Friday, December 31, 2010

Down And Out

Yesterday was overcast with occasional rains so I was a good boy and “stood down” all day - never even got out of my PJ’s!!!  That was a good move as I feel a whole lot better this morning. 

Now, it’s my turn.  Miss Judy has caught a cold.  It’s not the same symptoms as what I had, but it’s definitely a cold so it’s my turn to wait on her.  Hopefully she’ll be a good girl and get plenty of rest and drink lots of liquids.  My cold dragged on for over a week just because I wouldn’t rest and relax – how could I?  It was Christmas time.  But, Miss Judy has no excuse so she’ll have to “stood down” or else I’ll have to sit on her. 

Well, this is it!!  The end of another year.  Some people in the world have already sang auld lang syne.  Our turn comes at midnight tonight (that’s nine o’clock Central Plantation Time).  So it will be “out with the old” and in with the new.  We hope that you all had a great year and wish good things to come your way in twenty-eleven.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -    

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tanks A Lot!!!

Here it is after nine o’clock in the morning and I’m just getting my carcass out of bed.  I must have relapsed or something.  This dang cold has settled into my lungs and causes me to go into coughing fits whenever I try to lay down.  Wifey thinks I may have to get some stronger drugs to lick this thing; she’s probably right.  But, I have not stopped since acquiring this said “common cold” so I just might have to do just that.  Stop and lay low for a day or two. 

Yesterday I was outside crawling around under the rig to reinstall the water tank.  Just what I needed to do, lay on the cool damp ground.  But I did discover why the “bottom fell out”.

The water tank is formed with two flanges at the top so that it can be held in place using two iron angle brackets that cradle and hold the tank in place (one on the front and one on the back of the tank).  These brackets have flanges welded to each end to use as a bolting pads; they bolt to the coach’s frame on each side.  The two pads have three bolt holes each for a 3/8 inch bolts. 

However, in their infinite wisdom, Forest River’s manufacturing team only used two 3/16 self drilling, self tapping screws in each pad to hold the brackets (and tank) in place.  Therefore, there was enough tensile strength in those screws to hold 500 pounds of weight which is what the tank weighs when filled with water.  Therefore, three out of four of the screws broke loose on the front bracket.

Fortunately we don’t run down the highway with a full tank of water, however, we do carry about a third of a tank which is about 160 pounds.  Also, we are lucky that the back bracket hadn’t broke loose instead of the front one.  The water tank would have fallen completely out of the rig possibly injuring anyone following us.  As it was, the water tank fell forward and came to rest on the axels with only real damage being done to the plastic underbelly panel. 

So, now I know what has to be done and how to fix the problem.  It’s just going to take me a little bit of work and some 3/8 bolts to remedy the problem – a problem that I (or anyone else) should never have to experience.  The sad part is that all the RV manufacturer’s take these short cuts – even on the higher end units.  All in the name of saving a few pennies. 

Also, I will need to manufacture a new underbelly panel and replace some insulation.  I’ll use some plywood and make a two part panel that will allow me access to the tank in the future (it will also be much easier to install).

It’s a good thing I’m handy.  Red Green says that, “If your woman doesn’t find you handsome, then she’d better find you handy!!!”  Miss Judy’s lucky, she got both!!!

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - - -

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas Trip Recap

Nine days ago we began our journey northward to spend Christmas with the Murfreesboro Patterson’s.  It’s hard to believe, but we are now back “home” and all set up on our winter site. 

The trip northward was uneventful with a stop over at Suncoast RV for the night.  We got our first grand kid fix on the day of our arrival.  Catia, Kalina, and Radek were just as glad to see Grandma and Grandpa as Grandma and Grandpa were to see them. 

Wednesday evening we went to dinner with Gene and Judi, it was nice to reconnect with them.  We would have liked a little longer visit, but had to give up our table as the lobby was packed.  We’ll see them again here at Rainbow Plantation in February.

Thursday night Catia spent the night with G&G.  She and Grandma made some mincemeat cookies and fudge for Christmas Eve and Christmas.  We, also, watched a couple of movies while sipping on some egg nog.  Judy and I look forward to spending these kinds of days with each of our grand children in the future.


Friday we attended the early Christmas Eve service at the World Outreach Church and then returned to Matt and Jackie’s for the traditional Christmas Eve homemade pizza along with other goodies.

Christmas Eve  A Happy Boy

We just wish all of our family could be together in one place, but were glad that Mary and Joel were spending Christmas with Marc and Amie (and kids) in New Hampshire.

