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Friday, July 31, 2009

Another Month Gone!

Hard to believe that July is now over. Just two more months and we're back on the road, headed south. It does go fast.

We have had a great month - filled with family time, friends and just hanging out together. There's more of all of that coming, too. August promises to be full as well. It's so nice being close to family and being able to join in the get-togethers and see friends we don't get to see but once a year or so. Very grateful for a lifestyle that allows us this much freedom.

Sharing a laugh with Reagan at the carnival earlier this week
And we ended the month on a fun note - Reagan spent the day with us today! Jason & Lins wanted to do some work in Reagan's playroom and thought it would be easier to do so without Reagan underfoot. (Hmmmm . . . imagine that!) Anyway, of course we jumped at the chance to have Reagan with us. What a sweet little girl she was, too.

We played outside and inside 'cause of the rain. Reagan also got to ride in a golf cart for the first time! Penny took us around the park and even let Reagan "drive." :) It is so much fun to laugh with an almost-four-year-old! Everything is new to her and makes it new to me again. Reagan even rested quietly for almost two hours while I rested beside her. Then she played by herself for quite awhile. I had gotten a headache and she was just wonderful about letting me be quiet while she played. What a kid.

One of her quiet moments :)
About 5:30 we took Reagan home and were treated to steaks & veggies from the grill at Lins'. How nice that was. And a great way to end the day - and the month.

Until the next time . . .

Thursday, July 30, 2009

An Anniversary

Just a short post to say


to my folks. While the road hasn't been the smoothest at times, they have persevered and have given my sister and I a great model for a successful marriage. I love them.

Hope it was a good one, Mommy & Daddy!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


We're just rolling along here in PA. Nothing exciting to write about, just splitting our time between family, doc appts and hangin' out at the RV.

Monday was spent at the clinic while Randy had his colonoscopy. It had been 10 years since his last one, so it was due. All went well and we're just waiting on a biopsy report as there was a polyp found. Don't think it's anything to worry about, but it will be nice to have that confirmed. Once we were done there, it was straight to Bob Evans so Randy could have a nice big meal. His appointment wasn't until 11:30 so he hadn't eaten since 9pm the night before. He certainly enjoyed his breakfast!

Yesterday we met Lins & Reagan at the movie theater to see "Muppets from Space." During the summer this theater has FREE movies once a week. Isn't that amazing? They even allow you to bring in your own food and drinks. I think that's even more amazing. We'd gone last year with them to a couple of movies, but this was the first one we'd been to this year. The movie wasn't that great and it was bit slow to keep Reagan's attention for the entire showing. But, she made it through with little agitation. She loves it when music is played - that girl is a dancing machine!

After the movie, we went to Olive Garden for lunch. Lins & I really enjoy the soup & salad deal there. Randy got lasagne (I think he was still filling up from the last couple of days!) and Reagan had salad and breadsticks, too. Lins & I both got the new soup offered, Chicken Gnocchi. It was delicious!

Then, last night, all of us went to a Firemen's Carnival at a local park. This area has more free events, it's great. And its parks are wonderful, too. Anyway, this carnival was really geared to little kids which was so nice. You bought tickets and each activity was so many tickets a piece, most of them being just one ticket. The bounce houses were three tickets each. But, with the tickets being just 50 cents each, you didn't have to go break the bank in order to give your kid a good time. Reagan had a blast going from one activity to another. And the young people manning the activities were very encouraging to each of the kids.

All ready for the carnival!
First stop - bounce house
Evidence of an Italian ice

We stood in line for 30 minutes for the last event of the evening - a ride in a fire truck's tower ladder! Reagan was a real trooper, standing for most of that time and very patiently, too. She and Jason went up in the ladder. As we watched, Reagan was asking questions of the firefighter, pointing to different things, wondering what they do. She loves to learn - hope that keeps up! :)

Secured in the belt and ready to go
Up, up . . .
. . . and away!

What a great night. Thanks Jason & Lins for including us!

Not much happening today. I'm going out for an early dinner with Courtney, the daughter of good friends of ours. Can't wait to sit down and hear what's going on in her life. She's a special young woman and I love her.

Hope your week is going well. Until the next time . . .

Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Stay at Home Weekend

What a nice weekend we had. We went nowhere, never left the park except for church this morning.

Friday night we cooked hot dogs and polish sausages on the grill and Barry & Penny came over for dinner. We were glad to do something for them since they are SO good to us by watching Blackie whenever we asked. It was a good evening, lots of laughter and just getting to know each other better.

