Sunday, April 17, 2016

First Annual Redwood Rally in Texas!

Last month, early March, we attended the first Annual Texas Regional
 Redwood Rally in Canton, Texas!  This was the first of several regional
 rallies that Redwood RV has scheduled for this year.  Then in August,
 Redwood/Crossroads RV will be holding the National Rally in Shipshewana,
 Indiana.  We had the blessing of attending the National Rally last summer 
and look forward to attending again this year!

The front of the Great Lodge at Mill Creek Ranch Resort.

At Mill Creek Ranch Resort, the sky and clouds in Canton, Texas.......lot of rain!!

The rally in Canton was held at Mill Creek Ranch Resort, a beautiful resort right down the road from where First Monday Trade Days are held.  (To those of you who have never attended First Monday in Canton, it is a huge open market, with vendors that are selling anything from food to furniture to tools to arts and crafts items. It is quite an adventure to attend!)  The resort has numerous RV sites with full hook-ups.  It also has lovely small cottages for purchase or for rent, several small lakes with fishing docks/piers, paddle boats, a large lodge and very sweet concierges and staff!

 We were well taken care of by the resort!  We were also spoiled a bit by Redwood!  We each received a great tee shirt and we were treated to a delicious catered meal ---- from a local BBQ shop (Baker's Ribs) --- OUTSTANDING FOOD!!!  

 As you can see, we all enjoyed the BBQ very much, and even had some leftovers for the next day's potluck!  Thank you Redwood!!  

A few days prior to the rally, Terry Cooper, The RV Professor, held a 3 day maintenance course that Bob attended.  There were 5 other "students" in the class, and each one said that they learned invaluable information.  In the class, they had classroom information in the morning and the afternoons were hands-on (at least as much as they could, as we had torrential rains every day, except the day that we left).  Since then, Bob has checked numerous things on our rig that he learned about in the class!  (Every refridgerator that the class looked at had at least one issue that was able to be fixed ...)

Certification Time!
We had several excellent presentations given
during the rally....... Nino, our area's Redwood representative had a great Q & A, Evan from Explore USA was there to answer questions for us, plus sessions included:  the RV's refridgerator, our tires and brakes (thanks Ron!), the electricity in our units.....and even a wonderful presentation by Evada Cooper, The Professor's lovely wife, about the kitchen and cooking in our RV's.  The sessions were all lively and fun as well as beneficial.

Bob and "The Professor" Terry Cooper, Evada Cooper has her back to us......
World Famous, Y'All!!

We also had plenty of social time, making new friendships. 
 For lunch one day we went to Canton's Dairy Palace, 
a fun diner with a vintage feel, and excellent food......
YUM !!!
they even had the Texas favorite: Blue Bell ice cream!  
We had hoped to be able to a few campfires together, 
but the rain never let up until we left, so we hope to work
 that in next year!

Blue Bell has its very own counter!

The week went by so quickly!  We truly had a wonderful time, as I am sure everyone did.  We are looking forward to next year's rally!  Our thanks to Redwood/Crossroads RV, Terry and Evada Cooper, Mill Creek Ranch Resort, Baker's Ribs and everyone who did so much to make this first annual rally a success!

Thanks Shelley for sending me this photo!  Our Texas Regional Rally crew, minus 2.

Until next time. . . . . . .

Tuesday, August 11, 2015



Beautiful Indiana.........Shipshewana is also known as Amish Country

Hello Dear Family and Friends!!!!  As many (or most) of you know, we 
live in our 5th Wheel Travel Trailer full time.  Our 5th Wheel is a Redwood, 
and this past long weekend, we went to our very first Redwood Rally!  We really
did not know what to expect, never having attended anything like this.

Our Own Texas Rose at the Rally.......

My goodness!!!  There were just under 70 Redwoods in attendance, and this was only
their 4th Annual Rally!  Bob and I loved seeing all of the Redwoods lined up and down the lanes!  Our friend Dean Landmesser was able to travel along with us, and his Bigfoot Trailer was parked in amongst a forest of Redwoods!

Redwoods up and down, with the occasional Motorhome in the mix!