Saturday morning we jumped out of bed, put on our glad rags, and headed back to Matt and Jackie’s to spend Christmas Day with them.  Yes, we had a white Christmas.

I'm Dreaming Of A White Christmas

The kids were very “orderly” while opening their gifts.  Catia was all excited from the get go, Kalina got into the spirit once she realized it was present opening time, and Radek was quite alert although not quite sure of what was going on.

Wow!!  A Stocking Almost As Big As The Boy One Big Present For A Little GirlA Grandma Quilt A Grandma BlanketOpps, A Little Katt Nap Christmas Buddies

Sunday afternoon Judy and I watched the grand kids while Matt and Jackie had a date day.  The kids were really good for G&G and it was a fun afternoon.

Sisters At Play Good Little Kids

Monday morning we hit the road heading south spending the night at Wood’s RV park just south of Montgomery.  Then yesterday we made our way home.  It was almost an uneventful trip until the bottom fell out – literally!!! 

Our potable water tank broke loose from it’s hangers and forced the underbelly to hang down.  Everything was lodged against the axels so we were able to continue on home without having to make repairs on the road, but that leaves me one more thing to add to the ol’ Ta Do List. 

And it has to be done sooner rather than later because we can’t use our potable water tank until it is fixed.  With the real possibility of below freezing temperatures in the near future, I’d better get onto it today.

So, all in all we had a great Christmas trip.  I fought a cold and was sort of under the weather for the whole week, but made the best of it in any event.  Had we been at home, I would have spent a couple of days hanging out in bed.  But, all’s well that ends well.

Now it’s onto the New Year – Dang, can you believe that twenty ten is just about history?  Unbelievable!!  Time is just flying by.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More Katt Tales

People ask us all the time what it is like being fulltimer katts.  Well, it’s not exactly all meows and purrs.  Although we like to go different places and see different things, it’s not always fun getting there.  Mom and Dad try to make it comfy for us in the back seat of the truck, but it’s still not like having the convenience of our home.

Oh, there maybe a little kitty house, a scratching thingy, some food and water, and a rest room, but it’s all crammed into a four by six and a half foot space.  No room to chase each other and we have to share – yuck!!!  There maybe windows all around, but everything’s a blur.  We no more than see some cows and they are gone.

Also, we don’t like heavy traffic.  The trucks are sooooo close that it makes us more nervous than a couple of long tailed Tom katts in a room full of rocking chairs.  Then there’s the pit stops which are the pits.  We get our hopes up that we have arrived only to have them dashed again while the truck gets a drink of number 2 diesel fuel (at a very expensive price, we might add). 

Then it’s back on the road again.  Katie sleeps most of the trip while Alex wanders about letting everyone know that he is the boss and someone should be listening to him.  Finally we arrive somewhere.  It takes us katts a couple of days just to figure out where we are, however, sometimes we only stay overnight so we don’t know where we are, where we’ve been, or where we’re going.  Curiosity killed the katt, ya know?

Mom and Dad don’t always tell us when we’re going to head out on a trip.  We may have been born at night, but it wasn’t last night so we know.  There are certain things that begin to happen a few days before we pull up roots.  We notice, but we don’t let on.  As the time approaches more and more things get put away.  When we see the plant heading for the shower, we know the time is at hand.  Katie plays hard to get while Alex just gives Mom and Dad “the look”.

For katts it is said that we travel very well, but let’s not get carried away.  We pretty much dislike every minute of the trip, but arriving at a new destination where we will stay for a little while is just great.  We get to see new scenery, lots of new birds, mountains, plains, and field of grains.  Let’s not forget lakes, rivers, and streams.  It’s really quite beautiful. 

Plus, we get to meet new people, but visitors and fish begin to stink after a couple hours of sitting around.  That is an opinion that’s not exactly shared by Mom and Dad.  They enjoy visiting hours on end while Katie and Alex go and curl up on the bed.

So, other than banging over the roads, fulltiming is the best.  We katts enjoy our little house on wheels and enjoy settling in with Mom and Dad for the evening while looking out over a new vista.  Therefore, Happy Trails to you!!!

By the way, we are somewhere along the side of the road in Alabama on the last leg of our Christmas trip.  We should be “home” by noontime today, at least that’s what mom said.  Hopefully the ol’ man will be feeling better tomorrow and up to the task of writing the journal entry.  He owes you a Christmas trip recap.  Meow for now!! 

