Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Stinky Dog!

She's normally a cute and loveable dog - but today she just STINKS!!
From 200904_Indiana

Last night when I was letting Casey out before bed, she started sniffing around the deck, and then I suddenly heard her dart through the bushes and take off across the yard, in hot pursuit! At the same time, a horrendous odor filled the air . . . you know what's coming, don't you? Yes, Casey was sprayed by a skunk!

Not willing to have our cars permeated by the offensive odor, I moved her crate to the front porch. It was cold and rainy, but she had to stay outside last night and today. There is a roof over the porch, and I covered the crate with a vinyl tablecloth to keep her dry . . . I'm not terribly cruel! Today I called the vet's office, and they gave me a recipe for a homemade "de-skunk" bath.

1 teaspoon Dawn dish detergent
2 fresh pints of hydrogen peroxide
1 cup baking soda

Mix it all together and cover her with it. Let it stay on her coat for 10 minutes and then rinse well.

The poor thing was freezing while we washed her with this concoction, but we rinsed her with nice warm water which seemed to make her feel better. I couldn't smell skunk on her anymore, so we rinsed out the crate too, and moved it back into the garage. I cranked up the heat out there so she'd dry out tonight. She goes to the groomer next week to get her "summer cut", and they'll give her another "skunk bath" to make sure it's all gone. Until then, she's banished from the house. With the house going on the market on Monday, we can't take any chances on having "funky smells" in here!

That brings me to our other update - we signed a contract with our selected Realtor last night!! By next Monday, our house will officially be "FOR SALE". Wow! It's kindof scary! Exciting, but scary, too!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Indian Lakes Camprground (April 15 - 18, 2009)

We didn't have internet access at the campground, so all of my posts will be here.

Wednesday, April 15th
We left home on Wednesday morning at 8:15 am. It was still a little cold and drizzly, but the weathermen were promising better weather to come - we would be driving into it. The drive was almost uneventful . . . we were almost there, cruising along St. Rt. 9 out of Lagrange, IN when I saw a deer in the field to our right. It was RUNNING, at full speed, right towards the road! Tom slowed down to see what it was going to do, and it just kept going, right into the road and into the side of a Jeep coming from the opposite direction! It bounced off the Jeep, and slid right under our tires! The Jeep kept going, so that driver was apparantly unharmed; we slowed down some more but kept going. Tom checked out the m/h and car when we arrived at the campground, and everything looked OK. We lucked out that time!

From 200904_Indiana

From 200904_Indiana

From 200904_Indiana

We were all settled on our campsite before noon, had a quick lunch, and then headed into Goshen for the Keystone Raptor tour at 2pm. We had a private tour with Jim, one of the regional sales reps.. He was very knowledgeable, and we left there 2 hours later feeling very positively about the Raptor. He had called a dealer in Elkhart who had a couple of models that would give us a good feel for the floorplan we were interested in. We drove over to Tiara RV, and looked over those models. There are some nice improvements going into the 2010 Raptor that definitely make it a possibility for us. The kids were tired of being in the car by then, so we started back towards the campground - we were surprised by the number of RV dealers in Elkhart that are now out of business!
Back at the campground, we had some hot dogs and brats for dinner, and then headed over to the pool for a swim. They had the water up to 77 degrees, and it was pretty nice! We had the whole pool to ourselves!
From 200904_Indiana

From 200904_Indiana

The pool closed at 9pm, and we went back to the camper to watch a little tv before bed. It was going to be in the mid-30s that night, so we got out the ceramic heater, and also set the furnace at 65 deg in case the little heater couldn't keep up. I don't think the furnace ever came on during the night, though, and we all stayed pretty comfortable.

