Thursday, November 5, 2015

Solo Fall Kayaking

Tuesday late afternoon I took my first solo kayak outing at Lake Jericho. There was only one other kayaker on the lake and he was fishing. I think it was the most peaceful trip I've ever taken out there. It was nice to paddle around leisurely and watch the wildlife. I found that slow paddling and waiting and watching yields animals that don't even know or care that you are there.

Before I even got to the lake I ran into a minor detour. This little guy got out of the farm fencing and was just hanging out in the road. He finally moooooooved on and I could pass by. I was sure to tell the park worker that he was out and she informed me they were trying to contact the farm owner, so apparently he'd been hanging out for a while.

I was surprised to see turtles still out and about with how cool it was, but I suppose they try to absorb as much sun as possible while they have the chance.

And then I came upon this small hawk. I couldn't get a great photo of him, but it's clear enough to see what he is.  I came across another very large bird in a tree but it hopped onto the ground and out of the tree before I could tell if it was an eagle or a vulture.

I'm hoping to get back out again before I have to shelve the kayak for the winter.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Kayaking Shelby Lake

Yesterday was a gorgeous fall day in the mid 70's with the sun shining bright and a nice breeze blowing all day.  Christina and I decided to try out a new kayaking spot in Shelbyville, Ky called Shelby Lake.  It's a small 20 acre fishing lake in a Clear Creek Park with a tiny campground, volleyball nets, hiking trails and lots of wooded areas with picnic tables to hike or boat to and pull out to relax and have a bite to eat.

Once you get to the end of the lake you can continue on for quite a while on Clear Creek, which feeds Shelby Lake. We went as far as the highway overpass and then turned around and we paddled for about two hours.  We will go back earlier in the day where we can paddle further and pull out at one of the picnic areas and have lunch.

Here are a few photos of our expeditions. The rest can be seen on my Kayaking Lake Shelby Flickr album - more will be added with upcoming visits.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Casey County Apple Festival

Saturday I traveled with my Mom and Aunt Cindy to Liberty, Kentucky to pick up my Mama Rosie and go to the Casey County Apple Festival.  I had never been to this one before, I do love festivals, and it did not disappoint!  It was small, but had a lot of different vendors, tons of food, and the main attraction - the biggest apple pie I have ever seen in my entire life!  

Pie Ingredient Amount, excluding the pie crust:
  • 50 Bushels Granny Smith Apples
  • 175 lb Sugar
  • 50 lb Corn Starch
  • 30 lb Butter
  • 2 lb Salt
  • 3 lb Cinnamon
I couldn't get through the crowd for a photo before it was served out to the crowd, but this gives a good picture of the shear size of it. I didn't eat any because I'm on a strict diet and sugar is no part of it, but it smelled delicious!

We walked around, purchased some vendor goodies, and ate lunch.
Main Festival Strip
Me & Mama Rosie

My New Shirt - Couldn't pass it up!

Once we got back to the house we set Mama Rosie up with her early Christmas gift - a keyboard so she can play like she used to on her organ.  We also broke out the selfie stick for a group shot.  ;)  (I need to get a mirror attached to the stick so I can use the good rear camera instead of the blurry, front facing camera with no flash).
Mama Rosie trying out her new keyboard
Group Shot!
Aunt Cindy, Mama Rosie, Mom, Me

Friday, August 21, 2015

Pantry Door Updates

I continued the rubbed oil bronze updates with our mirrored pantry doors that are off to the side of our living area of the main floor. We removed the doors and the top trim piece so we could take them outside to paint. I then taped newspaper over the mirrors. Since these doors get used multiple times on a daily basis we primed and sealed them as well.  

Before painting the doors, I cleaned them up really well and lightly sanded the edges.  I put a coat of Rust-Oleum White Clean Metal Primer first.  After about 10 minutes it was completely dry.  Next I did one good coat of Rust-Oleum Rubbed Oil Bronze Metallic to match our light fixtures, vent covers, outlet covers and switch plate covers. I let that coat dry for about an hour and then sealed with Rust-Oleum Matte Clear Enamel.  I let the sealer dry for an hour, even though it was ready well before that.  It's a small change, but makes a big difference for an eye sore in the room.