Katie  and Alex

Monday, December 27, 2010

Heading South In A New York Minute

Katie here.  Dad’s still under the weather; he’s been fighting off this awful cold but it’s whipping him.  It’s moved into his chest and he’s been barking like a dawg over the past couple of days.  He has the chills and just wants to stay in bed, but, with this cold weather settling in, he says, “We’re otta here!!!”  It’s currently 28* outside with temps heading for the teens tonight – Brrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!

So, dad is going to have to bundle up in his overcoat in order to get this rig underway.  I don’t think he can get south fast enough or far enough for his liking.  He said to mom that he thinks we should be heading for Arizona instead of Alabama.  Us katts just say that whatever he does, he’d better not waste any time pussy footing around outside; it’s waaaay toooo coooold for that.

Dad says sorry about the Christmas pictures.  He’ll do a Christmas wrap up later once we’re settled in ‘Bama and he’s warmed his touche up.  In the meantime, Alex and I say to all of you, the Wandering America readers;

Button up your overcoat,
When the wind is free,
Take good care of yourself,
You belong to me!


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Doings

We hope that you’ve had a wonderful Christmas Season.  I know that we have in spite of my fighting back a horrendous cold.  Christmas Eve we attended the World Outreach Church service.  This is a mega Church that seats 2800 in the main sanctuary and it was packed with standing room only at the each of the three services.  Then it was homeward bound for the traditional Christmas Eve home made pizza dinner (and other Christmas goodies).

Christmas morning we made an early trip back to the Patterson abode to have the tree with the munchkins; and, yes, we had a white Christmas.  Catia, at six, was all excited and chomping at the bit to attack the tree.  Kalina, at two and a half, got right into the swing of things once she understood that Santa had, in fact, landed and that all systems were go for opening presents.  Radek, at six months, was alert and ready to give each of his gifts the taste test.

We had turkey with all the fixings for Christmas dinner followed by apple pie for dessert.  And, again, there were plenty of Christmas treats to munch on throughout the day.  It was late afternoon when we returned home and I wasn’t feeling all that chipper so I didn’t get the film developed.  We’ll work on it today for a photo entry tomorrow.

Well, snuff, snuff, sniffle, sniffle, sneeze, sneeze that’s all folks.  I hope I’m on the mend.  For those of you hitting the roads today, take it real easy and be safe.  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone!!!

And remember, Jesus is the reason for the season!

Friday, December 24, 2010

It’s The Day Before Christmas

Alex here.  Dad is sicker than a dawg and dawgs are pretty darned sick, at least that’s what Katie and I think.  So I’m taking pen in paw to scribble something in this morning’s journal entry. 

Dad refuses to stay down, though.  He says there too much to do for him to lay-a-bed.  So he will sneeze and wheeze and cough his way through the day.  Thank God for brandy to add to the egg nog and Ny-Quil for beddy bye time.

Katie and I have been watching mom and dad go in and out like little bees at a hive ever since we arrived here.  They no more than come home and turn right around to go back out again.  Last night they brought one of the munchkins home with them – not good!!!  We katts like our space and munchkins crimp our style.

Mom’s been busy making fudge and other Christmas goodies.  This morning she and Catia are going to make some mincemeat cookies – one of Dad’s favorites (right next to chocolate chip cookies with nuts, that is).  Katie and I hope to lick the bowl when she gets done with it (we love to lick the bowl and the spoon).  That’d be just the katt’s whiskers!!! 

“I’m dreaming of a white Christmas.”  It’s been cold around here and we’re going to start seeing some snow fall tonight.  We could get up to three inches of the stuff before all is said and done.  I want to leave katt paw prints in the snow and maybe make a katt angel in the snow – just don’t eat any yellow snow!!!  I wonder if they will be able to see me out in the snow?  I’m a white kitty, ya know?

Teyve knew it, we know it, and we hope you know it.  Traditions are important!!!  Traditions give a family the sense of being and provide consistency over the years.  When two people marry they bring traditions from both of their families that need to be blended together. 

That is the case here in Murfreesboro.  Matt and Jackie carry on a tradition from Jackie’s side of having homemade pizza (and other goodies) on Christmas eve so Mom and Dad will be out once again this evening.  They will come home early to spend time with Katie and I though; maybe we’ll get to open a present or two tonight, pleeze, pleeze!!!

We wish you a wonderful Christmas eve enjoying your traditions with family and friends.  BBFN (Bye-bye for now)!!!


