Friday, August 31, 2012

School Days, School Days

“School days, school days, Dear old golden rule days, ‘Reading and ‘riting and ‘rithmetic, Taught to the tune of the hick’ry stick.”  The New Hampshire brood is off to “skool”.  It’s hard for G’ma and G’pa to believe that our oldest grand daughter, Briana, is now a freshman in high school. 

Briana - 2012

And that our number three grand daughter, Lola, is starting kindergarten.

Lola - 2012

While grand son, Rocco, who is “free”, is headed off to pre-school.  He’s big for a “free” year old.


We shouldn’t share this story but, we got a belly laugh out of it.  Art Linkletter made a fortune out of “Kids Say The Darnest Things”.  It’s absolutely amazing what kids will pick up and repeat at an early age.  Here’s Amie’s rendering of the event. 

“The following entry may not be suitable for some Facebook members. Readers discretion advised.  This morning on the way to school Lola, Rocco and I were driving happily along. Lola was singing to pop song on the radio and Rocco was writing in a small notebook. Suddenly we turned a corner and the sun broke through the trees when I hear my 3 year old grumble, "Goddamn it, the sun’s in my eyes."” 

Yep, he’s three and darned good at it too; that’s our grandson.  He makes Dennis the Menace look like an amateur.

Marc / Amie and Matt / Jackie have taken turns giving us our grand children – Briana (M/A), Catia (M/J), Lola (M/A), Kalina (M/J, Rocco (M/A), and Radek (M/J).  Now it’s Mary and Joel’s turn.  Baby Fortner is almost here, within the next week or two.  Boy?  Girl?  We don’t know, they don’t know.  And, they won’t even give us a hint of the names they have picked out.  No matter what, our grand children are the apples of our eyes.

Be sure to hug your grandchildren every chance you get.  May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Hey mom, what’s for dinner?

Believe it or not, that’s one of the first things we consider after rolling out of bed.  After a ten hour day in the salt mines, we come home and don’t feel like preparing a big meal.  Now don’t get me wrong, it’s not that we don’t feel like eating a big meal; we just don’t feel like preparing one.  In any event, we have to decide at oh-dark-thirty in the morning what we are going to eat some twelve hours later so that we can take something out of the freezer.  So it’s, “Hey Mom, What’s For Dinner?”

The second verse was pretty much the same as the first in that yesterday was pretty much a carbon copy of the day before.  We woke, we sipped coffee, we washed, we dressed, we went to w*rk, we came home, we had dinner, we watched a little bit of the RNC, we went to bed.  The third verse will be pretty much the same as the second.

Fortunately the kids are pretty well behaved.  There are three of them so “fist fights” do flare up here and there.  It is amazing how well a two year old has learned to be a little brother of two older sisters.  That means that that little scamp has learned how to “pull their strings”, “push their buttons”, or how ever you want to phrase it.  When you have two kids playing together (oxygen and fuel), they get along pretty well but, when you throw a third one into the mix (match) you get an explosion – Ka-Bomb!  So the key is to keep Huck (AKA Radek) busy playing with his monster trucks and tractors.  (Grandpa calls him Huck, short for Hockey Puck – He loves hockey).

Our latch key katts are doing alright.  They hear the truck pulling in in the evening and both of them greet us at the door with the “where have you been all day?” expression on their little faces.  We have a fairly decent site here at Shady Acres, however, they like our site at the Fabulous Friendly Faber Family Campground in Mecosta a whole lot better.  Actually, that’s their favorite site.  How do you know that, you ask?  They are a lot more lively, they play more, they spend more time looking out of the windows, and they spend less time sleeping when ever we are there.  Unfortunately, they’re not all that excited about our home site at Rainbow Plantation.  We think it is because the site is more open and they prefer being in under the trees.

Okay, it’s time to start getting ready to return to those smiling little faces.  We are soooooo fortunate to able to live a lifestyle where we can spend time with our grand children.  Especially considering that they are spread all over the eastern half of this land and, in just a few more days, there will be one more in this world.  Poor kid, s/he will be born with $50,882.00 being his/her share of the National Debt.  There’s a sobering thought for this election year.

May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Just Another W*rk Day

Wh-wh-what’s happening?  “Grandpa!!”  Wh-wh-where am I?  “Grandpa, it’s time to get up?”  Who-who are these people?  Oh sh-shucks.  I don’t WANNA get up!  Was I sleeping when you work me up?

Does that sound familiar?  Yep, ‘tain’t even six o’clock.  I must have been dreaming about grand kids because it was Alex that was tromping all over me.  Momma sent him up stairs to wake me up.  We have to get an early start so we won’t be late to w*rk and get fired from our J*Bs. 

Yesterday grandpa went on a couple of dates.  Yep, grandpa took his grand daughter, Catia, to get Katie and Alex some more “fude” and vitamins at PetSmart.  On our way home we stopped by Mona’s for some ice cream cones.  After w*rk grandpa took grandma to Kroger’s to pick us several items and, on our way home, we stopped by Papa Murphy’s to get grandma a pizza for dinner.

After dinner, we watched some of the Republican Convention.  Can you believe the nerve of President Obama?  Starting a hurricane just to divert attention from the Republicans.  That guy will do anything and say anything just to keep his job.  But in spite of it all, Ann Romney gave a great speech and Governor Christie presented a great “call to arms”.  The basic message was that “It’s Time For Change” and “Yes We Can!”  Uhmmm, the more things change, the more they stay the same.    

Well, it’s time to go wash behind my ears and throw on my glad rags.  There’s little faces waiting to be tended to.  So,

May God Bless  - - - - - - - - -

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Keeping Catia Subdued

I don’t WANTA get up!!!  I was asleep when you woke me!!!  It’s way too early!!!l

That’s how my day started.  We need to get an early start again so we can be at w*rk on time.  Ugh!!!  Oh but, think of those smiling little faces, think of those hugs, think of that “I missed you Grandpa, did you miss me?”  And to think, we saw them less than 10 hours ago.  Munchkins, you can’t live with them, you can’t live without them.

Yesterday was another laid back day.  Judy continued sewing on the baby Fortner quilt, I continued reading.  We both did the daily chores and we took a dip in the pool.  It was hot and humid yesterday and the pool felt real good.

The Pink Panthers won their second game last evening, 3 to 2.  Catia played goalie the first quarter and defense the last quarter.  On Saturday, during the game, she had a hard time breathing and had pain in her chest.  Later in the afternoon her lips and cheeks started taking on a bluish tint so Jackie made her a doctor’s appointment.  She was checked out for asthma which was negative but, the doctor thinks he may have heard a heart murmur.  So she now has to go to Vanderbilt Hospital for some testing. 

In the meantime, she has to take it easy so that’s why she only played two quarters.  The goalie position has little to no running but, she wanted “into the game” so Coach Patterson let her play defense for the last quarter.  The offense position, which is what she normally plays, has continuous running for the entire quarter.  So, anyway, we’d appreciate a prayer, or two, for grand daughter Catia.  We are just glad that we have an Awesome God who we can put our trust in and know He hears our prayers.

