Riggins with little brother Charlie and little sister Sadie.


Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wednesday Musings

Today started as usual at 04:30am I went in the kitchen and took my pills and poured my coffee and I noticed my bride Donna was sitting in her usual chair in the living room watching early AM TV, When I came in she looked really tired and I said "are you ok hon.." That's when she said not really I didn't sleep hardly at all and I feel really tired, I already called and told them I wouldn't be in to work today. This always scares me because Donna doesn't miss work for anything, and I remember all to well her heart incident where she was tired and ended up with three blocked arteries. Anyway she laid down and slept until around 09:00am. Today was my every three month checkup at my doctors so I talked Donna into coming with me since she uses him also. Well thankfully everything was fine my numbers were all good and Donna is feeling a lot better now.

So after the doctors visit I  asked her if she would mind stopping at the camera store with me as they had called and told me what they would allow on my old 35mm equipment toward the Canon I was looking at. It isn't the biggest but it was what our budget could afford and had all the features plus HD video and stereo sound.

The trade in brought the price down some more and we could afford it and a three year replacement policy that includes even if its dropped or mishandled, that is always good for a spiller first class like I am. Anyway here is the new hot setup for the Weibel clan.


                         It's a Canon SX20-IS

I spent the last week getting reviews on it from sites on the internet and it has a lot of satisfied users, in fact there was only one negative response and it was over something I would term not important to me.

Now I will have to enroll in a college level class to try to figure out what everything does, it has buttons for everything including fireworks. Oh well 40 years ago I remember having to deal with light meters and exposure settings and fill flash, and darkroom procedures, so I guess this is welcome to the digital world, Boy the little Lumix is so simple to run. That by the way is what took it's big brothers picture above.

I felt so good about the day that I took my bride to Bob Evans for a nice hot lunch on the way home, I told her if she had a full belly and took a nice nap after lunch when we got home she would probably be back to feeling her old self in the morning, she did take the night off from the restaurant too, so maybe she will be rested.

Now that's the big news from Dardenne Prairie, Oh yes Judy from Travels with Emma asked me in a comment about if Donna & I were still going to go fulltime this summer, Well the answer is, we would leave tomorrow if the house sold, but the economy just isn't helping us and as others who have gone through this recently know The date might get pushed back unless we get either a sale, or some other opportunity avails itself. I might have to amend the ABOUT US to reflect this later in the summer. But Our plans are YES we want to fulltime, so we are being as patient as possible and starting to clear out closets and make little preparations for when we do sell. Thanks for everyone's concern. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tuesday Thoughts

Got up at 04:30am, coffee with Donna , then she was off at 05:30am to the truck company, I did some running yesterday and decided to look for the weather radio with alert and the features I wanted. I went to Bass Pro which has a super store in St Charles MO. Randy Warner of WarnerRVNews  had reviewed an Eton Brand radio that I liked for $49US. I found out after the 20 mile drive that they were out and they have discontinued the item. On the way home I stopped at the Radio Shack in O'Fallon MO. Low and behold they had the same model , only labeled as a Red Cross Emergency Radio of the Eton radio Model FR360 for the same price. It has a rechargeable battery, that is charged by either solar,a hand crank, or an optional 6v wall plug. It also has a battery back-up of (3 AAA cells not included). It has all seven weather channels with the alert feature for all, also AM-FM for emergency broadcasts. This can be used in all types of power situations from sun, to batteries to house current or none at all.
          Eton Weather & Emergency Radio Model FR360
It will occupy a place of prominence in the kitchen at home and then in the RV when we are out in it. Haven't had a weather alert since I bought it but we are waiting for one now and hopefully ready for it.
Well not much going on so far today, Andy and Donna are at work and if it doesn't get to hot I will get some 30:1 mix gas for the chain saw and start on the tree or what's left of it behind the house, I don't expect to finish it in one day, but will try to get what I can without help.
Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday Musings

Got up at 04:30am and as I poured my coffee Donna said look out the back window, I said why, and she said didn't you hear that storm last night, it took out the tree behind the house, I said which one and she said the Bradford Pear, Well truthfully I never heard the storm so there's another one for Donna to tell about like the tornado I slept through. The tree missed the back of the house by about a foot. We were really lucky, Donna said the storm had woke her up and next thing she knew there was a loud snap and thudding noise and Rigg's started barking like crazy and running around by the back door. That's when she saw the tree was down. Good to see ole Rigg's on the job trying to protect his Mommy. I had to wait till the sun was up to go look at the damage and take some pictures.