Thursday, December 23, 2010

Shopping And Visiting

Right in the middle of all the holidays, Catia has her birthday so Grandma and Grandpa went out in search of a birthday gift.  Our hunting trip was a success with us bagging a real neat gift for the munchkin.  She will be turning the big Oh-Six on the 30th.

With all our shopping now behind us, we are all set to enjoy the Christmas season with our family here in Tennessee.  Just for some added ambience, “they” are calling for sn*w on Christmas eve and Christmas day.  Stay tuned and we’ll keep all y’all advised.

Last night we met up with Gene and Judi for dinner at Demo’s Family Restaurant in Lebanon.  It was great to see them again, but our time was cut a little short.  Demo’s is a popular restaurant and there was a huge waiting line forming so we had to move on.  We had a lively conversation about all that has taken place in our lives since our last get together in October. 

They are planning to leave Tennessee on Sunday running toward warmer weather.  It’s 30* here this morning with temps heading lower over the next few days.  We are still planning to leave on Monday, however, there maybe a change in our plans.  You’ll need to check back again tomorrow to see what transpires.  Other than that there’s not a whole lot new. 

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Munchkins And Nooks

Yes, Alex, it’s time to get up!!!  It was 6:27, Judy was already up (Alex got her up around 5:15), the coffee was ready, and Alex decided that dad should be up as well.  That’s why he’s known as our Alarm Katt.  The only time he doesn’t “go off” is whenever we have to be up early for some sort of an appointment; that’s the day he’ll decide to sleep in.

We made the trip from Rainbow Plantation to Cedars of Lebanon without incident; just the way we like it.  We did a mileage check, the first one that we’ve ever done, and discovered that we get about 11.5 miles per gallon while towing.  With fuel prices increasing that will be a helpful piece of information as we establish our 2011 travel budget.

It was good to see the munchkins once again.  Radek just loves to sit up (or stand) in our laps.  He is very alert and loves to watch whatever is taking place around the house.  Kalina picked up right where she left off; that is, she brought a truck load of toys for grandpa’s lap and then climbed on board to play together.  Catia is getting to be a big girl and loves to play games.  She kept grandma occupied for a couple of hours playing one game after another.  Christmastime with family is the best.

We are talking about an overnighter with Catia and an outing with Kalina while we’re here.  It’s going to be cold so we need to find an indoor activity for Kalina; we already know what we’re going to do with Catia.  You’ll have to stay tuned to see what all transpires. 

By the way, I really enjoy my new Barnes and Noble Nook.  The best thing about it is that I can read for hours without my eyes watering or blurring.  I’ve read seven books since purchasing the Nook on Black Friday and I haven’t had to purchase one book.  I check them out of the public library (something you can’t do if you have a Kindle). 

The only complaint that I have is the battery life isn’t as long as advertised – I only get two or three days before needing to recharge (they advertise 10 days), but it really isn’t a big deal.  I just plug it in before going to bed and it’s recharged when I get up.

Continue to scroll down for a special journal entry.  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

A Special Journal Entry

Below is something that was forwarded to me via email.  I don’t generally forward emails, but this one is right on the money so I’m sharing it with you as a special journal entry.


Andy Rooney says:

I don't believe in Santa Claus, but I'm not going to sue somebody for singing
a Ho-Ho-Ho song in December.  I don't agree with Darwin, but I didn't go out and hire a lawyer when my high school teacher taught his theory of evolution.

Life, liberty or your pursuit of happiness will not be endangered in any way
because someone says a 30-second prayer before a football game.  So what's the big deal?
It's not like somebody is up there reading the entire Book of Acts. They're just talking to a God they believe in and asking him to grant safety to the players on the field and the fans going home from the game.


But it's a Christian prayer, some will argue.
Yes, and this is the United States of America, and Canada, countries founded
on Christian principles. According to our very own phone book, Christian churches outnumber all others better than 200-to-1.  So what would you expect --
somebody chanting Hare Krishna?


If I went to a football game in Jerusalem, I would expect to hear a Jewish prayer.  If I went to a soccer game in Baghdad,
I would expect to hear a Muslim prayer.  If I went to a ping pong match in China, I would expect to hear someone pray to Buddha.  And I wouldn't be offended. It wouldn't bother me one bit. When in Rome ...

But what about the atheists? Is another argument. What about them?  Nobody is asking them to be baptized.  We're not going to pass the collection plate. Just humour us for 30 seconds.  If that's asking too much, bring a Walkman or a pair of ear plugs.  Go to the bathroom.  Visit the concession stand.  Call your lawyer! Or, just exercise their right to leave this country!  Unfortunately, one or two will call their lawyer. One or two will tell thousands what they can and cannot do. I don't think a short prayer at a football game is going to shake the world's foundations.

