Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Clean RV, Packed and Ready to Roll

Wednesday - July 31st. - Beautiful Day 75 degrees

We spent yesterday washing the RV.  Preston came up and did the roof and helped us get it started, then Lou and I finished it up.  We cleaned out all of the compartments and did a lot of sorting, hoping to cut down on the weight.  With the price of gasoline and the number of miles we expect to travel, we wanted to cut down as much as possible.

Today we spent the day cutting the grass and running the weed eater.  I had an early appointment in town and needed to stop in at the grocery to pick up the last minute things to pack into the refrigerator.  I fixed a roast beef dinner to have on the road tomorrow night, and have baked goods in the freezer along with snacks and such, so think that is all taken care of.

My dear friends lost their son in a tragic motor cycle accident on Sunday and I hate that we are going to miss the viewing and funeral, so Lou and I decided one thing we could do for them was to cut their grass and run the weed eater when we did ours, so we took care of that.  They have always been there for me whenever I have needed anything and I treasure their friendship.  In fact, their son is the young gentleman that we purchased our home from.  Our prayers and thoughts go out to the whole family in this time of great loss.

We are off early tomorrow morning and of course, we have to stop at Camping World in Syracuse to have our Dish worked on again.  Does everyone with a RV have to stop at Camping World when on vacation??  I understand rain is in the forecast so much for a nice clean RV.  Have no idea where we will spend tomorrow night.

We had a change in plans at the last minute, Preston and Susie were going to go with us, however, they could not find a babysitter for their granddaughter, so it will just be Preston.  That is a huge disappointment for me as I enjoy the company of Susie, she is a former teacher and also loves to read, and we do have much in common.  I guess the men need a cook and maid......

I will post as we have internet.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Sunflower to Brighten Your Day

Sunday - July 28th 

I suppose a chipmunk planted this pretty sunflower in the midst of my herb garden and it was up and growing pretty straight before I noticed it, so I let it grow.

Have to admit it looks pretty cheery for a Sunday morning as we head out to church.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Beauty from Ashes

Saturday - July 27th Cloudy

Lou and I have spent the last two days catching up on our yard work, after over two inches of rain while we were away everything really grew.

I wanted to share the above two pictures.  When I planted my wildfower seeds I had a few left over and this area is where I have burned my brush, cutting and such and Lou had suggested that I no longer do that and he asked my brother if we could haul them across the creek to a designated area and he told us we could, so we have been doing that.  Lou had planned on putting top soil in this area and adding grass seed to it, so we could mow it.  I just threw the seeds on top of the ashes and look what came of it.  Aren't they pretty?

Lou has continued a project that Susie and I started after Al died, we started gathering some of the thousands of rocks that had been pitched over the bank for years.  Susie and I thought we would make a stone wall, but after Lou and I got into it would have taken a life time, so we have been hauling rock away and moving rocks out of the way so we can mow with the mower and not have so much weed eating to do.  The project is still underway and we work at it a little at a time.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Welcome Home Intruder

Friday - July 26th Beautiful 70 Degrees

We arrived home safely after our camping trip to southeastern PA.  When we arrived home, the temperatures were in the low 70's and the skies were a beautiful blue with a gentle breeze.  We quickly unpacked the motor home and I set to the job of a weeks worth of laundry.

Steve had collected the mail daily and deposited it on the kitchen table, so while Lou was off to an appointment, I quickly sorted through the mail and worked on med boxes and prepared our dinner while the washer hummed.

I washed all of the bedding so every thing would be clean to start our next trip fresh.  I hung the bedding on the clothesline; however, I knew the sheets would not get dry before going to bed and I have left clothes on the line overnight many times, but I wasn't prepared for what I would find the next morning.  Sometime between 5:30 and 8:00 AM, something got mixed up in the fitted sheet and tore it down from the clothesline and tramped on it and left it on the ground with puncture holes in it along with a three cornered tear in it.  I gathered it up and brought it and Lou and I looked at it and determined I could repair it and put the torn part at the foot of the bed and use it on our trip.  I washed it again and hung it back on the line, but took it down mid afternoon.

Last evening we went to Krista's for dinner to celebrate her birthday a day late and after a campfire in their yard we were all walking back towards our house, we were met with a beautiful buck coming towards us, what this what tangled with our sheet this morning?

 We didn't have a camera with us, it didn't matter, as he went next door and was in no hurry to leave, cars went by and watched him and he eventually came back into our yard crossed the road in front of a car that stopped and watched and then recrossed back to our yard and back across the creek.  Had lots of time to get the camera and take pictures.  Lou took these with my camera.

I repaired the sheet this morning and will remake the bed tonight.  Today we will run the weedeaters for the majority of the day. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Still at Timothy Lake

Tuesday - July 23rd - 84 degrees and humid - thundershowers

We are still at Timothy Lake awaiting the part for our refrigerator part to arrive from Ohio.  Thankfully, we have been able to purchase two bags of ice each morning to put into our refrigerator to keep our food cold.

