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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Thursday, October 15, 2009


OK. I declare it. I am suffering mildly from BTW. Dan has a brutal case of it but fortunately this won’t hinder with our leaving date of Monday…and it isn’t infectious.

OH!! You wonder what BTW is??? It is Boob Tube Withdrawal. I didn’t think I would miss TV but I DO miss NCIS, House, Two and a Half Men and the Bold and the Beautiful. Dan just plain misses everything. I don’t know how many times I’ve seen him reach beside him on the couch for the remote. Then he’d get this hangdog look on his face (kind of like a dog looks when it is embarrassed) when he remembered it wasn’t there and the TV wasn’t in front of him on the stand either.

So, when we aren’t busy getting the 5th wheel ready, we are listening to a LOT of CD’s. Heck, the other night we were shadow dancing to Billy Idol’s version of Mony, Mony. We created some scary looking shadows on the wall and ceiling. And we’ve been playing a lot of a domino game called Spinner…all the other games are in the 5th wheel. One night, we were playing Spinner and had a CD from the 70’s going. Dan’s game wasn’t going too well. He was tired of the 70’s music. The song “GOLD” was on and it was at the part of just some guitar playing. Dan said “Is that twanging bastard about through?”. Maybe it was one of those “you had to be there moments” but it cracked me up. Now that is our new catch phrase.

And I’ve played a lot of Scrabble against the computer and I’m finding out that the computer cheats. At least it sure feels like it. Let me explain and see what you think. I get my first 7 letters and they habitually consist of AA, II, E, O and maybe a Y or a T. The computer gets L, N, J, I, U, Q and O. Put that all together and you’ve got Jonquil, which is a 7 letter word!! And that J could easily end up on a double letter score. If I exchange a couple of A’s and an I…I still end up with more A’s and I’s to take the place of the ones I just exchanged. And then there are the words that the computer comes up with…words I’ve never heard of and wouldn’t begin to know how to pronounce. So, I click on the word in the computer’s play list to see what it means and sometimes it comes up and says “DEFINITION NOT AVAILABLE”. What the hell is that??? Is THAT fair??? OR, it gives you another version of the spelling instead of a definition so if you are desperate, you can type in THAT spelling and see if it comes up. By this time I really don’t care.

I am also suffering from a bit of CRS and it seems to hit me in the middle of the night when I should be sleeping. In case you aren’t familiar with CRS, it is Can’t Remember Sh—! I remembered, about 3 a.m., that we need to have two lunch boxes for our jobs at the refuge because there may be days we’ll be “out in the field” and can’t get back to our 5th wheel for lunch. Add that to the list…

Last Saturday I went to Amazon’s website in search of a good, queen size mattress pad for the 5th wheel. They had the Pike brand on sale for more than ½ off, so I got it for $47.00. It arrived yesterday (Thank you Amazon for being so prompt!!). This mattress pad is WONDERFUL!!! It is thick and luxurious (should be for what the original price was!!) and feels like velvet. My hope is that it will eliminate the need for a foam pad on top of the mattress. The reviews of the pad were really good too; most people said it eliminated the need for any more cushioning.

So, with the arrival of that, Dan and I were finally able to make the bed (except for the pillows which won’t go in till the morning we leave). Making the bed in a camper can be a learning experience and this was no exception. Our old 5th wheel required making the bed while on your knees. At least with this one, you can assume the position of Quasimodo.

It is necessary to pull the mattress down from the head of the bed so you have better access to it in order to tuck the mattress pad and sheets around all four corners. Then comes putting the rest of the bedding on. This would be so much easier if the room was wider. Every time either one of us would bend over even slightly, our rear ends came in direct, PUSHING contact with the pleated fabric blinds on the bedroom windows (one on each side of the bed). I raised mine up (the blind, not my butt) so I wouldn’t be squashing it, Dan muddled through and his blind still looks fresh as a daisy…a daisy with a butt imprint in it.