I had initially also frosted the mirrors with this design using Rust-Oleum Frosted Glass, but since I frosted while the mirrors were laying flat it turned out blotchy and I ended up scraping it all off.  ( Disclaimer: This was user error - this product works really well when done correctly and I'm very pleased with the frosting of our bathroom window. ) I may give it another shot now that the doors are hanging back up. I really want to tone down the mirrored look, but for now the edging helps enough to make me content. If I end up redoing the frost I'll update with a link.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Kayaking Floyds Fork at The Parklands

This past weekend we tried some moving water kayaking at The Parklands of Floyds Fork.  We put in at Creekside and paddled to the Fisherville takeout. The water, running at 94 CFS, was up just enough for us to do a four mile run without having to walk the kayaks over low areas along the way. We did get stuck a few times but were able to scoot ourselves over the shallow areas enough to keep going.  There were many areas of fast moving water followed by areas of flat water we had to paddle until we got to the next moving water area.  We even timed it where we floated under the train bridge just as a train was passing overhead.

We loved trying something other than the flat water lakes that we have been to since we purchased the kayaks. The Sea Eagle SE330s did great, even with the shallow rocked areas we came upon, and is a great boat for this type of water. I almost flipped once due to going down a small rapid sideways, but managed to save myself at the last minute.  Christina, in her hard shell Perception Swifty kayak, wasn't so lucky and dumped out just around the corner from our takeout spot.  Her boat filled up with water so we had to get her dumped out before continuing on. It was a tricky area with fast moving water and a tree in the way, so I'm surprised she is the only one that went overboard!  She managed to save everything except for her sunglasses, which are now somewhere at the bottom of the creek.  Win some, lose some!

I didn't feel safe taking my camera on this trip since I don't have a waterproof case for it, but I did get some great photos with my Samsung Note 3 phone, which I do have a waterproof case for.  You can view the photos on my Flickr account. I will be adding to this album once the water is high enough to go again, which at this point may not be until next spring, it just depends on how much rain we get through the rest of the season.

Jason in the Shallows
Watching the Train Above
Pulling Over After Christina Went Overboard
Zooming Down the Creek

Monday, July 13, 2015

Kayaking Guist Creek Lake

Yesterday we decided to try out a new kayaking location with the McDowell's in Shelbyville, Ky called Guist Creek Lake.  It is a 317 acre lake primarily used for fishing, but it also has a water skiing area to the left of the marina and a great kayaking area to the right of the marina, all in a no wake zone.  There is also a campground and Jon boat rentals.

We got a later start than we wanted to because a storm rolled through that morning, but we were launched and on the water by 11:30 and paddled around for a few hours.  We stuck to the right of the marina in the less busy, fishing area and explored a few coves.  It was pretty windy and we had to paddle back against the wind so we didn't go too far on our first trip out.

It was a very nice lake to paddle around or fish in and I'm sure we will go back again.  The water was fairly clear given all the rain we have had for the last several weeks and was a nice 85 degrees. We saw the usual Great Blue Herons, water turtles, a woodpecker and a few fish during our outing. We got some fun in the sun and got to visit a new place - a very good Sunday!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Riceless Stuffed Pepper Casserole


  • 1 Pound of Ground Beef
  • 2 - 4 Green Bell Peppers, chopped
  • 24 oz Spaghetti Sauce
  • 1 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Onion Powder
  • 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 1.5 cups of Mozzarella Cheese
  1. Preheat oven to 350*F
  2. Cook beef in skillet until almost browned; drain beef.
  3. Place beef back in pan and add chopped peppers, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt and garlic.  Cook over medium heat until beef is completely cooked and peppers begin to turn tender.
  4. In 2 1/2 quart casserole dish, stir in sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and 3/4 cup of cheese.
  5. Add in beef and stir until combined.
  6. Place the rest of the cheese on top.
  7. Bake for 25 minutes or until cheese begins to brown.  Let sit 5 - 10 minute before serving.
Note: If you prefer your peppers stuffed, use this same recipe, just hold out some of the sauce mixed with Italian seasoning to put on top of the peppers after they are stuffed, then top with cheese and bake.

Couch to 5K

This week I decided it was time to try a new fitness routine since I can't seem to stay motivated with anything else (aside from kayaking, but that's more leisure paddling than a workout).  I've always wanted to run, but the times I've tried I've not done well because I didn't pace myself and ended up with aching knees.  (I have a bad knee that generally gives me fits).

So as the weight I've lost over the last 8 months is creeping back, it's time to do something about it and get on a routine.  I started back on strict low-carb eating on Monday and started the Couch to 5K running program for beginners.  I purchased the $1.99 mobile app for my Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with some of my Google+ credits I had hanging around.  I chose this one because it allows me to play my Pandora stream ( or any music I want ) and the app will break through the music to instruct you on when to walk and when to run.

