Never while anything is left of me shall this camp be forgotten. It has fairly grown into me, not merely as memory pictures, but as part and parcel of mind and body alike. -John Muir

Friday, December 24, 2010

happy day!

We are both looking forward to seeing family and having a mini break. We hope everyone has a wonderful holiday too! ♥ ♥

Monday, December 13, 2010

how many bales of hay does it take?

It took 16 to create a barracade from the freezing weather to protect our water tanks and pipes. M also wrapped the pipes with foam insulation tape and lined leftover roofing material around the outside of the little room for added protection. Here he is in the act.

He of course gives it the thumbs up of approval but with temps predicted to be in the teens this coming week it'll get put to the true test.

Keep warm!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

warmest wishes.

For 3 days we have been in a winter wonderland. We already have 5-6 inches and there might be another storm this weekend. It 22 degrees outside right now but a cozy 70 in the camper. burr!

I braved the cold today to take some pictures. My toes are still numb.

I had the day off so the day was spent doing chores and a little holiday decorating. Marcus will even be lighting up one of the pines by the road this week!

We hope you are keeping warm!
xo Stephanie

p.s. Pictures from our day at Valley Falls coming soon.

Monday, November 29, 2010

excursion 11.14.10

First of all, Happy late Thanksgiving everyone! We hope that you had a wonderful holiday and that you were able to spend time with friends and family. We had dinner here in Fairmont with grandma Doris, uncle Larry and my friend Tasha from VA who came up to visit for a few days.

On 11.14.10 my mom came up to visit and we took a day trip to the former West Virginia Penitentiary for a tour. This place is smack dab in the middle of the town of Moundsville. There are many paranormal stories about this place that we couldn't help but to question both our guide and the lady at the front...who btw was on one of the ghost hunter shows and an ex-guard. They told us of many experiences that they have had during their time there.

We did have 3...first off Marcus' video camera's battery drained almost dead within the first few minutes. It went back up to full charge in the car on the way home. 2nd, mom was taking pictures when we entered the cell area and she felt something hit her hand and her camera turned off. 3rd, we were in the yard with the tour guide and I happened to wander around the side of a little storage building and heard a deep breath over my shoulder. Crazy right?

Although we didn't catch any hard evidence, here are a few pictures that I took. Unfortunately I forgot my digital camera but they had one disposable film camera left for sale...I figured why not, film is fun and has a neat look.

The pen from the top of the mound.

Artwork to the side of the visiting area. I really liked the 70s look to it. There was alot of artwork there by inmates...some better than others. There seemed to be a couple of fans of the Ninja Turtles. haha

The paint was peeling everywhere. It made me wonder how much lead was there.

And Marcus walking up the stairs of the mound. Beautiful view from up there.

It was great to get out and do something. Lately it seems that I am always working and Marcus is always busy fixing something or hunting! Oh and I'm not sure that I shared but I am working at the bakery in Kroger now decorating and such! It's the largest Kroger in WV and one of the busiest in the area and surrounding states. I have been learning SO much since I started only a few weeks ago.

Another post to come soon. promise. xo Stephanie

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Family photo day!

We had our friend Matt come over and take some pictures of the Swaim family before we moved from VA. While he was there we had him take a couple of us and the kitties in our new home.  We just got them and wanted to share.

M and S with the girls; from left to right: Ozzie, Linx and Elsie. ♥

We had to keep rounding up the kitties to get them in the picture. It was really funny! 

xo Stephanie

p.s. We had snow last week! Not enough to stick but it snowed all day long. crazy.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And....we're under!

This morning we strapped everything down, brought the slide-outs in and Stephanie took a wild ride 30 or so feet to the RVs permanent spot. I have to say it was a little terrifying riding inside with them kitties while the misters moved us under the pavilion. Sounded much like an old train or the Titanic sinking! But here we are, finally sheltered. Next step? Finishing up the blocking, insulating and skirting. Then we'll be ready for this fast coming winter ahead of us.

I'm off to get those tupperware containers back to what little organized they were.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

the pavilion

hello friends and family, im sorry for the delay with my posts, but i have been trying to get as much done as possible outside while the weather is good. before long the weather will be cold and i will have more time to do indoor activities, but lately the weather can be explained best as "almost heaven".

the pavilion has been a hefty project, but im proud to say it is 98 percent finished. it has been a great learning experience. we thank all the people who helped make this project possible. our family and friends have been a huge help and we couldn't have done it without them. of course it helps to have an excellent carpenter to lead the project as i had with mike. lets just say when it comes to carpentry, mike has some skills.

here are some pictures from along the way.

as of yesterday the electricity has been ran, the gravel has been spread and we plan on moving the rv under this coming week. we are really looking forward to it.


Monday, October 25, 2010

Creepy Crawlies

Our friends Melinda and Michael's little boy Mikey turned 8 this past week. They had a party for him down at our neighbors place with games, food and hayrides! The best part? I got to make the cake and cupcakes!

I went with a Creepy Crawlie theme because 1. what little boy doesn't like monsters and worms? and 2. they were going with halloween decorations and games, including slime! Plus I got to be super creative and have fun with it! ;)

Along with the kids, we also had a really good time. We got to meet some other neighbors and made new friends. =) You can view a close-up and details on the cupcakes at my personal blog HERE!

xo Stephanie

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Today we had an awesome experience! One of my new coworkers from the hotel volunteers at the WV Raptor Rehabilition Center and he offered to take us to see the birds they are currently caring for. We jumped at the chance, of course! Right now they have several including red-tailed hawks, a turkey vulture and a few different species of owls; including horned and screech.