Barry & Penny
Yesterday was "Christmas in July" here at the park. Folks are encouraged to decorate their sites, golf carts, and whatever else they'd like. There are prizes for the best "dressed" sites. It's fun to go around after dark and see how creative people can be. Before that, though, is Christmas dinner; a potluck meal at which the park provides ham and turkey and everyone else brings a dish to share. As usual at these functions, the food was good and plentiful, but the desserts were GREAT! :)

It's getting crowded
Dessert, anyone?
Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive after dinner and hand out presents. Folks bring presents if they want to participate in the gift-giving. Women bring presents for women; and men for men; and children for children. Of course the children are in awe of Santa - they don't care that's July!

Today we went to church and heard a good message on mending broken relationships. The pastor used the movie, "Fireproof," as a reference. I am really enjoying Pastor Ed and his messages. It's nice to be attending a church that has vibrant worship and good teaching.

On the way home from church we had to stop by WalMart and drop off prescriptions that need refilling as well as pick up some Gatorade for Randy. He's got to prep the rest of today for his colonoscopy tomorrow. Isn't he the lucky one? :) The rest of today has been quiet; spent in front of the TV, napping, and playing on the computer.

We've had some rainstorms off and on today with more to come this week, I understand. Oh, well. Can't appreciate the sunshine without a little rain, right?

Until the next time . . .

Saturday, July 25, 2009

The Week in Review

This week was an exercise in being a bit out of our comfort zone. We were very grateful that Jason let us use his Miata while the truck was in the shop. I gotta say, though, I was NOT built to get in and out of a car that small! :) It is a fun car to drive, though!!

And because the Miata is so low to the ground, we had to park it up by the campground office at the entrance to the park. Our campground has several speed bumps throughout the park and the Miata is just too low to go over them with scraping the bottom of the car. That meant that we had to walk back and forth from our site to the car whenever we wanted to go anywhere. Now, that was not a bad thing, really, 'cause we got some exercise. We were also given the use of our neighbor's golf cart if we didn't want to walk, and that was very nice. We did use it a couple of times.

It is wonderful to have family and friends to lean on when you hit a rough patch in life. And we have some of the best family and friends anyone could ask for!

The week was pretty much routine. We hung out at the RV, had lunch out a couple of times, did the laundry, played with Reagan, and had a cookout with Barry & Penny.

Oh, yeah - we got the truck back! Yes, the bill was pretty steep, but the dealership is going to try to recoup some of the cost from Ford for us. Apparently, there's a Customer Loyalty Program or something that allows dealerships to go to Ford to do this. We'll see what happens. I thought it was pretty cool that they were going to try. Seems like good customer service is still alive in some businesses!

Our weekend looks to be pretty quiet. It's "Christmas in July" here at the park, so many sites are decorated and there's a covered dish Christmas dinner this evening that we'll be attending. But, other than that and church tomorrow, nothing's on the calendar. And that's a good thing.

Hope you all are enjoying your weekend. Until the next time . . .

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

A Letter to Blackie from Buster

We have some crazy neighbors at Cedar Lake - Barry & Penny. They have become good friends over the past couple of years. If Randy & I are going to be away from the RV for the day, they are always willing to take Blackie for a walk and spoil him a bit. As a matter of fact, Penny is just crazy about Blackie. They also have a dog named Buster. Buster and Blackie met this past weekend and, apparently, Penny had a bit of time on her hands at work today 'cause Buster "wrote" Blackie a letter today. Here it is:

Dear Blackie:

It was nice seeing you this past weekend again
; even though I growled at you… Sorry about that territorial you know! My mommy will have to walk me over when you are in the screen room, with dad there of course, and we can chat We did enjoy our potty walk together last weekend and the best part was when mom gave us the biscuits when we get back…

You know, you are lucky to have a screened in porch to stay outside in and not have the mosquitoes bite you.

I think your mommy needs to talk about your adventures more in her blog’s… like the dog companions you had, whether you like it or not. I noticed Kevin’s dogs had their picture taken BUT none of you – what’s up with that??? We will have to discuss this further this weekend. She also failed to mention about your one day of peace and quiet, how you got pampered all day and had the whole 5th wheel to yourself and did not have to share the floor, couch, bed, etc. and - got all the biscuits to yourself!!! We wont mention the massage, the walks, the people food (little bites) - dont want to get any other dogs jealous.. :>)

Did your mommy/daddy take you for a ride in the golf cart yet? You like it – it’s fun! My mommy took me for a ride but I didn’t like it much… couldnt wait to get home and out of that thing - Oh well.

