Rollie Pollie and The Tadpole

When I see a Monarch butterfly it makes me think of my mom, when Mitch see’s a hummingbird it reminds him of his dad.


I believe most people have something in the wild that remind them of a loved one that’s passed.  I asked Mitch the other day what he would want to remind me of him, if he were to die before me and he gave me the silliest answer, an earwig! I told him that just wouldn’t work for me, they are icky and they have pinchers (plus they’re always in pops place and I end up killing them)! I needed him to pick something else, I mean how about an eagle or a fox? Nope, after a couple more odd choices he picked one that I could manage, a rollie pollie, (or as he calls them, a potato bug) makes me smile just thinking of his choice! When did we have this deep conversation you ask? It was when we were driving up to Clark Fork River Saturday July 30th on our way in Harvy the RV to go kayaking….alone, just the two of us!


Life is a highway (remember that song) and Mitch is usually the one driving

We are beyond blessed to have a wonderful friend couple, Mike and Karen, VOLUNTEER their time to watch pops and the dogs for a night while we took a much-needed break.  Karen is one of the three gals that cares for dad during those times when we aren’t able to work out our schedules for one of us to be with him and she’s been so great with him.


Near Hope Idaho

But for both of them to give of their time and most of their weekend to help us out and not want anything in return, we are forever indebted to them. Not just for that weekend, but for all the times they’ve been there for us! Good quality people and great friends, one of life’s greatest treasures.

What to do when you home make kayak rack doesn't work!

What to do when your home-made kayak rack doesn’t work yet?…Improvise!

When we made it to the boat launch at Clark Fork River we cased out the area and saw people camping.  We roamed around reading all the signs, checking to see if we needed to pay, but all it said was 3 day max for camping…. really, could it be free?!  We found one area tucked the back, surrounded by trees with a fire pit right in the center.  We were so excited that we could camp right in the same vicinity of the boat launch, but first we opted to look a little further.  As we walked towards the water directly in our line of sight was an open spot next to two other campers with a little fire pit, literally right on the side of the water and Harvy would  fit perfectly!  I stayed right where I was, calling dibs on that prime real-estate so no one else could lay claim while Mitch went and got Harvy.


Mitch pulled up and parked Harvy



We unloaded the kayaks



And in 15 minutes we were on the water! There’s Harvy, and our friendly camping neighbors to the left (even offered us their remaining wood)


Look Ma, no hands


We saw both Hawks and Eagles while kayaking


From the sound it made, we were almost certain it was a Hawk


The water was so serene and calm, until we ventured out into Lake Pend Oreille. There were white caps on the lake that day, so we turned around and headed back to our campsite.


But not before we saw a pretty daisy growing out of the water

Our night away was so refreshing we topped the night off with some dollar store games.  We started with  domino’s, followed by rummy and capped the night off with the memory match game!  Honestly it couldn’t have been better, just to breathe, catch up and have some quality time together. The next morning we opted to kayak up the river, going right of our campsite since the night before we’d gone left. Believe it or not it was more serene and secluded than the other way!


Can you feel the peace and tranquility?

We’ve been on the water a few times now and neither of us had fallen in, until now.  It was morning time and we were ready to go adventure before heading home.  Feeling confident and certain of myself I decide to get in my own way,  I mean it’s been so easy straddling and sitting so far, why not just put my foot in and get in right? Nope, the kayak tipped and half of me was in water before I knew it, oops.  So I did what anyone who doesn’t learn the first time does, I did the exact same thing AGAIN and this time I took a real fall in the water, the kayak flipped over and I was submerged up to my neck.  Couldn’t tell you why I just didn’t keep doing what I had been doing, but during the first fall I hit my thumbnail on the kayak and it ripped a corner of the nail from the nail bed and it was bleeding.


See the white lines, that’s where the nail pulled away from the nail bed. Ouch

After that I really wasn’t thinking straight and was more determined to get in my way and was trying to not notice the pain.  Which of course made matters worse, and more comical. Mitch being super concerned and wonderfully loving about my double dipping had a great laugh with me about it after I finally got in. He just wished he’d caught it on camera.


there’s something about going under a bridge, it’s just neat

We hadn’t named our kayaks yet and it was right around this area when we were talking about getting decals so we could tell them apart, since they’re the same boat.  I was giving Mitch a hard time and told him we should call his Rollie Pollie and mine Tadpole. Funny enough, we loved it, sealed it with a kiss and kept on paddling.


After going under this bridge it takes you toward to lake and right away it’s choppy


We fall more in love with kayaking the more we do it. It’s just so peaceful and the fact that we are two love birds floating on the water, it’s just ducky!


Flower power


upclose it looks like a  cherry blossom tree


Heading back to pack up feeling replenished and refreshed

It’s only while I was writing this post did it dawn on me that another name for Tadpole is Pollywog.  Those two names are just fun to say together, Pollywog and Rollie Pollie but in the end we named it The Tadpole.  It just fits, like me and my love!