This is Annie, the red-tailed hawk. She helps them with educational programs and events. She was truly breathtaking.

She opens her wings on command!

Much has been done since my last blog. We have almost completed the pavilion, I got a job at a hotel in Morgantown working banquets, had a 2nd interview at the hospital for a full-time position, and we have been scouting out plants in the area to photograph (those to come). Marcus has photos and blogging to share about the pavilion, once he actually takes a break! He's outside from dawn til dusk always working on something. You'll hear from him soon.

Hope everyone is enjoying this crisp fall weather!

xo Stephanie

p.s. At the camp or on the way a racoon, groundhog and red-tailed hawk have all been seen. Those are so common that it almost seems silly to share but oh well.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

4 years ago today...

we was marrieds. Yah! To celebrate we went out to the little ice cream place up the road. We had sandwiches and split a funnel cake. Mmmm fried dough. We'll be wrapping the night up with Season 1 Disc 2 of the Sopranos.

Progress on the pavilion has been slow...well really not at all. It's been wet and rainy off and on all week. The weather will be back to dry this weekend so work will start again.

I'm heading back to Winchester for the weekend for my last naturalist workshop, then I'll be graduating Sunday. I'll be an official West Virginia Master Naturalist!

Oh and we observed a possum just outside the camper the other night...rooting around under the bird feeders. We have lots of little gold finch and cardinals feeding right now too!

until next time. xo Stephanie

p.s Hi grandma Bonnie! =)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Thursday at the Bunner Hole

Thursday we got up and took a short walk through the woods...very short. It was so hot and muggy out that we decided the day would be better off spent at the Bunner Hole. For those of you not in "the know" the Bunner Hole is just around the corner from us, a hole deep enough for jumping in, spotting a few fish and the perfect place to cool off on a hot day.

I of course laid in a chair and relaxed...the view, the soft sounds of nature, zzzzzzz...

Marcus was more productive and tried to catch a few fish.

Today the weather has cooled down about 15 degrees. It's supposed to be really cool this weekend. Hopefully this will be the final leap into fall. Since we last blogged 2 looong black snacks, 3 doe, a fox and 2 more wild turkeys have been spotted!

We have a little (slow) internets now so we'll be able to blog more regularly. They started on the pavilion today so we should have some photos of the progress soon.

laters! xo Stephanie

Friday, September 17, 2010

We have arrived...

and just in time! We couldn't have asked for better weather. We had beautiful days both Tuesday and Wednesday and then got some much needed rain on Thursday. The creek was just about dried-up with a few puddles here and there. But it has been revived after a full day down-pour.

On Tuesday Marcus and the RV arrived in the early a.m. He told everyone how unnerving it was to follow our home and all of our belongings up the interstate going 70 miles per hour. =) The kitties took to their new views from the window quite quickly and are already back to their happy selves. They all seem to have new favorite spots now...watching butterflies and falling leaves.

We spent the first day celebrating our arrival with dad and a few of our new neighbors. Then Wednesday we got everything put back in its place and got settled in. Yesterday evening when the rain let off a little we walked up and down the road cleaning up cans and bottles that were tossed out by non-nature-friendly drivers. (boo!) Then we did a little exploring and scouting. During that day we spotted 6 wild turkeys, a doe and a raccoon!

It gets darker earlier there in the evenings and it's a little cooler at night. But we got to watch the fog roll into the hollow just before dusk and when the sun shines everything looks magical. It is quite beautiful there and we both seem to keep looking at each other with dumb-founded smiles on our face. We are home!

Over the next few weeks our pavilion will be built and the RV will be moved into its permanent spot underneath. Then we'll prepare it for winter. We have no internet...except for when I sit in the McDonald's parking lot and use their WiFi. We'll be back online soon.

xo Stephanie

Friday, September 10, 2010

5 days before the move

Hi! This is our blog about our adventures living in a new town, having new lives, living on old land, preserving it, cherishing it and working hard. We wanted a way for our family and friends to keep up with our progress and see what we are up to. Thanks for reading!

Today I just wanted to stop in and share that the move is scheduled for 7am Tuesday 14th. Steph will be heading up with the kitties the day before to get them temporarily settled at Grandma's in Fairmont. Once the RV arrives and gets hooked up to the electricity our little family will officially be living in at our new home.

Marcus took a trip up this morning to meet with our friend who is going to build a big pavilion over the RV to provide it protection from the elements. They had to get the supplies delivered and it will be built in the upcoming weeks.

This past week has been our first week to prepare the RV, pack up what's inside and run errands for new things like generators, water containers and WV gear from Gabriel Brothers...completely unplanned. ;) We even got to go kayaking one last time on the lake before we leave. The weather here has been amazing, crisp, breezy and a has perfect fall chill in the air. I wonder what it will be like at the "camp"...

until next time. xo Stephanie

p.s. To have our blog posts delivered to your email inbox click HERE and enter your email address. Just make sure to click the link in the first email you receive to verify that it is the correct email. Let me know if you run into problems. You can comment below (leave us some message please!) and the blog will grow as we go with links and pictures.