Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Indiana, Markleville - Tuesday, August 16, 2016 - Crappy Indiana Roads

We are back in Indiana after our short trip to Illinois.  We have traveled in 36 of the 48 lower states and I truly believe that Indiana has the worst roads we have been on.  If we didn’t have beloved family and friends here I would vote for avoiding Indiana altogether.  I know there is a lot of traffic on our roads, we are the Crossroads of America.  But, I would think that the poor state of our roads would deter tourists from visiting our wonderful small towns and businesses from moving here.  Once they have experienced Indiana roads I’m almost certain that they would want to just get through the state as quickly as possible and not come back.  As we were coming around Indianapolis on I-70 this happened.  Keep in mind we have air ride suspension and brand new tires on our coach and Greg doesn’t drive fast, but that road was still beating the *&% out of us!!

I know it is kind of hard to see the picture since I am shooting it into the sun.  One of the two motorized blinds that cover our front window shook loose from its fastener and fell diagonally across the windshield.  We were lucky that it didn’t hit the windshield and break it out.  I can’t print Greg’s reaction to this.

There was a happy ending, the blind went back up easily.

Another word to the wise for those of you who travel in an RV.  Make sure the cleaner bottles that have an option of “on” or “off” by turning the nozzle have been turned to “off”.  I missed doing that with one of ours and as we bumped along the bottle was hitting against one of the others and sprayed all over our utility closet – smelled good but was kind of sticky to clean up.

Last Saturday we attended the 50 year reunion of a twirling group I belonged to in high school.  In 1966 we won the National Championships in Grand Rapids, MI.  It was great to see everyone again.  This is when we won the championship, I am the one holding the trophy.

We lined up again (with just 4 of us missing).  I’m in the front row, second from the left.  50 years have changed us but they are still a great bunch of spunky ladies!!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Illinois, Sparta - Wednesday, August 10, 2016 - World Trapshooting Championships

We are at the Casino Queen RV Park in East St. Louis for a couple of days.

Desira is representing the state of Indiana in the Ladies 1 division (under 55 years of age) in the Champion of Champions shoot.  She is shooting against other women from all of the United States, Canadian providences and even some of the South American countries at the Grand American.

The location of the Grand American is the World Shooting and Recreational Complex in Sparta, Illinois.  We are staying a little over an hour away in East St. Louis because that is the closest thing we could find.

The Events Center is where all of the administration/registration happens.  It also includes a restaurant and bar.  And, it is air conditioned – really important on days like today when the heat and humidity were almost overwhelming.  I don’t know how the shooters were able to see anything through all the sweat that was dripping in their eyes.

The Trapshooting Museum is a new addition this year.

One of the exhibits showed that the Indianapolis Gun Club hosted the trapshooting championships in 1906.

I like this exhibit, glass ball targets.  These were used before the clay targets they now shoot became popular.  They would be filled with feathers so that when they were hit it would look more like the shooter was actually hitting a bird.

I tried to talk Desira into letting me duplicate this outfit for her – that received a resounding “NO WAY”.  This was worn many years ago by a lady named Punkin Fisk and was a way of showing off all of the badges and awards she won, which apparently were abundant.

This facility is huge, I forget all of the statistics on how many traps they have, but I think I remember that it is well over three miles long.

When Desira was competing in the Indiana state shoot her gun broke in the middle of competition and she finished up using Dan’s gun which she had never shot previously.  She had to send her gun in for repairs so she hasn’t had it available for practice.  She picked it up late yesterday and was able to shoot 25 practice targets.

She is ready this morning.

Headed out with part of the squad she will be shooting with this morning.  The group she is shooting with represents some of the best shooters from the Midwest.  I know the shooters representing Kentucky and Michigan are also in this group.

On the line thinking about her next shot.


Deep in concentration while she moves to the next trap.

The squad when they were finished.  She shot 95 of 100 targets today – proud mama moment!!  Unfortunately, that wasn’t quite good enough to qualify for a trophy – that would have required at least 98 out of 100.  I thought she represented the state of Indiana very well.

On our way back to the motor coach we stopped at Eckert’s a farm to market grocery and restaurant.

Lots of goodies for sale inside the grocery.  The pies looked absolutely delicious.  I didn’t even stay in front of the pie case long enough to take a picture, I was afraid I would be tempted to buy one.  We certainly don’t need that.  We were down 40 pounds each when we got to Indiana – we are now down only about 35 pounds (we are enjoying our time here a little too much).