Yesterday it was a bit cooler and I was able to get out with Lou in the early morning and have a nice walk around the camp ground, it is a huge place and divided into two area, a north and south area.  The north area, it consumed with a huge water park and that is where most of the families are located.  It is easy to see why they would want to camp there.  There are also cabins that can be rented for the night, week or the season and  they are located in the wood, really neat locations.  The walk around the perimeter of the south section is close to a two mile walk and it is all paved and would make a lovely daily walk, if the humidity wasn't so high.
The swimming pool where we are at - the end of our street

One of the Cabins

We have taken advantage of the time and made some repairs to the inside that needed to be made and I have done a lot of cleaning out of drawers, so we are pretty much ready for our trip to Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island, once we get the laundry done, bedding done and the outside washed, the car cleaned out and washed, cooking and baking done and the work at home done, we know our grass at home will be high.  Sounds like it will be a lot to get done in one week doesn't it!!  Sure hope it is cooler at home.

Last night we took early showers and went out to dinner at Louie's Steak House about five miles from here.  I was glad I had taken my sweater to slip on over my dress, as it was cold inside the restaurant. We both decided to order a steak, it being a steak house.  Our salads arrived and they were delicious with tasty homemade croutons, fresh tomatoes, red onions, lovely dressing along with the regular lettuce and carrots.  The salad was served with fresh warm rolls that were tasty and went well with the salad.  We were served delicious hot coffee and our cups were kept filled which pleased Lou.  Our steaks arrived and were served attractively on our place with a slit to show us they were as we had ordered them.  The first cut revealed a tough grizzled steak with a wonderful taste.  The baked potato was hot, even though it suggested by the color and double wrap of aluminium foil that it was left over from the night before, was served with a generous serving of sour cream and butter.  I had ordered carrots and Lou order broccoli both were hot and tasty.  I ate part of my steak, brought the rest home and hopefully will be able to cut it into small pieces and put it into a salad, as it had a wonderful flavor.

On the way home after our dinner, there were deer everywhere, I snapped a few pictures, but you can see it was starting to get dusk, and they aren't the best.  One that I didn't get a picture of was a beautiful buck that was in velvet and was next to the car, and I just didn't think to take his picture, as I had not been that close to a buck in velvet before!!


Saturday, July 20, 2013

Woes of Traveling in our RV

July 19th - Friday - Hot and Humid 100 degrees

We left home early Wednesday morning to get to Camping  World in Syracuse, NY to have our Dish fixed for the upteenth time.  We arrived there at 10:00 AM and finally at 5:30 PM we were told they needed to order parts and they wouldn't be in until next Thursday or Friday.....  You wouldn't believe how many times we have heard this story.  In fact our whole system was sent back and guaranteed it was fine, well guess not....

We left Syracuse and headed south and got to Cortland, NY and pulled into Cortland  Country Music Park and Campgrounds and got their last spot.  As Lou came out from registering, we heard a clap of thunder and  it let down rain like no tomorrow.  We sat inside until it let up and backed into our spot, that had turned to a mud hole.  The mosquitoes found us immediately and had their dinner long before we did.  Thankfully, we had roast beef, mashed potatoes, gravy and fresh sweet corn in the refrigerator ready to fix for dinner; however, we only had 30 amp, so couldn't use the A/C and the microwave.  I decided, I would much rather have the A/C and use the range to cook dinner.  It was 8:30 when we enjoyed our dinner.

We were on the road the next morning at 10:00 heading for East Stroudsburg, PA.  We purchased this lovely Magellan Roadmate GPS that is designed for RVs so I put the address for our destination into it and we were off.  The bad thing is Lou doesn't like any GPS, he is strictly a map man.  So after we were almost to our destination, he made a decision to go a different route, well you guessed it, we really got mixed up and he finally asked me to get him back on track with the GPS so it took us much longer to arrive to our destination and we rolled in with nearly an empty fuel tank!

As we were getting registered, we ran into a couple that we had not seen in three years that was a delight and we were able to spend an evening with them catching up them on what had happened since we were together last.

When we stopped for lunch on the road, our refrigerator started beeping and flashing a code, so we turned it off until we could get here and check it out.  I pulled out the book on it and looked up the code that was flashing and found that it had switch that was overheating and it had shut itself off.  I had remembered that we had received a letter about the refrigerator being part of a recall, but once I checked the markers, it wasn't involved and thankfully, I had that letter with us.  We called the company and a repairman and we have ordered the part, that will be without charge; however, we pay the service charges and the postage to have it "overnighted."     It should be here on Tuesday.  We are purchasing two bags of ice daily and so far all is going alright.  We will just have to stay three extra days.  I am sure with Camping World it would have been longer yet.  Better now than when at Price Edward Island or Nova Scotia.

I took advantage of the time yesterday and cleaned out some of the inside cupboards and if it would get cooler, we could clean out the outside compartment, to get ready for our extended trip in 10 days.

SMART Muster - East Stroudsburg, PA

Saturday - July 20th Hot and Humid.  We are in the midst of a heat wave in the southeastern part of Pennsylvania.  Has been close to l00 degrees each day that we have been here.  We normally have pot luck dinners together each evening; however, we have opted to eat our dinner out and enjoying dessert together around a "fireless" pit in the evening.  We all have to admit that our A/C in our  RV's feel mighthy good .