Well, domestic engineering is all that is on our plate for today so, in the meantime, the rest of you take it easy and stay out of Isaac’s way.  May God Bless  - - - - - - - - - -

Monday, August 27, 2012

That’s The Best I Have

Until yesterday I didn’t even know that there was a person named Snooky but, there it was across all the news.  Snooky gave birth.  Who cares?  Hundred of thousands of women gave birth and I didn’t hear anything about them so why should I have to hear about someone I never even knew existed giving an illegitimate birth to a child?  That’s right, this Snooky person isn’t even married, yet Moe, Larry, and Curley (NBC, CBS, and ABC) feel this is newsworthy information.  I guess it is a step up from all the political bull…, eh, I mean, nonsense they’ve been serving up.

Something that is newsworthy is Hurricane Isaac.  That thing is going to affect each and everyone of us.  Did you know that the gas pump at your local station is piped directly to the oil platforms in the Gulf?  “They” are closing down the platforms for the storm for the next two or three days which means that on Wednesday you’ll be pulling up to the gas pump and not a drop will come out of the pipe; therefore, the price of gas needs to escalate this very instant.  We can be assured that the oil companies would never, never, never gouge us.

Well, it sounds like I’m in a grumpy mood this morning, doesn’t it?  Not really.  It’s just that we didn’t do anything yesterday that gave me something to write about.  We watched the worship service from COTES yesterday morning and went to the Sunday evening worship service at WOC.  In between, we never even left the house.  Judy worked on the baby Fortner quilt and I did a little reading.  It was nice to just lounge around the house.

We have today off as well and we plan to hang around the house again.  We may visit the swimming pool for a bit but, other than that, we’ve got some chores to do.  Judy will continue to work on the quilt (the baby will be here soon) and I’ll finish reading the “Forgotten God” by Francis Chan.  This evening we’ll go to watch Catia’s soccer game.  We’re here and it’s all about grand kids, ya know.

So, that’s the best I have this morning.  May God Bless  - - - - - - - - -

Sunday, August 26, 2012

“We Are The Champions”

Yesterday the Pink Panthers went up against the Blue Belles for the season’s opener soccer game.  We pick up the action at Wiggly Field in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

“Hi, I’m Ben Dover sitting here with Charity Case reporting from the sidelines here at Wiggly Field.  The season’s opener is about to begin with an air of excitement stirring throughout the crowd.” 


“The Pink Panthers are being coached this year by none other than the famous high school football player, Matt Patterson, who has never played a soccer game in his life.  He was assistant coach to the Panthers last year when they went undefeated.  Just goes to show you that anyone can do this!!!”


“As you can remember from last year, we’ve been following the career of the Panthers’ talented Catia “The Cat” Patterson.  “The Cat” because she’s light and quick on her feet and plays well on both offense and defense.  Also, the Panthers have another secret weapon in Megan “Mega-bomb” Thompson.  Between these two players, the Panthers should have a great season.  What do you think Charity?”

“Well, as I see it, this is going to be a tight game.  The Blue Belles are in pretty good shape beginning the season with no injuries so far.  I see the teams taking the field now, let’s watch the kick off.”


“And the game is underway!!”


“Oh my goodness, the Panthers are getting an early start with a score by Meagan “Mega-bomb” Thompson!!”  “SCORE!!!”


“And the crowd goes wild!!”


“Well, it’s half time here at Wiggly Field with the Panthers leading 5 to 1.  With Catia “The Cat’s” finesse in playing defense and setting up plays on offense and Megan “Mega-bomb’s” ability to kick goals, this team seems unstoppable.”


“Charity, the third quarter has ended .  We are now starting the last quarter and here comes “The Cat”.  She is going to play the goalie position.  This has been a great season’s opener for the Panthers.” 


“The game is winding down now with one minute left to go, and Mega-Bomb kicks in another goal – SCORE!!!  Wow, she has scored six of the Panthers eight goals; now you know where her nic name comes from, Charity.”


“The Panthers win eight to one.  What a game and the crowd is ecstatic while singing ‘We Are The Champions’!!”


“That’s it from Wiggly Field.  You’ll have to tune in again on Monday evening for the next Panther game.  I’m Ben Dover . . .”

“And I’m Charity Case . . .”

“Saying so long from Wiggly Field.”

“Be sure to give Ilene my best, Ben.”

Well, that’s pretty much how it went for Saturday’s game.  Last evening we attended the World Outreach Church in Murfreesboro where Catia was in the kids choir – what a great performance.  Catia was in great form for that presentation, that’s for sure.  Grandma Judy and Grandpa Darrell enjoy being part of our grand children’s lives.

Today we’ll attend Church On The Eastern Shore via internet and then return to World Outreach Church this evening to get the conclusion of last night’s sermon.  “The rest of the story”, so to speak.

So, Take Time To Worship and May God Bless  - - - - - - - -  

Saturday, August 25, 2012

What Was I Thinking?

In reading an article on “Eight Ingredients You Never Want to See on Your Nutrition Label” by David Zinczenko, who is author of “Eat This, Not That”, we find listed Castoreum.

“Castoreum is one of the many nebulous “natural ingredients” used to flavor food. Though it isn’t harmful, it is unsettling. Castoreum is a substance made from beavers’ castor sacs, or anal scent glands. These glands produce potent secretions that help the animals mark their territory in the wild. In the food industry, however, 1,000 pounds of the unsavory ingredient are used annually to imbue foods—usually vanilla or raspberry flavored—with a distinctive, musky flavor.
You’ll find it in: Potentially any food containing “natural ingredients”

Now, I want to ask you, “Who, in their right mind, would take the secretions from the castor sac or anal scent glands of a beaver and put it into their food?”   “How, in the name of all that is sane, could anyone link anything from the ass of a beaver to my vanilla ice cream?”  That’s just plain gross and lacks common sense on all levels.  It’s totally beyond me as to how intelligent people would spend time playing with these secretions in the first place let alone finding uses for it in the food industry.  This definitely falls under the, “What was I thinking?” category.

Well, now that I have all you running to your “fridge” to toss out your ice cream, what else can I tell you?  We set out real early again yesterday morning to take care of those three smiling little munchkin faces.  It’s all about grand-kids, ya know? 

Radek, while doing his Teller imitation of not speaking, comes over and pulls on your hand wanting you to get up out of your chair so he can place a hockey stick in your hand.  Then you find yourself batting a ball around the livingroom floor for the next four and half hours.

Kalina stills thinks G’ma or G’pa’s lap is a playground.  She lugs half of her toy chest out to your lap and then climbs on board.  It wouldn’t be so bad except she squirms, a lot.  And, on sore knees, it can get painful.  Eventually you have to put her down but, that’s hard to do with that innocent sweet little angelic face looking up at you.

Catia is getting to be a big girl and she likes to do “big girl” things.  Maybe G’pa needs to take her on a date; just G’pa and Catia without any siblings.  We could go get an ice cream sundae (no vanilla though) or something else not healthy.  Or, maybe G’ma could take Catia on a shopping trip to the mall.  We’ll have to work on some ideas for a special outing ideas for her – dang, she’s getting too big, too fast.

It was nice to sleep in this morning, at least I did anyway.  I think that Judy crawled out of the sack around five thirty but not me.  I clung to the sheets until oh-six-thirty and it felt dawg gone good.  So what’s up for today?  Well, we have a few chores to do, a soccer game to attend, Saturday night worship at World Outreach Church, and a pizza from Papa Murphy’s to eat.  Catia has her first soccer game of the season this afternoon and she’s, also, singing in the kid’s choir at church this evening; I told you that she’s getting to be a big girl and doing big girl things.