Home Sweat Home

It is amazingly great to be back home and we hit the ground running when we got to the house. The first few days we spent cleaning the house and yard, followed by painting and laying new flooring.

laundry room before

laundry room before


laundry room after

laundry room after

Our new floor Mitch put in from Home Depot.  It's Allure, it's awesome and the color is Piedmont Ash

Our new bedroom floor Mitch put in. It’s Allure from Home Depot, it’s awesome and the color is Piedmont Ash

Although we’ve now been home for two weeks it feels like it’s only been a few days. In addition to cleaning the house, we needed to clean the trailer, camper and truck and then list them all for sale on craigslist. Oh yeah, by the way, if you or anyone you know is looking to buy, check them out on craigslist. click on each word below to see the actual listing:


travel trailer





Loaded and ready to tackle that mountain


While cleaning we used a product that Mitch read about online before we’d left for our travels and boy does it do the job, it’s called  Bar Keepers Friend.

great stuff that really works

great stuff that really works and doesn’t have a super strong odor

We had a spill in the oven in the trailer and it was a dark solid cooked in mess, my new little friend made it super easy and it looks like new! Works great to remove water spots as well. All this work and sweat doesn’t mean that it hasn’t been super sweet to be home, we just haven’t slowed down much to enjoy it like we should.


got some beautiful plants for the house already

got some beautiful plants for the house already

Last week we also put a fence inside our fence for the dogs. Our yard is so large and was neglected over the last couple years so when it rains, mud is a huge issue with the dogs. We decided to create a little piece of paradise right out our back door where the dogs can go, and after we lay brick there won’t be any mud! Yahoo, so grateful my sweetie pie is a great fence guy.

Charlie enjoying the yard while Mitch is working hard

Charlie taking a break while Mitch is hard at work


We are finally somewhat unpacked and organized. We still have too much stuff, I still have too many clothes and am seriously considering seeking professional help on how to lessen my possessions. The anxiety that I’d experienced while traveling has now came back to haunt me as we unpacked boxes that were stored in the shed.


Milo enjoying the leaves from last fall before we cleaned up the yard

Milo enjoying the leaves from last fall before we cleaned up the yard

Yesterday we went through our last boxes, full of paperwork. It took about 6 hours and finally I feel somewhat organized. We’re looking forward to washing the road grime off our bicycles in the week to come and slowing down to enjoy the bliss that we are finally settled back home.


Happy Father's Day!!!

 Breakfast of champions: 2 pancakes drowned in syrup, three fried eggs and three slices of bacon with a side of black coffee. So Happy! Happy Father’s Day!!!


Papa’s gotten settled into his own little place 15ft from the house and is starting to relax into his own routine.   This morning Mitch and I made him a Father’s Day breakfast on his favorite kind of plate…paper!  We wish all you father’s out there a wonderfully happy day.




Taking the Long Way Home

Everything happens for a reason they say, and our path to finding our home was no exception. We spent the last few weeks trying to find the 5th wheel toyhauler that was just right for us. No matter which one we looked at, nothing felt right. Either Mitch kinda liked it and I didn’t or I kinda liked it and he didn’t. Papa being his easy going self was supportive of whatever.


easy going and full of fun

Finally, we found one that we all thought could work for us and we made an offer, but they wouldn’t go down in price and no deal was made. That night we were so perplexed about things not working out. I was frustrated with the idea of paying a large amount of money for something that didn’t have the things we were looking for, and just settling.  It was to the point that if we had to settle we would just get a darn camper and make it work. At that moment in the conversation, when Mitch mentioned a camper a lightbulb shinned a spotlight onto the answer to our prayers. Go a different way, if plan A didn’t work, plan B isn’t right, go to plan C, get a camper and a travel trailer! We thanked God for the deal not working with the 5th wheel and experienced a surge of renewed excitement and confidence. This is our path!  Papa can live in the camper and the dogs and us can live in the travel trailer!! The best of both worlds. Now dad can nap at noon, go to bed at 7:30 and wake up at 4:30. We won’t have to tip toe around each others sleeping habits, still have two bathrooms, it costs less and we can have our own space! Yippeee! It seemed as if the options would be endless when we decide this new direction. Until we started looking. There were things to take into consideration, the weight, having a short bed truck, and towing the trailer with the camper on the truck. Finding a camper was more challenging than expected but in a few days we knew exactly what we wanted. None were to be found within a 200 mile radius, the closest one was apache camping in Everett. Don made the process simple,  emailed us a purchase order and is holding the camper for us. We will be picking it up on July 30th.


Papa’s fancy new home

It’s a livinlite camplite camper.  It’s made of all aluminum and weighs 1670 lbs,  plus it matches the truck and won’t hang over the bed. Onto our trailer… We looked at every dealership at least twice, and a couple we began to know the layout better than those that worked there. Still nothing that met our needs. Again, would we have to settle? Then last week on craigslist we saw one that had a few of the things we wanted from a private seller and figured why not check it out. We didn’t have our hopes too high when we went and looked, but it was everything we wanted and more! It has great closet space, kitchen counter space, plenty of cupboards, storage and the best part, wait for it…. Two bathroom sinks!! Who would have thought that we would finally get our two sinks in a travel trailer.

Home sweet home

Home sweet home

It’s a 2012 Rockwood signature ultra lite 32 ft. Excellent condition, and great colors for the interior. the search is finally over. The couple we bought it from are wonderful people, they are going to give us a complete walk through on Wednesday and since the truck is in the shop they are going to haul it out to our place afterwards. So grateful to be back on track. It’s been a long few months, with some trying times but it has all worth it.