Monday, May 29, 2017

And the Band Played On...

We had it all planned out. I called CoachNet at 7:00 am and asked them to send out a tow truck to pull us out of the mud. At 7:40 the tow truck operator called and said he was on his way. Wow! We were going to get an early start! We quickly took showers and secured everything, then pulled in our slide outs. And at 8:00 antique cars started pouring into the campground. A marching band showed up, as well as a color guard and several horseback riders.

A parade. Oh that's right, this is Memorial Day. It took the tow truck until after 9:00 am to arrive because the driver kept running into blocked-off parade routes. At which point, the parade departed. The actual towing took about five minutes.

As you can see, the tow truck operator hooked into our hitch and pulled us backwards, with the help of Bob at the wheel. We left some serious divots in their grass.

A few hours later we pulled in to Glades Pike Winery in Somerset, PA. This is a Harvest Hosts winery, where we can boondock for a night without charge. We took a tasting and bought a bottle of wine as a "thank you" to our hosts. We had a lovely view here.

On Tuesday morning Bob and I drove to NJ, where we will be staying for the next two months. We get to hang out with our children and grandchildren!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Sunday at the Fiber Fest

Today was a bit more relaxed than Saturday. Although we had a lot of clouds, the rain held off, with threatening weather having kept some people home. Bob and I roamed the Fiber Festival and had a chance to chat with a lot of the vendors. I was able to spend some time hanging out with our friends Jen and Scott of TurtleMade, who make 3D spindles and fiber tools.

I first met Jen in person at this same event two years ago and we've been Ravelry friends ever since. These busy folks always have something new to share and lots of ideas for new items. If you are looking for a fun spindle for Tour de Fleece (a loosly organized spinning event that coincides with the Tour de France) you may want to check out their Etsy shop at, although give them a day or so to take a breath after this weekend and to restock their online store.

Bob spent much of the afternoon replacing a couple of LED ceiling lights and putting a light switch in my side of the closet. He's so handy, that hubby of mine. :)

Tomorrow we will get ourselves out of the mud and drive to Pennsylvania where we'll spend one more night before arriving in New Jersey. It will be so good to see the kids and grandkids again!

Saturday at the Fiber Fest

Despite gloomy weather forecasts, the sun kept trying to peek out from behind clouds yesterday. Crowds were heavy at times, and customers were buying. It was a very good day for buyers and sellers.

On Friday I posted a photo of one of the vendor areas that seemed far from ready, but by Saturday morning everything was in place. This photo was taken before the sales area was open. There are five buildings, with up to three aisles each, full of fiberlicious fun, as well as an outside vendor area. Plus sheep and alpacas to visit. It's a lot of fun to be camping here and see everything from the vendor's viewpoint. And I love waking up to the sounds of sheep in the morning.

This gal was very curious about the bag I was carrying, hoping for a treat, I am sure.

I managed to find some treasures to bring home. I got a dozen bone tablets for tablet weaving, yarn for an upcoming knitting project, and this delightful nano turkish spindle from my friend, Jen, at Turtlemade. Jen and her husband, Scott, have a 3D printer that they use to create the coolest spinning tools. I bought a micro spindle two years ago from them--they are great little spinners. And I love that you can mix and match to make your own color combination.

Today I will wander around the festival some more, we'll probably go grocery shopping, and we will get ready to be towed out of our muddy spot in preparation for tomorrow's trip to Pennsylvania. We plan to be at our daughter's house in NJ by Tuesday afternoon.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Great Lakes Fiber Festival

We have been moving pretty quickly across Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio over the last couple of days, stopping only in Lafayette, IN for a night. We arrived in Wooster, OH on Thursday afternoon, checked in, drove to our site, and promptly became mired in the mud. It's been raining a lot here! It looks like we'll need to call CoachNet, our towing company, to pull us back onto solid ground before we leave, but we aren't sweating it. That's what they are there for, and we are where we want to be for the next several days.