So that’s it from the Volunteer State for this Saturday morning.  Now you can pour yourself another cup of coffee and add a little cream to it but, none of that beaver scented vanilla flavored stuff.

May God Bless  - - - - - - - - - -

Friday, August 24, 2012

We’ve Only Just Begun

The time change has made a real difference on our habits.  It gets sooooo dark sooooo early that, with our bodies still on Eastern Time, we find ourselves craving beddy bye by nine or nine thirty in the evening.  Just a couple of weeks ago, up in Petoskey, it wasn’t even dark until ten at night; now blackness falls over the land by eight.  Out comes the man quilt and I begin assuming the prenatal position with my thumb making its way toward my mouth.

Yesterday went off without a hitch.  We left the house at around seven and didn’t get back home until close to six thirty.  That’s a long day folks.  I’m telling ya, this w*rking has got to go.  But, those little faces make it all worth while.  “I missed you, grandpa!  Did you miss me?”  How can you resist that, I ask you? 

We did a little housework but mainly just took care of the grand children.  While they played by themselves, Judy worked on the baby Fortner quilt and I did some reading.  Two out of three of the kids and one out of two of the adults went down for naps after lunch.  And, oh yes, there’s the dawg to walk as well – Gunner is a good boy but he has to learn to heal.  “Heal, boy, heal.”

So, we’ve only just begun our stint as Chief Bottlewashers and Babysitters but, it’s not a bad gig.  We may have to rethink that after a few weeks, however, right now it’s nice to see those three smiling little faces as they roll groggily out of bed in the morning and make their way to the breakfast table.  After several cups of coffee they’re ready for the day, Oops, that’s grandpa; ya don’t give little kids coffee or sugar for that matter, it winds them up waaaay too much and they have more than enough energy as it is.

Be Sure To Hug Your Grandchildren and May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Thursday, August 23, 2012

We’re Here!!!

There’s a statement that you can say no matter where you are – “We’re here!!!”  So, where’s here?  Shady Acres Campground in Lebanon, Tennessee.  Three hours of traveling and we were pulling into the driveway.  Within a half hour we were all hooked up and ready for living our dream. 

However, Judy was called into w*rk right away.  The regular baby sitter had a sick child and the back up baby sitter was unavailable so the Grandma rushed to the rescue.  The Grandpa stayed to home and continued setting up housekeeping as well as doing chores.  He cooked dinner for his bride so that when she got home from w*rk she could have a hot meal.  Good Grandpa, good boy.

Today we both head off to w*rk.  We have to punch in at zero seven thirty hours.  Fortunately we don’t have to muster for daily inspection.  We just arrive and take charge (or pretend to, anyhow).  It will be a long, long day but, it will consist of grand kids.  Kalina gave Grandma a big hug and said “I miss-ed you Grandma!”  How precious is that?

Katie and Alex will be staying home and fending for themselves.  That won’t make them very happy katts.  They like to have us under paw so we can do their bidding.  I can just hear it now; they’ll be scolding us as we walk in the door this evening.

One last thing.  We changed back into the Central Time Zone and now it gets dark at twenty hundred hours.  It’s gonna take some adjusting.  We’ll probably just get fully adjusted and then we’ll mess with the clocks and loose another hour.  Oh well, it is what it is.  And we do like Central Time.

May God Bless  - - - - - - - - -

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Grandma Says, “Hi”

We’re at Grandma’s RV Park in Shepherdsville, Kentucky.  We drove straight through from Holly, Michigan, a 420 mile trip, and arrived at around five o’clock.  After unhooking the mule and plugging in the power we headed up the street to fill our tanks; the truck first and then our bellies.  For the truck we chose BP at $3.99.9 per gallon and for us we chose El Napal Mexican restaurant.  All three of us came home satisfied.

We stopped four times along our journey – once to tape up the bedroom slide awning that got eaten by a tree limb coming out of Warren and Shirley’s road, twice for fuel and rest stops, and once for lunch and rest stop.  So much for an incident free travel day.  We still made it in less than eight hours. 

Today we’ll drive the rest of the way to Lebanon, Tennessee.  It’s only three hours and we’ll cross the “International” Time Zone; that is, we’ll crossover to Central Time.  Matthew and Jackie’s baby sitter has had a sick child so Matthew ended up staying home from work yesterday.  Grandma has volunteered to sit the kids this afternoon so we’ll arrive and get set up and then head out for a grand child fix.  The Domestic Engineering duties will begin earlier than anticipated.

Well, it’s time to do that which we have in common with the Prevost owners, dump the tanks, and then hitch up the mule to the wagon and head for the promised land.  See you next from the Central Time Zone.

May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I Approve Of This Message

It’s getting nasty.  The election year politics, that is.  It’s one lie after another.  You know how to tell if a politician is telling a lie?  Yep, you got it.  If his/her lips are moving.  It’s lies, lies, lies, and distortion, distortion, distortion.  And it’s not just one party either.

So, how do you know what is true and what isn’t.  There are several websites out there that check out the facts.  The one I use the most is  There are other links on that website that also check out the true facts.  Before you get caught up in spreading misinformation about the candidates, take time to check out the facts first. 

I can tell you that the Obama campaign is responsible for spreading more “untruths” and “distortions” than the Romney campaign, however, the Romney campaign is not squeaky clean.  Note that I am saying the “campaigns” which may or may not be through the candidates themselves.  I just wish that the candidates would quit telling us all about their opponents “shortfalls” and tell us what they propose to do about the issues. 

I don’t know about you, but I feel like I’m buying a “pig in a poke”.  All I know is that we’ve lived through the last four years and I don’t give a damn who started it.  I’m tired of the “blame game” – “just fix it”.  The fact is that the current President has been unable to fix it and it is “Time For Change”, in my opinion.

Also, keep in mind that it’s not only the Presidency that’s up for election but Senate seats and Congressional seats as well.  We need to be diligent about checking out where those candidates stand as well.  Here’s another site that you just might be interested in; Smart Voter Project.  You can answer questions about the issues and then see how the candidates line up with your views.

We urge you to be involved for this election.  Things have to change in Washington.  The economy, health care, etc. needs to be addressed with a reasonable approach.  In order to solve these issues, we need people smarter than they were when they created this mess in the first place.

I Approve Of This Message and May God Bless America - - - - - - - -

Monday, August 20, 2012

Rolling Down The Highway

We managed to get underway in spite of my back issues and it was an uneventful travel day; a little over three hours.  We stopped in Mount Pleasant to dump our tanks and then continued along route 20, past the Soaring Eagle Casino, through Midland, and onto to I-75.  Katie and Alex traveled well but, were more than happy to get back into their little house on wheels.  We are at Shirley and Warren’s house and both katts like country settings with lots of trees around and squirrels and birds running loose.

This past weekend was the first week of the Renaissance Festival in Holly, Michigan.  Warren and Shirley have a booth at the festival so they weren’t home when we arrived.  They showed up later with a pizza in hand and we all shared a great evening meal together. 

