Don’t know about your home but ours has an abundance of old computer related “trash.” CDs and DVDs lining bookshelves and the car can hardly fits in the garage for all the old PC computers and printers. Between Ipod, Netflick, Itunes, Smartphones, and Tablets thing like CD and DVD are so yesterday (we rarely have any of this “technotrash in the motorhome. But just tossing that technotrash doesn’t seems right. What to do? It turns out there is a market for old, damaged, or obsolete computers, CDs and DVDs. Actually, the market is for what makes up the technotrash like the polycarbonate plastic covering the reflective data layer on the disc. Technotrash, like discs, can be recycled but it is a small industry at the moment with very few drop-off points. Two companies, Greendisk and CD Recycling Center of American, will accept technotrash mailed to them. Of course, you could use old disc as coasters, wind chime style mobile for the patio, or maybe do some type of wallcovering in the bathroom but recycling does sound like a better idea.
Now, if I could just figure out what to do the 8-track tapes
Need something for the children to do while setting up your campsite or just need a little “adult” time, try a campground scavenger hunt.
Not familiar with the campground or never put a scavenger hunt together, use these suggestions -
For young, pre-school age children
Three different bugs
Three different flowers
Three rocks of different colors
Three trees with different leaves or needles.
For older, elementary age children
A bug that flies.
A bug that crawls or wiggles.
A bug that walks.
Three different kinds of conifer trees.
A deciduous tree with oval leaves, with pointed leaves, and with blade-like leaves.
Here are a couple of “printable” Scavenger Hunts that would be good, too. Just click on the links and follow the instructions provided.
One of the first things a cook learns when camping, when camp is a mile or more high, is it takes longer for things to cook. Fred is a meat-and-potato kind-ah guy and for a long time I just could not get the two done at the same time until I learned these tricks:
1. Peel your potato,
Cut in half,
Than cut the potato in quarters the long way,
than across in thin (about 1/4-inch) slices.
Toss in your pot and bring to a boil on campfire or campstove. The potato cooks in less than half the time. Leftover potatoes are ready for a breakfast.
2. Use pre-cooked or frozen potatoes.
3. Instant mash potatoes must have been invented by a camper. Lightweight and quick, requiring less water and minimal cooking time, they are my favorite and most trusted go-to potato product.
What would be ugly in a garden constitutes beauty on a mountain.
Avoid the “Are we there yet?” from the backseat by providing each child with their own map each morning at breakfast. (I would provide a map of our “before lunch” route to one child and an “after lunch” map to the other one.) You can print such a map from Google maps on the internet or from a mapping software you might have on your computer or use a road atlas map.
Briefly talk about the route, giving the child some idea of what might be waiting up ahead, such as a town with a funny name or a river with a history. You might want to highlight the planned route, may be not. Give the child a pencil and have them make notes on their map about what they see along the way. Maybe there is a 10-ft cowboy that waves at passing traffic, a herd of black cows with a white cream center (we called them Oreo cows) beside the road, or a really fun rest area they will want to remember.
Remind the child, they are the co-navigator and should let the driver know the name of any upcoming river or town and if there is some turn or change in the route coming up.
Some things to talk with the child about so they might be more aware of what they are going to see are:
Do the number signs look different for State, County, and US routes?
How does the map tells us if a route is State, County or US?
What are mile-marker?
Does every route have mile-marker? Why would mile-markers be important?
Are the mile-marker numbers going up or down? What do you think that tells us?
On April 17, 1933, the first Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), Camp Roosevelt, was established in the George Washington National Forest in northwest Virginia. There would be 14 more CCC camps built on the George Washington and Thomas Jefferson national forests, both in Virginia. A sad note is that, other than Camp Roosevelt, those other 14 camps are hard to find.
Camp Roosevelt has been preserved and offers visitors some insight to the camp, the CCC, and the enrollees who called the camp home but it tells only part of the story. People point to the following statistics to explain what the CCC did:
- more than 3,470 fire towers erected
- 97,000 miles of fire roads built
- 4,235,000 man-days devoted to fighting fires
- more than 3 billion trees planted
- disease and insect control
- forest improvement — timber stand inventories, surveying, and reforestation
- forest recreation development — campgrounds built, complete with picnic shelters, swimming pools, fireplaces, and restrooms.
What the numbers don’t show nor the interpretative signs illustrate is the impact on the young men, all of whom were unmarried, unskilled, many unable to read or write, unemployed, and between the ages of 17 and 25. What the CCC really did was far more than put thousands of young man to work or plant billions of trees. Not only did the CCC provide us, today, with some fabulous recreational opportunities in our national forests but gave us a generation to look back at and admire what they did. The CCC gave us role models and we shouldn’t forget that.
There are few ruminates of CCC camps left to remind us we owe a great deal to those young men who are now old or gone. It makes the preservation of places like Camp Roosevelt in Virginia and Camp Rabideau in MN all the more important.
Whether heading to the grocery store or a favorite camping stop, the ride there can be really boring for little passengers. There are just so many times “She’ll be around the mountain” can be sung. A possible alternative is “The State License Plate Game.” Basically, you print out the Game “board”, hand a copy to the little passenger along with a crayon, pencil, whatever, and have them find and scratch out as many of the state licenses as possible. The one with the most states is the winner. The prize could be anything from picking a lunch stop to an extra 30 minutes by the campfire. You can also challenge the passenger to find the license plate for the state where Uncle Tom lives, or where Grandma and Grandpa live, or where they live, or where a special place is located.
It is suggested the “State License Plate Game” be attached to a hard surface, like a clipboard or clipped to a bookcover.
Thanks to www.thedatingdavis.com.
