Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sahara Modifications

We did a 3" Zone suspension lift on the Jeep. This included new springs, shocks, boots and other suspension hardware. I wanted to regain a little of the height I lost when the F150 was sold. I'm sure we'll do other things to it over time, since this is our main vehicle now. At least we have something that can maneuver well in very deep snow.

While the lift was being done, we also had new rotors and ceramic brake pads put on the rear. This is a great lake vehicle with creature comforts and plenty of room. The front roof sections are easily removed for an open-air experience. I found an adjustable hitch insert for towing the cargo trailer.

Winter Is Almost Over

We had a lot of snow and winter seemed to last forever. We still haven't found a good winter past time and that makes it really boring. I think spring is my favorite time of year because only good things follow. Fall is nice too, but it's kind of bittersweet since you know what is coming.

I would like to do a lot of back road exploring this summer, but we might have to be a little conservative if gas prices are high. Forecasters say this summer may be cooler with far less 90 degree days than we experienced last summer. Cooler but sunny...that would be fine. I'm ready to open up the RV at the lake.

During the week, I'm going to try visiting the Riverwalk more often and get a little more exercise.

Misu Passes Away

Misu, our 18 year old Cocker Spaniel, passed away one year after Maggie died. We got Misu from a farm near town in August 1993, just after Dad passed away. Misu was an athletic dog all of her life and took on the watch dog responsibilities. Sandy (7), and Maggie II (1) keep us company now and are true camping dogs. Misu got us hooked on the Cocker Spaniel breed and will be missed.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Where Did It Go?

Wow! The summer went by so fast. We got a lot of work done at home and it seemed easier to keep up with the chores. Maggie continues to grow and has become part of the family. We had many 90 degree days this season, but also many weekend storms. Many of them occurred while we were at the lake.

I want to take more pictures (I know I've said that before) and have family and friends up to visit more often next season. We did improve on our method of travel this year though. We sold the F150 and purchased an '08 Jeep Wrangler Sahara Unlimited in Kendallville. This gives us more creature comforts on the highway and large cargo capacity, without sacrificing offroad capability.

The fall has been good to us this year, and we're hoping for a mild winter so we won't have to be couped up indoors. We now have some lake friends on Facebook, so that should help make the winter seem shorter. I guess we'll do some indoor projects and do some organizing too. All the kids are doing ok and they all made it to Jennifer's wedding in October. Work has been busy and stressful for Shelly...I hope things calm down!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Torch Is Passed

Maggie, our fifteen year old Cocker Spaniel, passed away at the end of February. That was a tough time for us. Misu (17) and Sandy (6) are still around but I think they missed her too. All of our dogs have been family bred and raised puppies. We came across a family that had a litter of puppies so we went to check them out. The first born was a little cutie that looked a lot like Maggie, so we used her namesake and took home Maggie May.

We bought her a new crate and Beneful Puppy Formula to get her started. I was a little worried about her first night (from past experience), but she did great. We had a blanket with her litter scent but she wanted to sleep on my mowing sweatshirt. She also wanted the "big dog" food, so we went with the flow. Mags got along fine with the other dogs and she was good in the Jeep.

Maggie is truely a people dog! She loves to lay on or against our feet or follow us from room to room. Her personality is very much like the first Maggie. She is the light buff puppy in the pictures below. These were her one month photos.

Nice April!

Spring has been good to us this year. We've been down to the lake three times this month, but we've gotten into a sun-during-the-week-rain-on-the-weekend pattern. A lot of our attention this month has gone to completing some much overdue projects at home. Painting, new doors, yard/garden work has kept us busy. We are ready to "shift gears" whenever the weather does.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Winter Begins

Winter began for us the Saturday before Christmas. It started with light snow outside and stomach flu inside. I guess it was better to have it then, rather than closer to Christmas. On Christmas Eve we had Jim, Tara, her boyfriend and his four kids over for dinner and presents. Their mom had passed away in the fall, so we tried to help make it a decent Christmas for them. Christmas Day we had Jennifer, Eddie and the grandkids over for dinner and more presents. Both days went very well and this will be a Christmas to remember!

We have already started our winter house cleaning and I'm not sure what plans we'll come up with for New Years. The snow has continued to fall ... a little at a time ... and that's how we like it. I've spent some time on a new quad-core computer and I think it's just about ready to take over for an older computer. I try to keep the technology from getting too old.

We are looking ahead and planning some vacation time for the warmer weather. I'm sure we'll be more than anxious to get the RV opened up as soon as weather permits.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Great November!

The weather was much better than normal for the entire month. Those sunny weekends were nice and we took advantage of them. We had a nice Thanksgiving feast at our house with kids and grandkids. Most of our Christmas shopping is done and it's still the last day of November!

I like it when the weather transitions more slowly. You have time to finish up those warm weather jobs and prepare for the cold weather. I think it's easy on your body too. The less time we have to be couped up in the house...the better! The sun light makes a huge difference in your moods.

Thanksgiving put Shelly in the holiday spirit, because she had almost all of the Christmas decorations up by the time I got home from work Friday...YEA! Even the tree was up and decorated.

Monday, October 19, 2009

To Jeep Or Not To Jeep

People have asked me why I get so excited about Jeep Wranglers. To me a Jeep is a compact, simple utility vehicle with good off-road capability. This means it's cheap to keep it running and I can go just about anywhere I want in any kind of weather. The Jeep is versatile and allows me to configure it the way I want by removing the top, rear seat, doors or by folding the windshield down. I always have adequate safety with a roll cage, air bags and ABS braking.

Many videos posted feature extreme Jeep events like rock-crawling or mud bogging. Most Jeep owners never participate in these types of events (which also require expensive modifications to vehicles). More commonly experienced, are trips down unpaved roads, rides on the beach and exploring narrow trails in the woods.

Jeep Wranglers probably have more after-market parts and accessories available than any other vehicle. This makes it possible for the owner to redesign the Jeep to reflect their own personality. Check out: or and you'll get a better picture. Wranglers also rank high when it comes to retaining resale value.