Didn't see any scorch marks so I don't think lightening did the job; I think the wind gusts were the culprit. Now I will have to wait for a cooler day that's not in the 90"s to cut the remains up and stack it.

Bradford Pears are not noted for being very sturdy and this one had an encounter with a storm about 15 years ago and lost a limb, who knows that might have weakened it and set it up for this one.

But that my friend's is the big news for today in Dardenne Prairie, it won't make the papers though because we don't have a newspaper in this small town. If I go to the store later I'm sure someone will say Hey Sam, hear you lost that pear tree in the storm the other night. Aren't small towns great.Al of  The Bayfield Bunch knows how that is, Maybe since he lives in a small town he might have heard about it already. If not he can see it here.

Donna just sent me an E-Mail from work telling me of another weather disaster at an RV Park in Michigan, I had to quick try to remember if I had any blogger friends in that area, such a tragedy. another life lost. Please take everyone's advise and buy a weather radio that automatically broadcasts a warning like a fire radio, then for God sakes leave it on while your sleeping in your rig.

Before I say goodbye, Rigg's wanted to say a few words, I guess he had quite a night.

"What happened last night Mom ?

all the noise what was going on.

Well Riggs that was a bad storm that came thru.

Wasn't I brave when that terrible scrapping noise was coming from the driveway !

Yes, Riggs you sure were, That was our dumpster that was blown over and took a little ride down the driveway.

And then there was that terrible crashing noise in the back yard.  I saw a big thing laying right across my run, and another

thing laying on the wood rack and scraping the house......Boy, I barked and growled I sure didn't want it coming closer

to the house, after all it's my job to protect you and it was awful big and looked like it was still moving...You told me it was

okay, but I wasn't so sure. Finally it stopped moving and I stopped barking, but I laid right by that back door to make sure

you were safe.....I was very brave wasn't I ?

Yes Riggs you were very brave, and the big thing was my beautiful Bradford Pear tree.  After it split in half and fell what

you thought was it moving was just the branches moving in the wind....But you were very brave to stand guard at the

back door and protect me...Job well done it didn't come any closer after you barked at it.

Well, Mom, that's my job". Yes Rigg's and Dad's proud of you too.

That's about it for now, Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Saturday/Sunday Notes

Decided to combine Saturday and Sunday into one post, Saturday was a nice day, Adam played with his buddies until 12:20pm and then he said goodbye to his friends and Grandpa took him home to his Mom's in Warrenton MO. Just two more weeks and he will be coming back so he can go on a weeks vacation with us in the trailer.
After I dropped Adam off I came back and puttered around the house, Donna went off to the restaurant,  and that was it for the day.
Sunday which is today started with coffee with Donna, then some computer work, then Donna started to clean out our bedroom closet, we decided to start getting rid of everything we don't wear or might not fit, While we were doing this Rigg's decided he wasn't getting any attention so he went back to his stealing game.
Rigg's stealing06-27-10b
Rigg's stealing06-27-10a
This a shoebox from the closet he stole, he thinks I don't see him behind it.
He also wanted everybody to see his new reflectorized collar that has the big metal hook and ring on it so Dad can make him walk better on the leash. His Dad told him he would be safer at night in the campgrounds too.
          Rigg's new reflectorized black/silver collar
The picture above shows Rigg's is not a happy camper because Dad made him lie down after stealing a small plastic tote box for shoes and chewing it up. He is still just a kid at heart but such a big kid.
We keep hoping he will start to mellow but it looks like that will be awhile yet. He hasn't been neutered yet but we have decided that we aren't going to stud him out so that will be coming soon, Sam just hopes his voice doesn't change or he will have to learn how to sing soprano in the opera. Nothing much going on here it is a hot humid day so no outside work is planned, Donna is off so we will enjoy a dinner at home. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday at home

