Monday, January 31, 2011

Just A Short Post

We attended church where we volunteered with the Connection Team for the first service, attended the second service, hung around through the third service, and attended a Connection Team luncheon at 12:45.  After a stop at Walmart, we made our way home for an afternoon of relaxation inside as it was raining off and on again.

Terry called and it was decided that we would fetch a large pizza to share together and visit for the evening.  It didn’t take long for us to discuss current issues and solve all the world’s problems – if only we were in charge.  It’s always soooooo much fun whenever the four of us get together.

Until Next Time - - - - -   

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Hanging Out At The Plantation

So, we just stayed at the Plantation yesterday.  We started the day by going to the Arts and Craft Fair at the clubhouse where people were displaying their basket weaving wares.  We have a lot of talented and creative people hanging out here at the Plantation, that’s for sure. 

Then we returned home to finish our household chores and go for a brisk walk (we’re attempting to walk everyday).  Next it was onto the Ta Do List followed by hauling out the lawn chairs to sit outside and read.  Alex joined us for a little while, he just loves sitting outside in Dad’s lap.

We finished the day by doing more reading and then it was lights out thereby bringing a conclusion to another day at home.  What can I say, this hunkering down to replenish our emergency fund isn’t exactly exciting stuff, but spring is coming and we’ll be picking up the pace.

Until Next Time - - - - -    

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Florida And Back

Yesterday we drove over to Berrydale, Florida to visit with Allan and Jeanne Webster (and Katie, their katt).  It was a great traveling day with the temperatures reaching 70* before all was said and done.  We took almost two hours to cover the 76 miles between Rainbow Plantation to True Worship Assembly of God (waaaay toooo many stop lights).

Allan and Jeanne belong to MAPS RV Volunteers which is a Christian group linked to the Assembly of God ministries.  They volunteer with other Christian RVers to build new churches or renovate older churches, Christian camps, etc..  RV camps are generally set up right on the church property where they all live together, work together, and play together.

True Worship Assembly of God

It was nice to see them once again; can you believe that we didn’t take any pictures of them or Katie?  Jeanne made us a wonderful lasagna dinner with garlic bread, garden salad, and apple pie.  It was delicious, thanks Jeanne.  We chatted about the past, present, and future; needless to say, we look forward to seeing them again this winter and somewhere down the road in the future.

Unfortunately we didn’t see anything interesting or unique along the way so the only other picture that we have is of some goats in the pasture next to the church.

Dad, Mom, And Baby Goats

Last night was card night with Ray and Pat.  Ray and I let the women win two out of three games (we didn’t want to dampen their spirits).  We always enjoy our time with Ray and Pat and were glad we got together with them last night as we found out that they are pulling up anchor on Monday and moving on.

Today the temps are going to get well up in to the 70’s so it will be a great day to get things done around the house this morning and sitting out side (with Alex) this afternoon (Meow!!!).

Until Next Time - - - - -

Friday, January 28, 2011

Art By Catia

Our Granddaughter, Catia, has become quite the budding artist.  She has been hard at work in her studio and here are some of her paintings that are currently on display along with their titles.

“Delaunay “O” Painting”  


“Letter “A” Ants”


“Our Elves”

“Our Golden Pumpkin Patch”

You know, this is better than some of the art that I saw displayed at the Smithsonian.  You gotta love the imagination of a five year old.

Well, we need to get out more so today will be the day.  Yep, and it’s gonna be a wonderful day for a ride in the country.  On top of that, we’re even going outta state for a while.  We’ll be taking our cameras with us, but we’re not sure exactly what we’ll see.  So, you’ll have to tune in tomorrow to find out where we went and hopefully we’ll have some interesting pictures.

Until Next Time - - - - -

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Wednesday, Wednesday

‘Twas a little chilly this morning, but it is recovering just nicely.  It will be another fine day here in Lower Alabama; by weekend the temps will be in the high 60’s during the day.  A whole lot better than Mike and Peggy are experiencing in Jerzee.  Their escape plan for today has been foiled by the Wicked Witch of the Northwest who keeps sending her Snow Demons to the east.  Hopefully they will get a “get outta Snow Slammer free” card on the next roll of the dice.  Time will tell.

Yesterday morning we played on our ‘puters, did household chores, and went for a walk.  Judy went to basket weaving yesterday afternoon where she made us a nice quilted wine tote.  I “stood” to home to defrost the refrige, vacuum the floor, and do some reading.  I really enjoy spending time with my Nook, however, one of these fine days I need to start my next painting.

Last night we had a potato bar at our home group.  It was fun and there were more than enough “stuffings” to put on the old tater.  We were enjoying each other’s company so much that we were late getting home – half past Escapees mid-night (9:30).  Once home, we watched the rest of History Detectives and did some more reading. 

That’s it.  Nothing awfully exciting, but enough to keep us busy for the day.  Until Next Time - - - - -    

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Saga, The Detective, And Alex

Will they make it?  The WWNW (Wicked Witch of the Northwest) is sending in more Snow Demons to trap Mike and Peggy in Jerzee.  They are plotting an escape plan for tomorrow, but it just might be too late.  They very well may end up in the Jerzee Snow Slammer until spring which won’t happen until mid June this year.  Hugs from Grandchildren melts tons of snow, but WWNW just has waaaay toooo many resources at her disposal this year.  Mike and Peggy just may have to follow the white lined road in search of the Wizard of Warmth so he can send them off to the southland (beam me down, Scottie).  Stay tuned for the ongoing saga, but things are not looking good.