I can believe it but National Arbor Day came and went without me realizing it. Shame on me because I consider trees to be something so very special. Officially, in Arizona, it was a week ago today! But that date can vary from state-to-state. So what’s the big deal?
I read a book titled “American Canopy” which explained the “big deal” very well. Let me paraphrase the why briefly for you. Although most of us might think the reason for our United States is freedom of religion, freedom from taxation without representation, and other noble reasons, the actually reason this country was settled was Europe’s need for trees. By the time Columbus reached our shores, all of Europe had chopped down almost every useful tree in the continent. The white man came to these shores for the purpose of harvesting as much lumber possible. The forests were so extensive and dense, the first settled regards the woods as the home of evil and were terrified. But, since arrival of Europeans the harvesting has continued pretty much non-stop. In the late 1880s, a newspaper editor in Nebraska, a place of few trees, proposed a day be set aside to celebrate trees by planting trees. The idea caught on and spread from the nearly treeless prairie state to every state in the union and we continue the tradition of tree planting to replace trees lost to “progress” and the needs of the people.
We may not have the magnificent forest populated with ancient species our fore-fathers saw but we are watching today’s tree growing tall and old. I like to think of Arbor Day as a celebration of tree and their contribution to our wonderful country. I mean, what is more iconic image of America than a street of family homes on a tree lined street. So totally Norman Rockwell, don’t you think.
“We want to camp in June. We are a small family with two pre-school children and a big dog. What campground would you suggest?”
Okay, I am paraphrasing but you get the idea. We get this question, or some variation, almost every week. I know finding the “prefect” campground is a challenge but a key is to narrow down your selection criteria.
From the above I have a bunch of holes that need to be filled in such: Where, like state, do you want to camp?; What mode of camping will be used?; Are they tent campers, car campers, or maybe they have some recreational vehicle (RV); Is that RV a Class A, pop-up travel trailer or something in between? and, What are your “must-have” amenities?
I suggest making a list of what your “perfect” campground “must have” as a starting point. For Fred and I the requirements are different but we agree our top “must have” is a lack of crowds. So with this in mind I look for a campground without a lots of whiz-bang fancy attractions. In a private campground that means no playgrounds, swimming pool, restaurant or such. In a state or federal campground we stay away from places with big lakes, whitewater rivers, and super outstanding fishing and head for campgrounds off a paved road and less than 50 campsites.
For me (and this is my list only), a private campground must have full hook-ups, a laundry, clean bathrooms, hot showers and not be priced beyond reason. Fred would add wifi and enough separation between sites to put out the awning. In a state or federal campground, I want trees, at least one trail, potable water, a bathroom, and quiet. Fred wants a level parking apron, a good amount of sunshine, and a water spigot really close by. (Notice Fred’s wants are difficult to determine until we get to the campground.)
So what would be on your “must have” list? Okay, now you know what you want, which would you prefer — public or private campgrounds? Do I need to say we tend to opt for campgrounds in national forests and grasslands? But a lot of folks go for private campgrounds while others are happy with a Walmart parking lot campsite.
Okay that’s a good start but where does one go to locate information about campgrounds? The problem with answering this question is there are so many places to go for campground information. You can use one of the telephone book size directories like the one published by Trailer Life and Woodall. And then there are numerous websites, like ours, ForestCamping.com, that list hundreds of campgrounds. Toss in “word-of-mouth” suggestions and you can be completely overwhelmed even before you take a look at what’s available via today’s technology and apps.
We are getting away from those phonebook directories and going more with an app Fred has on his smart phone. One reason is it includes reviews and another reason is the app will actually guide us to the campground. However, on problem with Fred’s campground app is huge. I would like it better if I could use some filters so my choices would be limited to campgrounds with, say, a laundry and are dog friendly.
Ask anyone who knows me and they will confirm it – I’m a messy baker and not thrilled with cleaning up the mess. May be that’s why I have a whole series of one pan cake recipes. My Lemon Squares recipe is almost mess free, so easy and yummy. Perfect for summer picnics, school lunchboxes, or for company. An added bonus to this recipe is it is a great introduction to baking for children. The only trick is to make sure all the flour in the corners is mixed into the wet ingredients. I don’t think you can overmix the batter and it is a yummy sponge for soaking up ice cream.
First step, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Now, put all the dry ingredients in an ungreased square pan. With a dinner fork, mix the dry ingredients to combine. All the wet ingredients are in the measuring cup on the right of this photo, waiting to be added in just a minute or so.
The recipe calls for grated lemon peel but I like to use a bartenders tool that makes lemon peel threads and add them now so they get coated with the flour. When you serve a square it looks like happy yellow threads of sunshine are in the cake.
Add the wet ingredients (plus a tablespoon of water if you are above 5,500 feet elevation) and mix thoroughly. Note: I’m using a glass square pan so there is no need to increase temperature to compensate for the elevation but if the pan is metal, the oven’s temperature would be increased by 25 degrees). If you are baking this recipe below 5,500 feet elevation, no adjustments are necessary.
Slip pan into preheated oven and clean up. See the yellow threads of sunshine?
Here are all the dirty dishes I had – got to love it!
The lemon syrup give the top a crunch while the cake is so moist and tender. The strawberries are so good this year and compliment the Lemon Squares nicely.
Lemon Squares- one pan
1-1/2 C. flour
1 C. sugar
1-1/2 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 C milk
1/3 C. oil
2 t. grated lemon peel
In 8 or 9″ square pan with fork mix well flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add eggs, milk, oil and peel; mix well. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 30 minutes or until pick inserted in center comes out clean. Remove from oven: pour syrup over top. Return to oven and bake 5 minutes. If necessary, baste top with any syrup that collects around the edges.
Lemon Syrup - Mix 2/3 C. sugar and 3 T. lemon juice and set aside until needed.