My mom wants me to ask your mom for the recipe of the Chicken, Ham & Rice Casserole please… of course if she makes it I get to have some with my dinner too yeah!!!

See you this weekend I will be watching you


Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Nice Weekend

After all the drama with the truck at the end of the week, it was great having a nice, relaxing weekend.

On Saturday, Jason, Lindsay, Reagan, Randy & I attended a cookout hosted by long-time friends, Michael & Angie Woolverton, along with Angie's sisters, Ginger & Danielle. We have been friends with their families for close to 20 years! We all went to church together at one time and that's how how friendships were formed. Our son, Kevin, was ring bearer at Mike & Angie's and Kevin & Ginger's weddings. Actually, our Kev was named for Ginger's husband, Kevin. We knew Kevin before we knew Ginger. :) And Danielle & Lindsay have been friends for all this time. The girls' mom, Sandy, is part of this crazy friendship, too, and she was able to be at the cookout as well.

Angie, our hostess
Lindsay, Danielle & Ginger
Randy & "Big" Kevin catching up
Ginger, Sandy (with Gin's daughter, Kellie), and Granny, Sandy's mom
Carter (Danielle's husband), Jason & Michael (at the grill)

It was great catching up with all of them and see how much their children have grown. Having been so involved in the youth ministry of the church we all attended, it is kind of surreal to see all of them with kids of their own. They are all wonderful parents (of course!) and have beautiful families.

Thanks to all of you for a great day!!

Today was especially relaxing. We did go to church and then came home, got into comfy clothes and just chilled. The weather has been exceptionally gorgeous - no humidity and low temps - so I sat outside in the screen room and cross stitched all afternoon. It was fantastic. Randy watched TV and napped. A great way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Our wonderful son-in-law lent us his Miata for the week while the truck is in the shop. I'm sure we look very cool driving around in a red sports car! :) People probably know it's borrowed! HA! Thank you, Jason, for your generosity.

That's it for now. Until the next time . . .

Friday, July 17, 2009

You Just Never Know . . .

. . . how life is going to change. We've had a major change in travel plans for the next year. Sound dramatic? It really isn't - it's just money. Our truck went into the shop today and we found out it needs a major repair; something about a head gasket, blah, blah, blah. I'm sure Randy could explain it to you if you're REALLY interested. The bottom line is that the repair will be thousands of dollars and that means we have to figure out where that money will come from!

After discussing our options, Randy & I decided to postpone the travel plans we had for the next year. Yes, we are very disappointed, but are trying to be optimistic and look at our blessings. Because of this RV lifestyle, we have options others do not - our expenses are very flexible. By sitting still for longer periods of time, we can drastically cut those expenses; site fees and fuel being two of them.

So, we will leave PA at the end of September and travel to Alabama for the winter. We'll come back to PA for the spring and summer. Hopefully, we'll have recouped the money spent on the truck repair by doing this and being able to pick up our travel plans, albeit a year later.

Otherwise, it's been a good week. Tuesday we went to Lake Tobias with Lindsay and Reagan. What a bargain! For $10 ($4 entry fee, $5 for the safari ride & $1 for the reptile show) you get an all day adventure. You can also take your own picnic lunch, which is very nice; so many places don't allow you to do that. We had a great time visiting with goats, alpacas, deer, and camels in the petting zoo. And the safari ride! So many different animals - with an elk climbing right up in the bus to greet us! If you're in the Harrisburg, PA area, you need to check this place out!

Entrance to Lake Tobias - those are antlers!
Getting on the safari bus
Emus and rheas
Amazed at all the animals
Fallow deer
The llamas were happy to see us
Momma & baby buffalo
Elk came onto the bus
Feeding the goats

Wednesday was spent cleaning the RV. Four adults and four dogs for a week and a half in an RV make quite a mess! (It was worth it, though!) Randy did his major vacuuming/dusting and I majorly cleaned the bathroom and stripped the bed and remade it. I also got the laundry ready (that may not sound like a lot, but we had LOTS of laundry to do).

Yesterday began with a workout at Curves for me, then it was off to Lindsay's for laundry. Randy had a dentist appointment to begin his crown work. After he got back we dropped the truck off at the shop; I took him back to the RV and then went back to Lindsay's. Blackie & I stayed over her house last night so we could be out of Randy's way while he steam-cleaned the carpets and couch.