Christians are just sick and tired of turning the other cheek while our courts strip us of all our rights. Our parents and grandparents taught us to pray before eating, to pray before we go to sleep. Our Bible tells us to pray without ceasing.
Now a handful of people and their lawyers are telling us to cease praying.

God, help us.  And if that last sentence offends you, well, just sue me.  The silent majority has been silent too long.  It's time we tell that one or two
who scream loud enough to be heard that the vast majority doesn't care what they want!  It is time that the majority rules!  It's time we tell them, "You don't have to pray; you don't have to say the Pledge of Allegiance; you don't have to believe in God or attend services that honour Him. That is your right, and we will honour your right; but by golly, you are no longer going to take our rights away.

We are fighting back, and we WILL WIN!God bless us one and all...Especially those who denounce Him, God bless America and Canada, despite all our faults, we are still the greatest nations of all. God bless our service men who are fighting to protect our right to pray and worship God.  Let's make 2011 the year the silent majority is heard and we put God back as the foundation of our families and institutions. And our military forces come home from all the wars. Keep looking up.


Just something for us to consider as we enter the New Year.  Enough is enough.  It’s high time that “the silent majority” break their silence.  The Bible instructs us to pray for our country and our leaders so that we may live peaceful and quiet lives (1 Tim 2:1-4).  So prayer is the place for us to begin.  By the way, I’ve read the last book of the Bible and God Wins!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Driving Miss Judy

Another non eventful day, except for the goats.  What goats?  As we were traveling north of Bay Minnette heading for I-65 we saw a white truck sitting in the center island up ahead.  At first it looked like some sort of tarp or something blowing around the truck, but as we got closer we realized that it was animals moving around so we started slowing down.  It’s a good thing we did because a free ranging herd of goats decided that that was the time to cross the road.  The things you see when you don’t have your camera.

We stopped at the Flying J just south of Montgomery to top of the tank and eat lunch.  Now that Pilot has bought the Flying Js things are changing and, unfortunately, not for the best.  Their fuel prices were six cents higher ($3.25.9 per gallon) than other places.  They have adopted the Pilot philosophy of advertising a cash price but charging a higher price for credit.  Plus their service is slipping – they only had one girl working at the counter handling all the fuel and store sales.  Yep, too bad, we’ve always liked Flying J’s.  It’s sad seeing an RVing icon disappearing.

Suncoast RV has free full hook up sites for over night travelers.  Being that it is exactly half way between Rainbow Plantation and Cedars of Lebanon State Park, it makes a nice stop over for us.  And, after four and a half hours of traveling, we were ready to stop for the day. 

So, today it’s onto Tennessee with one stop at the Tennessean Truck Stop for fuel.  We should be all set up and ready for a nap by 2:00 – part of the 4:4:2 plan.  Drive four hours, be parked by four o’clock, and stay at least two nights.  Munchkin fix tonight!!!!

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -    

Monday, December 20, 2010

Up, Up, And Away

So it’s up, up, and away in our beautiful RV as we head over the river and through the woods to grandkid’s house we go.  It’s a five hundred mile trip so we’ll take two travel days to make it (we’ve done it in one day before but it’s about nine and half hours). 

We’re ready for a road trip, we’ve been in one place for two months now and are beginning to get a bad case of cabin fever (known as hitchitch).  Plus we are waaaaay past due for a grandchild fix.  What better time of the year to spend with the little munchkins than Christmas.  We just wish the New Hampshire broad was closer at hand (and in a warmer climate) so we could spend time with them as well.

A couple of our friends have truck campers as well as their fifthwheels.  We’ve talked about getting one that is really well insulated to use for short roads trips (less than a couple of months).  Then we could make a run to New Hampstir for Christmas as well as trips to the “back country” throughout the year.  But, alas, it’s just talk at this point; we don’t really want to spend anymore money on depreciating assets until we know what we want to do once we grow up.

Anyway, ‘twill be great to see some of our little grandkids smiling faces once again.  Mary and Joel will be making their way to New Hampshire to spend Christmas with Marc, Amie, and the kids while Brian will be staying home in Michigan.  Safe travels to all of us, and all of you, as we all move about the country at this time of year.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -    

Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Christmas Gathering

Another day, another dollar.  We have been working on our two thousand and eleven budget and things are beginning to close in on us.  Judy experienced a 44% increase in her insurance premium and with fuel prices rising (we don’t think that they’ll drop this time) we’re losing enough buffer to make us feel just a little bit uncomfortable.  There’s enough “doe re mi” to make it, however, Mr. and Mrs. Conservative would like budget plus at least 25%.  Oh well, just send us off to the “poor farm”. 