I was caught by the Detective this very morning.  I “left everything all over” and Miss Detective knew I was into things last night.  The fact is that I was sleep walking and have no recollection of anything (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it), however, the cheese was very good.  Yes, I opened the Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese and had myself a piece.  Being that it was dark and I was sleep walking, I left the Saranwrap on the counter, the wax paper on the floor next to the cupboard (it was on top of the Saranwrap), and the cupboard door opened.  Caught red handed (yellow handed in this case).  The Detective doesn’t miss a thing.

And Now Alex Takes Over.

Alex here.  I got to sample a little piece of that cheese too.  ‘Twas yummy, but Dad would only give me a little taste as he doesn’t want to upset my system – what about his system?  I like it when Dad sleep walks, maybe he’ll do it again tonight.  I’ll just rub around his legs to let him know I am there.  A couple of loud meows adds a little drama to the event as well.  Some people say I’m a spoiled pussy katt, but that ain’t so.  Maybe a little pampered, but never spoiled.

Yesterday was another uneventful day at the Plantation.  Dad and Mom went for their daily walk and then just sat around doing their reading, went to the four o’clock social time, and came home for dinner, more reading, and television.  The President of the United States was on.  From my view point, he should have been sitting on Santa’s lap.  “Bring me a new economy, I want more jobs, and a balanced budget.  Also, I want everyone to get along and play nice.  Bring me more environmental toys and help me with my energy dependence.  And . . . .”  Katie and I are going to have to go get a job just so we can contribute to Santa’s fund in order to pull all of that off.

Then it was lights out and snoring right up until Dad’s cheese caper.  This morning the sun is brightly shining.  Katie is curled up on the sofa and I’m “fixinto” go sit on the table (I’m trained not to get up there, but I do it anyway) and watch for birds.  So, bye bye for now!!!

Dad, got any more cheese?


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Filling In The Spaces

Wow, after all that complaining about cold weather, we’d better count our blessings.  The severe “stuff” has been staying north of us.  Yes, it has been a little chilly here from time to time, but not like last year and certainly no where near what the northeast is suffering through as we speak.

Things are pretty much the same here in Lower Alabama.  Judy, the katts, and I continue to sit tight looking forward to seeing the grand kids again.  However, it’s great to have friends as close as family to enjoy while here at Rainbow Plantation.  Also, we enjoy reading blogs of our friends who are disbursed in other parts of the country.

By the way, speaking of other parts of the country, we’ll be in Maine for May, June, and most of July, so if any of you are heading that way let us know.  We can plan some get togethers and sightseeing trips along the coast (need we mention some seafood? – that goes without saying).

Okay, back to the present, we’re still working on our Ta Do List, basket weaving, and reading.  I’ve picked out another picture to paint and need to get started on it, before we know it, it will be time to roll once again.  When we get to Maine, my brother will give me some additional instruction.  Here is one of his paintings that he produced in a couple of hours.


So, as you can see, I come from talented stock – not sure if any of it rubbed off on me, but time will tell.  In any event, I enjoy painting and if totally necessary I can always go to paint by numbers :-)

Judy is starting to plan for next year’s Christmas gifts so she can begin a little earlier and not work quite as hard as she did last fall.  You know how it goes, “never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow!!”

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -

Monday, January 24, 2011

Nutin’ Much

Happy Monday everyone.  Things are chugging along just fine down here in Lower Alabama.  We have no concrete plans for the day, but we’ll find something do with that long “Ta Do List” hanging over our heads.

Yesterday was a Church and Football kinda day.  Yay Jesus, Yay Green Bay, Yay Pittsburg!!!

Here’s Katie’s thought for the day – If you could cross a human with a katt it would greatly improve the human, but deteriorate the katt!!! (Mark Twain)

Here’s Alex’s thought for the day - A man who carries a katt by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way!!! (Mark Twain)

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Update And Stuff

Whenst we last left Mike and Peggy they were gallantly breaking loose from the Maine Winter Prison System and heading toward Jerzee in Winne with the Winter Hounds barking at their heels.  The WWNW (Wicked Witch of the NorthWest) had sent reinforcement Snow Demons to help coral them and throw them into the Jerzee Snow Slammer.  Well, Mike and Peggy made it to Jerzee where they brought forth a Secret Weapon.  The Secret Weapon held the Snow Demons at bay keeping themselves and Winne from the clutches of the Jerzee Winter Weather Prison.  “What is this Secret Weapon?”, you may query.  Why it is called Hugs From Grandchildren.  Hugs From Grandchildren can change minus 100 degree temperatures into a warm spring day.  It can change a bleak overcast winter day into a sunny day at the beach.  And, it can melt a ton of snow in a matter of seconds.  WWNW is dispatching more Snow Demons heading their way, but I suspect that Hugs From Grandchildren will keep them save until they decide to flee Jerzee in search of the Fountain of Warmth.