There are several antique farm implements on display like this 1927 John Deere horse drawn corn binder.

This is the bounty from our shopping trip:  corn on the cob, green tomatoes, peaches, peach salsa and some Boars Head Lacy Swiss cheese.

Indiana, Markleville - Saturday, August 6, 2016 - Keeping Busy in Indiana

We are keeping busy with family and friends and getting some of our “to do list” items done.  Of course, it seems like we (translated “I”) always have something to add to the list.  I mentioned to Greg that I would like to have a better way to corral cooking utensils and the paper towel roll.  I envisioned me getting the paper towels into the flame from the gas stove and there just wasn’t a good place to hang a towel holder.  We looked for something when we went to Shipshewana but couldn’t find anything like what I had in mind.  So, Greg took to the garage and put together something that is absolutely perfect.
This is a before picture.

Here is what we have after.  He stained and finished the box after he put it together, we may add some kind of decoration to it later, but for right now I am really pleased with the results.  Another plus is that it travels well.

One of my “to do” list items was to go through all of the travel brochures we had accumulated in the past five years.  Every time we go into a rest stop with state brochures I will pick up a few to browse through while we travel and I don’t always get rid of them as I should so we had a couple of boxes of them (stored in alphabetical order, of course) sitting behind Greg’s recliner.  Once I went through them and selected what I wanted to keep they fit in a nice basket beside the couch.  WooHoo – more space!!  I thought it would be perfect for an indoor window box.  So, Greg went back to the garage and put together a box that matches the first one, this one has divisions big enough to accommodate pots of flowers or plants.  He was working on these right around our anniversary, couldn’t have received a nicer gift.

This step in the bedroom was previously covered in porcelain tile like the floors in the rest of the coach.  It was ok but the tiles had been cut to fit the space and a couple had hairline cracks and the grout was beginning to dry out (this step covers the part of the engine compartment so it gets quite a bit of heat when we travel).  It just didn’t look like we wanted it to.  We decided that since there is a lot of wood in the bedroom we (Greg) would try to cover it in wood to match. Once again his project was a success.

Celebrating July birthdays with dinner and swimming later made for a great day with the grandkids.  Here are Kyle and Maddie showing off their diving skills.

Greg hasn’t been the only one with projects going on.  I made curtains for the door and window of Amanda’s first grade classroom.  She previously had brown paper rolled up which could be unrolled to cover the windows in case an intruder broke into the school and the classrooms had to be shut down – this is what the rest of the classrooms still have.  She showed me a picture she found on Pinterest of what she liked.  Unfortunately, some of the pictures don’t match the information you will find when you open up a site.  This was the case with this one – no directions.  What I was able to put together worked out quite well.

After we redid the valances around our motor coach windows last year we had a lot of material leftover (slight miscalculation on my part).  The material is made for outdoor use so Mike and Amanda’s swing and two chairs got some new cushions from our leftovers.

Speaking of Mike and Amanda, their second driveway is where we are staying until we leave Indiana the middle of September.  50 amp service was put in for us in the garage last year so we have all the comforts of home.

We’ll be here long enough to help Desira and Dan with the Shoot for the Cure.  This is the annual fundraiser they put together at Fall Creek Conservation Club to benefit breast cancer awareness.  Trap shooters from all over Indiana look forward to this fun weekend.  They always decorate the clubhouse in pink, including table decorations.  Decorations this year look like gumball machines and will hold candy for the shooters and visitors to enjoy during the day.  Desira and Dan put together the containers, I was responsible for the “bling”.

I took off a day to enjoy some “girl time” with a couple of my friends from high school.  Dinah (Hazel) Oldham and Linda (Noble) West and I had a great day at Stream Cliff nursery.

The flowers were looking gorgeous in spite of the heat and humidity.

We had some great blueberry salads at the restaurant on site.  We were too busy talking to remember to take pictures.  

Before we left we stopped in to enjoy the new stained glass window in the wedding chapel.

I was able to fill my new indoor window box with plants I brought back from the nursery.

This past Saturday we enjoyed meeting up with 20 or 25 of our high school classmates to talk about our 50th reunion coming up next June.  I can’t say that we got a lot accomplished but we had a great time catching up and enjoying the breaded tenderloins at Anita’s.  I think we made a start with updating addresses and collecting a few more dollars to cover expenses.