Last night we attended a special home group meeting.  It was the annual Christmas Boat Parade on the Fish River so we gathered at a friend’s house along the river.  They have a huge covered deck that protrudes right out into the river.  It was a great place to watch the parade.

The Covered Deck First BoatAnother Boat The Parade

And, as always, when there are people gathering, there is food – and more food and more food.  There was a spread that wouldn’t quit featuring three different soups and a hundred desserts.  Yep, more food, friends, and fun.

Today is the day that the katts find out that we’re hitting the road in the morning.  After church we’ll start picking up the coach and arranging the inside into the travel mode.  They’re pretty astute and will pick up on the gentle hints.  Then it will be, “Where we going?”  “How long will it take?”  “When will we come back?”  You know, curiosity killed the katt (satisfaction brought him back).

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Sinuses And Packing

Another sinus attack, another sleepless night.  We’ve had damp weather move in and, for some reason, that effects my sinuses – in a huge way.  My eyes water and I have that constant feeling that I need to sneeze.  My systems are all hooked up backwards – my nose runs and my feet smell.  Nothing seems to help; medication, nasal rinses, nothing!!  Aaaaugh!!!

Yesterday was grocery shopping day and the larder is once again full.  We’re ready for the Christmas season with all the goodies required for getting together with family and friends while grazing our way through the gatherings. 

Today we’ll put the finishing touches on readying ourselves to roll.  I need to air up all the tires, the air ride system, and setting up the Pressure-Pro monitoring system.  Then we’ll start our check out list ensuring that everything is “buttoned up” and secured for travel.  The katts travel accommodations also need set up in the back seat of the truck.

We still haven’t told them that we’re about to get underway, but they will figure it out once they see things being stowed.  Very perceptive katts, they are.  Katie is a good little traveler, but Alex runs hot and cold.  One day he’s just fine and then the next he raises all sort of heck.  You just never know until you get on the road.  He can be a real pistol when he wants to be. 

Well, I better get to those tires while it’s still cool outside – two days and a wake up until we’re on the road again.  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Countdown

Praise the Lord!!  I downloaded a new Microsoft Internet Explorer program onto our auxiliary hard-drive, then copied-pasted it onto Judy’s computer, and ran the install wizard.  Voila, her computer gets online once again – another bullet dodged.

The countdown to departure has begun.  Yesterday I changed the oil in the truck and while I was under there, I crawled around looking for any other signs of trouble.  Everything looks good.  So, now it’s the task of putting everything in order to get ourselves underway.

We haven’t told Katie and Alex about the trip yet.  They get all excited like a couple of kids at Christmas.  Once they find out, it will be a whole series of questions.  “When are we leaving?”  “How much longer?”  “Are we leaving today?”  You know, all the questions that you get whenever furry kids find out that you’re “fixinto” head out. 

Their favorite place seems to be at Ray and Pat’s up in Mecosta, Michigan.  They’re much more active whenever we’re there than they are here in L. A..  They, also, liked our site at Lake George Escape where the birds visited our window feeders all day long, the chipmunks where scurrying about everywhere, and other wildlife roamed freely around the campground. 

Yesterday afternoon Barb, Norm, and I assisted Larry the cook in preparing last night’s dinner for the Christmas Dinner and Dance evening.  It was a big meal so it took the four of us an hour and a half to get everything made up.  It was a yummy meal of smothered pork chops over potatoes and onions, with green beans, Texas toast, salad, and cake.  Another fine meal by Larry.

Judy spent the day working on her Christmas projects and going to get her hair cut.  She’s a happy camper once again now that her ‘puter is doing what it is supposed to do. 

It’s amazing how much time we spend on our computers; they have pretty much replaced the mail, the newspaper, changed our phone technology, etc., and have become the very center of our lives.  So, when they quit doing their thing, we go into withdrawal symptoms.

Well, thar ya have it.  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -  

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Painting And ‘Puter Problems

Finally I brought the painting to a finish.  Here are a series of photos to show the evolution of the painting.  I started out learning how to make clouds, then added a light house and the ledges.  As you can see, I changed the clouds several times and added an island. 

