Think about this ... "be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle"

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Indie (not my grand dog Indie, but Indianapolis)

So while we were in Indiana (truly NOT a bad place to be, thank you very much) we went into downtown Indie a couple times.

The photo above is a Soldiers and Sailors Monument ~ unfortunately there was construction going on around it so there are, obviously, traffic cones etc.
Yes, and a local watering hole with an outrageous name - it didn't, however, open until some ungodly hour like seven or eight in the evening, when we'd (well I, at least, would be) be settling in and getting ready to turn on the electric blanket and see y'all in the morning!!
When we headed into town I had to do a mental (??!?!?! yeah right) refresher of pro sports teams in Indy - and I still had brain cramps. With all that said, above is Conseco Fieldhouse, which I had no clue what it was, and now that I know it makes less sense to me. Jose Conseco plays what????? Well ummmmm wouldn't you assume (yeah a person should NEVER assume) that this would be where HIS sport is played? NOT .... this is where the Indiana Pacers play (Dylan, this photo is for YOU!)

Below, sadly, is graffiti, well is it graffiti if you hire a printer to print and hang this huge statement ~ in the downtown area - sad but true, I couldn't have made that up...... just an interesting (???) spot along the way!
On to more fun, enjoyable and entertaining sights ~ this Lucas Oil Stadium is where the Indianapolis Colts play and DAMN they weren't playing at home while we were there!!!
With that said, we have had no success getting to a pro football game in our travels. I've never been to a pro game and we've passed through three cities (I think) that have pro teams in the last month or so and when we are there they aren't - Detroit, Indianapolis and St. Louis ~ fiddlesticks and darn darn darn ....

With all that said, or written, our downtown Indianapolis experience ended with a parking ticket when we got back to the car - welcome to Indy tourists, we LOVE when you come to our city and don't get back to your car in time (but we do thank you for spending copious amounts of dollars shopping and dining in our city), amid all these empty spaces, and we get to collect ... Welcome to Indianapolis ....

they're offfffffffffff

Well they weren't when we were there, but we did have a nice time! And Vovo Betty I was looking everywhere we went in Louisville for that ring ~ sorry but I didn't find it!

The other tour we did when we were in the Louisville area was Churchill Downs ~ seems if you're in the area you've got to do this tour as well as the Louisville Slugger factory tour. Of the two, well Slugger was more interesting to me, but that's because I don't really have a clue about horses or horse racing. On top of that the tour we did at Churchill well it was "interesting" but was a bit rushed and I didn't get the pictures I had hoped for...

The first photo here is the "twin spires" (which I guess are landmarks in Louisville and a big deal in the racing (???) circuit?) photo taken from the van we were in for the tour from the opposite (seriously!!) side of the track.

The photo just above is a shot of two horses in their stables ~ these guys are the ones that lead the race horses out to the starting gate. Speaking of starting gate........ UGH, the ONE photo I wanted was a shot of a starting gate - we did go by the gates while we were in the van doing the tour and I asked the guide if we could get out and take photos - I was told we would on the return ~ well do you see a shot of starting gates .... ummmmmmmmm NO, well the tour was "running late" so we never stopped on the "flip side" ...
Above is a shot of a poster that was posted throughout the property which I DID find interesting about shoes for those horses ... I don't understand the poster but it IS about horse shoes - also we did pass a farrier on the tour, and he stated he had shod (??) four horses that morning. According to our tour "guide" a horse at Churchill gets new shoes about once a month (so seriously, does that make them Imelda Marcos of the equine community?)

One of the things that truly struck me about this property was the beauty of the grounds. Gorgeous flowers and gardens all around - even outside some of the stables the owners (I guess it was the owners who put them there) were nice hanging flower baskets.

There is a Churchill Downs Museum here, but because of a serious flood in August of this year (seven inches of rain in 75 minutes!!!) the museum is closed for repairs!

I'm glad we did this tour, although if we did it again I think I'd opt for a different tour (there were four or five to choose from, but how DO you know which you want?)