I explained to Dan that making the bed was not going to be just MY job; that it was something we would be doing together. All that got me was a grunt.

Dan reminded me to make sure we had extra blankets along….in case HE decided to sleep on the couch (which is a hide abed in disguise). I guess he figures if he isn’t responsible for UNmaking the bed he won’t have to be responsible for putting it back together again. I think using the couch for a bed is going to be more work for him than just sleeping in the queen size bed.

Yesterday in Manteo, N. C the temp was 69 and overnight it was 59. Yesterday, HERE, the high was 41 and currently it is 24. And we’ve still got a lot of outside stuff to get done as soon as we close the gates at noon on Saturday!!

Candace, my friend who owns the Gateway Motel in Newberry, took pity on us yesterday. I think she realizes that getting this close to time to go that I’m not able to cook a lot of meals (can’t find the table for one thing). She brought us a HUGE container of cornbread salad that she made. I know, it doesn’t sound good, does it?? BUT IT IS SOOO GOOD!! It has torn up corn bread, finely minced green peppers, green onions, tomatoes, pickles and something else it seems like. Anyway, that is mixed with a concoction of mayonnaise and pickle juice. Then it is packed into a container and topped off with fried, crumbled bacon. Not only is it tasty, but it is pretty too!! Dan cooked chicken on the grill, I warmed up left over sweet corn in the microwave (from a friend’s garden) and cooked noodles in chicken broth. So we had a decent supper last night….except for the CRS struck again. That sweet corn I’d warmed up in the microwave was still IN the microwave. I’d forgotten to get it out for supper!!

So that’s how things have been going in our neck of da woods. I’ll catch up with you all later!!!


  1. Since I am new to your blog, I'll have to ask - have you lived in Manteo, NC previously? I am 15 minutes from the lower outer banks, or more known as The Crystal Coast. Being a Michigander as well, I can tell you, since we moved here this past Feb. I do not miss cold, snow or ice. It is supposed to be 60s all week. I'm ready for that.

  2. It is amazing how much you get connected to your tv isn't it. If ours went out, Brian and I would probably be lost. At least you are finding things to occupy your time. Only a few more days! Warmer weather here you come!!! :)

  3. Amy, no we've not even been to that area of N Carolina. We've always explored the mountains and the water falls area. I started researching places we could work this winter that would be warmer than the U.P. and ended up at Manteo!!

    Ashley, Makes you wonder what our great forefathers did, huh? No wonder they had such large families...we KNOW what they did!!

  4. Only YOU could make explaining making a bed in a 5th wheel funny. I can just picture the two of you doing the "making the bed" waltz.
    Thank goodness you have a sense of humor and are the best of friends (besides being hubby and wife) because for a LOT of couples, things like that could throw them over the edge. I told hubby when we remodeled a room when we were first married that if we could survive THAT, we could survive ANYTHING! ha
    Glad your neighbors and friends are taking care of you during your last few days there. Hey, you can always order more of that delicious pizza that we had when we were there!

  5. Saturday AM-Just heard on our tv weather that there are snow flurries in Newberry. Sorry about that.

    Today is our moving day. We are going 2 miles down the road but from a 5 bedroom home to a 2 bedroom condo. Friends are coming to help all day. Our son Eric showed up from Minneapolis last night to be here to help. The support from everyone really touches us. But today is really going to be stressful.

  6. That's quite a lot to talk about and your blog header said 'NUTTIN' MUCH'!

  7. Retired one..Dan and I are lucky that way. Don't get me wrong, we DO have our moments too; words can be said in haste but fortunately not too often! Somplace in the archives is our building experiences together. It IS a wonder we hadn't shot each other by the end of any of those projects...LARGE projects.

    SBW, GOOD LUCK! It sounds like you've got very good help!! Write when you get all tucked into the new place!!

    Ekanthapadhikan...HA! Ya got me there!!! I will check in with your blog when I have access again.


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