Well, what did we do yesterday?  Let me see, ummm.  We got up and sipped our coffee while playing on our ‘puters.  We did the housework; make bed, washed dishes, vacuum house, picked up stuff, etc..  We went for a walk about the park – this is part of our get healthy plan.  We visited with the neighbors and then came home and read for a while.  Sheesh, before we knew it Saturday was all gone.

Randy and Terry came over for an appetizer dinner followed by a lively conversation.  Whenever Guilers and the Pattersons get together you can be assured of a lively conversation with lots of laughs.  We even broke out our dessert wine – Chocovine chocolate and raspberry wine.  A few glasses of that and the conversation gets even livelier (talk about pouring gasoline on a fire). 

Before heading off to bed, we engaged in some more reading (me) and ‘puter time (Judy).  Judy’s computer began acting up again; she can’t get online anymore.  I’ll need to reload the Internet Explorer program once again.  The computer is four years old and is slowly giving up the ghost.  That means we’ll probably need to get her a new one before year’s end.

Well, there you have it.  An update on Mikee, Peggy, and Winne as well as the highlights of our Saturday.  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Our Friday

Yesterday was another outing day – Judy met with one of her friends for lunch at California Dreaming while I went over to Lowes and picked up all the “stuff” that I need to complete “buttoning” up the underbelly of the coach. 

Mikee had suggested that I use some angle iron to replace the banding that Forest River used for supporting the potable water tank so I bought three pieces and all the necessary bolting.  I will, also, install a piece of 1/2” plywood between the angle iron and the tank in order to support the entire bottom of the tank.

The angle iron will require me to lower the underbelly panel an inch, so I purchased some two by two’s that I can use as a frame.  I will screw the frame in place and then screw the underbelly onto the new frame.  Being that the plastic underbelly was destroyed, I will use a piece of 1/4” plywood (which I will paint black) to replace it.  The good news is that the water tank nor any of the piping was damaged in this little episode.

It was mid afternoon before we returned home and we needed to get the house in order for company.  Ray and Pat joined us for a nice turkey dinner with “smashed taters” and gravy, green beans, and yeast rolls.  Pat made a yummy chocolate, chocolate cake with chocolate frosting – a chocolaholic’s dream.

We had a nice evening just sitting back and chatting with them.  I don’t know why, but we didn’t play cards.  They are big euchre fans and a card game generally ensues.  While they were here we made our reservations for our Michigan camping spot for September.  Ray stated that, unlike other campgrounds, they are usually not full over Labor Day weekend so to “come on down” (or, in their case, “come on up”).

After their departure we did a little reading and a little playing on the ‘puter before searching for our pillows.  We found them right where we had left them much earlier in the day.  Alex and Katie joined us and it was “lights out” for another day at the Patterson household.  “Meow, John Boy!”

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Friday, January 21, 2011

For The Times They Are A-changin'

The story you are about to hear is all positive.  We share some of the information just to let some of our wannabee fulltiming friends know that life on the road has just as many curves (pun intended) as life in sticks and bricks.  And, just as in our previous life, issues arise and decisions have to be made.  Let us digress a little.

When we began our fulltiming journey, in October of 2006, we had visions of traveling all forty eight continental states in our rig and taking time to savor the culture within each state.  However, being that we were living off our savings during the first three years it was necessary to spend a portion of each year augmenting our savings account with some workamping dollars, which we did.

The second phase of our fulltiming life, which began in September of 2009, was to begin drawing income from three pensions and social security as well as with drawing some money from our 401k accounts.   With the economic downturn in the fall of 2008 the value of our 401k accounts was greatly depleted so we’ve elected not to take any money from them which meant that we would be living on about ten grand less per year than originally projected.

Well, the good news is that our 401k accounts have returned to better than 90% of their value, but our priorities have changed and we have decided to still not draw monthly income from them.  We want hold onto that money for our exit strategy which includes buying some land and building a small home for cash, more about that later.

So, being that we’re living on a lower budget coupled with the increased cost of health insurance ($111 per month for Judy’s insurance), of diesel fuel (we’re estimating about a dollar a gallon increase), and of food (about 5% increase), we’re finding it necessary to cut back on our travel plans for 2011.  Also, to help reduce travel costs, we’ve added some volunteering assignments to our 2011 plans.

We’ve eliminated a trip to Big Bend National Park in April and a trip to Michigan in June.  So, we’ll leave Rainbow Plantation heading “just plain north” to Tennessee for a munchkin fix.  From there we’ll head due east stopping to visit Don and Jenny “on a mountain top in Tennessee”.  Then it will be onto Virginia to spend some time with our daughter and her husband (good night John Boy). 

We’ll make our way to Maine where we will volunteer at a campground for six weeks (Ayah!!).  From there we’ll make our way to Belfast, my home town (a childhood revisited) where we’ll spend four to five weeks walking the beach, reading, and basket weaving.  Judy will be working on her Christmas projects and I’ll be sharpening my paint brushes.  Also, Marc, Amie and kids will spend some time vacationing with us while we’re there – another grand kids fix.

From there we’ll turn west stopping in New Hampshire for more grand kids time and our annual Christmas Shopping in the tax free state.  If my aunt hasn’t sold her home on the Cape we’ll head that way for a few days of hob knobbing with the Kennedys.