So with all that said, let me add this - I am trying to do a catch up here and post of our travels over the last week or so - yeah yeah yeah I been slackin' so now for the Indie time (but since these post reverse of how I do them you will have read about Indie, and perhaps St. Louis before you get to this post - I don't determine the order ya know!!!)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Take me out to the factory ...

Well we aren't in the Louisville area now (yup, my bad for being so lax in my posting of late) but this post is about our Louisville time ~ which by the way was terrific.

I have to assume (shame on me ~ my Daddy taught me the true meaning of assuming! ~ wise man that Winfield was) ~ anyway, with assumptions being made I suspect the number one and two must do's (not sure which is one and which would be two) in Louisville would be the Louisville Slugger tour and the Churchill Downs tour (of which there are several choices).

We did the Slugger tour on Wednesday (I think) ~ what a great take it was. Unfortunately, but understandably, no cameras were allowed during the tour so these photos are from outside the factory/museum or from inside the museum, but NOT the factory.

The top photo is from across the street from the factory - only because that bat is so HUGE I couldn't get the entire thing into a photo without some distance between it and the camera!

The second photo is a shot of a shirt that Honus Wagner wore.

In the museum section of the the property was wax (I guess they are wax) figures of Ted Williams, Babe Ruth and Ken Griffey Jr.. The one to the right is Ted Williams and the one above is the Babe (unfortunately he is wearing pinstripes here). I swear these figures were so life like I stood there for about a minute and a half looking at Babe because I thought his eyes moved (NO I had not had anything other than coffee before we got there).

Here is a shot of yours truly with a David Ortiz bat. Louisville Slugger makes bats for the majority of major league players and those players go through many dozen bats in a season - this was the Big Papi's bat ...

Here is Mickey Mantle's bat - only because Rick thought I should hold a Yankee bat for Joshua (who for some reason ... well I know the reason - Wade Boggs UGH) my oldest son - Joshua - became a Yankees fan - I spent copious amounts of dollars taking both boys to Red Sox games - one son one week, the other son the next week and some weeks the three of us would go and darned if that Gunny Lovett didn't become a Yankees fan .... So Josh (although I'm fairly certain he or his wife don't check out our blog ;-( ... ) this one's
for you.

Here are photos of bats from the 2008 World Series..

The Phillies .. YEAH go go go in 2009 Phillies

And Tampa Bay Rays (were they the Rays in 2008 or the Devil Rays? What was the year that Devil Rays became NOT pc?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Up on a rooftop (without the click click click)

Today we left the Elks Lodge we had been staying at the last five days in Greenfield, IN (15 or so miles east of Indianapolis - the subject of a post perhaps tomorrow)

This lodge was really neat ~ Chad I think you would have been very interested in it ~ I know my father would have been. It was built in the early 70's (1972 I believe). Remember the oil crisis then? When we stayed parked in gas lines for hours - in MA you could only buy gas on certain days based on your license plate number!!!

Anyway, the lodge was built then covered with earth, later planted with grass etc. So in the first photo Sir is up on the roof!

This is a better shot - from a distance showing, obviously, more of the outside.

The Lodge is running into problems now because of its construction. It was built with concrete (cinder?) blocks rather than poured concrete so now it is leaking, leaking and leaking some more.

Today we traveled 145 miles or so to end up in Louisville, KY where I hope we will do a Louisville Slugger factory tour as well as see Churchill Downs. I thought we'd be here three nights, but we only have an electric hookup and are very close to running out of water so we shall see how long we really stay! After that we are debating heading to Nashville (again) or going to St. Louis, where we haven't been, before we get to Louisiana mid November for yet more mods. Speaking of which I need to take some decent pictures of the new furniture to post (aren't you so excited!!! yeah I'm sure you are!!)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

What the heck - they aren't!

No "Jammy" they are not well/pump houses. No Chester they are not bus stops, way stations OR tornado shelters.

They ARE ......