While Randy was working hard at the RV today, Lindsay, Reagan & I played. We went to an area mall that Lins had not been to yet. We just walked around, checking out various stores. Lindsay especially wanted to go into Kirkland's - she really likes that store! I am not a big fan of shopping, but I am a HUGE fan of spending time with Lins & Reagan! :) I did get a couple of fun pics during our stop at Old Navy. :)

Hanging out with the Old Navy kids . . .
. . . and their dog

And now we're back to how I started this post - the truck. Once Randy got the call regarding the repairs the truck needed and we found out that it would be in the shop for the next week, I figured I might as well go home, so Lins & Reagan drove me home.

Whew. This has certainly turned into a long post. Sorry 'bout that. Just wanted to share our news with you.

Until the next time . . .

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Very Tough Day

The weekend was spent hanging with Kevin and Sara, trying to get as much time with them as possible before they left this morning.

A highlight of the weekend was going to our former church, Grace Community, on Sunday. Kevin wanted to go so he could see some folks he hadn't seen in a long time. (I think his upcoming deployment had made him a bit nostalgic. Not that he would recognize that as the reason.) Not only were we able to have marvelous worship and a great message by Mark Norman, but we did get to see lots of old friends. It was a good morning. We went to Sara's parents' for lunch after church. This was the last time they'd get to spend with Kevin & Sara during this visit.

Once back at the campground, the remainder of Sunday was spent getting Kevin and Sara ready to travel. Then we just hung out until bedtime. I didn't want the evening to end 'cause that meant they were leaving!

Kev's alarm went off at 4am. UGH! Of course, it took him another 15 minutes to get moving. Randy and I got up to help them get the rest of the stuff out to the truck. Once the dogs were loaded, there was no more stalling. :)

Man, it was tough to say good-bye. Knowing that he will be deploying to Iraq at the end of August, I don't think anyone blamed me for holding onto Kev just a little longer than necessary. And yes, I did shed a few tears. But, I was much better than I thought I would be. It's hard on Kev when I cry, so I try not to around him. My mantra over the next year is going to be "God is in control and He has His hand on Kevin." I just need to remember to keep praying it!

There was no going back to bed after all that. So, it's been a long day.

I also had a dentist appointment today for the first of two visits to get a crown. Yuck. I have been much more sore than I expected. I think it may be because the dentist had to give me a double dose of lidocaine 'cause of all the drilling and grinding that had to be done on the tooth. At 9:30pm, my jaw is still pretty achy and I've had a headache all day.

It's back to normal for us. Our RV is once again ours and will be clean again this week. Four dogs and four adults in less than 500 square feet for more than a week makes for a very dirty RV. It was worth it though.

If you think of it, I would appreciate your prayers for our son, Kevin, as well as all of our military personnel who are deployed. Prayer is the best thing we can do. Thanks.

Until the next time . . .

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Catching Up - Part II

When we left off with the Guiler adventures of the last week, they had celebrated the 4th of July with a huge cook out at Terry's sister's house. We now return you to the program . . .

Sunday was a wonderful, lazy, do nothing day. Randy & I should have gone to church and that was the plan, but it just didn't happen. So, the four of us (with Kev & Sara) just hung out at the RV and relaxed. It had been nonstop running since Kev & Sara arrived, so this was a nice respite. We topped the day off with a trip to Bruster's for some ice cream. Yum.

On Monday, Kev & Sara went to Columbia to spend a couple of days with her folks and to see some friends in the area. The RV seemed to double in size once they and the dogs had left! :)

We had a birthday celebration in Columbia as well Monday evening. One of our "adopted" granddaughters, Kelly, had turned 11 July 2 and her family had invited us down for dinner and b'day cake. Kevin & Sara came as well. I cannot believe Kelly is 11 - it seems like yesterday she was an infant in her car seat at my desk. See, Kelly is the daughter of one of my coworkers at Grace Community Church. Amita, her mom, would bring Kelly in to work with her and I would entertain her while Amita worked. Kelly is the one who named me "Nana." She will always be very special to me.

Reagan spent the day with us on Tuesday. Lindsay had several errands/chores to do to get ready to go away this weekend, so I figured it would be help to her to have Reagan out of the way for a few hours. Of course, we didn't mind having her! :) She is one busy little girl, I'll tell you. We fed the geese and baby goats that live at the campground; played at the playground; and spent an hour in the pool. Then it was back to the RV for lunch and quiet time. It was a good day. We took Reagan home and we all had dinner together.

Yesterday Randy and I had a doctor appointment for blood pressure checks. Since we're on meds for high blood pressure, our doc likes to see us every few months to ensure everything's okay. And it is - Randy's even lost 10 pounds in the last six months! UGH! And he doesn't even exercise.

So, what do you do after a doctor's appointment? Why, go out to breakfast, of course! :) We wanted to share our favorite diner with Kev & Sara. And they weren't disappointed. After breakfast we did a bit of shopping at WalMart, then headed home.