Since the program starts off with just 30 minutes three days a week and I'm extremely new to even attempting to run, I decided to begin in my driveway.  I have a very long, mostly flat gravel driveway that I could easily run up and down to start out.  ( This part of the driveway also runs along the dog yard fence-line, so I had a couple of running buddies without having to put them on a leash to trip me up - they seemed to enjoy it, too! )

The first week of the program is a five minute walking warm up, then alternating jogging for 60 seconds and walking for 90 seconds for 20 minutes, followed by another cool down of walking for five minutes. I technically started the program on Monday, but I only made it to the second iteration of jogging before I had to quit because my lower back was killing me.  I wasn't sure if it was where I was running, my shoes, or my general very much out of shape body rebelling against me.  So today I tried again with a different pair of shoes and voila - I made it through with zero back pain and zero stops. Yay me!  It's been raining non-stop here for almost a week, but I went out when it was just drizzling and it was actually quite nice!  I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought I would and look forward to my second full day on Friday.  Hopefully I can keep this up - I'd love to do a 5K race one day and be able to run it instead of walk it.  I'll try to post updates here on occasion to track my progress.

Since I didn't get a full day in on Day 1 I decided to use that week as a trial warm-up week before my "official" C25K start.  So I officially started on July 13, 2015.

I had to quit during week three.  My knees just aren't handling it very well.  I will try again once I drop some weight.  :/
Day 1 - Driveway Run
Day 2 - Driveway Run (Logged wrong as Day 3)

Monday, June 22, 2015

Father's Day Paddling

We spent another hour at Lake Jericho with the kayaks on Father's Day. This was our second trip out and we both did much better than the first time out.  We are quickly adjusting to the Sea Eagle kayaks.  Before I loaded up any gear in mine I took it out and tried to tip it over just to see how much it really took to tip. I can tip it, but I have to try really, really hard to get it to dump me into the water.  Knowing that helped me relax a little more with the wobble since now I know it will only go so far before the pontoons catch the boat from flipping over.  With that being known, I had a much more comfortable paddle this time. Jason also did much better after making some seat adjustments from the last trip out.

Jason Paddling in Front of Me
We only did an hour again, but it is so fun!  We ended up buying an annual pass for Lake Jericho for $50 (otherwise it costs $6/person each trip).  Since it's only a couple of miles up the street we figure we'll go there the most and when we only plan to get an hour or so of paddling in.

On this outing we once again saw many Great Blue Herons. They actually let you get fairly close to them before they fly down the bank to resume fishing.  We saw one spear a fish and eat it about 10 feet away from us. We saw a baby snapping turtle sunning on a log in the water.  We paddled into a shallow cove and saw a huge carp eating algae. He was in such shallow water his back was out of the water.  He was a good foot and a half long and zoomed right past my kayak when I startled him.  We also saw a very large snake.  Jericho is known for having lots of water snakes so we're always careful to be on the lookout.  I'm not sure what kind of snake it was, likely a water moccasin, but we did't get close enough to find out. Once I spotted him I went the other way.

I wish I had photos of all of these sightings, but still being a newbie I'm afraid to keep my phone with me in case it gets wet.  But today we have waterproof cases being delivered so I'll hopefully be able to capture some of these sightings.  Once I get really comfortable I'll get brave enough to bring my actual camera with the zoom lens that I can keep in the dry bag until I need it.  For now phone photos will have to do!  We're going back out tonight so hopefully I'll get to try out the new case and actually be able to snag some pics of all of the wildlife we see on our kayak adventures!

Last night Jason bought us some more accessories for our trips, including a kayak anchor. This will be great for parking in the shade for a rest or for when I want to lounge in the sun or take a dip in the water to cool off.  We also added a mini flashlight, some flat bungee cords, hand sanitizer and a few other miscellaneous items that may come in handy.

The photo below is a partial view of the inside of my kayak.  I actually have a lot more room than this because the dry bags and cooler you see in front of me are usually pushed way up into the front of the boat, but I had just gotten into the bag to get my phone out for a photo.  I also have quite a bit of storage room behind my seat since the seat goes in just past the middle of the boat.  Plenty of room to load up for a day trip!
My Sitting "Space"

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Maiden Kayak Voyage

I've been wanting to try kayaking for quite some time now and Jason got on board with me recently. Now that we are camping more, and usually near lakes, we decided to bite the bullet and give kayaking a try.  At first we were looking at beginner hard shell kayaks. Wow, there are so many to choose from!  From sit-ins to sit-ons, cheap to extremely expensive, recreational to touring.  After joining a few kayak groups on Facebook we were informed about Sea Eagle inflatable kayaks. So we did some research and watched some YouTube videos and decided that would be the best route for us to go so we purchased two of the SE 330 Pro Solo Kayaks.