Telephone booths! Seriously! The Amish are allowed (in some communities, and at the discretion of the Elders of the community) to use telephones FOR BUSINESS ONLY. These booths are "shared booths" - as in for the use of multiple businesses and they have no heat and no seat (to avoid lengthy chats!) Often times there are newspaper ads listing items for sale and a very specific time to call regarding the items (as in call between 5:30 and 6:00 pm). That is the time that the owner of the specific item will be monitoring the phone. They do also have voice mail systems.

Another interesting tid bit on the lifestyle - some businesses do have web sites, BUT they can not build nor maintain the sites (they have to have someone other than an Amish do that for them).

Also, they are allowed to hire someone to drive them somewhere if it is too far to go in their buggies or on their bicycles.

Interesting culture isn't it.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

What the heck

do you think these little buildings are? NO they are not outhouses!

We've passed many many many of them in the two weeks we've been here in the northern Indiana Amish country ~ well last week I finally found out what they are. Any guesses? And yes I know some of these shots aren't great, but I do what I have to do when I'm driving ya know - and the worst were taken yesterday when Sir and I were in the car and Rick was behind us in the coach returning to the "campground" from having the sofa removed and Rick's chair installed at the chair maker about 15 miles down the road. I had to get a shot of the log cabin tiny building and Arlo isn't real adept at the photography yet so .....

Below is a photo taken last week (or so) that I thought was kind of comical - seriously did you ever think of Amish buggies and Walfart aka Walmart in the same thought process? Well I didn't - it just doesn't work in my head but seeing is believing - is this odd to anyone other than myself? It seems like a culture conflict - but trust me, in these parts it is sort of the "norm"!!! Who woulda thunk it!!

So all our new furniture has arrived and been put in its "proper" location in the coach and we are outta here in the morning. We'll be headed (as is the "plan" ~ HA HA HA ~ right now) to the Elks Lodge in Greenfield, IN (160 or so miles south of here - just outside Indianapolis I believe) for a few days ... from there well perhaps Louisville, KY as we make our way to Choudrant, LA for an appointment for more coach mods mid November then swiftly (well as swiftly as we are able!) to the Keys from there.

It will be nice to be back "on the road" - we've been here for two weeks and as I said to Rick yesterday, I'm glad I love this area 'cause we've sort of been in limbo for a lot of that time waiting for furniture to be made and OUR changes in furniture plans! This is not the greatest "camping" spot we've been in (we LOVE staying at lodges, but this one is so smokey that I've only been in it once and that was for about 10 minutes - I couldn't take it and had to leave - AH a reformed smoker I guess huh!). But then again, that's part of the fun of this adventure - different strokes for different folks and seeing them first hand! On top of that we are in the midst of major train routes (trains with about 150 cars each) that run less than a mile from our site 24 hours a day and being that there are several major crossings within three miles in any direction it is constant train blasts. It was "charming" early on, but now ~ well not so much and it has contributed significantly to both of our lack of sleep. It does not seemed to have affected Sir's sleep however!

Today was a gorgeous, beautiful day that seemed like late May or early June in New England except the colors were all wrong - being that it is October the colors are yellow and red but the temperature was in the vicinity of 70 degrees - a day better suited to getting the bikes out after weeks of cold and rain and putting a few miles on them rather than running around with the furniture stuff. Oh well there are bound to be lots of riding days ahead ~ right.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Plans ~ WHAT plans

First and most importantly .... We have a new nephew ~ Camden Charles Harrington ~ born at 3:39 Saturday morning. Congratulations Owen, Jess and Brayden.

Yup, we were leaving Goshen yesterday. Nope we didn't leave Goshen yesterday. We did pick up my new chair on Friday as planned. Saturday we went to pick up the new end table, as planned, but nope we didn't pick it up - it wasn't done!

