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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, December 18, 2009


Coast Guard station at Oregon Inlet

Dan has figured out, all by himself, what the “green machine” is doing with the springs out of the old style ink pen…you know the ones..the “CLICK THE END” pens. The ones that have the little, tightly coiled springs that make the writing part pop out. Dan figures that those springs are being recycled into RV mattresses. That’s the only explanation he can come up with as to why it feels like a thousand little springs on his side of the bed. I don’t notice them on my side and ya know both sides have to be made the same.

We were desperate enough we truly considered spending a bunch of money on a Select Comfort RV bed. Then we decided to try some of that “rolled up foam” stuff.

So, when we got home with our king size (we have a queen size bed but they didn’t have any queen size left) coiled up tighter than a spring foam (memory foam on the top side and the egg crate foam on the bottom side), we had a lot of tearing apart and putting together to do.

As I’ve explained way back when, making the bed in the 5th wheel isn’t the easiest job in the world and it is a LOT easier IF there are two of you doing it. After we got all the bedding off the bed and thrown down into the living room area, then we had to slide the mattress down from the head of the bed and lay that coiled up tighter than a spring foam on top, try to smooth it out so it could be cut down to size. The directions say that it takes 5-7 days for the foam to expand back to its normal size (due to being compressed to fit it in that little sandwich size bag. Actually, we wondered how many people it took to roll that foam up into such a tight little package and stuff it into that little sandwich bag) We also purchased a set of queen size flannel sheets (took the last set that was in the store). Dan got a new pillow while we were at it. Oh, and a NOA weather radio. We did our part to stimulate the economy.

Dan easily got the foam cut down to size. We got it placed on the bed “just so”, then put our very thick, plush mattress pad on top of that and then headed for the new sheets. There isn’t any way to tell top from side with these things; there is elastic all the way around. The first attempt was the wrong way and the sheet shot back and hit Dan in the face. He loves making the bed to begin with…,yeah, right.

We got it all put back together and then started counting the hours till bedtime….7 hours to go! We hoped we would notice at least a slight difference.

When we awoke this morning we both were very surprised how much better we DID sleep and the pad hasn’t even expanded to its full size yet!! I think the flannel sheets probably helped a bit too (considering it WAS 24 degrees around 9 p.m. they sure felt good!!).

We have today off but we think, if it “warms up” a bit more we may go check the two trails we’re responsible for maintaining…you know the two, right?? The one that the bears like to demolish and the other one that has alligators in the area. That one also has what I consider to be large, hairy spiders hanging around. Any arachnid larger than a pin head is a large hairy arachnid as far as I’M concerned!

Well, we’ve changed our plans and it isn’t due to the weather. It is due to a HUGE “lunch” at the shop. Every Friday Paul cooks something. Today there was huge amounts of chicken cooked on charcoal grills, sweet potatoes, his famous baked beans (with Jalapeño peppers), macaroni salad, coleslaw and I don’t know what else (aside from a large assortment of little individual pies). Who wants to do anything but nap after that?? The meal today was compliments of the farmer who farms ground on this refuge. He is still trying to get the beans off (weather issues). So a nap sounds better than a walk. I know, I know, that isn’t the healthy thing to do but heck…what would YOU do on a slightly cold, overcast day??

I forgot to tell you about the red wolf!! We finally saw one the other morning! I had been in the cabin checking messages and looked out the window to check for bears…and instead was greeted with the sight of a lone red wolf! I quickly came back to the camper to let Dan know and to grab my camera. By the time I got out with my camera, the wolf was trotting towards the backside of the bean field so I didn’t get a shot of him. But at least we got to see one!!

The photo I hope to post with this is a Coast Guard station which is just as you cross Oregon Inlet. The sky was overcast and very strange looking the other morning. The Coast Guard station is being remodeled (as I understand it) so there isn’t really any activity there….except a LOT of dump trucks hauling tons of sand out of the area to take down to Rodanthe and some points beyond to try to restore what the Nor’easter destroyed. And just an FYI, if I hadn’t told ya, the house that was in the movie, Nights in Rodanthe, was condemned after that storm…the ocean is under the house (all the houses are built on “stilts”).

I have had a couple of emails about the dead fish and wondered if I'd taken a photo of it; yes I did. I didn't post it because I didn't know how upsetting it might be to some of my readers, but if you want me to post it, either leave a comment or send an email.
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  1. Sure, I'd like you to post it if you want, or just send me an email with it. ha
    I loved that photo...liked the green in the sky..you don't see that often and it is a cool effect.
    I had to chuckle at your description of making the bed and unfolding the pad. We also bought a miracle foam pad for our bed and it makes SUCH a difference!!!! I wasn't sleeping due to my fibro pain on muscles and joints and it really helps.
    Hope it continues to comfort you both.
    Too bad you didn't get a picture of the fox..sounds very cool. Maybe he will come back and you can get a shot of him then.

  2. Retired One...If I get more requests, I will post the photo, or maybe I will just send it to ya. I do have a photo of the red wolf but it isn't that good but maybe I'll post it too. You know what it is to be foto fussy!!

  3. Retired One...about the color of the photo...it was shot through the windshield which may have lent some 'color' to the weird looking sky. That IS the Oregon Inlet in front of that building; there really was no color to the ocean that day.

  4. Hi Cathy, I was a way and am catching up on my reading-- The bed making story cracked me up. I could just picture the sheets snapping off and confirming, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Dan hates making a bed!

    It sounds awful cold there. I thought this was supposed to be "warm weather" country?

    I'm so glad I met you this year. It's been a real pleasure. Wishing you and your family a GREAT Christmas.



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