On August 1st you’ll find us volunteering at a National Forest in Virginia for the month where we’ll be able to visit Mary and Joel and do quite a bit of sightseeing in Washington, D.C., Williamsburg, and other Civil War sites.  And, no, while we’re there we will not try to change Congress.  A friend of mine once told me to never try to teach a pig to sing – it can’t be done and it annoys the pig!!

Come September we’ll be making tracks to Michigan where we’ll stay for about a month visiting family and friends while working on basket weaving, reading, and relaxing.  From there we’ll turn south stopping in Tennessee for more grand children time and, hopefully, attending the Beechcraft Fly-in in Tullahoma.  Also, there’s another gathering being planned for Defeated Creek in October that we would like to attend.  Then it will be homeward bound for Rainbow Plantation with mission accomplished.

Now, just a little about our “exit strategy”.  Our thinking right now is to purchase land (most likely in Tennessee) next year (2012) where we’ll set up two (or more) RV sites.  In twenty-thirteen we’ll begin building a small home for cash.  Once the home has been completed, we’ll downsize our rig and continue to do extended travels thereby giving up our fulltiming status. 

So, yes, “for the times they are a-changin’”.  We are truly blessed to be living debt free and able to move about the country freely.  Even though we’re not able to do the traveling that we had originally planned, “we’re satisfied”.  Family is high on our priority list and our lifestyle enables us to see them every year so, like we stated in our opening sentence – it’s all positive.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Fleeing The Grip

All y’all be sure to shoot up a word of prayer for Mikee and (my name) Peggy.  They have cut through the snow bars and slipped out of the grips of the Maine Winter Prison System thereby enacting their Great Escape plan.  The hounds of Winter Present are barking closely at Winne’s heals as they are fleeing Southwestward.  Their goal is to make it past “Jerzee Shores” and collect a couple hundred days of hiding out in a warmer climate.   However, this is going to be a real tricky situation as Old Man Winter is calling in “More Snow” reinforcements from the Wicked Witch of the Northwest.  They could get caught and locked away in the Snow Slammer once again by the Jerzee Winter Warden if they linger too long.  They’re not in Maine any longer Toto, but the question is, “Will they make it to freedom?”  We’ll have to continue monitoring the situation closely and keep y’all apprised (or you could check it out for yourself at Maineiacs In Motion).

Tomorrow we’ll share our plans for the rest of 2011 as well as our future RVing plans, stay tuned.

Take Care Until We Meet Again - - - -    

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fun Times

A funny thing happen on the way to the cafe.  Well, actually on the way home from the cafe – the Road Kill Cafe, that is.  Don, Jenny, Judy, and I went to the Road Kill Cafe for lunch (thanks Don and Jenny for treating us).  On the way home we took the “back way” and just down the road in Elberta there’s a camel farm (or is that chesterfield farm?).  The things you see when you’re traveling down the road – whoda thunk?  Right here in Lower Alabama.


Yesterday afternoon the temperatures hit the low 70’s so a walk about the park was in order.  Then I got out our reclining lawn chairs for a little sun time.  We talked, we read, and, yes, Mr. Alex got to come out for a little while.  Whenever we’re outside he’ll sit on the desk looking out the window while meowing loudly until someone (Dad) comes and gets him.  Clever katt, remarkable feline!!

Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis is in the building.  Yes folks, Elvis was in the area so he stopped by Rainbow Plantation’s Clubhouse just to meet all of us keenagers and to see if all the rumors were correct.  His real name is Shane Tucker and he is the assistant principle at the Foley High School, but he puts on a great show.   


And even after all these years, Elvis still has his Groupies.  They maybe a little grayer around the edges, but they are just as “young at heart” as ever.  Awwwww!!!  Notice the bra hanging over Elvis’ shoulder – yes, some of us are just as vibrant as the rumors have it.  I think Elvis wants to come here back again!!!


Shane was good enough that if you closed your eyes while he was singing it would take you back a just a few years.  You could actually visualize the King.  It was great show with everyone participating and having a great time.  Fun times indeed.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Will Winne Roll?

I talked with Mikee last night.  He and “my name” Peggy are readying Winne for travel while still planning on a Thursday morning departure, however, last night and today they are getting slammed with yet another winter storm.  This time it will be a “wintry mix” which means fluffy snow, wet snow, and freezing rain among anything else that Mother Nature can throw at them.  Yep, Thursday’s acomin’ and neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays this Winne from the swift completion of her appointed rounds!!  Ever see a motorhome with snow tires?

While they are experiencing sub-zero temperatures in Maine we woke up to 50* after having enjoyed a beautiful sunshiny day with temps almost hitting seventy.  The weather forecasters had predicted overcast with rain, but by mid morning all the clouds moved out and the Mr. Sunshine took over brightening our day.  Judy and I got out the lawn chairs and sucked up some of that sunshine.  Alex even joined us outside for awhile.  We’ll take all those kind of rainy days that you want to throw at us!!!

My painting session was a bust.  I’m still learning how to apply paint to canvas.  There are techniques that I haven’t acquired yet.  It requires a light touch while I tend to slap the paint on like I’m painting the side of a house (I have a lot of experience at that).  Gil showed me a new “toy” that he manufactured to help keep his paints moist between usage.  It’s made out of a plastic sealing storage container and a piece of glass in the bottom to use as a pallet.  I’ll have to make myself one for future use, but, for now, I just need to “brush up” on my techniques.