The fiber show doesn't officially open until tomorrow morning. So today Bob and I drove to Lehman's, about 20 minutes away. Have you heard of this place? My friend, April, told us about it when we came through here two years ago, but at the time we didn't have a chance to go. All I can say is, this is one cool store.

Mere words cannot describe this place. It has room after room after room of interesting things. Things for your kitchen, for your workshop, for outdoor use, toys, soap making supplies, bread making supplies, natural remedies, crocks for making sauerkraut, soap nuts for the laundry, and so much more. This place caters to the Amish, with non-electrical tools and gadgets. We had a lot of fun wandering through this place, and you don't want to go if time is limited. Look at the kitchen appliances you can buy here:

And this ginormous charcoal grill. Perfect if you have fifteen children!

Some items were whimsical, like this dog's drinking bowl, a scaled-down toilet.

What pooch doesn't dream of that!

On our way back to the campsite we went into the Everything Rubbermaid store. Four floors of every item Rubbermaid makes. We found a new dish drainer and a rubber spatula before having a nice conversation with the cashier about visiting Waco, TX.

We walked through the vendor area at the Fiber Fest when we returned. People are still setting up.

Tomorrow, though, this barn and two more will be jam packed full of yarn, fiber, spindles, needles, spinning wheels, looms, and people. I cannot wait! I did have a chance to spin on a Louet Hatbox wheel that is for sale, but I love my Ashford Joy so I'm sticking with what I have.

Stay tuned for more about the Fiber Fest...

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Presidential Libraries & Museums

I am often asked how many presidential museums there are. Before President Franklin D. Roosevelt, papers and other artifacts accumulated by a president were his own personal property. They could be destroyed, lost, sold for profit, or tucked away in an attic somewhere. FDR established a public repository to preserve the evidence of the Presidency for future generations. He created the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA,) which runs the 14 presidential libraries and museums from Herbert Hoover to Barack Obama. Funds to create and to maintain these libraries are raised through private donations rather than through tax monies. However, there are many, many other museums, historical parks, and sites to visit if you are interested in presidential history. Here is a list of the ones I have found through searching online.