DSCF3957 DSCF3958 DSCF3968 DSCF3970 DSCF3973

Even though it is “all done”, I may still tweak it a little more just to learn how to insert more details into a painting.  I’m still not sure that I like working with acrylics.  They dry out way too fast for my liking, however, once I become a little faster then it might not be so bad.  So now I need to decide what the next painting will be – how ‘bout a mountain scene?

Miss Judy’s computer is still not working properly – she can’t get on line.  It appears to be a problem in the Windows Internet Explorer program.  When we click the Explorer Icon, the program goes through it’s “stuff” to get online and then, all of a sudden, it closes the program taking us back to the Desktop.  All the other programs work alright.

I will go online with my computer and download a new WIE program onto a disk and then install it on Judy’s ‘puter.  Hopefully this will correct the problem.  Miss Judy is not a “happy camper” when her computer isn’t doing it’s “thang” and we all know that when mother’s not happy, no ones happy!!!  :-)

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - - -

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Slow Day In L.A.

The day started with Alex standing on my chest saying, “Meow, Meow, Meow!” which means, “It’s time to get up, dad!”  So I stretched and scratched and rolled over and sat up with my feet hitting the deck.  I reached for my glasses and headed for the jon.  I dawned my bathrobe and made tracks for the coffee pot to procure that first cup of morning glory.  Yep, I’m officially up and about.

Judy’s computer wouldn’t get online this morning so I spent the first hour in an attempt to restore the settings and tweaking other things.  Still no luck.  We had that problem a couple years back when we were using the Sprint air card.  I spent hours on the phone with Dell and still couldn’t resolve the problem.  It cured itself after awhile.  It appears that the WIFI signal is not strong enough for the computer to detect it.  We’ll just have to try again later to see if it gets any better.  Miss Judy doesn’t like it when her ‘puter doesn’t do what it is supposed to.

Judy is making progress on all her Christmas Projects.  Just a couple more items left to clear off the agenda and it will be, “Ho, Ho, Ho!!!”  It’s hard to believe that a week from today we’ll be setting up camp in Lebanon, Tennessee.  We’re looking forward to seeing those munchkins once again.  And, it will be nice to be traveling again even if it is just a 500 mile trip.

By the way, it’s beginning to warm up with the temperatures actually rising over night.  It’ll will be in the high 50’s to low 60’s with the temps continuing to go upward and hitting the 70’s tomorrow.  Yay!!!!  That’s more like it, now if it will just hold for the rest of the winter.

So, I guess that’s the way it is on this fifteenth day of December twenty-ten.  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Eats And Crafts

What’s on the docket for today?  Well, keeping warm is high on the list.  If we can just get through today then things will begin to thaw out.  “They” (the weather predictors) are telling us that it will only get up into the forties today, but by Thursday it will be back in the low 70’s.  “The weather swings like a pendulum do, temperatures changing two by two.”

Yesterday morning we attended the Chapter 26 monthly meeting with Norm and Linda at the Original Oyster House restaurant in Gulf Shores.  There were over a hundred Escapees in attendance.  First there was a short business meeting followed by the 50/50 drawing and then dinner.  Miss Judy won one of the 50/50 drawing prizes, so now she wants to head off to Wind Creek Casino to try her luck – a new basket weaving hobby for her? 

Anyhow, the meal was delicious; we had fried shrimp, shrimp scampi, and fried oysters with sides of collard greens and red beans and rice plus coffee to drink.  All that for twenty-one bucks for the two of us, can you say yum, yum?

After we returned home, we dragged out our hobbies and went to work.  I promise, after Christmas we’ll show you some pictures of Miss Judy’s projects.  She has been as busy as a little beaver getting them ready for “presents under the tree.”

As for my painting endeavors, I don’t like the two big clouds in my picture so it will be “away with them”.  Also, I need to work on the top of the ledges, clean up the lawn a little bit, and add a few bushes here and there.  I, also, think a flag pole is needed in the picture; lighthouses always have flag poles.  Then the painting will be ready for signing and hanging in the shed.  Now just one question remains, what to paint next?


Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Monday, December 13, 2010

Where Are We Heading?

It was a cold and blustery day as Mr. Sunshine was making his appearance in the eastern sky.  The cold weather always makes his rays stiff in the early morning.  This getting old is certainly not what it’s cracked up to be.

Yep, it’s cold enough to freeze the toes off a brass monkey and it’s supposed to get colder tonight.  I hope “they” (as in weather predictors) are wrong ‘cause “they” (as in weather predictors) are calling for temps in the teens tonight.  Brrrrrr to the ten power.  So, I guess we’re heading for colder weather.