Made the bell this morning and was up at 04;30 am ,had our coffee together and Donna headed out to the truck company. I went down to catch up on the computer, Adam had a late and great day he didn't finish playing till 08:30pm last night and only took a few minutes after supper to hit the hay. He slept till about 08:00am and then went in and laid on the couch with cartoons and dozed again. Grandpa waited till the dew point was reached and about 08:30am went out and fired up John Deere and started mowing , got most of it finished about 10-:30am and went in and asked Adam if he wanted to go to Wal-Mart, he said he had a sore tummy so I told him just to lay and rest on the couch and I would be right back, I went and picked up two pairs of jeans I needed and some gun cleaning stuff since my son said we were out of it when he and his girlfriend came back from the shooting range Sunday. I insist on cleaning and oiling all the firearms each time they are used so they will last a lifetime.

When I got back Adam said he was feeling better, I think he was just tired out from a long hot day yesterday, and he said he would be going out to play with his buddies who were in the yard behind us. He also asked if Grandpa would take him to Pizza Street tonight for supper, since Friday is usually pizza night I said yes, It is an all you can eat place with all kinds of pizza, pasta, salads, desserts and oh yes an ice cream sundae bar. Kid's are $3.99 and Adults $5.99 so it actually costs less then ordering a large pie from some places.

Did I ever tell you what I can do to the buffalo on a nickel? So tonight will be an eat out night since Adam is going home to his Mom in the morning, a week goes by fast when you have your little buddy around.

I have decided since we are going to take a weeks vacation in a few weeks in July with the trailer, not to go up for the holiday weekend or week at the Lake, Since if you want a spot you have to go Monday or Tuesday and then stay until after the 4 day weekend, and it it always crowded and Donna still has to work on Saturday night and would only be able to stay Sunday night, so we decided not this year. That's about it for today. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

For some reason I woke up and looked at the red led’s on the alarm and they said 05:35am instead of 04:30am I jumped up thinking Donna would be late but she was already out of bed, went in the kitchen and looked out and her car was gone so evidently when I overslept Donna just let me sleep and went on to the truck company to work, What a nice gesture, but now I won’t get to see her until tomorrow morning because she does the restaurant tonight,Adam & I will be long asleep by the time she comes home. So I will make sure I don’t miss her in the morning for coffee.

Absolutely nothing going on, went and got a haircut this morning at about 08:30am, Adam didn’t want his cut, he says his Mom likes to cut it. So I saved some money. He has been out playing with his buddies all day except for a lunch break and a cold drink break, It’s not as hot today as it’s been, it should see about 88 degrees today so that about 10 degrees cooler than the last few days.

How about a blast from the past, for all you guys who remember the 60’s, here are some pictures I found from when I was in the Navy about 1968, these were taken aboard the USS Shangri-La which was one of the ww2 carriers that was modernized and lasted into the 70’s.


USS Shangri-La, with destroyer following taken from helicopter

0047 One of our choppers, a UH-2B, we were in a port of call when this was taken.


                        Airborne shot


                 A4C Skyhawk Catshot


F8C Crusader Catshot, notice the afterburner flames.


           Crusader catching the wires


Safely on deck,notice the wing section raised for landing.


           Skyhawk has the number 3 wire


              A whole lot younger Sam.

0249 What you see as you make an approach to an aircraft carrier.

Hard to believe that besides the water everything in these pictures are gone except for me, all the ships, planes and helicopters have long ago been scrapped, maybe a lucky few made it into museums, but time marches on. I guess I too am a retired relic of another era. But it sure was fun for a young guy to fly around in those helicopters and every once in awhile in all came together when you got to pick somebody out of the ocean so he could live to fight another day. Let’s see 2010 minus 1968, that makes it 42 years. Am I that old.

Sorry for the quality but the slides were starting to fade with age and I just got done scanning them into digital file so maybe my Grandboy can show them to his Grandboy.

Hope some of you guys enjoyed a trip back to the 60’s I know Al from the The Bayfield Bunch was in the Canadian Navy so maybe he will dig his old albums and come up with some from his past.