We are located at Timothy Lake South in East Stroudsburg, PA and we are the guests of another SMART group called The Jersey Devils.  Due to different circumstances, they only have three rigs and that is what our group (the Keystoners) have, so it is a small gathering, however, we are having a good time and getting acquainted.

View from our front window

Side view

Chairs that Krista and Michelle made us for Christmas to match our RV

The dessert that I made for last evening.  Red velvet Cake, blueberries and strawberries and cool whip, perfect for a  warm evening.

Some of our folks and the Jersey Devils

The family restaurant where we ate last evening. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Mama Kyte's Stack Apple Cake

Tuesday - July 9th Cloudy and humid

When my deceased husband and I were first married he talked about his mother's "Stack Apple Cake" and how his family always looked forward to her making it.  They would all pitch in and help her peel apples in the fall for her to dry in hopes that later in the winter she would make her famous cake.  

When I met his sister for the first time, I asked her if she would share the family recipe with me and she told me she would be happy to pass it along to me.  The first time I made it my family fell in love with it also.

Krista recently dried some apples and asked me if I would make her a cake and we had to make substitutes due to the allergies in her family, but it still worked out fine.  I thought I would share the original recipe with you folks and show you how I make it.  Hope you will try it and enjoy it as much I we do.

This recipe dates back to pre-civil war time and was made by many of the slaves for their masters families.

The dry apples cooked down with the sugar and spices added

Beating the shortening and sugar and eggs

The dough divided in seven equal pieces ready for the pans

I pat the dough into the greased and floured pans

Adding the apples to each layer after the layer has cooled

The Recipe:
2 Cups White Sugar
1 Cup Shortening
2 Eggs
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1/2 Cup Buttermilk
6 Cups Flour
1 Teaspoon Soda
3 Teaspoon Baking powder
1 Teaspoon Salt

Cream sugar and shortening together, add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition.
Sift flour, measure with dry ingredients.  Add dry ingredients alternating to batter with buttermilk and vanilla.
Divide into six or seven parts and pat into well greased and floured nine inch round pans and bake 10 - 12 minutes in oven at 450 degrees.
Spread each layer with dried apple filling with the exception of the top layer.  I sprinkle the top layer with confectionery sugar prior to serving.  
Let cake stand for 12 -24 hours prior to serving.  Cake flavors with age.

Dried Apple Filling
1 Pound dried apples
1 Cup Brown sugar
1/2 Cup White sugar
2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1/2 Teaspoon Cloves
1/2 Teaspoon Allspice

Wash apples, cover apples with water and cook until tender.  Mash thoroughly.
Add both kinds of sugar and spices.  Cool before spreading between layers.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Getting Odd Jobs Done

Monday - July 8th  

Hot and humid weather continues here in Catlin Hollow.  Makes it hard on the people that work outside, but I guess they get used to it and continue on.  Lou and I try to get the majority of our outside work done in the early morning and late afternoon and do inside things during the heat of the day.  Thank goodness for central air conditioning.

We had seamless gutter installed on our home several years ago, but many of the screws have loosened or broke off.  Lou tried to repair some of them last year, but I hated to have him up on the ladder this year to work on the task, so I asked my nephew, Jeff if he would help me out and he was only too happy to do it, in fact he more than did the task, he found several trouble spots and rectified the problem, so we shouldn't have ice on the steps this winter.  He has even agreed to replace board on my little barn that need to be replaced, so we should have things looking good before we take off on our trip.

Krista has been scraping paint on the big barn when she has a few minutes and when we have a good weekend we are going to get that painted, but we certainly want to have cooler weather to complete that task.  They are getting ready for a family vacation in New England, which they are all excited about, which is not an easy task with the allergies, so Kris has been busy baking bread and such to take with them.  Those of us that just pop into the closest restaurant to sample the local fare don't think of such things.  Their whole family have become experts on what to look for and Lou and I are getting better at it.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Shelling Peas

July 6th - Saturday 89 Degrees and Humid

Today was the Johnson's Family Picnic at Ives Run and Lou and I are always invited to attend and we very much enjoy of day with Brion's family.  Some of the family I knew before I married Lou and the rest of them are all new acquaintances.  Janet and  Brion spend a lot of time preparing for this annual event with helping hands from the rest of the family and lots of food to be enjoyed by all who attend.  They rent the Stephen Foster Pavilion which is located next to the creek, so the dogs and the kids have lots of fun in the water.

Janet and Brion's garden is much ahead of ours and they are always so kind to share the wealth with us. This year they brought us fresh peas from their garden and after we got home from the picnic,I was shelling the peas and was reminded of  years ago when I was a kid sitting on the front porch at home with mother, daddy and my brother and we would be shelling peas and my folks would say if we found a pod with nine peas in it we should throw  the ninth pea over our right shoulder and make a wish.  Do you know there are very few pods with nine peas in them.  It sure made the job of shelling peas go much faster.  Suppose that is why they told us that??