We’re not really sure how today will unfold, but one thing I want to do is visit the “junk yard” to see if I can find one more center cap for the truck’s wheels.  Our son, Brian, had two so we only need one more to complete the set.  We had two stolen and then lost another one.  The truck will certainly look better if we can complete the set.

So, yes, we are slowly rolling down the highway in a southerly direction.  Barring any “eventful” travel days, we should arrive in the Murfreesboro area on Wednesday.  Then we’ll become Domestic Engineers for few weeks while Jackie finishes her training.

That’s pretty much the “state of the union” at the Patterson household this twentieth day of August, twenty-twelve. 

May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Sunday, August 19, 2012

That Can’t Be Good!!!

Uh oh, that can’t be good!!!  While playing Bocci Ball yesterday afternoon, I noticed a little twinge developing in my lower back.  The pain kept on intensifying throughout the evening and during the night.  This morning I can’t bend over to pick anything up off the floor and it hurts to sit, even in my recliner.  What have I done to myself?  The last time I had pain in my lower back was after climbing all over the battleship Alabama.  I couldn’t even straighten up after that little episode.  We’re supposed to be getting underway this afternoon.  That could most definitely be a chore and a half but, I will give it the old college try anyhow.

Ray and Pat returned home from their trip down south around two-ish.  We had burgers on the grill, corn on the cob, and potato salad for a travel day dinner.  Judy had whipped up some caramel chocolate brownies with Moose Tracks ice cream on top for dessert.  Everybody was “satisfied” when the meal was finished.  This morning we’re going to visit them for a departure day breakfast – do I see a new tradition in the making?

They were amazed at Katie.  She stayed out in the livingroom and played with her toys, sharpened her claws on her scratching post, and was just generally sociable for the evening.   Pat said she had never seen so much of Katie.  Normally all that visitors see of Katie is her backsides as she makes a retreat to the bedroom but, Katie feels very much at home here under the trees at the Fabulous Friendly Faber Family campground.  This is one of her favorite spots in the whole wide world.

Alex, on the other hand, makes himself at home no matter where we are.  As long as he has food, water, mom, and dad (pretty much in that order) he’s a contented kitty.  But, don’t bother telling him he’s a kitty or a katt because he doesn’t care.  He knows that he’s the ruler of the household and that’s all that matters to him.  “Got any more katt nip?”

Well, today is Sunday and it’s Pastor Chris Bell’s first Sunday at Church On The Eastern Shore.  We’ll take time to watch the service over the internet.  The last couple of months we’ve gone over our allotted gigabytes due to live streaming the church services.  We’re online for about an hour and a half each Sunday but, it’s well worth it to be able to worship with our home church while we’re “on the road”.  We’ll go over our allotment again this month and most likely for September as well.  So, “Praise The Lord and Pass The Gigabytes.”

Be Sure To Worship and May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Saturday, August 18, 2012

A Busy Day

WaaWhoo, it’s Saturday.  That used to mean something when we were w*rking stiffs but, now that we are foot loose and fancy free our week consists of six Saturdays and one Sunday.  Yesterday, the 5th Saturday, we drove into the city to visit with our son.  Judy had some paperwork to take care of and Brian wanted to do some shopping for baby Fortner.  He, also, needed a couple pairs of pants for himself.

It’s been a long time since Judy and I have been in a giant shopping mall and the Rivertown Mall was rather subdued for a Friday morning (generally it is packed with people).  We were able to park, get in, walk through, do our shopping, and get out before the herding began.  Then we made a quick trip to Lifeway Christian Bookstore just to say we did. 

As is the routine whenever we visit Grand Rapids, we went out to Arnie’s for lunch.  Arnie’s is guaranteed to have a great lunch at a reasonable price.  We always head for the “select any two for $8.99” section of the menu and select a soup and sandwich with a cup cake for dessert.  Brian was looking especially good since he’s lost some weight.

On our way home we stopped by the Amish farm veggie stand to pick up some more corn, green peppers, and watermelon.  Ray and Pat will return today and we’re fixing a “travel day meal” for them.  Here it was, Friday night and no hordes of campers with kids, dawgs, and smoky fires lining up at the entrance of the Fabulous Friendly Faber Family campground.  Just a nice peaceful old campsite in the woods with water and thirty amp electric hook up.  Aah, this is what camping is really all about.  Now we’re roughing it smoothly.

Being that we had a big meal for lunch, we had picked up a “footlong” Subway sandwich which we split for dinner and then it was “let the games begin”.  We played a game of backyard Bocci Ball.  That Miss Judy is going to be a formidable opponent when we get to playing on a court.  I win now because I can throw the Pallino farther away and she doesn’t have the strength to throw the Bocci Ball quite that far but, when we’re on a court she will have a good eye and be “all over it”.  So there’s a lot more Bocci Ball to come.

It’s nice to be getting back to our old routine of “early to bed, early to rise”.  We like to go to bed somewhere between nine and ten and arise between six to seven.  Actually, Miss Judy likes to roll out of the sack around five thirty and I like to get up somewhere between six thirty and seven, however, nine hours sleep is too much for me.  I’m better off with six hours sleep than nine hours of sleep; that much sleep makes me groggy but, Judy likes to have an hour or so to herself in the morning.  So, I may have to start staying up until eleven.  Either that or take my Nook to bed with me (I hear that laugher, Terry) so I can stay in bed and read in the morning.

Oh well, we’ll get it all worked out one way or the other.  It’s just nice to be retired folks again.  To paraphrase Bert from Mary Poppins, “[We] does what [we] likes and [we] likes what [we] do.”

May God Bless  - - - - - - - - - -

Friday, August 17, 2012

It’s Been A Long Time Coming

I’ve threatened it in the past, but always succumb to the pressures.  Well, yesterday I did it and “it’s been a long time coming”.  I “stood” in my PJs all day long.  We were supposed to go to Grand Rapids to see our son, but the weatherman threatened us with severe thunderstorms so we postponed our trip until today instead.  Therefore, other than a few household chores I had very little to do so I “stood” in my PJs and spent most of the day reading.

I downloaded the first three books in “The Cat Who . . .” series onto my Nook from the Orange Beach Public Library and began reading “The Cat Who Could Read Backwards”. It’s an easy, fun read without any profanity, sex, or violence – just good clean healthy reading.  So, it rained and I read.

Judy continued working on the baby Fortner quilt.  She is doing the “potholder” quilting method and has a few blocks assembled.  It’s turning out to be a little more work than she had envisioned, but it will be one neat looking Paddington Bear baby quilt when it is finished (pictures to follow after Mary has seen it).

Katie and Alex are just two contented kitty katts.  They feel very warm and secure having dad and mom around all day.  They don’t like the w*rking gigs any better than we do.  However, don’t get the impression that they are spoiled pussy katts because they’re not – a little pampered, maybe, but not spoiled.

Now, as for our illustrious landlords, they loaded up their RV yesterday morning and headed down state to visit with their daughter’s family leaving us to “mind the store”.   That adds even further to the tranquility of living in the woods.  Don’t get us wrong, we really enjoy Ray and Pat’s company but, we also like having this little piece of heaven all to ourselves.

So that pretty much wraps up our rainy day in the woods.  Hope you all are experiencing a nice peaceful existence.