That’s about it for now, sure can fill up a post with old memories when you have nothing to report.Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Wednesday Musings

Started the day as usual, up at 04;30am coffee with Donna, then she was off to the truck company at 05:30am, and I went down to the office, When Adam got up I said , how would you like to go to the train museum today we haven't gone in a couple of years and you can see you Great Great Grandpa Weibel's engine again. he was enthused so about 09:00am we went down and got in the truck and I started to back out of the garage. I have to watch the mirrors closely as I only have about two inches on each side to clear the mirrors as I pass the door frames. just as I got out of the door I felt the rear tires roll over something, I stopped and jumped out and what had I rolled over but the rear tire of Adam's bike which must have been lying on the side of the driveway sticking into the path of the wheels, of course you couldn't see it in the mirrors and I knew Donna's car had been parked overnight behind the truck, so how the bike got there on the ground I'll never know unless the wind blew it over. Anyway there was a few "oh heck, oh darns," and I told Adam that the bottom line was we were both to blame, Grandpa because I was driving the truck and responsible to see nothing was behind me, and him because he hadn't put the bike in the garage where it is supposed to be after he is finished with it.

I told him we would not be going to the train museum, since I would have to buy a replacement wheel, and I wasn't going to reward either one of us for our carelessness with a fun trip, instead we went to Walmart to buy a 20 inch bicycle wheel.

Guess what you can buy the bike there but they no longer sell wheels, Hey Rod, sound familiar, Just the other day  Retired Rod was posting about trying to get a part for a ceiling fan, and how they didn't know anything about parts. I commented on this being a throwaway society. Anyway I had to go to a bike shop and they had a 20 inch wheel and a tube, the tire wasn't damaged. so $49 poorer we went home and Grandpa installed the new wheel on the damaged bike. Adam took it for a test ride and proclaimed "it goes faster Grandpa". That's exactly what my wallet said when I was paying for it.

The kicker is Walmart sells a 20 inch bike complete with both wheels for about $69. Of course the wheel I bought said made in USA on it , and the whole bike at Walmart is probably made in communist china. But there lies the answer to throwaway everything anymore and no parts.

Sound like a rant, here is another one of my nemesis's.. you know when you post a comment to someone's blog in order to pass through customs, you have to type in a combination of letters before you get the magic words that say," Your Comment will be posted when it is approved". Who thinks of these letter combinations?  I sometimes with my bumble fingers take two tries to get my comment posted, I hope whoever that guy is doesn't have the eyesight and co-ordination I have. On second thought he probably does..

Gosh I feel better now, hope you all have a better day than I have had so far, but I guess it could have been a lot worse and I know two guys who learned a lesson today. right Adam. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Tuesday Thoughts

Up at 04:30am had coffee, Donna was off to the truck company at 05:30am, went down to my office until Adam got up at 08:00am. I went back up to the kitchen and started to make some meatballs for tonight's supper, I make them like my Italian Grandmother did, and she passed it on to my Mom who of course taught all of her 5 boys and a girl to cook, it wasn't an option, we all shared the kitchen duties, I remember praying for a sister, but she didn't arrive until I was 17 years old and by the time I left for duty in the Navy I was still doing KP at home, I would still insist on doing the dishes when Donna & I would visit she had me broke in so good.
Anyway I got them done and then I asked Adam if he thought he might like a swim this afternoon since it was going to be so hot, you know what the answer was. So once I got the sauce prepared and the meat in it to simmer.  We headed over to Alligator Creek Water Park in O'Fallon MO which is the town next door. for the princely sum of 4 dollars each we spent the afternoon in the water.
                      Grandson Adam at the pool
             Of course the slide got put to good use.
Adam said he was tired when we got home so he is relaxing with a game on his Xbox. Grandpa came down to finish his blog for today.
Donna , Andy & Samantha will be coming home from work so I will have a nice spaghetti & meatball  dinner ready for them. That was Donna's request when I asked her if she had a preference last night for tonight's supper.
That's about it for today, hope this find's everyone happy, be safe out there, Sam & Donna.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Monday Moments.

