An exciting weekend

Thanksgiving weekend was very interesting for us. We spent the actual holiday at Kerri’s mom’s house with turkey and stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy and corn and cranberry sauce, etc. That was a very fun day of cooking, eating, watching football and playing games!

The Saturday before, we celebrated Grandma Ball’s 92nd birthday with her. There were Subway subs, root beer and lots of Euchre in addition to pie!


Friday morning we left for Pittsburgh to meet our friend Pat from Virginia Beach who is a big Steelers fan for the game against the Packers. We left just before noon and managed to get in the Pittsburgh area just as darkness settled in.

Our GPS (CoPilot) routed off at Irwin on US Rte 30 and then using some back roads we came upon the campground (KOA Madison/Pittsburgh East) from an impossible angle. Not being able to see in the pitch dark, we tried to make the turn only to find out there was a ravine to the side of the entrance road and we couldn’t back up. By this time cars were now waiting in both directions as we had blocked the road. So we hurried up and literally jumped out to disconnect our towed Cherokee (and had to cut one of the tow straps due to the angle and binding) and then backup up enough to continue down the hill and turn around in a parking lot and return to the campground. After settling our nerves a bit, we got settled in for the night.

Additionally, the next morning we found our step was swinging freely. The night before, on the way out of the door the step (we have a single step) hadn’t quite fully extended yet when I hit the step, and I heard a popping sound.Β Upon inspection, I noticed the clevis pin that should have been through the arm was dangling from the step bracket and was bent severely. After removing it, it looked like the clevis pin had been worn and the cotter pin that should have held it fully in place (going through both sides of the bracket and the motor arm) was worn away to a smooth edge to match the clevis pin.Β Replacing it was easy but finding a clevis pin of sufficient length wasn’t. Going to Home Depot and looking through their bins of clevis pins we only found one of sufficient length that had multiple cotter pin positions. That didn’t look very solid but it was all we could find. So lesson learned… and we will be keeping some spares on hand.

We also had to replace the dolly tow strap and decided to buy a new pair so we would always have an extra. We looked in a lot of places to find some and finally went to Harbor Freight to get some after doing some Google searches.

Then we made our way to Fat Head’s Saloon for some grub and it did not disappoint! We waited about 30 minutes to get in and it was well worth the wait. Kerri and I both had cheeseburgers (she had the classic bacon cheeseburger and I had the Kelsey Burger – a burger with a pierogie, bacon and horseradish along with other garnishment.) I also had one of their local beers – FatHead’s Bumble Berry with real blueberries floating in the glass. A very fine and filling meal.

Sunday saw us heading to a sports bar to watch the Bills play at 1pm. We originally went to T.J.’s in New Stanton but their DirecTV wasn’t working so we had to go a little further to the Buffalo Wild Wings in Greensburg to watch the game. Kerri got a burger and it wasn’t very good at all, I got the chicken tenders and we both shared some cheese curds (in true Packer backer fashion!) All of that and the Bills won!

Finally, we suited up and headed for Heinz Field to meet up with Pat and his brother and to see the Packers/Steelers game.

Congrats to the Steelers on a very hard fought victory, the Pack certainly came to play but came up short. Heinz Field and the fans were pretty outstanding and it was a great time.


There were lots of Packer fans there so the Cheesehead nation was well represented. Unfortunately, it looks like our family curse is in full force… another loss. Maybe next game! The Packers play the Bills next year at Lambeau and we will be looking at the schedule when it comes out in April to get tickets for that one!

Now we are back in Orchard Park as I type this… getting ready for the Bills/Pats game this coming weekend. We will find out whether the Bills are for real – beat the Pats and there is hope!

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