Judy attended her beading group.  She is finishing up a bracelet and some ear rings that she had started last year.  Now that Christmas is behind us (at least for a couple of months), she’ll be able to slow down and enjoy her hobby.  She was one busy little girl last November and December.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -  

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Gatherings

We’re waking up to temperatures in the forties this morning; ahhh, that’s more like it.  Today will be an overcast day with rain showers off and on but not a wash out so it won’t be a bust.

Yesterday was not our typical Sunday.  We went to church early and performed our greeting duties during the first service and then attended the second service.  We stopped at Wally World on the way home to pick up several items then we spent the rest of the day reading and watching the Patriots lose to the Jets – Booooo!

We had every intention of attending the International Dinner and Ice Cream Social last night, but just minutes before it was time to leave we both said we didn’t want to go.  Judy was going because she thought I wanted to go and I was going ‘cause I thought she wanted to go.  After a meeting of the minds, we “stood” at home.

Besides the International Dinner is sort of like a potluck and we all know what happens at a potluck.  We over eat all the wrong foods; not good when your trying to eat healthy.  Also, the “cold thang” that we’re just getting over caused us to hit “burn out” and we haven’t been able to get “re-lit”.  But, we plan on getting “back in the saddle again” this week.

So, what happens today?  Judy is planning on hitting the line dancing this morning followed by her beading group and I’m planning on attending my painting class.  I may spend some time painting this afternoon or may start another book (I just finished “The Associate” by John Grisham – Grisham is my favorite author).

Mikee and Peggy will attempt to escape the throws of winter in Winne this week.  We wish them a safe departure and trip as they seek a warmer climate; we can’t wait to see them again.  Also, Gene and Judi will be making their way toward Rainbow Plantation in a few weeks.  Hopefully Mike and Gerri will be able make it over from Georgia for a visit and we’ll miss seeing Glenn and Sylvia as they are hanging around out west this winter.  We enjoyed all of our get togethers last winter and it will be nice to get a portion of the group back together again.

Allan and Jeanne have been doing a volunteer project in southeastern Alabama so Judy and Jeanne have been planning a couple of get togethers.  It’s been over a year and a half since we we have seen them last so it’s past time for a gathering.  Also, Charles mentioned that he and Ethel may make the trek over from Jacksonville later this spring; that would be great.     

Well, enough rambling for today; Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -   

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Saturday, Saturday

Judy just read an article to me that highlighted seven things that will cost us more in 2011.  Out of the seven things, five of them will hit us right away:  Banking Fees, Clothes, Food, Fuel, and Health Insurance.  I’m sure glad there is no inflation, we probably couldn’t afford that.

Yesterday was a good day when it came to the old water tank installation project.  I was able to pull off each rear tire and drill all the required holes.  Then Randy came over and helped me by holding the water tank in place while I bolted in the forward bracket.  I filled the water tank to make sure there were no leaks in the tank and/or the piping leading to it.  So far so good.

I still need to re-install the insulation and the underbelly panels and then that job will be done.  Next on the list is the modifications to the cabinet under the desk.  Judy would like the printer to slide out so that it is easier to use.  I want to organize all the cables which will require re-orienting an electrical outlet.  Not a big job, but one that needs to get done. 

We attended the four o’clock social time at the clubhouse and I ended up hosting it.  Surprisingly, for a Saturday, there were quite a few people out.  If you ever visit an Escapee Park, be sure to attend the social time; its’s a great way to meet new people and find out what’s taking place in the park as well as around the local area.

Other than that, we spent some time enjoying the nice warm weather, feeding our faces, and reading.  And, yes.  Mr. Alex got to sit outside in Dad’s lap for awhile – have you ever seen a katt smile?

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -     

Saturday, January 15, 2011

A Productive Day

Finally I’m getting started on the potable water tank re-installation.  If you remember right, Forest River, in their infinite wisdom, used the incorrect bolting on the brackets that hold the tank in place.  The bolts (screws really) on the forward bracket broke and the tank ended up sitting on the axels.  Well, yesterday I was able to remove the old screws, drill new holes, and install the correct bolting on the rear bracket. 

In order to drill the holes for the new bolting on the forward brackets I’ll need to remove the rear tire on each side of the rig in order to gain access.  That will be today’s project.  Then I will jack the tank back up in place and install the forward bracket.  With any luck I should be able to get all of that done today so that sometime next week (depending on the weather – rain’s a comin’) I can finish reinstalling the insulation and underbelly panels.

Last night we had Randy & Terry and Don & Jenny over for coffee, dessert, and lively conversation.  What a fun evening it was; we talked about anything and everything while the laughter rolled freely.  It’s sho’ ‘nuf gooood to be back into the fun, friends, and food circuit. 

As you can see, things are finally getting back to normal for us here at the plantation as we recover from our illnesses.  The weather (as in temperatures) are beginning to head back toward the “seasonal” range.  I hope so as Judy J and I don’t do cold very well.  Alex and Katie don’t think much of it either.  Alex likes to sit outside in Dad’s lap and that hasn’t happen in a long, long time.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -    

Friday, January 14, 2011

More Katt Tales

Hi, Katie here.  I’ve been a traveler from the very day that Mom and Dad picked me up from Rose Cottage in Allenton, Michigan (Remember that my registered name is Lady Catherine of Rose Cottage).  It was a Saturday when Mom and Dad came to get me and it was love at first sight.  I rode home, a three hour trip, in Mom’s lap.