The start of another week, up at 04:30am had coffee with Donna, she was off to the truck company at 05:30am. Adam spent the night so he will be up about 08:00am if he is on his usual routine, I was going to go to the Lake for a couple of days with Adam, but there forecast is for thunderstorms, some severe, so I will keep the camper home and wait till better weather.
Had a great dinner at Charlie's with my Son, his girlfriend, Adam & Donna. it is so nice to spend one night in a nice restaurant with family.
         Andy (Dad), Sam ( Grandpa), and Adam.
Samantha,Adam, Sam, & Donna at Restaurant, My son Andy got cut off in the picture.
                 Adam with his killer dessert.
If we get any sun today I may talk Adam into helping wash the truck and trailer, he is the sprayer, with the power washer and grandpa is the brush man, I've learned that you wear shorts, a t-shirt, and don't leave anything in your pockets that you don't want wet, As Adam is a killer sprayer and he always accidently gets Grandpa.
That's about it for now, be safe out there, Sam & Donna.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father's Day-Sunday

Happy Father's Day to all the Dad's and Granddad's out there. I started mine with coffee, then went down to read some blog's, about 08:30am it was already almost 80 degrees so I headed to the filling station for can of gas for my buddy John ( Deere). Then when I got back I got John out of the garage and we started on the 2 acres of grass, got sidetracked in the middle of the job when I noticed the center blade just wasn't cutting like I liked it so I went to the garage and jacked it up and pulled the blades off and took them over to the grinder and sharpened them, sharpening 3 blades was about 15 minutes a piece so by the time I was back on the tractor the temperature, was 90 degrees, needless to say when I finished about 12 noon I was hot and beat. Had two glasses of cold soda and two peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, funny how a little work in the hot sun can make you so hungry.

My Father's Day present is my Son and his girlfriend Samantha are going to dinner with Donna& I along with Adam my Grandson. Andy went to pick him up today and then spend Father's day with him.

Also one of my favorite bloggers Karen in the Woods. Rving-Small House-Big Backyard has a brother in law that is undergoing treatment for cancer, He and Karen's sister have no insurance and their son Christopher has built a stock car for a demolition derby called the Cancer Crasher, He is trying to raise funds for his Dad's medical bills, As some of you might know I lost my younger brother Rick to cancer on 12-31-2009, He also love stock car racing. I told Karen to send me her sisters address so I could make a donation in my brothers name. I normally don't ask for help but this is such a good cause, that if someone feels they would like to make a small donation I am sure Karen's sister sorely needs the help, you can get the address from Karen or E-mail me. Thank you so much for listening to my appeal.

Okay I am just going to lay around until it is time to get ready to go out for my Father's Day dinner. be safe out there. Sam & Donna.


Saturday, June 19, 2010

Home on Saturday

Got up about 05:00am and put the coffee on, made some pancakes for breakfast, and then about 06:30am I started with the packing and getting ready to leave, loading the camera gear and tripods in the truck and opening the cover for towing, got all the  hoses and the slide in, and then back under and hitched up, made sure the checklist including TV antenna was down, did a walk around, and then headed to the dump station, after dumping , I did my final walk around and about 07:30am I bed goodbye to Duck Haven, from what was a very pleasant three full days of relaxation and train watching, even met some new friends and helped on another awning job.

Headed south on Hwy 61 and made one short stop of about 30 minutes in Bowling green MO. I pulled into the drive in Dardenne Prairie at 10:45am, Donna came down and pulled her car out of the garage so I could put the truck in, what a gal. It didn't take 20 minutes and the trailer was back on life support on her pad until next time. Everything is working fine and nothing gave any problems on this trip.

After lunch, my son asked if I would look at his girlfriends Saturn as the air conditioner stopped working. I got my R-134a hoses and gauges and a can of R-134a and went out to look, the compressor wasn't turning so I had him turn it off and I hitched up the gauges, it looked like it was just low enough to keep the low pressure switch from turning the compressor on so I put about 1/2 lb in it and that brought it up enough for the compressor to start pumping, I then added about 1/4 lb more till it was at the operating pressure and Andy said oh boy will she be happy it's blowing cold now. Of course I told him they will have to watch it as it may have a leak, although it is several years old and has never had anything added so maybe they will be lucky and it will hold this charge for awhile.

Want to thank everyone for the nice comments on the trains from Fort Madison, I am always amazed on how many people I find out that actually like trains, like I do, in fact it is not limited to the male population as I have met several lady fans who enjoy watching them go by.