May God Bless  - - - - - - - - -

Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Day At Home

We’ve gotten to the age where when you stand up from sitting for awhile, you stand there for a few seconds just to make sure everything is functioning correctly.  Then when you start to move you have to coral all your appendages to head in the same direction.  For instance, my mind is taking me to the bathroom but my left leg wants to go toward the diningroom while my right leg tries to head for the kitchen.  It’s like herding katts to get them all marching in the same direction.  “Good Grief, Charlie Brown!!!”

Yesterday was a great, great, great northern Michigan day.  The sun was out, the temperatures were in the seventies, and the humidity was low.  Judy worked on her quilt or, I should say, on baby Fortner’s quilt.  She has all the piece parts cut out.  This morning she plans to start the “some assembly required” phase.  It’s going to be beeeeauuuutiful.

While she was working on her project, I spend the day catching up on my reading.  I’m reading “The Forgotten God” by Francis Chan.  It’s about the ministry of the Holy Spirit and how, in today’s culture, we are “quenching the Spirit”.  It’s a good read and worthy of consideration by all Christians.  I’m going to take a break from nonfiction books for awhile to do a little light and fun reading; that is, Lilian Jackson Braun's “The Katt Who Could Read Backwards”.

We, also, visited with Ray and Pat a couple of times yesterday afternoon.  Then, after dinner, we played a couple of games of Bocci Ball.  We would have played more but the mosquitos got thick and drove us inside.  That’s a fun game and we’re going to really enjoy playing on a regulation court once we get it set up behind our site at Rainbow Plantation.

Let me say this about that.  Boy, does it ever seem good to not be going to w*rk.  We really enjoy having our time back and that’s all we’ll say about it, so have a great day and . . .

May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Enjoying The Veranda

We had a uneventful three hour ride across the “back roads” of Michigan arriving at the Fabulous Friendly Faber Family campground at quarter ‘til two.  By two-thirty housekeeping was all set up and it was “Tea Time” on the veranda.  Now we may not have the stupendous view across the bay with the beautiful sunsets, but there’s a lot to be said for the serenity of country living.  Here is a picture, taken from our loungers, of the current view from the front patio.  Note, no neighbors to the right, no neighbors to the left, and no steady stream of traffic passing by.  Just plain old peace and quiet.


Ray says we don’t need a Pergola, we have a canopy of leaves instead.  And as for the landscaped patio, he thinks God has done an absolutely fine job of landscaping without any interference from us humaniods.  You just got to love that laid back country kind of thinking.

So the missus and I just enjoyed the rest of the afternoon on the veranda in our outdoor loungers with a nice tall glass of iced tea, a few munchies, and a good book.  Who could ask for anything more.  Aah, it only took us ten weeks to get back to this little piece of heaven.  We did make a fast trip to a local Amish farm to pick up some fresh veggies.

With a little reflection over our past ten weeks of w*rk we quickly came to the conclusion that the financial rewards did not justify the amount of time we spent w*rking.  Because we had to pay for our own site and we did not w*rk as many hours as we had expected (not complaining about that, though), we did not reap the financial gains that we had anticipated.  So, bottom line, we won’t do that again!!! 

The only workamping that we are looking at from this point on will be volunteering for a site only in the proximity of Arlington, Virginia.  And that, of course, is so we can visit with our grand baby Fortner and his/her parents.  Sites are very expensive in that area so if we could volunteer for a month it would be worth it.

Until Next Time, May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Our Opulent Lifestyle Ends

Millennium Coach has a brand spanking new, right out the box, 2013 Prevost (pronounced Pray-vohs) motorcoach on display at Hearthside. It’s a beautiful coach, that’s for sure, but we’d still prefer a Newmar, Tiffin, or Winnebago. That thing is way over the top and guess what?  It broke down on the way north and was two days late getting to Hearthside. Wow, we know how much it costs to repair our rig; wonder how much it costs to fix that buggy?  It now appears that we have a couple things in common with the Prevost owners – the sewer hose and dealing with breakdowns along the highway.  Oh, by the way, this is one of the cheaper models; only 1.9 million.

“They” brought the coach from Florida to Hearthside for a photo-op.  Both Millennium and Hearthside will be using the photos for promotional purposes in brochures, magazines, and other advertising.  As you can see, both the “motorhome” and the “campground” are in a budget league that is by far greater than our income level supports. 

Well, we’re “fixinto” leave our opulent lifestyle behind and move back into the real world.  After spending two months here, we have some real good ideas for the owners of the Friendly Faber Family Campground.  I wonder how long we’ll have to wait for Ray and Pat to implement the changes?  They may have to cut down some trees in order to build our Pergola.  And we’re looking forward to that nicely landscaped patio right outside our front door.  How about a waterfall, Ray?  Hang onto your hats, you guys, we’re on our way with lots of great ideas.

It’s time to start packing our bags, to hitch up the wagon, and to mosey on down the trail so . . .

May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Monday, August 13, 2012

One More Sleep

A busy day today.  One more sleep and we’re underway.  This morning we need to do our bi-monthly grocery shopping run and start getting things ready to roll.  This afternoon we’re w*rking our last day at Heartside Grove Luxury Motorcoach Resort. 

We haven’t told Katie and Alex yet, but they’ll figure it out soon enough.  They’ve both been left in the coach while we’ve made our short moves around Magnus Park and don’t like it.  So they will be waiting at the door when it’s time to hit the road.

Our first stop will be at the Friendly Faber Family Campground in Mecosta, Michigan from which we’ll visit with our son in Grand Rapids.  Next we’ll make a quick stop at Shirley and Warren’s.  From there we may spend the night at Big Bone Lick State Park in Kentucky (just over the Ohio/Kentucky state line) or drive onto Grandma’s RV Park in Shepherdsville, Kentucky.  Then we’ll finish the journey to Lebanon, Tennessee where we’ll assume our duties as Domestic Engineers.

Of course, that will leave the big event of the year, the birth of baby Fortner – grand child number seven.  Departing from the Alexandria, Virginia area, we’ll start heading back to the barn and our stall at Rainbow Plantation.  That will pretty much wrap up our 2012 travel season.

May God Bless  - - - - - - - - -

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Walk Down Memory Lane

We’ll start with another picture looking out of our dining room window across Little Traverse Bay.


The year was nineteen hundred and seventy one.  I was a third class petty officer (keep in mind that petty means small and insignificant) in the United States Coast Guard and was just reporting in for duty at the USCG Air Station in Traverse City, Michigan.  I had enlisted in the Coast Guard after graduating from college in 1969 because there was a long waiting list for Officer Candidate School and the US Army was sending me an invitation that I couldn’t refuse.

Being an enlisted man or woman is not always the ideal.  The Army Officer’s field training manual states that, “Enlisted are stupid but very cunning and sly and bear considerable watching.”  However, in my mind, being enlisted in the Coast Guard was a whole lot better than being shot at in a rice paddy in a war that I did not believe in.  Just a note here, I don’t believe in the war in Afghanistan either; Bin Laden is dead, we should be out of there (in my humble opinion).

Now, just so you know, I enjoyed the Coast Guard and the duty stations where I served.  While stationed at the Air Station in Traverse City, I met my bride to be who has been at my side for almost forty years.  “We could get lost baby I don't care, I ain't worried as long as you're there, There ain't no place that I'd rather be, Next to you, sittin' next to me.”