My new home was just great.  It had two stories and I loved going up and down stairs.  There was an upstairs hallway with a railing around the top of the stairs that I loved to weave in and out of.  Once I fell from the very top to the bottom but, fortunately, didn’t get hurt.

Anyway, the following Sunday Matthew had to go back to college and only got about 10 miles down the road when his truck began acting up.  So Mom and Dad had to go rescue him and drive him to college which was five hours away.  Being just a little kitty, they couldn’t leave me behind so they packed up some kitty food and a katt box and off we went.  My second night with my new parents was spent in a hotel in Houghton, Michigan; some eight hours from my birth place.  Then on Monday we drove back to our Home in Harbor Springs, Michigan.

Dad and Mom owned a twenty six foot travel trailer that we used for weekend camping trips all around northern Michigan.  I loved that little travel trailer; it was my favorite RV of all times.  I called it my kitty palace.  Being the smart katt that I am, I knew what the phrase, “Go to the camper” meant.  Dad would say, “Do you want to go to the camper?” and I would run to the front door.

I would ride in the front seat of the truck looking forward to arriving at our destination.  I just couldn’t wait to get inside my kitty palace on wheels.  What fun!!!  Dad and Mom would have a supply of toys on hand for me to play with as well as plenty of my favorite food.  I’d lay on the back of the couch and look out the window or get up on the dinette table and look out that window.  At night I would sleep on the bed right next to my parents.  It was a lot of fun.

Here are some of my baby pictures.  The first two are in the RV and the others are around the house.

Here I Am On The Back Of The Couch Here I Am On The Back Of The Dinette Laying In One Of The Chairs In The Upstairs Hallway It's Time To Do The Laundry Sitting On The Planter In The Upstairs HallwayPampered Pussy Katt


Thursday, January 13, 2011

Warm Thoughts

Looking at the weather map across the country, all we can say to our good friends everywhere is, “Button up your overcoat, When the wind is free, Oh, take good care of yourself, You belong to me!”  Wow, another January with sub seasonal temperatures. 

It’s so cold here in L. A. (Lower Alabama) that the katts refuse to look at the thermometer.  They just cuddle up on the bed looking up at us with a “wake us when spring arrives” look on their cute little faces.  Alex weasels his way down under the covers at night – we keep the house in the high sixties during the night time.  Meow, meow, meow translates to, “Darn, it’s cold outside!!”

Forty-nine out of fifty states have sn*w on the ground.  Only Florida escapes the “s” word, but they are suffering through the cold weather again this year.  It was a year ago that we encountered this same cold while we were in St. Augustine watching the fountains ice up. 

Frosted Fountain In Florida

Okay, so now it is time for some warm thoughts so we leave you with a few pictures of warmer times.

Parkesdale Farms in Plant City, Florida Gulf Shores, AlabamaSailing The Penobscot River In Maine Along The Coast Of MaineCampsite In Michigan A Summer Sunset

Stay Warm Until Next Time - - - - -

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Nothing New To Report

It was overcast and it was cold outside yesterday so I “stood” inside all day long.  Judy went to “Stitch and Chat” and began a new project before returning home for the rest of the day.  It’s going to stay cold until Saturday when it will return to more seasonal temperatures.  But, at least we’re not fighting the “s” word here in L. A..

It’s time for me to start a new painting.  The painting class meets on Mondays and Wednesdays and I haven’t been back to class since before Christmas.  I did check in with them last Wednesday, but since I still wasn’t feeling real great, I didn’t stay.  I think I want to do a mountain scene this time.

Yep, things are slowly returning to normal.  Judy is still on drugs, but her sinuses seem to be responding to the treatment, however, the antibiotics are making her “sick to her stomach”.  She does get tired by nightfall and will need to take a nap this afternoon so she can make it though our home group gathering tonight.  Tonight’s dinner theme is “breakfast” so we’re bringing biscuits and gravy – a real favorite down here in the deep south. 

Other than that, there’s really nothing new in our lives to report so all y’all Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -  

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Arrival And The Posse

Oh deer!!  They arrived safely, but without any venison.  Randy and Terry are finally back to the Plantation.  On their way, a deer ran a stop sign and broadsided them.  It tore the wheel faring off the rear wheels on the passenger side of the truck, but, thankfully, no injuries to the occupants inside.  In any event, they are safely home again, home again and it was nice to see them again last night.

Randy is a lasagna fan and Judy is a lasagna cook so Randy and Terry left our house smiling with full bellies last night.  We last saw them in April and within nine and a half seconds it was as if we had been with them just yesterday.  Judy and Terry were just whooping it up at the dining room table while Randy and I were resolving several of the world’s most pressing problems.  We had a great meal and lots of lively conversation peppered with tons of laughter; it’s good to have them at the Plantation.

Yesterday morning we picked up Don and Jenny and attended the monthly Gulf Posse (Escapees Chapter 26) meeting and luncheon at the Original Oyster House in Gulf Shores.

Gulf Posse At Original Oyster House

After a good meal of shrimp and oysters we drove down to stroll the beach along the Gulf. 