U.S.A. Presidential Museums & Libraries

*Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site, Hodgenville, Kentucky
(Abraham Lincoln)
*Abraham Lincoln Museum, Lincoln Memorial University, Harrogate, Tennessee (Abraham Lincoln)
*Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, Springfield, Illinois, U.S.A.
(Presidential Library & Biographical & US Presidential Museum [Abraham Lincoln])
*Adams National Historic Site, Quincy, Massachusett (John & John Quincy Adams)
*Adams National Historic Site-John Adams and John Quincy Adams Birthplace, Quincy, Massachusetts
(John & John Quincy Adams)
*Andrew Johnson National Historic Site, Greeneville, Tennessee
(Andrew Johnson)
*Appomattox Court House National Historical Park, Appomattox, Virginia
(Ulysses S. Grant)
*Ash Lawn-Highland, Charlottesville, Virginia
(James Monroe)
*Berkeley Plantation, Charles City, Virginia
(William Henry Harrison)
*Bill Clinton Birthplace, Hope, Arkansas
(William J. Clinton)
*Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation, Inc. (The), Plymouth, Vermont
(Calvin Coolidge)
*Calvin Coolidge Memorial Room, Forbes Library (The), Northampton, Massachusetts
(Calvin Coolidge)
*Dey Mansion/Washington's Headquarters Museum, Wayne, New Jersey
(George Washington)
*Dwight D. Eisenhower Library-Museum, Abilene, Kansas
(Dwight D. Eisenhower)
*Eisenhower Birthplace State Historical Park, Denison, Texas
( Dwight D. Eisenhower)
*Eisenhower National Historic Site, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
(Dwight D. Eisenhower)
*Fort Jackson Museum, Fort Jackson, South Carolina
(Andrew Jackson)
*Franklin D. Roosevelt Library-Museum, Hyde Park, New York
(Franklin D. Roosevelt)
*Franklin Pierce Homestead (The), Hillsborough, New Hampshire
(Franklin Pierce)
*Fraunces Tavern Museum, New York, New York
(George Washington)
*General Grant National Memorial, New York, New York
(Ulysses S. Grant)
*George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, College Station, Texas
(George Bush)
*George Washington Birthplace National Monument, WashingtonÌs Birthplace, Virginia
(George Washington)
*George Washington Headquarters, Cumberland, Maryland
(George Washington)
*George Washington Masonic Museum, Fredericksburg, Virginia
(George Washington)
*George Washington Masonic National Memorial, Alexandria, Virginia
(Presidential George Washington)
*Gerald R. Ford Library-Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan
(Gerald R. Ford)
*Grant's Birthplace State Memorial, Point Pleasant, Ohio
(Ulysses S. Grant)
*Grover Cleveland Birthplace, Caldwell, New Jersey
(Grover Cleveland)
*Harding Home and Museum, Marion, Ohio
(Warren G. Harding)
*Harry S. Truman Birthplace State Historic Site, Lamar, Missouri
(Harry S. Truman)
*Harry S. Truman Library-Museum, Independence, Missouri
(Harry S. Truman)
*Harry S. Truman National Historic Site, Independence, Missouri
(Harry S. Truman)
*Harry S. Truman National Historic Site - Truman Farm Home, Grandview, MO
(U.S. Presidential Museum [Harry S. Truman])
*Harry S. Truman Office & Courtroom, Independence, Missouri
(Harry S. Truman)
*Herbert Hoover National Historic Site, West Branch, Iowa
(Herbert Hoover])
*Herbert Hoover Presidential Library-Museum, West Branch, Iowa
(Herbert Hoover)
*Hermitage: Home of President Andrew Jackson (The), Hermitage, Tennessee (Andrew Jackson)
*Home of Franklin D. Roosevelt National Historic Site, Hyde Park, New York
(Franklin D. Roosevelt)
*James A. Garfield National Historic Site, Mentor, Ohio
(James A. Garfield)
*James Buchanan Birthplace State Park, Franklin County, Pennsylvania
*James Buchanan Foundation for the Preservation of Wheatland, Lancaster, Pennsylvania
(James Buchanan)
*James K. Polk Ancestral Home, Columbia, Tennessee
(James K. Polk)
*James K. Polk Memorial State Historic Site, Pineville, North Carolina
(James K. Polk
*James Madison Museum (The), Orange, Virginia
(James Madison)
*James Monroe Museum and Memorial LibraryFredericksburg, Virginia
(James Monroe)
*Jimmy Carter Library and Museum (The), Atlanta, Georgia
