Guess What We Are Doing?

Going kayaking and paddle boarding. I think family lives in the water. We are meeting friends at Richardson Park in Veneta, Oregon. They have never gone kayaking or paddle boarding before so we are excited to teach them. I can’t paddle board either but it’s fun to watch.

Our car is full of everything that’s needed for the day.

I don’t think we can put anything else in the vehicle.
The 5 kids are all doing great.
Hold on…. You got it.
Nevermind. Try again.

Senora watching them.

They help each other up only to tip them over into the water.

Had a great day with our friends. Planning our next time out.


Going crazy today. I thought starting a blog was going to be so easy. If kids in school can do it then why can’t I? Funny. Kids get teachers to guide them through the process. I can’t seem to find a step by step instruction that I like on YouTube. I am far from computer savey. I didn’t get my first computer until I was in college. In high school I had to do my homework on a typewriter. My parents couldn’t afford a computer and so I did what I had to do. I am not upset about it. It’s just a bump in the road; a hiccup. I love to learn and I love to teach. I know that there are others in the same situation as I am and I just want them to understand that we can do this.

This morning I got up at 4 because I’ve had so much on my mind that I thought that I would be able to get my blog account connected to my laptop. I have my account on my phone so I thought how hard could it be to have it on my laptop. Pretty hard. After an hour of trying I wanted to give up but instead I took a break and then came back to work on it again. After a lot of trying I finally got it. Don’t give up just find different ways.

Dorena Covered Bridge in Dorena, Oregon

The Dorena Covered Bridge was built in 1949. It was put in the National Register in 1979. In 1996 the bridge was rehabilitated.

The bridge was built for access across the Row River. It cost $16,547 to build this beautiful structure. It is 1 out of 6 bridges that are still available to visit here in Cottage Grove, Oregon. 

I would recommend all 6 bridges for a rustic photo backdrop. The design of each bridge is different from the next.

Can’t Wait to Go Back to Zumwalt Park in Veneta, OR


Had a great afternoon with Chris and the dogs today. The kids are still in school and I have the day off. I hate being at home on my days off. I am pretty sure that I have a gypsy heart and love to see new areas. We have lived near the town of Veneta for 18 years and have never been to this park or even heard of it. It’s quite a secret evidently.

The park is cared for by all volunteers. They take really good care of the land.

You walk around a gate and walk about a fourth to a half mile to come to the lake. The gate is there to keep the flow of traffic down. It’s such a peaceful walk. Their are 74 acres that is edged with the Fern Ridge Reservoir.

There are horseshoe pits however no horseshoes so you would need to bring some.

There however is only one bench overlooking the reservoir. Picnic table run throughout the 74 acres but none to close to the water.

This is a small patch of sandy area. Would be a nice place to launch a kayak if you felt like carrying them in.

We did see a huge fish jump; maybe next time we can bring our poles to catch him.

We were able to see not only fish but birds, ducks, and chipmunks. I think that one of these days I would like to get a bird book and learn more about all the ones that we saw.

I was so fascinated in this roots/tree trunk without a tree. Was it chopped and formed to the roots? Is it a full tree that fell from mother nature? 

Picnics would be great in the park. 

There was mosquitoes heavily in certain areas so bug spray is recommended.

Woodpecker in the tree.

I would definitely would love to come here more often. It’s so relaxing and peaceful; not only that but no one around. If you love to be outdoors and away from crowded areas I would recommend Zumwalt Park in a heartbeat.

No Money, Money, Money

Woke up Saturday morning to the cat laying on me. Chris happened to see a deep cut about an inch long and about a quarter inch deep with a few punctures on Patience face. With it being a Saturday our vet wasn’t open so we had to take him to the animal hospital.

He’s Shelby’s cat; he used to be mine but she has clearly taken him over. It’s funny because when she was really little and him a kitten he used to attack her when she would walk by. Some how now the two belong to each other. I wouldn’t want anything bad to happen to him.

He stays with Shelby without a collar or leash.

His mouth looks like he’s storing mice for winter.

The vet had to do surgery on him. They think that another cat or animal got ahold of him. It’s crazy to think that vets costs so much. I had to take what was left of what we’ve been saving for the cat. We just had car problems a few days earlier that took most of what we had put aside and then the rest went to the cat. It’s so sad to see the money leave but there’s no way that we could let the cat suffer. The vet did an amazing job.


This is him 12 days after his surgery. He goes back today to get the stitches out. We are so grateful for him.

First Camping Trip in the New Trailer

My dad David, Chris and Dominick got to leave early for the setting up of our first night in the trailer. Shelby and I rode up with my great uncle Bill because I had to work and Shelby was with her best friend. When Shelby and I got there it was amusing to watch Chris show the trailer to Bill; it was like Christmas for him.