Tourists On The Beach - Jenny and Don

It was windy and a little chilly with huge waves breaking onto the shoreline, but we enjoyed it none the less. 

Rough Seas

The task of clearing the beach of oil “tar balls” is still in process.  We didn’t see any oil, but the equipment is still at the beach.

Ongoing Cleanup

We continued our drive about by making a loop around Orange Beach and along the Intercoastal Waterway back to Gulf Shores.  Then it was homeward bound where we whipped up Randy and Terry’s travel day dinner.  It’s great to feel great once more and to be back on the social circuit once again.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - 

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Routine Sunday

Judy J and I are now official greeters at our church complete with shirts and name tags.  We enjoy greeting folks as they arrive at church.  It’s always a great way to meet new people and get to know your fellow worshippers.  However, with three services and 1500+ attendees, it will take us awhile to meet everyone.

With the cold temps rolling in, we came home and “stood” inside for the rest of the day while reading and watching football (yes, at the same time).  We did go over to the clubhouse for the Sunday Ice Cream Social; that’s the first time we’ve been to a social time since returning to Rainbow Plantation a week and a half ago.

Then we returned home and went back to reading; there’s absolutely nothing on television worth watching.  So, there you have it.  Just a routine Sunday for the Pattersons.  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - 

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Finally Getting Out And About

Don and Jenny we picked up at about quarter after ten and to Foley, Alabama we headed. (Backwards I talk you say)  Destination – The Railroad Museum.  We’ve written about the Railroad Museum before; it’s a unique attraction in Foley with free admission.  As Jenny says, “If it’s free, it’s for me!”

Every time we go, we see something different.  This was the first time that I had noticed a little Piper J3 flying over the railroad city.  Plus, they have added a Ferris Wheel to the circus area.  Neat!

Piper J3 Airplane New Ferris Wheel

After spending about an hour at the museum we made our way to Stacy’s Drugstore for some nice old fashioned sundaes and milk shakes.  While we were there we met another couple who had just begun their fulltiming adventures.  It was fun sharing with them and telling them about the Escapees RVing Club.

Stacy's Drugstore Yum, Yum!!!

From there we took Don and Jenny on a little tour of Baldwin County by heading south from Foley, west to Bon Secor, and North to Magnolia Springs.  We stopped by Punta Clara Kitchens at Point Clear to sample some of their wares (Judy J picked up some dark chocolate covered pecans – hope she shares).  From Point Clear we made our way to Fairhope where we strolled out onto the community pier.

Don and I had to watch this guy fishing with a net while Judy and Jenny walked to the end of the pier.  The fisherman pulled in one fish and then he hit the payload by pulling in seven.  The fish were mullet which he smokes – how do you light a fish? 

Fisherman Casting Out His Net The Payload - Seven Fish  

While walking back we noticed this pelican sitting on a log.

Pelican Sunning Itself On A Log

From Fairhope we headed home.  It was nice little outing after having to sit around and kick our cold habits, but Judy still has her sinus infection and is on antibiotics so a five hour outing was enough.

It was a beautiful day, but now we’re going from a nice “fall type” of day to a miserable “winter type” of day with cold, freezing rain, and wind.  The cold will hang around for a few days before beginning to warm up again by the coming weekend.

Well, it’s time for us to get ourselves ready for church.  Today they are going to three services and we have volunteered to be greeters during the early service.  We’ll attend the second service and then head on home where we’ll probably read and watch some football.  If it’s not pouring down rain we’ll journey over to the clubhouse for the Ice Cream Social this evening.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Get Your Chores Done Day

This is “fixinto” be a rough year financially.   We went shopping yesterday and it’s going to be tough to hold the grocery budget this year.  We exceeded it by a couple of hundred last year and it looks like we’ll go over budget for January 2011.  Food here in the south is more expensive than in Michigan or even the Northeast and on top of that, they charge an 8-1/4% sales tax on food.

On top of that, we’re already over budget in medical for this month as well and with fuel prices inching (or maybe I should say footing) their way up we’re going to have to go back to our budgeting department for a second look and a revision.  Our “buffers” are quickly disappearing and that makes us a little nervous.  Oh well, it is what it is!!!

Other than shopping, yesterday was a clean the house, do the laundry, get a haircut, and pick up propane kinda day.  Just the typical “get your chores done so you can go outside and play” day.

Today is going to be a great day (“they” are predicting lots of rain tomorrow) so we hope to do an outing with Don and Jenny.  Not sure exactly what we’ll do, but we have some options and we’ll leave the choice up to them. 

Well, enuf’s enuf so Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Friday, January 07, 2011

Guests Arrive

Don and Jenny J arrived at Rainbow Plantation yesterday so we had them over for the traditional travel day dinner.  What a fun time it was chatting, laughing, and eating our way through the evening. 

Don and Jenny live in the mountains of northeastern Tennessee.  Unlike Davy Crockett, they actually live on a mountain top in Tennessee (Davy was actually born in a valley along side of a river).  There are a lot of popular attractions within striking distance of their home – Blue Ridge Parkway, Appalachian Trail, Gatlinburg, and Ashville just to mention a few.  They have us convinced that we need to stay at least a week on our trek toward the Northeast this coming spring/summer.