We chose the inflatables for several reasons:
  1. They get great reviews and many people prefer them over hard shells.
  2. They are extremely portable (it was going to cost us around $1000 to have a roof rack and kayak mount installed on Big Nasty that would work while pulling the fifth wheel).
  3. They only weigh 26 pounds and fold up to fit in a bag so no need to have 2 people to get it off the truck. A simple foot pump will have it ready to go in about 10 minutes.
  4. The model we chose was almost half the price of the hard shell one we were looking at.
  5. We figured these would be a great starter boat for us to see how much we like it before we put more money into a hard shell (if we do choose to go that route down the road).
The kayaks arrived yesterday so we inflated them in the house to check them out.  We were going to go on our maiden float that evening, but it rained all evening.  So instead we hit up the sporting goods aisle at Wal-Mart and purchased some accessories - dry bags, lunch coolers, gear clips, rope, etc.

Today was nice and overcast and storms weren't supposed to come in until this afternoon.  So we took an extended lunch break and headed up to Lake Jericho a few miles up the road from us.  There is a boat ramp there or a dock that we can launch from.  We used the boat ramp today, but I think the dock would be easier - my exit was not very graceful!

We had a great first time out. We only paddled for an hour, but I can feel it in my arms and torso already.  What a great upper body and core workout this is going to be!  And the nature! We saw several Great Blue Herons, many water turtles, a few fish and what we think was a wood duck. 

The Sea Eagles were pretty awesome.  They seemed wobbly but I think that's just because we aren't used to them.  They are supposed to be fairly difficult to tip over, but we didn't push our luck trying. (They kind of give you the same feeling you get when you lean back too far in a swivel office chair and when you get so far back you think you're going to fall backwards, but you don't.) We got the hang of paddling and turning around pretty quickly, but being out of shape and never kayaing before, we tired out pretty quickly.  Arms and abs will be sore tomorrow!  But I can see this being a great time and a great workout all in one!  Once I get the hang of it a little better and get more comfortable with the boat I'll start bringing a camera with me - I'll probably purchase a waterproof digital camera at some point - but for now I was only brave enough to pull my phone out of the dry bag for one quick shot while on the water just off the boat ramp.  More adventures in kayaking to come!

Inflating the Kayaks in our Living Room - Buddy is confused

Preparing to Launch

The View from my Kayak

My Setup and New Sun Hat  ;)

Friday, June 12, 2015

Dale Hollow Lake Camping Trip

See the entire Dale Hollow photo album

May 17 - 21, 2015 was our annual spring camping vacation.  We had a group of five - Jason and me, Christina & Charlie, and Beth. This year we decided to go to Dale Hollow Lake in Burkesville, Ky since none of us had ever been before.

The day we left Charlie and Christina left a few hours before us.  We met up with Beth so she could follow us since she was driving solo. Upon meeting up with her, we realized her tail lights were not working. So we drove up to Auto Zone to get some parts. Jason spent a couple of hours working with the electrical wiring before they figured out it was all due to a blown fuse in the truck. Problem solved! But alas, our truck, Big Nasty, was leaking anti-freeze and fast.  After a phone call it was determined that Big Nasty should not attempt to make the three hour trip. So after some discussion and contemplating, Jason took the truck and the dogs back home and I continued to the campground with Beth and bunked with her, my gracious hostess, for the week.

Jason & Beth working on Beth's Camper

We stayed in the state park campground with full hookups. Since we were there during the week and school was still in session the park was almost empty. We had one other camper in our loop besides us and we barely saw them the entire week.  The park is very nice with sites arranged in several cul-de-sac loops. This made it so you didn't look directly at the back of your neighbors camper and instead looked into some dense woods, which was a nice change of scenery.

Empty Camping Loop

You can't see the lake from this campground, but it's a short drive away to the marina. We saw a campground on the Tennessee side right at the water's edge that we plan to go back to sometime.  We saw this campground the day that we rented a pontoon boat to go swimming and fishing for the afternoon. We brought lunch with us and had a pair of mallard ducks begging for handouts, which they received. They then proceeded to follow us everywhere we went while on the lake.

Our Feathered Friends
The lake had a ton of islands that you can camp on or just dock up to and go explore. We stuck to the water, but it would be very neat to explore some of the primitive woods out there.  The water was so clear we could easily see our toes and probably a good 15 feet below that while swimming. The water is also a beautiful blue green color, not the muddy brown that a lot of lakes tend to be.
Tiny Island

We didn't see any eagles on the lake but we did see a Green Heron, which was a new sight for me. I've seen plenty of Great Blue Herons, but never a green one.