(Jimmy Carter)
*Jimmy Carter National Historic Site, Plains, Georgia
(Jimmy Carter)
*John F. Kennedy Presidential Library-Museum, Boston, Massachusetts
(John F. Kennedy)
*John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site,Brookline, Massachusetts
(John F. Kennedy)
*Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, Lincoln City, Indiana
(Abraham Lincoln)
*Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, Lincoln City, Indiana
(Abraham Lincoln)
*Lincoln Homestead State Park, Springfield, Kentucky
(Abraham Lincoln)
*Lincoln Log Cabin State Historic Park, Lerna, Illinois
(Abraham Lincoln)
*Lincoln Memorial Shrine, Redlands, California
(Abraham Lincoln)
*Lincoln Museum (The), Fort Wayne, Indiana
(Abraham Lincoln)
*Lincoln Tomb State Historic Site, Springfield, Illinois
(Abraham Lincoln)
*Lincoln’s New Salem State Historic Site, Petersburg, Illinois
(Abraham Lincoln)
*Longfellow National Historic Site, Cambridge, Massachusetts
(George Washington)
*Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, Johnson City, Texas
(Lyndon Baines Johnson)
*Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum, Austin, Texas
(Lyndon Baines Johnson)
*Martin van Buren National Historic Site, Kinderhook, New York
(Martin van Buren)
*McKinley Museum & McKinley National Memorial, Canton, Ohio
(William McKinley)
*Millard Fillmore House, East Aurora, New York
(Millard Fillmore)
*Monticello, Home of Thomas Jefferson/Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, Inc., Charlottesville, Virginia
(Thomas Jefferson)
*Montpelier, Montpelier,Virginia
(James Madison)
*Morris-Jumel Mansion, New York, New York
(George Washington)
*Mount Vernon LadieÌs Association of the Union, Mount Vernon, Virginia
(George Washington)
*National McKinley Birthplace Memorial, Niles, Ohio
(William McKinley)
*Pierce Manse (The), Concord, New Hampshire
(Franklin Pierce)
*Plymouth Notch Historic Site, Plymouth Notch, Vermont
(Calvin Coolidge)
*Richard Nixon Library & Birthplace (The), Yorba Linda, California
(Richard Nixon)
*Ronald Reagan Boyhood Home, Dixon, Illinois (Ronald Reagan)
*Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, Simi Valley, California
(Ronald Reagan)
*Roosevelt Campobello International Park Commission, Lubec, Maine
(Franklin D. Roosevelt)
*Rotunda, University of Virginia (The), Charlottesville, Virginia
(Thomas Jefferson)
*Rutherford B. Hayes Presidential Center (The), Fremont, Ohio
(Rutherford B. Hayes)
*Sherwood Forest Plantation, Charles City, Virginia
(John Tyler)
*Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace National Historic Site, New York, New York
(Theodore Roosevelt)
*Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, Buffalo, New York
(Theodore Roosevelt)
*Theodore Roosevelt National Park-Visitor Center, Medora, North Dakota
(Theodore Roosevelt)
*Thomas Jefferson’s Poplar Forest, Forest, Virginia
(Thomas Jefferson)
*Tuckhaoe Plantation (Mansion), Richmond, Virginia
(Thomas Jefferson)
*Ulysses S. Grant Cottage State Historic Site, Wilton, New York
(Ulysses S. Grant)
*Valley Forge National Historical Park, Valley Forge, Pennsylvania
(George Washington)
*Van Cortlandt House Museum, The Bronx, New York
*Historic House & U.S. Presidential Museum [George Washington]
*Washington's Boyhood Home, Ferry Farm, Falmouth, Virginia
(George Washington)
*Washington’s Headquarters State Historic Site, Newburgh, New York
(George Washington)
*White House (The), Washington, District of Columbia (US Presidential Museum: Presidential Residence)
*William H. Harrison Museum, Grouseland, Vincennes, Indiana
(William H. Harrison)
*William Howard Taft National Historic Site, Cincinnati, Ohio
(William Howard Taft)
*William J. Clinton Presidential Library & Museum, Little Rock, AR, U.S.A.
(Monographic & US Presidential Museum [William J. Clinton])
*Woodrow Wilson Birthplace and Museum, Staunton, Virginia
(Woodrow Wilson)
*Woodrow Wilson Boyhood Home, Columbia, South Carolina
(Woodrow Wilson)
*Woodrow Wilson House, Washington, District of Columbia
(Woodrow Wilson)