They’ll be spending at least a week here at the Plantation so we’ll have some opportunity to get together with them for a few outings.  There’s quite a bit to see and do right here in LA so I’m sure that we can them keep busy.  We’ll be sure to get some pictures to post on the blog.

Randy and Terry will arrive Monday and Mike and Peggy (“My name Peggy”) are busy packing their bags to make their winter escape from the Pine Tree State.  Yep, more great times are heading our way.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Feels Good To Feel Good

It feels good to feel good and Judy will be joining me shortly; she got drugs.  The doctor confirmed that she has a sinus infection and needed antibiotics to get rid of it. 

Anyhow, we had company last night and it was good to be back in the social circle once more.  Ray and Pat joined us for some coffee and cheese cake.  We sat and chatted for a couple of hours.  They are leaving this morning but will be back in a week or two.  We look forward to their return and maybe a card game or two.  We’ll definitely be on top of the world by then. 

Today Don and Jenny will arrive at the Plantation for their first visit.  It will be good to see them again as well.  We last saw them at Defeated Creek in October.  Judy and I will prepare a travel day dinner for them this evening and you just know that there will be lively conversation and lots of laughs.  (Yes Charles, we’ll say hi to Don and Jenny for you and Ethel).  

On top of guests, Judy will be attending her Quilting Group this morning at the Clubhouse.  This will be her first Clubhouse outing since just before Christmas.  She’s definitely in need of a Clubhouse fix and seeing her stitching buddies once again. 

Finally, things are starting to get back to normal here in L.A..  Do yourself a favor, don’t bother to catch what ever is going around – it can be a bummer and crimp your style for awhile.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -  

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Out And About

Okay, finally I declare myself well!!  Judy is off to the dentist this morning and the doctor this afternoon.  She is pretty much over the cold, but still has a sinus “thang” going on that will require real drugs to shake. 

Today is going to be a rainy stay inside day, but while we’re out for doctor’s appointments we are going to stop by the library and the hardware store.  Judy has been reading Debbie Macomber books and wants to get two more plus I have a couple of acrylic painting books to return.  Then I have to pick up the bolting needed to reinstall the water tank.

Also, we want to spend some time with Ray and Pat later this afternoon.  They arrived here at Rainbow Plantation back before Christmas.  We were up in Tennessee at the time and have been “under the weather” ever since returning so we’ve only seen them for a couple of short visits.  They will be leaving tomorrow :-(

It’s a slow start to the social agenda in the new year, however, we are looking forward to getting out and about once again.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Slow Day In ‘Bama

There’s not really much new to report this morning.  Judy and I are both feeling better, but our coughs linger.  Judy’s sinuses have been acting up and she may have to go to the doctor to get some antibiotics to clear that up.

We’re both looking forward to getting back into the swing of things here at the Plantation.  I went over to the clubhouse for a little while yesterday and then returned home to stay inside for the rest of the day.  Needless to say, the potable water tank is still needing reinstallation.  Hopefully I can spend a little time working on it today.

I guess there’s really nothing else to share so,

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Monday, January 03, 2011

Basket Weaving 101

Darrell refers to all of my crafting projects as basket weaving, however, let it be known that I don’t weave any baskets what-so-ever.  There is a Pine Needle Basket Weaving class here at the Plantation and they produce some beautiful baskets, but I have not attended that class – yet!!!

Quilting is probably my biggest hobby.  Last year I purchased a Janome 760 Digital Sewing Machine just for my quilting projects.  My goal was to make a quilt for each grand child; this year I was able to achieve that goal.  My next goal is to make a twin size quilt for each grandchild.  Here are pictures of the quilts I have made for each of them.

Briana’s quilt.

Front Back

Catia’s Quilt.


Lola’s Quilt.

Front Back

Kalina’s Quilt.

Front Back

Rocco’s Quilt.

Front Back

Radek’s Quilt.

Front Back

I have also made a few other quilting projects as well. 

Pot Holders Wall Hangings Candle Mats

Another hobby that I enjoy is beading.  Here are a few of the items that I have made. 

Bracelet More BraceletsAnother Bracelet Santa Ear RingsAnd Another Type Of Bracelet

Here are some pillow cases that I made for Catia and Kalina for Christmas this year.

Princess Pillow Case Tinkerbell Pillow Case

And a blanket that I made for Catia, Katie got into the act here.  Katie and Alex both like to get involved in craft projects – especially anything involving yarn or thread.

Catia's Blanket

I, also, enjoy crocheting; here is a blanket I crocheted for Rocco.  As you can see, Alex got in on this project.

Rocco's Blanket

There are other crafts that take place at the clubhouse like making greeting cards, boxes, chair canning, etc..  Here are some little boxes that I made out of greeting cards and a rag bag that I made. 

Greeting Card Boxes Rag Bag That I Use For Crotcheting Supplies

Another hobby that I enjoy doing, that is not pictured here, is digital scrapbooking.  I have made photo albums of our grandchildren, a family vacation at LGE, and our summer trip with Briana.

Well, there you go.  These are just a few of my “Basket Weaving Endeavors”.  It has kept me busy, been lots of fun, and given me hours of enjoyment.   Rainbow Plantation is a great place to winter for anyone wanting to learn some crafts.  Hope to see you there.