Wednesday ended with a dinner at Red Lobster for the whole family. Since Lins & family were leaving today for a weekend at the beach, this was the last time they would see Kev & Sara before they leave. And, of course, the last time they'd see Kev before he deploys at the end of August. Thankfully, that still seems so surreal that our dinner wasn't hampered by sadness. We all enjoyed our meal and each other.

Okay! That brings us to today. Kev & Sara left for an overnight at my folks'. They really wanted to hit the beach before they went back to Kansas. So, they left very early this morning and we are dogsitting! Yep, us and four dogs. But, it's no big deal. The dogs are really very good and they have such sweet personalities. I did get out of the house for a bit, though. I went to Curves then over to Lindsay's to do laundry.

The rest of today has been filled with hanging around the RV, walking dogs, stepping over dogs, letting dogs out on leads, feeding dogs, and watching TV. :)

And now you are up-to-date on the adventures of the Guiler Clan. :) We'll spend the weekend spending more time with Kevin & Sara. They leave Monday morning, so we gotta get time in while we can.

Until the next time . . .

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Catching Up - Part I

It's been almost a week since I've posted and that's very unusual for me! But, this has been a most unusual few days for us. So, I'm going to try to catch you up on what's been happening, but I'm going to take a couple of posts to do so - otherwise this would be a very long post.

Going back to last Thursday night; we had visitors show up at 11pm! Yes, 11PM. Our son, Kevin and his wife, Sara with their three dogs came from Kansas to stay for a week or so. I haven't been able to say anything prior to their coming because Kevin wanted to surprise the family. With his deployment at the end of August, he wanted to see family before that happened. They drove the entire 19 hours straight through. Oh, to be young and dumb, er, I mean, full of energy again. :)

Anyway, we knew they would be late and we were prepared for them. We weren't quite sure just how we were going to accommodate four adults and four dogs in the RV, but figured we could put up with anything for a few days.

You might remember from my posts back in May when we visited Kev & Sara, that their dogs are rather large, at least two of them are. But, it's been working out rather well.

On Friday, we had a cookout at Lindsay's. She had never "met" the dogs and I couldn't wait to see Reagan's reaction to them! It was a fun evening. I loved having them all together. It will be a couple of years before it happens again.

Saturday was the 4th of July and we all went to my sister's for their annual picnic. Lou and Paula always put on a great party with plenty of food, fun and friends. This year was no different. Everyone was happy to see Kev & Sara, of course, and it didn't take anytime to get back into the usual craziness that is my family. It's wonderful.

Well, this is enough for one post. I'll do another soon. Until the next time . . .

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Very Full Day

What a day! I left home this morning at 8am and didn't get back until close to 8pm!! It's been awhile since that's happened.

My first stop this morning was Curves. It's nice to be back at my "home" club, especially when everyone makes a big deal about me being back! :) Once done with that chore, I head over to the nail salon to get a badly needed pedicure. While there, I got a manicure and my eyebrows and lip waxed. I am just gorgeous now. Ha!

The personal pampering over, it was time to do laundry. So I headed over to Lindsay's. She and Jason are kind enough to allow us to do our laundry at their house when we're here. It's so much nicer than a laundramat. The only positive thing about a laundramat is that you get it over quickly. By doing it at Lindsay's, I get to spend time with them. That's a HUGE plus.

Once all the chores were done, it was time for some fun. At least, that's what Lindsay told me it would be! ;) We were going berry picking. We had to go back to the campground to pick up Randy first, though. He had been at the RV all day working. He put up our screen room. I love our screen room!! But, I digress . . .

We headed over to Barefoot Farm. It's raspberry season and that's what we picked - black raspberries. We went more for the experience of berry picking than the actual berries.

Our own special berries
As many of you know, I am not a big fan of hard labor, so I was there more for the enjoyment of watching Reagan experience something new. But, I found myself picking anyway - there were some big berries!

Reagan was very good at pointing out the berries and allowing US to pick them! She found out there were thorns and that made her a little leery of picking. We picked a couple of boxes and were ready to go.

This is a neat farm. They have different fruits and vegetables for picking all year long. The next big event is pumpkin picking this fall. Lins said they will definitely be back. The couple who owns the farm seem like neat folks.

After all that hard work (yeah, right), we got something to eat at Isaac's, a deli restaurant that has very good sandwiches. Then, it was back to Lins' to pick up our truck and head home.

Aaaaaaahhhhhh . . . it feels good to have my feet up and relaxing in my recliner.

Until the next time . . .