Okay, I said all of that just to say that yesterday we returned to the land of the fair maiden and our romance to visit some of our old haunts.  The Air Station, as we knew it, is no longer there.  All the buildings, including the hanger, have been torn down and all new buildings have been built replacing them.  Plus the Air Station only occupies about a third of the space that it used to while the other two thirds now contains ball fields.

Here is a picture looking down Union Street in Traverse City.


And here is the Old Town Playhouse which is home of the Traverse City Civic Players.  Judy and I belonged to the Civic Players when we first started dating way back when Hector was a pup (and so were we).


This is John, Shirley, and Judy’s grand parent’s home that is just across the street from West Bay.


After our special ceremony back in March of 1973, Judy and I headed to the quaint little fishing village of Leland, Michigan for our honeymoon.  So we decided to take a little walk down memory lane and drove out to Leland, which is now a fishing town turned tourist trap.  Here are some photos that we made around what is known as Fishtown.  This used to be the docks with fishing shanties which have now been turned into “cute little shops”.

DSCF9403 DSCF7106


DSCF9393 DSCF7114

  DSCF7112 DSCF9391 

DSCF9396 DSCF9400

And, of course, our trip wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t do a drive by past the Leland Lodge where we stayed for our honeymoon night.  I wonder if I could still carry Miss Judy across the threshold?


Other than being tourists, we stopped by Judy’s mom’s grave site and checked in at the cemetery office to update the paperwork on the remaining site which is in Judy’s name.

Yesterday was just another w*rk day.  For some reason, it was a busy day, but that made it go by much faster.  We made a Walmart run and settled our account with the campground so now we’re ready to roll on Tuesday.  Other than that, we did a little reading and watched some of the Olympics.  Are we getting to be an old boring couple, or what?

Today is Sunday so you know what that means – it’s worship.  Speaking the Lord, I’ve been reading “Crazy Love” by Francis Chan and Judy is reading “Not A Fan” by Kyle Idleman.  These are a couple of the best books that you’ll ever read or they’re a couple of the best books that you’ll never read.  They are a must read for those wanting to become true followers of Jesus.

Have A Great Day and May God Bless - - - - - - - -

Saturday, August 11, 2012

We’ll Miss The Sunsets

This morning its, “Early to w*rk, early to play, keeps us going for another day.”  I “stood” up until eleven o’clock last night sorting pictures and starting the blog entry for yesterday’s outing, but I didn’t finish.  So it will have to be another one of those days where I share yesterday’s outing on tomorrow’s blog.  As for today, here are a few pictures from Magnus park.

This is Thursday evening’s sunset as seen from our dining room window.


This is a picture of our site.  Notice the hospital in the background – one just never knows . . . .  This picture was taken as the sun was setting last night, hence the pinkish glow.


And here was last night’s sunset.  Good night Mr. Sunshine . . . .


Mr. Sunshine has gone to bed so, “sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite.”


Another day in the life.  May God Bless - - - - - - - - -

Friday, August 10, 2012

Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Daze

Yesterday was a lazy, hazy, crazy day of summer.  We went to Out To Lunch for breakfast and, on the way home, stopped at my old place of employment to see a few of the folks that I worked with.  Then we came home to a slow relaxing few hours at home.

Around two-ish, we headed out again to join John and Della for dinner.  Along the way we picked up several nice steaks at Jurek’s Market (pronounced Yer-ex).  After dinner we returned home for more relaxation.  Man!!!  With all this relaxing you’d thunk we’d put in a hard week at w*rk but, like I said before, the w*rk isn’t hard – it’s just time consuming.  Old folks need so many hours of relaxing time per week so we’re trying to cram a week’s worth into a couple of days.

Today we’re heading to TVC, Judy’s hometown, for a day of being tourists.  We do need to take care of a little business while there, but will spend most of the day being fudgies (that’s what “they” call northern Michigan tourists).  So, being that it’s over an hour away, I’d better get a wiggle on.  We’re taking our cameras in hopes of having some pictures to show you tomorrow.

Keep Out Of Trouble and May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Thursday, August 09, 2012

The Tennessean Call

Our customer “servant” careers are coming to a fast end.  Last week we informed Craig that we were leaving to start a new career as Domestics.  Yep, we’re off to Tennessee to become Domestics for our three grand children.  Jackie has been offered a supervisor’s position with, but she has to go to Chattanooga for four weeks of training.  That means that three little orphans will need tending to. 

Matt and Jackie have lined up some baby sitters, however, there are still some holes in their schedule.  Babysitters would mean that Matt has to get up early, get three kids ready with all their gear, and drop them off at the sitter’s before work.  Then he would have to pick them up after work, bring them home, and feed the little munchkins making it a long, long day.  On top of that, there’s the laundry, the special dietary needs for Radek, housekeeping, grocery shopping, etc..  Jackie will be home for three days each week, but that won’t give her enough time to get it all done. 

So we decided that we needed to go to help out.  We didn’t want to see our grand children “farmed out” for ten hours a day when they could stay home with G’ma and G’pa and we could share some of the household burdens with Matt and Jackie.  Families come first; therefore, Monday will be our last work day and we’ll be heading south on Tuesday.

Now, for those of you out there in cyberspace who are looking for a workamping gig – this is not bad at all.  It’s relatively easy work with approximately a thirty-two hour (five day) work schedule.  Experience with Kampsite software is a must and we would recommend that only those with a class A motorhome ten years or newer and thirty plus feet long apply (that way you could stay at Hearthside).  I’m not sure if they will want to replace us for the rest of the season but, you may want to consider this for next summer.

About yesterday’s blog entry, Norm writes and says, “The Great Equalizer - The owner of a Prevost and any other RV must all dump their black tanks.”  Ain’t that the truth?  And the Prevost owner has to handle the same old stinky sewer hoses that the rest of us do.  I found it surprising that for two plus million you don’t get a little guy dressed in white to come out of a compartment and take care of sewer issue.  They don’t even have a sewer hose that unreels so all you have to do is place it in the dump receptacle.  Whassup with that?

Okay, other than that, we are off for the next two days.  We’re planning to go out to breakfast and then “hang around the house” for the rest of the day and enjoy the our bay front setting.  Tomorrow we are going on a day trip to Traverse City to take care of a little business and be tourists for the day so, hopefully, it will be a good day for pictures.

In The Meantime, May God Bless  - - - - - - -

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

You Can’t Handle The Wealth

There must be more Prevost coaches per square foot at Hearthside Grove than anywhere else in the country.  They just keep on rolling in.  Yesterday three more arrived at the Resort.  One hauling a huge neatly detailed trailer.  This trailer alone costs more than Newmar Dutchstar or a Tiffin Allegro Bus.  It had a kitchen in the front, tons of room to park the car and store other toys, and, once the car was out of the trailer, the elevator was lowered with two motorcycles parked on it.  Yep, I said elevator in the trailer.

It’s hard not to think, “Why couldn’t I have been born a little richer and not quite so handsome?”  But God answered that question in His best rendition of Jack Nickolson – “You Can’t Handle The Wealth”.  Yep, He knows a thing or two about each of our personalities and He knows what each of His children can handle.  “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”  So, what would I rather have; money or Heaven?  Why Heaven, of course.  Money is temporary; Heaven is eternal.

