Tuesday, July 18, 2023

While We Wait Some More....

Camp Tompkins site
It's hard for Sparky to stay away from writing! However, not much news to report. Camp Tompkins remains our favorite "campground" site...With family right across the driveway, how can you not like where you are?! You can tell we definitely have made ourselves at home.

The guys are exploring BBQ grills and options. Eldy is thinking about purchasing a grill so he can cook a little more when Sparky has her subbing days this fall. As usual, he does his research for WEEKS before deciding to make a purchase. Pellet grill? The Green Egg? Kamado Junior? Pit Boss? Traeger? The choices along with the pros and cons of each are ENDLESS!
 Plus our patio for our upcoming apartment is VERY small and you have to wheel your grill 10 feet away from the apartment each time you want to use it because of the fire hazard so weight and mobility is going to be a factor, too. Sparky would settle for a very small Weber, but Eldy is more inclined towards the bigger, the better, haha.

Because we have to furnish a little 2 bedroom apartment from scratch, (coming from an RV), we are scouring garage sales and have picked up some more bargains. How about a vintage maple dresser for 74.00? Here's the before:

And here's the after: Sparky is a little disappointed in her glazin/antiquing skills, but hey, this was the first try. With more practice, maybe it will more closely resemble the Pottery Barn style, which she really likes. She just has to remember, it's just paint, and she can redo it down the road. She's learning, after all. Eldo is very kind, he does not critique her efforts at all! Sparky is going to chalk this up to a Pinterest fail, haha. But--there are two "matching" nightstands in the works as well, 15.00 each...Hey, there's not a lot of great cost in these pieces, so that's a good thing. (YEP! says a very patient Eldy.)

The " before" end table

Sparky is really into refinishing furniture now, even if she doesn't know what she is doing just yet...as some of the bargains are really scuffed up, but they can be saved! The problem is, the humidity has been quite high so painting days are limited right now. Here is another purchase for the living room. We bought this end table for 10.00 and didn't like the orangey/yellow finish. The "before" is nice, if you like that color finish (pine or oak?) but Sparky chose to do this for the after.

The Pumpkinvine continues to be beautiful during the hot summer. Although the spring wildflowers are gone, the jungle of green that awaits you along the Goshen to Shipshewanna portion of the trail in the shady forest is enticing. And so is Moody's Ice Cream Shop along the trail, the farm behind the shop has lots for people to look at....The Amish love it, too. This is one of Sparky's all time favorite photos with her iPhone.

Orange milkweed is in bloom along with coreopsis....
A few black eyed Susans in a field....

Now in July, it's purple coneflowers, tall bellflowers, grey headed coneflowers and lavender bee balm. 

This beautiful horse was eating the fence post!
Always the laundry is out most days on the farms...This is a LOT of laundry! But being just two people, everybody else's laundry is a lot compared to ours....Big house, big family, big laundry load.
The quilt gardens are coming along and soon will be at the height of their bloom. This garden below is on the Das Essenhaus grounds, a great hotel/restaurant in Middlebury, and the pattern is called the "Solar Wheel". These gardens are a part of a tour you can take called the Heritage Trail, spoken of before in the blog, and the tour is from Memorial Day to mid September. Eighteen quilt gardens and 21 hand painted quilt murals make up the tour. It's a fun way to see the area by car. This one is one of Sparky's favorites. It has white begonias, orange marigolds, yellow zinnias, dwarf red salvia, and denim shock wave petunias.
Sparky had a wonderful two day visit with her sister and brother-in-law in Michigan. She took the Amtrak, which had a brand new rail car for passengers on the way there--the ride was terrific, very smooth, and inexpensive. (Thirty-four dollars one way from Niles, MI to Royal Oak, MI, and about a four hour ride). On the way back, an older rail car and the usual, noisy, lurching hang-onto-the nearest-seat walk to the restroom ride.
Sparky fell in love with her sister's golden doodle, who was a VERY well behaved and intelligent bundle of curly fur. Eldo started researching doodles, but they are expensive! And besides, we are not wanting the additional responsibilities and costs of taking care of one right now, too much going on with everything! But boy, he sure was adorable and lovable.

We toured Belle Isle State Park, a beautiful 982 acre state park near downtown Detroit. It's an island! You can see the barges come down the Detroit River and Canada to the south just across the river. 

There is a conservatory, a golf course, a working lighthouse (not open to the public), a Great Lakes Museum and an aquarium there as well. It's a beautiful park and picnicking area for families. 
the lighthouse is way off in the distance!

After we toured the park by car, we stopped for Sparky's birthday dinner at a terrific Mexican restaurant, Los Galanes.
We drove around downtown Detroit for a bit, marveling at the restoration efforts of some of the older mansions mixed in with new apartments. The area called Brush Park had some amazing homes.
All too soon, it was time to return home to Camp Tompkins...Apartment moving date has been postponed by the apartments for another week. More time to go furniture hunting and possible refinishing projects!  (Sigh.....says E.) Or not...

                                      Bye for now......