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library & Museum

Today Bob and I were in Springfield, Illinois to visit the Lincoln Museum. We were quite impressed with this museum. Unlike many we have seen that cater to the adult scholar, this museum presents history in a way to which all ages can relate. Throughout the exhibits are life-sized figures depicting Lincoln's life, many of which you may walk through.

The cabin in Little Pigeon Creek, IN where Lincoln's mother died. After his father remarried, Abe and his sister shared the one room cabin with his father, stepmother, a step sister and two stepbrothers.

Lincoln's debate with US Senator Stephen A. Douglas gave Abe a national reputation. Although he lost the Senate election, Lincoln became the dark horse candidate for president in 1860.

This poster explains the voting results for the 1860 election. With only 39% of the popular vote, Lincoln was very unpopular.

Mary Todd Lincoln was also unpopular in Washington DC society. She was patronized for her alleged western vulgarity and accused of extravagance when restoring genuine elegance to a shabby White House.

Here we are hanging out with Abe, Mary, and their sons Robert, Tad and Willie.

The Emancipation Proclamation, it was pointed out to us, did not actually emancipate anyone. The south, which had slaves, had already seceded. The north, which was under Lincoln's control, had no slaves. It did not apply to slaves in border states fighting on the Union side nor did it affect slaves in southern states already under the Union's control. But it did show the world that the civil war was now being fought to end slavery. The passage of the 13th Amendment on December 18, 1865 ended slavery.

Lincoln was re-elected for a second term but was assassinated at Ford's Theatre on April 14, 1865 by John Wilkes Booth (seen slipping through a door at the right of this scene.)

Since it has been many, many years since we studied Lincoln in grade school, this was a fascinating look at the life of one of our most famous Presidents. We really liked this museum.

Tomorrow we move on to Indiana.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

AKC Museum of the Dog

St Louis has a number of interesting museums to visit but, when we heard there was a dog museum, Bob and I knew we wanted to see it.

This place is located in southwest St Louis and we were glad we got to visit on this pass through the area because sometime next year it will be moving to New York. And dogs are welvome visitors--how cool is that! Auggie gave it "two paws up" for a great place to find good smells, although he really does not appreciate fine art. And after spending so much time trying to expose him to the finer things in life!

These are some of my favorite pieces of art.

Starting with Golden Retrievers, this is Golden Heritage by Jerry Gadamus.

Harlequin Great Dane, ca 1960, by Hispania Porcelain Company.

I loved this hooked ottoman cushion, but could not find the namr of the artist.

Sculpted by Joy Kroeger Beckner in bronze, this dachshund is called A Good Life, ca 1996.

Palladian Style Doghouse, ca 1995, by Juan Pablo Molyneux.

Poster for the Disney movie, Old Yeller.

I loved this one: by Alfredo Gracia Aguilar, The Bravos, ca 1994.

After the museum, we stopped in to Straub's, a high-end grocery store similar to Trader Joes, where they were giving out food samples. I was offered a generous taste of cream liqueur, pound cake with fresh berries, and a fresh grilled burger on a bun (which I brought back to Bob.) And I found my Mellita unbleached #2 coffee filters that I had been looking for. Score!

I had settled in to watch an episode of Scandal when Bob stuck his head in the rig and asked if I wanted to see a snake. But of course! Right outside the back of the coach was a Northern Water Snake (non-poisonous) that was trying to swallow a fish. I was able to get a few photos before she moved away.

It's amazing how snakes are able to swallow creatures that large.

We have had quite a bit of rain over the last couple of days but tomorrow is supposed to be sunny and lovely. We'll be here until Monday before heading to Illinois.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Gateway Arch

When last I wrote, we were preparing to move to a campground west of St. Louis, MO. I'm really enjoying these short hops of three hours or less from one campground to the next! It's so much more pleasant thant doing a 300 mile, 5 hour drive. We are in a nice little campground with full hookups, and although we only have 30 amps in this site, that's enough to run one air conditioner at a time so we are fine with that. Our Verizon signal is poor but we have great internet and a nice view.

On Thursday Bob and I decided to go see the St Louis Gateway Arch. We purchased tickets online, then parked and had a nice lunch at Angelo's Taverna, right next to the Visitor's Center located in the Old Courthouse.

Such a beautiful building. We wandered through the exhibits in the building which highlighted the history of St Louis as a gateway to the west.