Besides, the Lord has allowed us to live a very comfortable lifestyle and, still, we’ve not always been faithful to Him.  So what would our lives look like if we had tons of money.  Well, we’d probably have a lot at Hearthside Grove Luxury Motorcoach Resort, A Prevost motorcoach, and lots of toys all the while giving God a few leftovers here and there.  Yep, I have to agree with Him – “I Can’t Handle The Wealth”.  So in the words of Mark DeCarlo on Taste of America – “I’m satisfied”.

Thou Shalt Not Covet and May God Bless  - - - - - - - - - - 

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

This Is Not Your Father’s Spam

Way back when I was just tadpole in the pond of life my dad brought home a new kind of meat in a can.  It was called Spam.  He would slice it up, put it on some bread, and add a little mustard – voila, a nice lunch?  Well, anyway, we have Spam today ‘cept it ain’t meat and it ain’t good for consumption by man or computer.

We removed the coded word match step from making comments to the blog but, lately we’ve been getting a Spam comment several times a week.  So far the Blogger Spam detection feature has be catching these comments and placing them in a Spam file where we can delete them.  We’re considering reinstituting the coded word match step to weed these out before they somehow gain control of our blog and/or computer.  Therefore, we were wondering if our fellow bloggers are experiencing an increase in Spam comments and, if so, what steps are you taking.  The word match step is a pain for those making comments to our blog and we’d rather not use it.

Yesterday turned out to be one of the top ten days for this week.  It was just beautiful with bright sunshine, clear skies, little to no humidity, and temps in the seventies.  We made a run to JoAnn Fabrics to get the batting and the thread needed to finish the Baby Fortner quilt.  I can’t wait to see what the two layers of cloth filled with stuffing and stitched together will look like in its finale.

Other than that, it was just another day at w*rk.  One of the gentlemen involved in the longest escort in history stopped me as I passed by his site and apologized for his behavior.  I was glad to hear that he and his wife are enjoying the site as well as the northern Michigan area.  After all, the worse site at Hearthside Grove Luxury Motorcoach Resort is far better than anything that we’ve ever parked on.

By the way, we don’t use golf carts at Hearthside.  We use GEM cars (Global Electric Motorcars).  Essentially they are the same thing as a golf cart, however, it’s like comparing a Army Jeep to a Cadillac.  Sticking with the same theme, this is not your father’s golf cart!!!

GEM e4

They can hit speeds of 35 MPH and get a zillion miles per gallon of gasoline (since they’re all electric).  Now that’s getting around the “campground” in style.

Happy Motoring and May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Monday, August 06, 2012

They’re All In Their Stalls

Yesterday we had five arrivals with two arriving before we went on duty.  Just after five two arrivals, who were traveling together, showed up.  Being that I was the only escort on duty, I sent one to an area just beyond the new clubhouse to unhook while I escorted the other to their lot (site).  Well, that’s when the fun began.  Even though they both had beautiful landscaped lots with gas fireplaces they were unhappy.  They wanted to be in close proximity of each other, not across the resort from each other.

Well, it took me forty-five minutes to get these two corralled into there lots.  Argue, fart, fume, whine, snivel, stomp their feet, and on and on.  We didn’t have any other lots to accommodate them for the two weeks that they are going to be at Hearthside.  I attempted to tell them how beautiful the area is and how much fun they can have at the resort, but they would have none of it.

One of them threatened to hook up and leave to which I wanted to tell him to not let the gate hit him in the rear fenders on his way out but, I was polite and didn’t lose my patience.  I remembered what my granddad told me about getting his stubborn old mule into the barn.  He said first he had to hit it in the head with a two by four to get its attention, then it would follow him anywhere.  It’s a good thing that there wasn’t any two by fours laying around.  Finally I got both mules in their stalls while both their wives were embarrassed by their husbands’ little temper tantrums.  It has to go down on record as the longest escort in history.  I think I may submit it to Ripley’s.

Other than that, it was a windy day.  Before heading off to work we took in the awning.  It probably would have been alright being that it was on the leeward side of the coach but, better safe than sorry.  We’ll put it back out again this morning along with the lawn furniture.  In the two months that we’ve been here, that’s the first time that we’ve had a “windy day” like that.  Now the cold front has moved passed and we are in for some bright sunshiny days with low humidity and seventy degree+ temps – just perfect.

Well, that’s the state of affairs here in Petoskey, Michigan.  May God Bless  - - - - - - - - -

Sunday, August 05, 2012

It’s A Slow News Day

It’s turned down right cold.  The temps have fallen to seventy degrees here in Northern Michigan – brrrrr.  And the wind is blowing making for “ruff” seas.  You generally don’t see a lot of whitecaps out on the Bay.

Taken From Our Dining Roon Window

Today is Sunday which means worship.  We’ll worship once again with our home church in Fairhope, Alabama via the internet.  Last week, if you remember, they introduced our new Lead Pastor.  Our church is structured a little differently in that it has nine pastors – Lead Pastor, Discipleship Pastor, Missionary Pastor, Worship Pastor, Children’s Pastor, Youth Pastor, and Executive Pastor plus two campus Pastors.  The structure works well considering that the organization is ministering to around 1,500 people just on the Fairhope campus.  There’s a campus in Thomasville, Alabama and Gautier, Mississippi (pronounced Go-Shey).  Anyway, Pastor Russ, our Discipleship Pastor, will finish his series on being bold this morning.  Pastor Chris Bell, our new Lead Pastor, will take the podium on August 18th.  Click here for more information on Church On The Eastern Shore.

There’s not much to share with all y’all as we’re pretty much in a routine.  We don’t care much for routine; although, I guess no matter what we do, it’s still a routine, just a different routine.  While we’re at Rainbow Plantation there’s a routine.  It’s just that each day’s routine is a different enough routine from the previous day’s routine that it doesn’t seem so much like a routine.  But right now each day’s routine is the same routine as the previous day’s routine so it seems like a routine which becomes a rut.  We don’t like ruts either.  Our wagon wheels will get caught up in ruts and that’s not good. 

Right now w*rk is occupying the lion’s share of the day; I’m tellin’ ya, we’re becoming like “normal” people.  Heaven forbid!!!  The last thing that we want to be is “normal” people.  I know, most of you will write and tell us we have no worry about that, but just the thought scares the pants off us.  Ooooo, that would not be a pretty sight.  Yep, it’s a slow news day!!!!

Anywhoo, Take Care, Praise The Lord, and May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Saturday, August 04, 2012

Pink Sky In The Morning

‘Tis back to w*rk this morning.  We had a great day yesterday; the truck never even left the yard.  It needed a rest day as well.  Judy cut out some of the squares for the baby Fortner quilt while I reassembled the water filtration system (dang, still got a leak).  After we got our chores behind us, we enjoyed the comfort of our loungers outside while reading and relaxing.

John and Della arrived around three o’clock.  We visited for a bit then took a short walk into Bayfront Park.  When we got back home we burned some hamburgers to have with Judy’s world famous potato salad.  Then it was more visiting and chit chatting.