It’s a small trailer and so trying to find a rythem to move around inside and organize is going to take a little more time. It was a little comical to watch the family. I can only imagine how it will be when we have the items that we need daily.

We had a nice time by the fire Friday evening; it’s so relaxing. I love to unwind by a fire and destress. I think about the first camping trips with the kids, I think about how fast they are growing, and I try to figure out ways to make money while traveling. I had brought one of the dog beds and put it beside the fire. The dogs all seem to really enjoy the nice warmth of it. I am going to have to make sure and pack the other one.

We made haystacks for dinner in the trailer. It’s fun to search for the ingredients needed to make dinner when you haven’t yet quiet figured out where everything should go. I’ve looked into a lot of different organizers for the kitchen and have found a few that I like. Pinterest and YouTube are my favorite resources.

At bedtime we put a curtain across the back of the kitchen and bunks to give the kids a changing room. We figured that changing in the bathroom wouldn’t give them enough space and we all taking turns in our room would get old fast. We put up curtains across each bunk so the kids would have their own privacy. Everyone needs privacy from time to time.

Saturday morning we walked while the kids rode their bikes around the campground; it’s always quiet and peaceful. Even though it’s only April and not quite summer yet the campground had so many people and yet you couldn’t tell. There was a teardrop trailer with stickers all over it; I would love to know where they are from and where they’ve been and what stories they have to share. We ended up playing badminton on the volleyball court (kids against mom and dad). I don’t know who won because none of us are very good at it but we still had fun. The kids are growing up so fast and we don’t get the same closeness in our everyday of living. I loved to be able to have the mom and daughter time well braiding Shelby’s hair. I love watching the great young man that Dominick has become and is becoming.

They have picnic tables, a big playground and a few fields to play on. As well as a couple of group shelters and a few cabins by the water. The campsites don’t lay on top of each other; there is nice space in between which make it more privacy.

After going back we chilled by the fire and played some rounds of bean bag toss. (I am not that good but still had a lot of fun trying. It seems to be Chris’s game though). The kids rode their bikes until dark. (A couple of girls had really cool colored lights on their wheels. I’ll have to look for some; I am who wouldn’t want them? I do.)

I was getting really cold so decided to go in the trailer for the rest of the night. We played a dice game called 10,000.

I ended up going to bed with a cold. So frustrated that I missed out on a couple more rounds with the family.

I woke up sick with a really bad head cold and just wanted to sleep. I ended up peeling potatoes and crawling back into bed. Chris ended up taking over for me. Later on we found out dad borrowed our over the sink cutting board. He somehow keeps getting his hands on it. He really like having more counter space in his small camper. After breakfast Dad, Chris and the kids packed up. Watching everyone pack up it came apparent that we are going to need a list of what needs to get done and find a routine. On the way home the trailer door came open. Woops add locking the trailer door and make sure that it is shut to the list.

Enjoying the seals. Yaquina Bay Newport, Or

We were greeted by seals when we walked to the edge. They were interested in the dogs. It was enjoyable watching them as they kept staring. They looked so friendly wanting to play.

5 seals laying on a huge rock.

Waves coming in. So pretty and peaceful.

Two seals in the middle of the water.

Not sure what this is.

A species of the jellyfish family.

Dominick being all tough but not wearing a jacket when it’s cold outside. Even his dog Tucker has his on. Tucker gets cold very quickly.

I love to watch the waves come in. One just washed over the next.

I always enjoy going to Yaquina Bay. I find it so peaceful. There are usually volunteers if you have any questions about the wildlife. One volunteer showed us a colony of squids; really cool to see a colony.

Packing List

After a few times of forgetting things that we needed for our day/weekend trips enough became enough. The straw that broke the camels back was when we went for a day trip and I forgot hotdogs. I am still hearing about it. I didn’t think that cheese hotdog sandwiches were a bad things. At least we weren’t starving. From then on I started making lists. Short drive, hiking, weekend, camping, etc lists make it so much easier.

Kayaking/Paddle Boarding

  • Kayaks
  • Paddle board
  • Paddles
  • Life jackets (dog too)
  • Straps
  • Whistles
  • Dry box
  • Liscence
  • Aqua shoes



  • Poles
  • Tackle
  • Bait
  • Liscence
  • Reg book


  • Golf bag
  • Caddy
  • Balls
  • Tees



  • Sandboards
  • Wagon
  • Wax
  • Umbrella
  • Blanket
  • Aqua shoes/socks


  • Towels
  • Extra clothes
  • Frisbee
  • Aqua shoes/boots
  • Rain gear


  • Sleds
  • Park pass
  • Hand warmers
  • Gloves
  • Extra clothes
  • Boots
  • Snow pants
  • Jackets


  • Fins
  • Googles/mask
  • Life jackets
  • Swimming suit
  • Towels
  • Shorts
  • Snorkel
  • Defogger
  • BCD
  • Wet/dry suit