Oh yeah I got the treatment from Rigg's when I came through the door , he was beside himself with happiness that his Daddy was home, my son said he would go from room to room and stay by his side the whole time I was gone, every noise would have him running to the window to see if I was home. That kind of love and devotion money can't buy, tomorrow there is a trip to the doggie park in his future.

That's about it for now Be safe out there. Sam & Donna.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Fort Madison Friday

Got up at 05:00am, noticed the windows were wet and the cover on the truck had water on it so we must have got some rain last night while I was sleeping. Good old Sam who can will sleep through, trains and tornadoes'. Ask Donna about that one. The temperature is 73 degrees and it looks like it is making to be a sunny day. If you are a train nut this is a great place, just sitting here having coffee, four have gone by so far, I noticed something this trip that I had only seen before on heavy coal train’s, What they call helper or for our British friends Banker engines. These are extra engines added to long trains to assist in keeping speed up. Most of the trains going by here are going from the Chicago area to California and back to Chicago, although the Texas lines connect at Kansas City so you have Gulf and Mexico traffic now too. The trains usually consist of solid mixes of truck trailer and containers on flat cars and they speed limit here is 70 mph, occasionally you will have a junk train with boxcars and refrigerators, tanks of chemicals,and others cars, but the majority of freight today goes in trucks and containers, this railroad BNSF hauls more truck trailers than our interstate highways. I noticed that most trains have engines on both ends and some even have a third engine in the middle, all but the front are radio controlled, much like the model trains we run at the club. As I am writing this train number five is approaching it looks like a solid train of grain cars, or covered hoppers. Since they are sitting higher on the springs I am going to assume they are empty and going to grain elevators to be filled with the first go around of grain, is it getting to be that time already, while it is going westbound an eastbound train passed on the other side, this one is solid containers called double stacks because they are stacked two tall, a lot of Eastern and Canadian lines can’t do the two high because of lower clearances, but here and out west they don’t have that problem. I was talking to a railroader at the station yesterday and asked about the pusher’s and he said they call it distributed power and that the ones with three sets are usually about 10-12000 feet long, wow, that’s two miles of cars. Are you trained out yet?

fortmadison sunrise06-18-10

     How about a Fort Madison Ia. Sunrise

I had to deal with a common problem last night, I went to get a box of donuts out of a cupboard and there were ants in there. Where do they come from?  I washed the cupboard and then sprayed it and today while I am gone I will put a bomb out in the lower cupboard and that should do it, I looked in all the others and the closet and couldn’t find any others. but they sure found the food.  Didn’t see any on the last trip, but who knows they can climb aboard anywhere, just a nuisance for a short time. In a little while, about 06:30am I will run over to the McDonalds and get a biscuit and check my mail in their wi-fi.  I guess I can post this too and then if anything else goes on later I can go back and make a later post.


                 BNSF train going 70mph

Hope you are all safe, I kind of miss not having Rigg’s with me, but he would be a hand full while trying to take pictures, let alone knocking the tripods over. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna..

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

Up before the sun at 04:30am, made my coffee and sat outside the trailer to enjoy a beautiful Iowa sunrise, experimented with a few shots on video using backlight, I will see how it looks tonight, after a dearth of trains yesterday, I found out they had a washout to fill with rock along the river west of here, about 05:00PM I saw a work train with side dump cars some still filled with large rock heading back to Fort Madison, sure enough the dispatcher started calling trains to go west and trains started passing, one about every 15 minutes, since it’s double track it didn’t take long for the east bounds to start and until it got to dark for pictures they just kept coming. You can shoot video way later than pictures so I shot until almost 09:00PM and then called it a night, I won’t stay out that late tonight because I will have plenty of video to edit.

I am in the last spot nearest the railroad tracks so I can set my tripods up right behind the trailer.FortMadison06-17-10a

As you can see they planted beans right next to me and they are about a month old and still not to tall, I came up here one year in August and it was corn year and you couldn’t see over the corn so shooting from the campground was out of the question, plenty of spots along the tracks close though.


The campground only has 30 spots and about 15 of them are taken, mostly by young guys who are working construction in the area for the summer, Iowa is doing a lot of highway work in this area. Several of my neighbors have dogs and since I left Rigg’s home I told them I would check on them and make sure they had water since it’s going to be about 89 degrees today.