We met some fabulous folks and oodles of new friends.  Redwood spoiled
us all.....and we all loved it!  We were showered with goodies from the company,
from the campground and from our Redwood Owners Group........  They fed us 
multiple delicious meals and treated us to minor service repairs on our rigs!  We learned
about the workings of our slides, our roofs, our fridges, propane, and more!

Terry Cooper, "The Texas Professor" sharing some insights about our propane that we all have onboard

 We also had some "ladies" seminars, setting up and breaking camp and how our kitchens can work for us......learning about induction cooking and convection ovens! Evada, "Lady E" Cooper and her husband, Terry "The Texas Professor"  were wonderful
"teachers," and I know that EVERYONE came away with new tidbits of 
knowledge----Thank You Evada and Terry!!!

We have loved our Redwood from the very beginning, and having met and listened to the owner, Andy, and GM, Jim, I not only feel as though we have been blessed with our "Texas Rose" (our name for our Redwood), but we have been blessed with more family, our Redwood Family!  We have 2 quite wonderful young women who are our own liaisons
with the company......Go Christian and Taylor!  (They are both full of energy, concern and a true desire to give of themselves, and to go to bat for the Redwood Owners if need be. AND, 
they both give wonderful hugs!)

Taylor is on the left and Christian is on the right----look at those smiles!

Time to Eat!!!!!

At the Salon.........

The night before the official beginning of the Rally, we had a Ladies' Night Out!  We went to a salon in Sturgis, Michigan and had some pampering with manicure and pedicures.......

Love this color!

then ended the evening with a delicioso meal at Maria's Mexican Restaurant!  I had some wonderful Fish Tacos......  (Bob and Dean and I made a return visit to Maria's on Sunday after the Rally!)


The campground that hosted us was the Shipshewana Campground, South.  The staff

here at this campground were fabulous!!!!!  They had wonderful
goodie bags ready for each one of the rigs, they worked hard to group us all together
and did whatever they could to make our stay most enjoyable.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for all you did to make our stay comfortable and enjoyable!!!!  We had cows and horses
on 3 sides of the campground (  :-)  ), plenty of trees around, and the wonderful
clip-clop of the horses pulling the Amish buggies down the road was heard throughout the day.
The sites were grass and gravel, full hook-ups, we had internet available and our Jet Pack worked
like a charm!

The sights and sounds around Shipshewana were wonderful!  We loved the
feel of country even in the city, well, town.  We saw several farmers (Amish) who were working in their fields with their teams of draft horses---beautiful horses!  Some of the Papas were teaching their sons to work the teams..... We saw women and lovely young ladies hanging out wash, working in their gardens, playing with the family dog....... lots of smiles!

On our next trip there I hope to have a few more days to head to the Cheese and Meat shoppe and the E & S, bulk shopping experience! Not to mention the quilt and fabric shops!  We DID get to eat at the 5 and 20 as one of Bob's cousins recommended---delicious!  We splurged on a breaded pork tenderloin sandwich......not a sandwich that we can find in Texas......seems to be a Hoosier thing!

Our Sincere Thanks to Redwood / Crossroads, to our Redwood Owners Group and to the Shipshewana Campground South for making our week such a wonderful experience........You all are THE BEST!!!

We are both looking forward to next year.....AND to our regional Rally in Texas!!!!
Sending you all hugs and blessings.......

How beautiful!!!!

Till Later . . . . . .

The sunset over the campground on our first evening there........

Monday, April 28, 2014

52 Week Challenge #13 Ingham Starkey


Bob's 3rd Great Grandfather
~Bob's Mother's Father's Father's
Mother's Father~

Ingham Starkey was born circa 1820 in Ohio,
possibly Muskingum County, to
John Starkey and Polly James Starkey.
There were 9 children that we are aware of
born to John and Polly Starkey, of which
Ingham was the 4th eldest.
Ingham's younger years were spent in 
Ohio, the family moving to Indiana circa 1829.

Ingham's father, John, died circa 1838-1839, and 
Guardianship papers were filed for Ingham Starkey,
granting guardianship to John Parker on the 13th of September, 

Ingham was soon to find his future wife, Ruelma Rowe.
( )
They were married on the 5th of May in 1842
in Tippecanoe County, Indiana.  The ceremony was
officiated by A. M. Roe, Justice of the Peace.