Thursday, April 16th
After a leisurely breakfast of waffles and grilled sausage (darn it - I forgot to take a picture! LOL!), we headed into Middlebury to visit Jayco and Sunnybrook, before our scheduled KZ tour at 2pm. Jayco was our 1st stop, and the Customer Service Rep., John, in the visitor center was very informative. The floorplans we're interested in are 2009 models that are not being carried over to 2010. They are eliminating the split bathroom, which we do not understand . . . John was able to search their database and find all the dealers that still have one of those models on their lot. Unfortunately, none are very close to us, with the closest near Buffalo, NY. We haven't completely discounted them yet, but a couple of other options took precedence . . . more to come on that. Jayco has a really nice setup at their Visitor Center, with a "mini campground" behind the building - they have one floorplan of each model in their lineup on display. We wish more Manufacturers would do that - it really gives you an idea of the level of finish available in their campers.
Next, we went down the road to Sunnybrook. I wish I could say that the sales rep. there was as knowledgeable and helpful as the others we'd met, but he wasn't. He kept emphasizing that he could not help "sell" us on a Sunnybrook unit, because it would get him in trouble with some of his dealers. After leaving us waiting for quite a while (much to the boys' frustration!), he finally brought up a unit of the floorplan we were looking for, but it also did not have the split bathroom (another Manufacturer eliminating it!), so I wasn't really crazy about it. By the time we got out of there, it was 1:45, and we had to head straight to K-Z. We couldn't take the time to get a pretzel or go to the Bulk Food store, so the boys were mad! We got them there later, though . . .
At K-Z, we met John, a regional sales rep. who was very nice. He did not take us on a plant tour, but he took us through some units awaiting transport. Again, K-Z has eliminated the models that we like, so we're hunting for leftover 2008 models. KZ makes some higher-end toy haulers that we like (Escalade Sportster), but they are pretty pricey. They are really nice, but what you get for the money is more in the "want" range than the "need" range, so hard to justify. He did give us a tip on a 2007 Montego Bay Sportster which is at a dealer in Nevada. The Montego Bay is built on the same line as the Escalade, so the quality level is similar. It's a new unit that has never sold. It's a floorplan that we like, but doesn't have the queen bunks in the garage (a must for us). John assured us that they could be added, but we would need to have that verified, and find out the price for adding them, as well as how we could get the unit from Nevada to MI or IN. This is serious prospect #2. The boys were pretty well burned out by the time we got out of there, so we headed into Ships to get pretzels and milkshakes at Jo Jo's. If you're ever in Shipshewana, that's a treat you won't want to miss! We did a little more shopping, and then had dinner at the Das Dutchmen Essenhaus . . . another must if you are in the area!

From 200904_Indiana

Back at the campground, since we were the 1st campers of the 2009 season, the owner, Paul, had dropped off a golf cart for us to use during our stay. The kids were excited, so we took a ride around to check out the rest of the campground. The CG is bordered on the south by an amish farm, so our neighbors were horses and cows!
From 200904_Indiana

From 200904_Indiana

It was a very beautiful sight! We spent the rest of the evening around the campfire, until going inside to watch "Harper's Island" which we've managed to get hooked on.

Friday, April 17th
We had heard that the Wakarusa Maple Syrup Festival was a "must-see" so we figured we'd head over there for breakfast. Unfortunately, the festival was just getting set up, and they wouldn't be serving pancakes until 4pm! So much for breakfast!! From there, it was just a couple of miles to Nappannee, where Newmar is, so we decided to add them to our list. We had kindof discounted the Newmar X-Aire, because they are significantly more expensive than the others we were looking at, but since we were in the area we decided to check them out. While talking to Linda, a sales rep., she found out about a unit in South Carolina that was one of the floorplans we liked. It is a 2008 model that had been at a dealership in Florida that went out of business, and was bought back by Newmar. She said that they were able to offer us a really great deal on it! We met with another sales rep., Vern, who took us on a personal tour of the plant, and answered many of our questions. We left there with the specs. on the X-Aire 41CKLG, and a promise that pictures would be emailed to us this weekend. It also does not have the bunks in the garage, but the rep. at Newmar said that they could get the unit transported back to the factory and have the beds installed for us. Serious prospect #3 - They've definitely given us something to think about this weekend! Leaving there, we stopped at the Ayr Cabinet factory, where we got our kitchen cabinets when we built out house 12 years ago. We have a couple of hinges that have broken, and we stopped in the see if they had replacements. They did - and sent us home with a dozen of them!
We arrived back at the campground in the late afternoon. They have a really nice recreation room, so we headed over to play some pool before dinner.
From 200904_Indiana

After a few games, we grilled some burgers for dinner and then headed over to the pool for an hour or so of "Marco Polo". The kids say I am the worst player ever! After our swim, Paul treated us al to an ice cream cone, and we played a few more games of pool before we went back to the campsite for another evening campfire.