The guys all liked my $3.00 flag holder, from the ground it looks like silver plated metal, they were surprised to find out it was PVC tube painted with chrome paint. This is Good ole boy, God Bless America,  simple country living in this area and almost everyone here has someone who served their country in the family.

The pictures above were taken about 07:00am this morning and it was already 75degrees. As you can see the trains never stopped all night, but I slept through it without waking.

Had an offer to take one of the guys canoes out with him tonight before it gets dark and as hot as it is I will probably take him up on his offer, I told him I would put a couple of cold ones in the cooler as my part of the deal. The slough we are on is probably 100 acres so we can stay out of the river current and still have a big area to wander around in. The road 53rd St that the campground runs off of (241st St) dead ends about 1/2 mile from the entrance way and Lee County has a boat launch and little park area at the river. The slough ends there, and they have a little inlet dredged to get boats into the main river channel.

Well that’s about it for now, Later today I will take this to McDonalds and post it and check my mail. Be safe out there. Sam & Donna

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wednesday in Fort Madison IA.

Got up to the forecast of a great day in eastern MO/IA. so at 06:45AM I set out for Fort Madison IA, for a couple of days of train watching and relaxing.Of course when I arrived I found out that of all things to forget, I left the  USB cord to the camera which would preclude downloading any pictures to the laptop, I went to a local computer shop to see if I could find a cord, but they are rare, especially the little one Sony uses with it’s camera’s. I asked about a cheap reader for my card that would plug into my laptop and allow me to take the images directly from the card, the guy said the only thing he had was a PCMIAA card which would plug in the slot in my laptop. When I looked at the price it was marked $64.00. I told him that was more than I wanted to spend so he said, I can discount it we have had it forever let me see what I can do, he came back a few minutes later and said how about $29.00 you are going to pay near that for a good USB cable and this will read any card from almost any size. I said okay it’s a deal. Almost like Mexico.

Since they were doing track work and the railroad was going to be slow for a few hours, I decided to sightsee.


This is Old Fort Madison, it was closed for repairs being done.


Santa Fe Steam Engine Displayed near the Fort.

FortMadisonIa06-16-10g Tow Boat with barges waiting for railroad bridge to open.

FortMadisonIa06-16-10j Bridge over Mississippi cars on top, trains on bottom,center section swings open for river traffic.

FortMadisonIa06-16-10h             Train that held up the tow boat


         Amtrak Station at Fort Madison IAFortMadisonIa06-16-10k

Train taken from inside the trailer, lead engine is still painted in Santa Fe Red & silver.

So now I will wait until later and run about a mile away, there is a McDonald’s Restaurant, that I checked out earlier and it has a strong Wi-Fi signal on the parking lot, so I will do like I did when I was camping at the Lake and make one trip a day to post the blog and check e-mail.

Tonight should be a good sleeping night, and a decent day is forecast for this area for tomorrow.

Be safe out there, Sam & Donna..


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Monday/Tuesday Combined

Well it was so slow here in Dardenne Prairie I just didn't get to the blog yesterday, just one of those dog days that invited a nap in the afternoon and next thing you know Donna was home and the day was gone by.

Today started nice with plenty of sunny and nice but humid temps, All that came crashing to a halt about 01:30pm with a loud thunder storm and hard rain, Looks like my Iowa getaway will have to wait, the forecast says sunny for tomorrow. Looked at the Midwest weather map, what do you think, all depends on if the clouds move east.


All the above doesn't include the spot thunderstorms that pop up out of no where like today.

Poor Rigg's is sitting looking out the back door like, "oh no rain again." I was going to take him to the doggie park today but that is off, if he wants to swim he can just run around in the rain, fat chance since he just likes to sit out thunder storms.


Fort Madison Ia

Fort Madison IA area yellow road is Hwy 61 from MO. 

Duck Haven Campground Ft Madison Ia.

                     Duck Haven Campground

Duck Haven Campground  This is a cheap place to stay grass, water, 30 amp electric, definitely not an overnight stop to get some sleep as you can see it is within a few hundred feet of the busiest transcontinental railroad line in the country. However if you love trains, and photograph them or you are a fisherman and like river fish if you look at the above picture on the left in green is a slough of the Mississippi River I have seen river cat pulled out of there that are just beyond belief.The showers and bathrooms are new and clean and the last time I stayed there it was either 12 or 14 dollars a night.