So while we were picking up my chair Rick asked the "guy" if what I had told him was true, that the company would remove the sofa in the coach - well son of a gun, I was right! With that confirmed, Rick decided to go ahead and order a chair (which we will pick up tomorrow). Further, we decided if the sofa was going and a chair was coming that would create space in the living room slide to accommodate a computer desk .... so we will be picking that up on Wednesday as well as my end table. Crazy huh ~ but we are in Amish Country here in northern Indiana and the Amish are outstanding furniture builders (among other things). I'll post a picture when everything gets "back to normal" HA!

At the moment this coach is in such a state of disarray it is just unbelievable. Plus I have been a sewing lunatic lately - craft kind of projects and will be starting a couple more Muffin dresses soon but have been diverted by the craft stuff. Rick reminded me this afternoon as we were sitting around a campfire (yes, in the afternoon!!) how many times I said NO MORE SEWING for me - that's it, I'm done - I got so burnt out doing it for $$$ for so many years....... yeah yeah yeah, but this is now and I have a bit of "free time" I guess plus another thing I love about this area (there is so so so much I love about this area) is the fabulous fabric stores the Amish run. I was in one last week in Emmatown - imagine trying to pick out fabric and match/coordinate colors by gas lamps! It was an experience. I stopped at a terrific one on the way home from the furniture builder on Saturday - I was out of control - the fabrics were so nicely displayed and terrifically priced I just couldn't help or stop myself!

Now I will vent ~ about common sense or lack there of. Rick went to the local Buffalo Wild Wings yesterday to watch the Patriots stomp all over the Titans. We don't have the football package on our satellite television so sometimes we have to go out to watch the Patriots. I stayed home and worked on my sewing projects. I had asked Rick to bring me home a flatbread, so he ordered it and ordered blue cheese or ranch dressing with it (can't remember which) ~ well they charged him 89 cents for the flippin' dressing - he told them to keep it. He'd been sitting there most of the afternoon eating and drinking and eating and ended with a bill of around $40. and they wanted to charge him 89 cents for dressing that should have come with the flippin flatbread to begin with - where was the waitresses' common sense?

Vent #2 - I called a local hairdresser (Fiesta Salons - apparently a national chain - never heard of them but anyway ...) today to make an appointment for a cut and color. Keep in mind I've had colors all over the country and ALWAYS bring my color formula with me to the appointments - I have the formula for three brands of hair color and I can't tell you how often I've heard, oh we can match these - I've walked out with RED hair I've walked out with BLACK hair and sometimes I even walk out with brown hair like I'm suppose to. So today when I was making the appointment I asked the girl what brands of color they use - her reply was "we can't give that information over the phone"! What the hell is that all about?!?! It made absolutely no sense to me (does it make sense to anyone???? If so please explain it to me) Needless to say, I cancelled the appointment - so that foolish rule cost the joint $100. Where is the common sense in that one? UGH UGH UGH .....

Good night all ~

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

This is why ~

I love this northern Indiana area we are in. Isn't it gorgeous?

When we were returning from Wakarusa on Sunday church was letting out - isn't this an interesting shot (albeit not the clearest photo I've ever taken - hazard of taking pictures while driving - sort of like taking pictures while walking - ankle still swollen and messy after how many weeks!)

This barn struck me as quite funny - I don't recall ever seeing a barn where cows get to look out at the beautiful scenery while in their stanchions eating. Is there a name for such a set up Kim and/or Jack?
TA DAH ~ the pumpkin tree in Downtown Wakarusa!

Also there is a lamppost decorating contest in Wakarusa ~

The two below were outside the local veterinarian's office.

below was my favorite - outside a realtor's office

outside the American Legion post
Also, while we were there the town (and I swear all 2000 residents were at this event) was celebrating the completion of a new community playground!
So that was our day in Wakarusa, Indiana!

It seems we will be leaving the area on Sunday. This afternoon we will be picking up my chair and tomorrow we will be picking up the end table. Sunday we will be heading south - making our way to Louisiana before we head to the Keys.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


We are still out here. We are in Indiana (northern).