Another day we decided to do a short hike up to a bluff outlook called Eagle's Nest.  It was a short hike but a very steep hike!  But it was 1000% worth the effort. The view was spectacular and stunning. We stayed up there just looking around for probably close to an hour before we headed back down to the campground.  While we were up there Christina got dive bombed by a brave humming bird and I found an eagle feather, which I kept as a souvenir.

View from Eagle's Nest

On the way back down the hiking trail it occurred to me that there were probably many geocache sites around the area. Sure enough there was one up on the cliff but we were already half way back down the trail so we chose another one near the parking lot. Charlie and I foraged into the woods for a good while and finally found the ammo box inside a fallen tree.  This was the first cache I've found that actually has items to trade out. So we signed the logbook and took a green glow-stick and replaced it with a pink breast cancer cause bracelet.  I also got the last geocache coin that was left in the box (it started out with 50).  There was also a baseball, a miniature frisbee, some pens, business cards and other small trinkets in the cache box.

Geocache Contents

The rest of our time was spent hanging around the campsites and enjoying the perfect weather. We had campfires, music, brews, good food and a great time. There were many banged heads on awning bars, Charlie stuck his tongue on the bug zapper, and beer bonging lessons went around until everyone was a natural. ;)

It was a fantastic trip. The only thing that would have made it better is for Jason to have been able to join us. But now Big Nasty is fixed and we just purchased two kayaks, so our next trip is sure to be just as fun!  Next stop - Taylorsville Lake!

See the entire Dale Hollow photo album

Monday, June 8, 2015

Crock Pot Chicken Curry & Veggies

This is a very delicious and easy low carb slow cooker recipe my husband throws together. It is not induction friendly due to the cream of chicken, but is fine for anything after the induction phase.


  • 6 - 8 Chicken Thighs or Breasts
  • 1 package of Frozen Onion & Pepper mix
  • 1 package of Frozen Broccoli
  • 1 can of Cream of Chicken soup
  • 1 1/2 Tbs of Curry Powder (or to taste)
  • Black Pepper to taste


  1. Put all ingredients in the crock pot / slow cooker.
  2. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. Stir up and enjoy!
Serve alone or with riced cauliflower.

    Tuesday, April 21, 2015

    Camping at Big Bone Lick State Park

    This past weekend Jason and I went camping at Big Bone Lick State Park in Union, Kentucky. This was our first trip out with the new (to us) Ameri-Camp fifth wheel camper and our first trip out for 2015.

    We had perfect weather and had three RV sites with four other friends - Christina, Charlie, Beth and Lydia.  Beth had her new rig out for the first time and Lydia came for a night and bunked up with her. Charlie and Christina have their own rig and we almost always camp together.
    Site #035
    Site #034
    Site #033
    The park was very clean and fairly quiet for how busy it was.  There is a pool (which wasn't open for the season yet), a mini golf course, a dump station, a small camp store, a gift shop and a very nice bathhouse with three nice sized shower stalls and three toilet stalls.

    The 62 RV sites offer 30 amp electric service and water hookups that are shared between two sites (50+ feet of water hose is a must for water hookups).  There are no sewer options on the sites, but there is a dump station on the premises.  No WiFi or cable here either, though we were only in the camper to sleep and prep food so that wasn't an issue for us for a weekend trip.  We did have 3G on our Verizon signal.

    The park has access to a couple of nice hiking trails.  We hiked the trail down to the Bison viewing
    area because we wanted to see the new baby bison that was born the previous week.  We were told momma bison was in labor for a week - yikes, poor momma!
    Week Old Bison - Photo by Christina

    On the way back we were told by hikers passing by about a large snake in a tree up the hill.  Sure enough there was a large black racer slithering around the branches just beside the trail. Apparently the park staff keeps moving him further into the woods, but he keeps making his way back to the trail paths and is spotted often.

    Some other areas of the park that we didn't get to check out were the lake, the museum and the church that is known for ghost hauntings.  Hopefully we can go back again and check out the rest of the park.  It was a very nice park to visit and we would definitely visit again.

    We took all three dogs with us on this trip and they all did great!  We set up their XPens around a tree for some shade but where they could see us no matter whose site we were at.  They need a little bit of work with barking at passing dogs, but they get better with each trip and we're working on the barking.  The last thing we want to do is annoy other campers. Overall, they do great and they love to go with us on our camping adventures!

    See all of our trip photos in the Big Bone Lick camping photo gallery.