So when I do make the trip this is where I stay, Fort Madison also has some sightseeing, it is a typical Iowa river town but it does have a Casino and a museum down by the river. It is also close to Nauvoo IL where the Mormon temple is located.

That's about it for today. Be safe out there, Sam & Donna.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday Snips.

Got up to a beautiful sunny Sunday morning, Sam had a job lined up ,yesterday when he was turning the water off in the basement he noticed a drip coming from one of the brass compression fittings where the house water filter is tapped into the copper water line. This morning at 08:00am when Lowes opened up Sam went and tried to get a fitting, he found out they don't have them anymore , but in there place they have a fitting that screws into the filter then then you tap the copper line into the other side and it seals just like that no tightening or Teflon tape or anything, he bought them and brought them home and in a few minutes the leak was fixed.

Rigg's is a happy guy today, Dad & Mom took him to the doggie park this morning and he got to run and swim for a couple hours.


                        C'mon Dad let's go in


                            A new friend Dad


Swim time with another new friend, this ones a girl Dad

Needless to say when he got home he was played out from all the running and swimming and socializing. This is a pretty big park area devoted to off leash dog running and has a couple acre lake that the dogs can use , all fenced and nicely maintained by the County Parks Dept. The only rule is you clean up after your pet. And it is only about 5 miles from home.

Donna noticed that the Wren family in the apartment by the wood rack of the Bird Motel have a new addition.


                               The Wren apartment


             The new Wren family addition

Donna said when the nest was being built, the Dad would bring twigs and could not figure out to get them into the hole as they wouldn't fit lengthwise, the Mom would grab them out of his mouth and then stuff them into the house. She said it was hilarious. I guess that shows us who's smarter.

Not much doing this afternoon I think I will try to talk Donna into Dinner out, so she doesn't have to cook since this is her only full day off a week.

Be safe out there, Sam & Donna.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Saturday Happenings

A start to a good day, coffee was at the usual 04:30am, Donna was up even though she was off today, I wanted to accomplish at least two things, fix the light fixture over the island cook station, the socket for the bulb needed rep[lacing however it was a three wire socket and I didn't have one in the garage, so that meant a trip to Home depot, also the kitchen faucet had one of those pull out hoses and the metal wrap had come loose from the rubber hose, so it needed to be replaced before it broke completely.

I went and got the needed parts and started the socket job, that went smoothly and Rigg's couldn't help because I was on top of a chair to get the needed height for the job.

The kitchen faucet was another matter since now I was down in his territory and so he became the supervisor,


           "Can I help, Please, Please, let me help."

As you can see with the proper help the job usually takes twice as long, he also enjoyed sneaking up and licking the wet T-shirt.

Rigg's mentioned he hasn't had much time in the blog since we got back from camping so I told him I would put a couple of his picture's in. Especially after I showed him Jodie & Coco's blog page Jodie & Coco, about there trip to Alaska with their Dad & Mom Paul & Helen's Travels  so of course he wanted his picture in the blog.

Donna&Rigg's 05-30-10

                  My Mom & Me camping



This Morning Dad was having coffee, I checked to see if he would take over Guard Duty, then I crashed at his feet where I know it's safe. Dad is a big guy.

Dad said we are going on a trip to Cincinnati camping next month he said the campground is near he Ohio River and that me and him will go to the river so I can swim in it. See Jodie& Coco, my Dad lets me swim too. Mom & Adam will be going to and we will visit Uncle Pat and Aunt Kathy.

Al from  The Bayfield Bunch had a picture of one of his dog's with a look of utter concentration on his face yesterday in his blog, Although I am way out of his league as far as photography goes, I remembered a shot I had of Adam and Rigg's at Christmas cookie time.

Adam&Riggeb12-19-09a.jpg                            Adam & Rigg's

Okay Rigg's you moment in the spotlight is over, you can go back to the kitchen now.

Donna just left for her Saturday night at the restaurant so I will say goodbye for now, be safe out there. Sam & Donna.