I've been trying and trying to find the missing (misplaced) photos of the last of our Great Lakes tour. The missing part is the day we were returning from the Upper Peninsula with Larry, Sheila and Donni. We stopped at a great place called "Legs Inn" as well as seeing two "largest cherry pies" - both holders of Guinness Book of Records honors and 50 miles from one another!

Remember that I had fallen and destroyed an ankle on one leg and thought I'd broken a toe on the other (yeah I was quite a sight trying to walk (hobble) for several days - the ankle still isn't right but then again ..... oh never mind). Well the camera I was talking photos with as I was walking and falling is history so I had to revert back to the old one. I set the date wrong (DAH) on that one when I fired it up again so the most recent photos were lost in iphoto incorrect date land!

With all that said - here we are in northern Indiana - gorgeous, beautiful, northern Indiana AMISH country. I LOVE Amish country whether it be Pennsylvania, Ohio, Iowa, Michigan or Indiana - for whatever reason I love it. I am so intrigued by it and hopefully will be going to Menno-Hof tomorrow for better insight into it all.

When we came to this area one of our plans was to search out some new (replacement) furniture - chairs and end table to replace my noisy and very uncomfortable chair and the sofa and replace a fairly useless coffee table with something more functional as well as a computer desk ... well that hasn't worked so well ~ mainly because the chair place had moved and we didn't realize it (and now are near ready to move on) the chairs at best take two days to make with in stock fabric - three weeks with to order fabric and the furniture builders are in CO for a couple months and we can't seem to locate what we're looking for among the many other furniture builders in the area!!! UGH frustration abounds lately - cold and frustration - I wonder if there is a connection.

We've been to several small (read under 2000 people) towns in the area - lovely cool, crisp fall days and rides in beautiful country - GREAT stuff this is.

We also went to the RV/motorhome Hall of Fame (seriously!) the other day (more of the photo events library snafu) and today we went to Wakarusa (pop -2000) to see their pumpkin tree as well as fall street decoration event - great small town America ... hopefully now that I've got all photos back in place I'll post a few from the last two weeks.

Tonight, just as I was researching flights to get myself to NC for a Connor fix Joshua called to inform me that a rare (very rare) opportunity awaits - Connor had consented to get on Skype with Grammie ~ thankfully Rick had just walked in the door so he and Connor got to do their beloved "Tigger Hop". I am trying to figure if I should go to NC next week from Louisville or perhaps when we are in the Jacksonville, FL area - I could sign Sir up the Dog Resort at the Jacksonville area and fly to Connorland while Rick and Chester "played" unencumbered by Master Arlo and Ms Tracey (probably the best of the options for all involved) for a few days before we head south to the Keys .... decisions decisions but one thing is for sure - I am overdue for a Connor Fix.........

Thursday, October 8, 2009

It's just superior

Back to our Upper Peninsula trip ~ When we were there (being "Yoopers") we went to the Soo Locks in Sault St. Marie. I am so intrigued by the locks - I loved seeing them in Panama and I loved seeing them in the U.P.
We were fortunate enough to see two ships going through and being raised 21 feet. It was surprising how quickly it was done. Once the ships were in the lock, secured and the gates closed it took about 15 minutes or so to raise them that distance. These ships were 700+ feet long - so interesting.
We continued our journey along Lake Superior - with, of course playtime for Sir Arlo! The water was quite cold, but Sir still had play time!

The rest of the photos in this post were taken at Whitefish Point. Isn't it beautiful! There is a shipwreck museum there (which we didn't go into - at $12. per person), a bird observatory and a couple Coast Guard buildings.

One of the Coast Guard buildings is now a bed and breakfast. I think you'd LOVE it wouldn't you Candy!

It's $150. night - queen bed with private bath.
A wooden rudder from a ship ~ the thing is massive!
And Lake Superior is beautiful. I think perhaps the prettiest of them, but I'm not certain. I know it is the largest and deepest - word has it if Lake Superior were empty, the other four lakes combined couldn't fill it!!

Stay tuned for the rest of our Great Lakes tour from this past weekend. Hope you enjoy.