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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!

Friday, November 27, 2009



Hope all of you had a relaxing Thanksgiving and your team won!!

Dan and I didn’t do much yesterday; he was a bit under the weather. It was a beautiful day though. He did grill chicken breasts late yesterday afternoon so we had a late dinner of the chicken, mashed potatoes (not instant!!), gravy, stuffing (instant but doctored up a bit) and broccoli. Earlier in the day I had made my Irresistible Chocolate Cake. I made it in my Easy Bake Oven; do you remember those??? They were sold years ago to mainly little girls. They were supposed to be a “little kitchen” and had a tiny stove that you could make little bitty cupcakes in. Or was it little cakes?? Anyway, my oven in the 5th wheel is JUST big enough to accommodate a regular size cake pan.

Dan loves this particular cake so was very pleased when he saw all the ingredients sitting out waiting to be mixed together. It IS a very moist and delicious cake. I put it in the oven at 350 degrees and since there is no timer, I had to remember to check the cake in a while.

I came back about 20 minutes later and the cake didn’t look right; it was sagging in the middle plus it was not getting done in the middle. It only is supposed to bake for 30 minutes. I don’t think the oven thermostat is correct, so I turned it up a bit more. Long story short, after about 40 minutes, the 5th wheel started to smell like burnt caramel…but nothing was burning. The cake WAS finally done and it still sagged in the middle; easy fix, fill that part up with frosting!

The cake by itself is quite rich but once you mix up the frosting, you have a decadent cake! And the recipe for the frosting makes a LOT so there was no issue of filling up that sagging middle part. (Dan can’t wait to get to that part of the cake!).

So, we had a fairly good day and had hoped to go to Manteo and Nags Head just to take some photos. But by the time we got done with our late dinner, it was getting too late for that. AND yesterday was the first good weather day we’d had since Sunday. It seems since that Nor’easter it has been days and days of rain and/or clouds.

We washed the bedding yesterday and you’ve got to admit, there is something comforting and cozy about freshly washed sheets and pillow cases. The bed actually felt comfy and I was having a good night sleep until about 2 a.m.

The rain started in and was coming in sheets. It sounded like we were inside a car wash. Then the wind picked up. I figured this must be how a bobber feels when cast out into the waves. Then the lightening started. I think this went on for about an hour. The lightening finally abated but the rain is still coming sideways and the wind is HOWLING….it is now 5:30 a.m. I’ve been up since 4 a.m. making sure we weren’t going anywhere we hadn’t planned on going (yeah, right; like I could really prevent that!). I sat here for a while, in the dark, watching the pine trees at the edge of the yard swaying in the breeze (I had turned the outside light on so I could see). Of course I had made my coffee first thing…was there any doubt?? What amazes me is the wind is rocking the 5th wheel, the trees are swaying, the rain is pounding sideways and there is a 5 gallon jug sitting on the picnic table that has a meager two inches of water in the bottom…and it is just sitting there! I figured that would be blown into the next county by now. And this storm just keeps on!!! I think we need to invest in a weather radio because we don’t have a CLUE as to what the weather is…other than to look outside and see what is happening!

I didn’t bother to check the weather online last night because when I checked the day before, things were looking good! Live and learn!!!

The photo that I hope to include with this post is of Paul, the Volunteer of the Year award winner and chief cook. This is what he fixed all of us for our Thanksgiving potluck that was on Wednesday. Dan and I have decided we want to be apprentices for Paul. ALL the food was excellent and there was no way you would go away hungry. There was stuffing, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, baked beans, cranberry sauce and a couple of desserts.

We won’t starve while we are here!!!
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  1. I was talking to my daughter who lives near Charlotte, North Carolina yesterday and she was awaken by thunder during a nap yesterday. We woke up this morning to snow-just enough to cover the grass but it is our first of the season.

    We bought a 5th wheel up at the Soo from my sister-in-law's brother but it will be a couple of months before we can head out on the road. Can't wait!

  2. Wow..you haven't had very good weather since you have arrived there, have you?
    I hope it gets better for you.
    I think I would get cabin fever by now if I were you and I would be the one rocking the 5th wheel instead of the weather from bouncing against the walls. ha
    I think today and tomorrow will be our "last" good weather here. Today is sunny and gorgeous (supposed to be up to 50 again today here)!
    I think it is supposed to start snowing on Monday or Tuesday and continue after that. We just hope we get out of Dodge towards Florida before it comes down too hard.
    It will be hard to come back in a few weeks because by then I am sure we will have a few FEET on the ground of snow. ha
    Take care and get that weather radio to stay safe.

  3. P.S. I just read your comment on my blogpost. LMAO. No one else has ever called me the "happy HOOKER of the U.P." before.

  4. RETIRED ONE...OMG!!! That was supposed to be happy COOKER! WOW! Can you change it?? I am red faced as all get out! I probably won't get any more pies from you!!

  5. Anonymous11:08 AM

    All right. Now that you've mentioned the irresistible chocolate cake you have to give us the recipe. I'm all ready drooling.

  6. Anonymous3:09 PM

    Cathy - a suggestion for using the oven in a travel trailer. In the years of camping in a travel trailer, I ended up getting a rosting oven for my oven meals. No matter how I did it, it would take forever to cook in an oven. Been enjoying reading about your new adventures.

  7. Anonymous 1, I will be glad to share the recipe when I have time. It is SOOO good!!! And easy to make!

    Anonymous 2, we THOUGHT about bringing our oven but didn't know where we would put it and the one we have isn't large enough for a cake. Could you give me more info about yours; email at northcountrycampground@gmail.com


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