Above is a copy of the Marriage Record for Ingham and Ruelma.

Ingham and Ruelma were blessed with 3 children, Harriet,
John W. and Mary Elizabeth or "Lib," as she was called.
(Bob's line flows through Harriet.)

Ingham is a Sawyer by trade.  A Sawyer was a
carpenter, or someone who worked with wood.

One of Bob's cousins, who
has worked diligently on the
family genealogy, found what I feel
is a wonderful
bit of documentation;
November 5, 1850
Ingham Starkey purchased a Bible
for his wife Ruelma in 
Wyandotte, Indiana for $1.50.
Ruelma faithfully entered the family's events
into her treasured Bible.
What a lovely gift for Ingham to give.

Ingham and Ruelma did not have many years
to share together . . . .
 Ingham died at the young age of 33.
It was Christmas Eve, December 24, 1853 that
Ruelma entered into her Bible for the date
of her young husband's death.

The above article was found in the Lafayette newspaper,
The Daily Courier, December 27, 1853.

Below is a photo that is believed to be Ingham Starkey and his 
son John W. Starkey.

Ingham is interred in Dayton Cemetery,
in Dayton, Tippecanoe County, Indiana.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

52 Week Challenge #12 Claus Oscar "C.O." Carlson

Claus Oscar Carlson
(Klas Oskar Carlsson--Swedish spelling)

C.O. Carlson
Oscar Carlson

Claus Oscar Carlson was my
Great Grandfather, my
Mother's Father's Father.

He was most often called Oscar or C.O.

Claus Oscar Carlson was born in Oja, Flen,
Sodermanland, Sweden.  He was born on the 
24th of March in 1869.
Oscar's parents were Karl Erik Eriksson
Johanna Augusta Andersdotter.
Oscar was one of 10 children, Karl Johan "Charlie", Elin Augusta,
Erik Gustaf "Gust", Klas Oskar "Oscar", Anders Axel "Axel", 
August Conrad, Vilhelm Tonnes, Anna Maria, Erika Johanna
and Olivia Viktoria.

The family is pictured below:
Oscar is the young man on the far right.
The photo was taken circa 1880 in Sweden.

As children most of, or all of, the children of the family played
a musical instrument and/or sang.  I can imagine that
it was a lively and joyful household

I wish that I knew more about Oscar and his sibling's growing up years.

I have been able to find birth and death records, written in the
original Swedish! I am still looking for
the marriage record for Oscar and Anna. 

Circa 1892, Oscar married Anna Christian Carlsson.
Two months to the day before Oscar and Anna's first child was
born, (June 30, 1893) Oscar left Vadsbro, Sodermanland and on
July 4, 1893 he boarded a ship in Gothenburg that was
bound for America.

Oscar went to Chicago, Illinois, where a couple of his siblings had
already immigrated to.  Oscar found work, a place to live and made ready
to receive his little family.
Within what seemed like 2 long years, Oscar's wife Anna, and their 
sweet little daughter Ellen Maria Olivia Carlson joined him
in Chicago.

Within approximately a 10 year period, 8 of the Carlson siblings
had immigrated to America, most living in the Chicago area.  Two 
siblings stayed in Sweden, Tonnes and Conrad.

A photo of the "American" Carlson siblings:
In the back row, from the left: Gust, Axel, Elin and Oscar.

 In the front row, from the left: Charlie (he was not able to be there for the photo, so the photographer inserted his image to complete the group), Erika, Anna and Olivia.

The family was close-knit and gathered frequently, entertaining one another with music, songs and 

In this photo below, Oscar is the gentleman in the back row with the violin.

I had mentioned how the Carlson family were all musically inclined . . . .
When my Great Grandfather Oscar Carlson immigrated to
America, he paid his way on the ship by playing his violin for
the entertainment of the passengers.

