rains for the fair, so I hope they are lucky & can enjoy the evening/day without any more. Sawdust only absorbs so much mud!

So until next time........From Hidden Valley (currently called the "marina",..The Traveling Cardinal's

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Very Busy Week

Because we had an appointment for the trailer at Lime Lake Marina, we left Michigan on July 30th at 7:00AM. We opted to come across Canada again. This time our entrance/exit from the country was less time consuming. We were afraid we would be held up in Buffalo, NY with lots of traffic, but it only took about 15 minutes.

This was coming across bridge near Hamilton, ON.

Back in the States, we are greeting by Bronze Buffalo near the Thruway area. Almost like being in Oklahoma!
We arrived at Lime Lake Marina at 3PM. Our good mechanic, Jay, tried the things the company wanted him to do before they would replace the motor & wind sensor for the awning. Didn't work. We all knew it wouldn't, but you just can't tell those manufacturers anything. They never believe you. So now we have to wait for the parts for that. While we were there, we told him about the motor for the front jacks not working just right again. He thought they would just tell us we had too much weight in the front end especially with the generator. Well, we got back to Hidden Valley & sure enough, they didn't work & we couldn't unhitch the truck from the trailer. So we had to depend on others for transportation over the weekend & then take it back out to Lime Lake on Monday.

The weekend was a busy one at the campground. It was Wild West Weekend. Here are some pictures of all the activities.

Outside of pavilion.
I helped with the crafts. Made sure everyone had a name for their project & their name & age was on their card. Judging would take place after the BBQ on Sat. night.

Shirley & Wendie working on their veggie crafts.
Joshua working on his "The Mad Man". This was a joint effort with him, his mom & myself. Sometimes it takes more than one person's imagination.
This was Brodie's John Deere Tractor & wagon. It really was done by his grandma though.
A couple of teens worked on this "Hidden Valley Ranch". Cute idea & loved the name!
When the grandsons were camping with us they played with a little guy named Devin (Joshua's brother). This was his creation of "Mike".
Denny is WANTED!
After crafts a wagon load of "gold diggers" made their way to the creek to pan for gold. Everyone had a great time. I think the adults had as much fun as the kids! It sure was a beautiful day!
There's gold in them there pans!
Devin & Jared
Devin is working hard at getting rid of that dirt to find his nuggets.
See, I told you there was gold in them there pans!
Oh, Oh! Here comes "Black Bart" & his partner. Black Bart said to "get out of my creek". We had to hurry up & get our gold back to camp before he came to steel it. Nice job Dee & Jerry!
Becky is checking out the gold in the pouches that the kids had made in the morning. Looks like she's impressed with what Devin found! Each claim had to be weighed.
This was the scenery that Becky had painted within approx. 1-1/2 hrs. during the time the kids were doing crafts. She does a great job. Art talent that needs to be used somewhere besides a campground!