From 200904_Indiana

From 200904_Indiana

Saturday, April 18th
We got the m/h all cleaned up and ready for the trip home this morning. The campground was having a pot luck lunch at 11:30, and Paul told us not to worry a bout checkout time, so we stuck around for lunch. They had quite a good crowd - I'd say most of their seasonal campers were there getting their trailers open for the season because of the great weather. I forgot to mention it, but it was in the 70s the last 3 days, and sunny! BEAUTIFUL! After lunch and another couple of games of pool, we hit the road around 1:30pm. The trip home was uneventful, and we were safely home by 4:30pm.

This was a really great trip for us - the weather was great, the campground was very nice, and we got a couple lead on some possible new "homes" for us. Over the next few days we'll have to do some serious thinking about whether we're ready to make that purchase! OK, this is an EXTREMELY long post, and thanks for reading the whole thing! I still have to add my pictures, but then I'm going to bed! Goodnight!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

On the road tomorrow morning

The motorhome is all packed and waiting on the driveway to leave tomorrow morning. It was chilly and rainy today, but is supposed to be sunny and in the high 50s/low 60s the rest of the week. The nights will be cold, but the days should be pretty nice. Tom took the motorhome out on the weekend and had the propane tank filled, just to make sure that we don't run out in the middle of the night! We also put a "For Sale" sign in the back window, hoping that somebody might take an interest in it sometime this summer while we're camping. It would be nice to sell it outright, rather than trading it in.

We have an appointment with our Realtor on Monday to sign the contract to put our house on the market - it'll be official then. In preparation, I finished up de-cluttering. I packed away a bunch of knick-knacks, and took pictures out of frames. We're pretty much good-to-go around here, and anxious to get the house on the market. Wish us luck!!

We're hoping to get an early start tomorrow. We've got about a 3-hour drive, and the Raptor/Fuzion tour at Keystone is at 2pm tomorrow, so we want to get set up at the campground early enough to make that tour. Everything's ready to go, including the car on the dolly, so we shouldn't have any delays in the morning. Stay tuned to follow us on this first trip of 2009!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Catching up

It's been a busy couple of weeks around here! We're trying to get the house on the market next week, so there was quite a bit to do. The boys are on Easter break now - only 1 day of school this week - they had a SNOW DAY on Monday! Can you believe it?!?! A snow day on April 6th?!?! We got about 6 inches of snow overnight Sunday, but it's pretty much gone now. It's been in the 50s the last 2 days, and supposed to stay there through the weekend - Yeah!!

Other than work, school, and de-cluttering the house, we haven't done anything really exciting. I dropped off about 100 books at the library this week. It wasn't as difficult as I thought it might be. I used to belong to one of those "book clubs", and had a bunch of hard-cover novels. I'd read all of them at one point, and wasn't really interested in re-reading any of them. The only ones I kept were those of my current 2 favorite authors -- Nicholas Sparks and Janet Evanovich. Those I'll find a spot for in the 5er - I can read them over and over!

I'm the yearbook advisor at the boys' school, so that's been taking up quite a bit of my time lately - taking pics, getting them uploaded to the company website, and creating pages. We're all done now, so that's a relief. It was fun, though - a creative job! I also spent a few Saturdays "quilt shop shopping" with my mom and my sisters, so now I've got a couple of projects going. Ever since I cleaned up my sewing/laundry room, it's a pleasure to spend time in there!

OK, Tom says I'm not saying enough about him . . . he's been very busy also. He cleaned out and re-organized the garage, and gave my van a thorough cleaning (school is on a dirt road, so it was a mess!). He helped me strip and stain the front door, and sanded and cleaned the deck to get it ready to re-stain. Bryce says he helped with the deck!

Tom has also been getting the motorhome ready for our first trip next week. I hope it warms up a little bit! The campground we're staying at looks pretty nice - full hookups, free wi-fi, and a heated indoor pool . . . which is open! At least next week I'll be able to post some interesting information! We have appointments at KZ and Keystone, and possibly Forest River and Jayco. We recently found out that Jayco makes a toy hauler (Recon), and it looks pretty nice. We've been in contact with a dealer in the area, and they are going to try to get one for us to look at. The boys are looking forward to touring some trailers, but even more about going to Jo Jo's pretzels, and the amish bulk food store! These are Nicolas' favorite stops in Shipshewana! I'll be sure to get some "food pictures", so I can fit in with the rest of the RV-Dreamers! LOL

OK, well I think I've caught up with my posting now . . . tomorrow is baking day, and Easter egg coloring day for me and the boys, and I think Tom is going to stain the deck. Woo! Hoo! Happy Easter, if I don't get back in here before Sunday!