Could this be called the first RV? Well, maybe not, since the folks who traveled in covered wagons weren't exactly using it for recreation. The people who used them had all their worldly possessions in them though, so in that sense they were "fulltimers."

Soon it was time to see the Arch.

We walked about fifteen minutes through the park to the entrance, went through security, and got in line. We stood next to a nice couple from Germany and chatted about traveling with them before getting into the tram to take us to the top. The tram cars were like small space pods, windowless and cramped with seats for five inside, with a rounded ceiling that made it impossible to sit up straight. It took about four minutes to rise to the top of the Arch, but only 3 1/2 minutes to return. Once at the top you could stay as long as you wanted.

It's 630 feet off the ground up there, and we had nice views of the city looking west...

...and of Illinois looking east.

Here's the view looking straight down.

We had to take a selfie at 630 feet, of course!

It looks like we are in for some rain over the next few days. We've decided to hang tight where we are for a few more days before moving on. In the meantime, I'm having fun with my Ashford Inklette loom.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Lake of the Ozarks

Bob and I traveled safely on Saturday to Osage Beach, MO. We have a lovely view of the Lake of the Ozarks from out front window.

I enjoyed the phone calls from my children yesterday (Mothers Day) very much. Bob and I took a drive around the area later, stopping at a lookout above Bagnell Dam. The damming of the Ozark River in 1931 created one of the world's largest manmade lakes. The dam itself is one-half mile long and 148 feet high.

When we returned to the rig I spent some time reading, weaving, and crocheting. It was a nice way to spend the afternoon. Later as the evening waned, I opened the front shade to watch the sunset, and saw several deer as they passed through the brush. It was a beautiful sight, but was too dark to get a good photograph.

We head out tomorrow for a campground closer to St. Louis.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Two New Tires

Sometimes things all fall into place, and sometimes they don't. We packed up today to head to our next destination and drove the wrong direction. So spying a business ahead with a large parking lot, Bob turned in to turn around. Suddenly the tire pressure monitor started alarming. Uh oh. We pulled over and we had not one but two flat tires on the front of the car. Bob had forgotten to take the car out of park and the wheels hadn't been turning.

The good thing about this mishap? If we hadn't been going in the wrong direction we would have been on a stretch of road with no shoulder and no way to turn around. As it was, we were in a commercial parking lot safe off the road. I like to look at the bright side.

So now we know what happens if we forget to put the car in neutral when being towed. I figure, we will probably make every mistake in the book once, anyway. I called our roadside assistance company, and after about an hour and a half a tow truck came. It loaded up the car onto the dolly and we followed it to WalMart. Where we waited for hours. At 5:00 Bob walked over to a nearby Applebees and picked up dinner for us. At least we were able to relax and eat in the comfort of our motorhome. Finally, around 6:00 the tires had been replaced and we returned to the campsite we'd stayed at for the last couple of nights. The manager was happy to see us back and we settled right in.

We'll try again tomorrow to leave here. I'm quite sure we'll have an uneventful trip.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Jim the Wonder Dog

Bob and I met a fellow from Marshall, MO a couple of years back, who told us a story about a dog who lived in his hometown almost 100 years ago. The dog reportedly could answer questions and make predictions. We knew that if we ever were near Marshal, we would visit this dog's museum. Today, we did.

Marshall is a small Missouri town that doesn't have a lot happening, and Jim was their one claim to fame. A young woman told us the story of this amazing dog before we wandered out into his memorial garden to pay our respects. Story cards around the walk explain about Jim's amazing life.

Since the museum was free, I purchased the Jim the Wonder Dog book to learn more about this amazing animal. It was a good read.

A statue of Jim is front and center in the garden...

...and a lovely bridge over a koi pond is nicely landscaped. It was a very peaceful setting.

The skies threatened rain but held back. Tomorrow is expected to be beautiful weather for our move to Osage Beach, MO.