  • Bows
  • Arrows
  • Arm protection
  • Targets



  • Bikes
  • Rack
  • Helmets



  • Bat
  • Bag
  • Glove
  • Bases
  • Ball
  • Uniform
  • Shoes


Football, Basketball, Volleyball


  • Leashes
  • Coats
  • Boots
  • Food
  • Water bowls
  • Water
  • Life jackets
  • Poop bags
  • Dog carrier

Day Trip with food

  • Propane
  • Ax/hatchet
  • Wood
  • Fire starter/matches
  • Buckets
  • Newspaper
  • Cooler/ice
  • Table
  • Wagon
  • Stove
  • Plates
  • Utensils
  • Can opener
  • Napkins
  • Pot holders
  • Salt/pepper/paprika
  • Ziploc bags
  • Cheese
  • Mayo/katchup/mustard
  • Potato salad/macaroni salad
  • Sticks
  • Chips
  • Hot dogs
  • Buns
  • Beans
  • Cups
  • Coffee/tea/cocoa/cidar
  • Chocolate/marshmallows/cookies

Day Trip without food

  • Camelpacks
  • Chairs
  • Extra keys
  • Water
  • Notebook/pens
  • Tp/toiletseat/bag/shower
  • Extra clothes
  • Wallet/purse/extra money
  • Phones/chargers/headsets
  • Camera/charger/attachments
  • Video camera/charger/attachments/GoPro

Keep in car

  • Wipes
  • Inhaler
  • 1st aid kit
  • Bee sting
  • Blankets
  • Towels
  • Snacks
  • Passes
  • Map
  • Handwarmers
  • Flashlight
  • Hammock
  • Shovel
  • Garbage bags
  • Knife
  • Bug spray
  • Sanitizer
  • Tools
  • Walkie talkies
  • Vacuum
  • Ziploc bags
  • Sunglasses
  • Games
  • Frisbee
  • Hair ties/brush
  • Water carrier
  • Umbrella
  • Deodorant
  • Sunscreen
  • GPS


  • Tent
  • Canopy
  • Sleeping bags
  • Lanterns
  • Pump
  • Air mattresses/cot
  • Chairs
  • Propane
  • Ax/hatchet
  • Wood
  • Fire starter/matches
  • Wash cloths
  • Buckets
  • Towels
  • Plates
  • Wagon
  • Flashlight
  • Newspaper
  • Cooler/ice
  • Table
  • Duct tape
  • Stove
  • Utensils
  • Can opener
  • Cups
  • Napkins
  • Sticks
  • Tp/seat/bags/shower tent/shower
  • Games/frisbee/sports
  • Tarp
  • Site tags for the dogs
  • Dog fence
  • Garbage bags
  • Pillows
  • Broom/dustpan
  • Rope
  • Pot holders
  • Pots and pans
  • Foil
  • Dish boxes for dishes
  • Serving spoon/tongs/spatula
  • Cutting board
  • Griddle


  • Swimming suit
  • Towels
  • Sandals
  • Shorts
  • Extra clothes
  • Sweatshirt


  • Handwarmers
  • Wool socks
  • Scarves
  • Gloves
  • Boots
  • Jackets
  • Thermals
  • Snow pants
  • Extra clothes
  • Rain gear


  • Makeup
  • Clothes
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Razors
  • Meds
  • Shampoo and conditioner

Is there anything that you would add?

What Would You Do?

We’ve been looking at a lot of new and used travel trailers. We’ve gone to lots of dealerships and it amazes us that some at some dealerships there old ones are just as much as new. We do like a few of brand new ones but is it worth spending so much? You get the warranty and a few perks but as soon as you drive it off the lot it depreciates.

Then we mark what we like on Craigslist and look at old ones. Yes most are cheeper but are they as good as they are listed?

When looking I try to imagine what we can and can’t bring. Each of us have a list of must haves. Most things on the list are for outdoors. Example: kayaks, fishing poles, bikes, sandboards (just to name a few). So then I think that we should look at toy haulers. With having a Tahoe we have to watch the weight; so that probably won’t work. I also look for bunks because I don’t want to waste time making beds everyday plus I feel like my kids need some space that is dedicated just for them. I don’t care that much about the kitchen as long as it has a place for the Vitamixer and coffee maker because I don’t cook. (Lol). I look for room for the essential clothes. I look at storage for our kids school items (must haves). We having 2 small dogs and a cat I look for a space for them to fill comfortable. I also look for cold weather capabilities. Plus it can’t be to long because most parks have a limit.

It is very hard to find what we need and yet what we can afford. I don’t want to spend much on a trailer because I would rather be able to afford more of an experience with my family.

Would you choose new or used? What are your recommendations and why? Please leave a message.

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