Oscar was a Foreman in Construction in the Chicago area.  
One time my Grandfather (Evar, the elder son of Oscar and Anna's)
told of being allowed to "go to work" with his Father.
Oscar was working on a roof not too far from
their home.  He had Evar climb up the ladder first and asked for a
hammer . . . . . . Well, Grandpa Evar handed his Father the 
hammer, but let go before Oscar had an opportunity to get a hold
on the hammer, and the hammer promptly fell on Oscar's head!  
Grandpa Evar was sent on home, and he 
said that was the last time that he was invited to 
"go to work" with his Father!

The Oscar Carlson Family.
Oscar and Anna seated in front.
Back, left to right:
Herbert, Ellen, Evar and Florence.

Oscar and Anna had at least 9 children,
only 4 of whom, lived to adulthood.
When Oscar was just over 50 years old, he changed careers.
He, Anna and their sons Evar and Herbert, moved from Chicago to
Amber, Michigan, where their eldest daughter had just been widowed.
Oscar took over the farming of his daughter
Ellen and her late husband's farmland.
It was on this farm that both Oscar and Anna
lived out their days, lovingly cared for by their children. 
Oscar died of Acute Myocardial Failure on the 
8th of April in 1953.
He was laid to rest in Brookside Cemetery in Scottville, Michigan
beside his wife Anna and surrounded by their children.
C.O. Carlson, circa 1952
Below is the Obituary that ran in the Ludington Daily News, 
April 8, 1953, Page 5, Column 3.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

In Lewisville, Texas For a Bit!

We have been in the Lewisville area 
now for the past month.
It has been great to spend time with
family here!
Plus we get to do fun things like 
take Grizz and Bailey to 
the Vet for their 6 month
checks . . . . 
Get our dental and physical
checks . . . 
all fun stuff!!!  :-)

 We spent a month at a campground that
we stayed in quite a bit when
we first moved down 
to Texas, Pilot Knoll Campground.

We really enjoy it there,
the sites are large, lots of trees, lake view from most all sites,
just really lovely.

Above, Robert has the fire pit ready
and going . . . .
Heather, Kevin, Mace and Kaelan
and Mary Ellen and Kelcy
were able to come out for the
evening and we
cooked "Hobo Dinners" over
the fire, and rounded it out with 
S'mores!  YUM!

Mace looks like he is telling a story . . . . 
and below, 
KJ and Kev pose for a photo.

Mary Ellen and Kelcy and Mace in the background
There was much laughing, of course!
Mary Ellen and Kelcy--- we all had a good time!

 We don't get to see MaryEllen and 
Kelcy as often as we would
like, as they live 
a bit further, 
in North Richland Hills.
They both have busy
work schedules . . . . . . . 
(We can relate  . . .)

We were just missing Jason
and family and Derek
and family. . . . 

Next time!

We also had the treat of being able 
to go to another Track Meet!
This Meet was one of Mace's ----
his very first in fact!
Mace throws Discus for his track 

"The Wind-up"

Mace does 2 "wind-ups" and on the 3rd time,
he throws

Above, when he threw the discus, his glasses came up onto his forehead!

Checking his throw distance

Mace took 4th place in the Meet and
came in 3rd place for his team.
Pretty good for his first time!

Mace is in 7th grade now.  He 
is taking all the pre-AP classes that he can.
He is in his 2nd year of playing viola
in his school's orchestra.  (He has improved
so much since last year, and he loves it!)
He is the grandchild who used to
say "Grandma, do you have any
music without words. . . .
you know, like a soundtrack to
Lord of the Rings"!
(He is also the one who knew that I would 
love the PianoGuys!)
He loves school, loves reading, researching
and has been working on writing
his own "Marvel" type comic strip.

Kaelan is in 1st grade.  He loves school, 
adores his teacher (Heather said that
she learned early in the year not to
challenge anything that his teacher said!)
cannot read enough!
He is still a lover of cars of all sorts,
and planes.  He knows most cars
and planes on sight . . . .
he is quite the gamer---playing racing games!
He is energy incarnate!
He talks non-stop . . . .   Gramps says you can
tell when KJ (his nickname) is asleep . . . 
he is quiet!
KJ is also a lover of music, but tends to
go for "Mom's Music"---rock.  :-)
He loved the song "What Does the Fox Say"! 

Good-bye from Texas. . . . .  
Till Later, Y'all!