Black Bart & Elixir Dr. Jerry made it over to the camp.
Black Bart & Dr. Jr. waiting for the horse to come & give them a stagecoach ride. Oh, later on in the evening, that darn Black Bart held up the stage!
Corn was soaking for the evening meal.
The food was great! More than beans & biscuits too. Pulled Pork sandwiches (BBQ or plain), beans, tomato sauce macaroni with corn, corn on the cob, & cupcakes for dessert.
In the afternoon this little miniature pony (Easter Lily) did several tricks for us. Isn't she cute?
Trained just like a dog. Easter Lily sitting up. (That's the Cardinal Homestead in the background behind the pool).
Easter Lily jumping the hurdle.
Cute Little Brodie watching the show.
I think only one guy out of 3 is working!!! Randy & Leon look like they are just waiting to eat! Linda's making sure Mel's husband cooks the corn right.
Dick & Evelyn got into the mood with their Wild West Costumes.
Now so did Becky! What a fashion model!!! Nice mustache Becky!
The horses have arrived, now we can have a real stagecoach ride. The line continued all evening long.
Teens enjoyed the games. Texas Becky gets them lined up for the sack race.
Now this was a different one! They had to race down, build a fire, put down their blanket, put on pj bottoms, lay down to sleep, get up & reverse the action, put it all back in the wheelbarrow & see who one the relay. The guy on the right made us all laugh when he went to remove his pj bottoms. Got more than the pj's!!!
The judges are ready. Have you ever ridden a "noodle" pony??? The kids had to deliver a pony express letter without getting it wet. If the judge couldn't read it, you were disqualified.
This was a gold rush with gold balloons across the pool without using hands or feet. Just as a side note..................the water temperature was only about 70 degrees!!!
Stagecoach traveling through the park.
Cowboy Brodie on the tractor.
Times have changed in travel!!!! From stagecoach to The Traveling Cardinal's Rig. Oh the comforts of RVing!
Well as you can tell from the above picture, we are still hooked up! Monday, the 3rd, we left for Lime Lake Marina to have the trailer fixed. Jay said he couldn't get to ours for about 2 hrs. so we unhitched & took a tour around the area. We started out to go to Letchworth State Park. On our way we saw tons of wind turbines. I think they are so neat to watch & see out over the country side. Great to see us using natural resources too. These were located in & around the Wyoming Co. area of NY State.
Look at the size of the silos compared to the wind turbine!
Had to take some pictures of barns for Deb. This was a neat one. Pretty blue roof.
For a minute I thought we had topped the hill & come to the country of Holland (The Netherlands).
Well, needless to say, we spent the afternoon traveling around using a 1/2 tank of fuel & gaining nothing. After deciding we didn't want to pay to go into Letchworth State Park just to drive around for a little while, we headed to Mumford, NY to Genessee Country Museum. Got there & they are closed on Monday! We had stopped in a town to eat lunch so we headed back to Lime Lake. The news was not good. The gear box had to be rebuilt & Jay was going to have to talk to the manufacturer of the front jacks to see if they had a bigger motor or what might be causing the problem. They run okay manually. He thought one might be bent, but guess that wasn't the problem. We had them remove the generator. They are going to sell it for us. We have carried approx. 250# around for 2 years & only used it 1.7 hrs. Nice Onan generator. Anyone want one?? We have not done any boondocking & it doesn't look like we will be, so no use in hauling it back & forth across the country with us. Well...........when they took it out, unbeknown to us, there are 2 big holes in the bottom of the front compartment! Now we have to have someone get us a piece of metal to install in the bottom & caulk around the holes so we don't get water up inside & have it rust. Always something!! I'm beginning to think it's worse than owning a permanent home! Not really, I wouldn't go back to that for anything. I love the RVing lifestyle!

So now that we have to wait for more parts, we may as well leave the trailer at the Marina & find some place to stay. Since I had dr. appts. this week we needed to get back to our base. Bill called his brother, Bobbie, & we are staying with them until all the work on the trailer is finished. We are hoping & praying for the work to be finished today or tomorrow. Friday at the latest I hope. I want my home back!!!!!

We stopped at Hidden Valley Campground to tell them the situation & take care of a couple things we left at our site then headed for Warren. When we got to the Russell, PA intersection, we came across them moving the oversize load that had been setting at the state line for a week or so. This is part of the column of a wind turbine. You can see it covering almost the whole road in front of the line of traffic. Bill thought he would be smart & take the old road & beat it. Wrong! We didn't see it anywhere & here it was way ahead of us. So they move along pretty good.
This is where we caught up to it in front of the Warren Commons (by Wal-Mart).
So we are caught up again. Spending our time running to doctor's, dentist, etc. Hoping we will get the trailer back soon so we can get back to the campground & put our feet up & enjoy our friends at Hidden Valley. This week we have Bill's family reunion on Sunday. My families was last Sunday. A chance to visit & catch up on the past year.

Until next time...............The Traveling Cardinal's