After they left, we moved inside to catch the news and watch some more of the Olympics (at least a little decent TV for a change).  Before we knew it, it was off to beddy bye and, now, here we sit on the verge of readying ourselves for another day at the “salt mine”.  Not much to write about, but a restful day off none the less.

“Pink sky at night, sailor’s delight.  Pink sky in the morning, sailors take warning!”  It’s a pink sky this morning and “they” are predicting some nasty thunderstorms for later today and into the evening.  Oh yuck!!  We enjoy a nice gentle rain during the night, but not those nasty thunderstorms with heavy straight line winds.  We’ll just have to pray that God’s hand is upon us and hope the storms dissipate before making landfall.

Hunker Down and May God Bless  - - - - - - - -

Friday, August 03, 2012

Mission Complete

We began with breakfast at Bob Evans.  Now I have to tell you that we are Cracker Barrel fans but, Bob Evans’ Rise and Shine breakfast is just as good as anything that CB has to offer.  Therefore, Bob Evans moves up on our breakfast list, however, Out to Lunch in Harbor Springs still remains our number one favorite watering hole for breakfast.

Miss Judy J. managed to coral all the fabric needed to produce baby Fortner’s Paddington Bear quilt.  It’s gonna be a beaut, that’s for sure, but I can’t show you any pictures of her wares ‘cause it’s “top secret” and being kept under wraps.  I’d have to kill you if I showed you.  She, also, acquired some yarn and knitting needles for another “top secret” project.  Boy, with all this “top secret” stuff going on around here, I’m going to have to wear blinders and/or move into the basement. 

While we were at Ben Franklin’s, I found a painting book that I couldn’t live without.  One of the paintings is of the Pemaquid Point lighthouse in Maine.  The author lays out all the basics giving detailed instructions on painting the lighthouse.  There’s, also, detailed instruction on how to mix paints, paint trees, and skies.  She includes inventory lists of paints, paint brushes, and other painting paraphernalia that one needs to have on hand.  I already have most of the “stuff” but would like a Sta-Wet Palette that would enable me to keep my paints fresh for several days.

On our way home we stopped by Meijers to pick up some burger for today’s get together.  While we were there we saw some nice looking shish-ka-bobs that jumped right into our shopping cart.  We had those with some chicken fried zucchini smothered in left over spaghetti sauce.  The ka-bobs where as good as they looked.

We even got a short katt nap, did some reading, and played a little Bocce Ball.  It was a fun packed day for sure.  Today we’re just going to stay home and take it easy.  I have to reinstall the filtration system, Judy will probably start the baby Fortner quilt, and some Bocce Ball and reading will slip into our day as well.  John and Della will be visiting this afternoon and we’ll burn some hamburgers.  Judy’s going to make her world famous potato salad.  Fun, food, family, who could ask for a better combination. 

So, what’s up with the gas prices?  They’re taking a dramatic overnight increase – jumping as much as thirty cents a gallon.  Can you spell g-o-u-g-i-n-g?  It has been going on for years.  That should put a damper on any further economic growth.  It’s getting time to head back to the barn.  Oh well, it is what it is and there’s not much we can do about it except read and weep.

Be Sure To Hug Your Katt (or Dawg) and May God Bless - - - - - - - - 

Thursday, August 02, 2012

So, What’s New Pussy Katt?

It’s zero eight thirty hours and I’m just crawling out of bed for the day.  Did you ever have one of those nights where sleep just wouldn’t come?  That was last night for me.  So, what’s new pussy katt?  Well, it’s raining, it’s pouring and I am done snoring.  The thunder is rumbling in the background, hopefully it clears up soon because today is our day off.  Regardless, we’re still going in search of that allusive piece of fabric so G’ma can start sewing together the baby Fortner quilt.

Baby Fortner has put in a specific request for a Paddington Bear quilt.  Judy ordered the Paddington Bear fabric and has the backing fabric.  Now she needs fabric for the sashing.  We’ve looked at several places around the Petoskey area with no such luck so it’s time to expand our search area.  There’s a Ben Franklin store in Gaylord, Michigan that is renown for its fabric inventory.  As the Missus says, “They have eons and eons of fabric that makes JoAnn Fabrics look like an amateur.”  So, a hunting we will go!

We’ll stop for breakfast on the way and grab a nap when we return from a successful hunting trip.  Do you need a license to hunt fabric?  It will take an hour to get to Gaylord, an hour for breakfast, at least an hour to bag the fabric, an hour to get back home again, and an hour, or so, for a nap.  That’s a lot of hours so we’re just not sure what we’ll do for the rest of the day, but I’m sure that we’ll think of something. 

Being that it’s raining outside the Bocce Ball game will be postponed but, like any kid with a new toy, we (at least I) want to try it out and we have a great playing area right across the street from our humble abode.  The “playing field” runs parallel to the bike path and overlooks Little Traverse Bay.  A sports field with a view, neat huh?

Speaking of bikes, we need to get some new tires and do a tune up on the bikes so we can ride the bike trail a few times before the summer fades away.  The Little Traverse Bay Wheelway is one of the prettiest bike trails in the country.  It runs from downtown Harbor Springs to downtown Charlevoix – 37 miles in all following the shores of Little Traverse Bay and Lake Michigan.  We can do small portions at a time.  We used to ride about 10 miles and then turn around and come back, but it’s been awhile since we’ve done any kind of serious riding so we’ll probably only do half that.  Anyway, the bikes both need new tires – it seems like we’re always putting new tires on something, doesn’t it?

Well, it’s time to get moving – a nap is waiting at the end of our journey.

Take Care and May God Bless  - - - - - - - - -

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Let The Games Begin

Yesterday morning I made a quick trip to Walmart and Meijers to see if either of them had a decent Bocce Ball Set.  Bocce Ball is a game that we enjoyed in our backyard when we lived here in Harbor Springs.  Walmart had a cheap set but Meijers had a regulation Bocce Ball set for forty bucks; the best price I had found on line for the same set was almost fifty-five dollars.  Being that it was the last one they had, it came home with me.


The neat thing about Bocce Ball is that it can be played by anyone using any set of rules (yes, this is a game that you can literally make up the rules as you go along.)  It can be played anywhere on any terrain with from two to eight people.  The object of the game is to get the big balls (Bocce balls) as close to the little ball (Pallino) as possible.  The team with the most Bocce balls next to the Pallino wins the round.  You can select as many rounds to play as you desire or you can designate a winning score.

There are “official rules” for playing Bocce Ball.  The regulation games are played on a court that measures 95 feet by 15 feet.  The “official rules” aren’t complicated, however, they are fairly numerous and quite specific.  There are “in bounds” and “out of bounds”, “in play” and “out of play”, and “what counts” and “what doesn’t count” rules that govern the game.

The “backyard rules” are fewer and no where near as stringent as the rules for a regulation game.  And, as the name suggests, the game is played all over the back yard and not restricted to a court.  Bocce Ball, like badminton, croquet, and horseshoes, is considered a summertime lawn game.  While we’re “on the road” we’ll just play by the backyard rules.  When we get back home, to Rainbow Plantation, I will set up a court so we can play some regulation Bocce Ball as well as the backyard version.  Hopefully some of our neighbors will join us in the backyard for some iced tea, finger foods, and Bocce Ball.  It should be a fun afternoon/evening.

Let The Games Begin and May God Bless  - - - - - - - -