People say, “Just be glad you’re not in Minneapolis right now.”  To which I reply, “I know it’s cold in Minneapolis; it’s supposed to be cold in Minneapolis.  That’s why we’re here in L. A. ‘cause it’s not supposed to be cold here.”  People say. “At least we’re not having to shovel any snow.”  Again I respond, “That’s why we’re here in L. A. ‘cause we shouldn’t even be hearing the word snow.”  If it weren’t for annual doctor’s appointments we’d be heading for warmer weather; after all, that’s why there’s wheels on our house.

Okay, enough sniveling about the weather – there’s nothing we can do about it except put on a sweater, light a fire in the fireplace, and cuddle up in the recliner with a cup of hot chocolate and a good book.  Hey, that doesn’t sound to bad at all, “do” it?  Brings back fond memories of growing up in New England.  “Honey, maybe we’ll have snow for Christmas!!”  “It’s beginning to look (feel) a lot like Christmas.”

Speaking of cuddling up inside, we didn’t go out to the Flatulence Fest or the ice cream social last night.   I was feeling “under the weather” and the last thing that I wanted to put into my queasy stomach was beans.  Also, I was so chilled that I was shivering like a dawg pooping persimmon seeds.  So not only did I have on a sweater but I was covered up with a blanket as well.

It all started Saturday afternoon.  Miss Judy was so good to me, she made me a nice cup of chicken noodle soup.  It appears that our grand parents knew best.  Instead of all these fancy medicines, all you need is a good bowl of chicken soup, a little rest, and some aspirin.  Aspirin is the wonder drug of all wonder drugs.  Every year “they” find more benefits from aspirin.  Anyhow, with some tender loving care from my bride I’m on the mend and feeling much better this morning.

So, all that is left for now is to keep warm ‘cause, “Baby It’s Cold Outside.”  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -  

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Things To Ponder

Last night at around eleven-forty our weather alert radio goes off telling us that we are about to be blown away.  A tornado is forming just north of us and we are to seek immediate shelter in our basement.  It’s a good thing I cleaned out the basement yesterday so that there was enough room for us in there.  As we hunkered down in safety, “they” removed the alert; it was just a false alarm, but it could have developed into something.

It’s a good thing to travel with a weather alert radio.  We have an inexpensive one that you have to find out which county you are in, go online to determine the code for that county, and manually enter it into the radio.  We had a more expensive radio that would automatically locate the nearest signal but it died – must have gotten caught up in a tornado warning.  So I reactivated our old inexpensive one which works just fine.

After the tornado warning was dropped, we resumed our sleep as several series of downpours passed over head dragging in another cold front.  The temperatures are going to plummet over the rest of today dropping into the low twenties tonight and into the mid to low teens tomorrow night.  Things are supposed to return to “seasonable” weather beginning Wednesday.

We’re “fixinto” head north to have Christmas with the munchkins so I guess we’ll have to get ready to experience the same freezing cold that we did last year.  We were hoping for the kind of Christmas weather that we had in 2006 when we drove down from Michigan to celebrate Catia’s first Christmas and her first birthday; that is, high 60’s and low 70’s.  Oh well, what ever will be will be. 

If it weren’t for our annual doctor’s appointments in January and February, we’d make tracks from Tennessee straight to Arizona and spend the winter boondocking with Jim and Ellie out in the desert.  We’re definitely thinking about that for next year.  We fled the north to enjoy the warmth here in the southland, but it seems that that is not to be.

Today we’re in our Sunday routine mode with worship this morning and ice cream social tonight.  There will be football in there somewhere and maybe I’ll throw a little more paint on my painting.  Miss Judy will continue with a couple of her basket weaving endeavors with an eye toward Christmas.  Her goal is to have everything shipped either tomorrow or Tuesday.

So that’s about it while we are “Sitting In America” here in L. A..  Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -  

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Just Around The Corner

Twenty-eleven is just around the corner.  Over the past couple of days I’ve been having email conversations with several of our friends regarding agendas for next year.  One of them stated that they don’t have plans but intentions while another stated emphatically that they do have plans.  A third one, not being a fulltimer (but travels pretty fulltime only spending a few weeks at home each year) is trying to figure the “fulltimer” lingo out (so they have both plans and intentions).  Well, we don’t have any plans or intentions – we just have ideas. 

Our idea is to travel to Big Bend National Park and the Texas high country for the month of April with Norm and Linda.  Then we’ll return to Rainbow Plantation for a few weeks before making our annual “milk run” through the North-Northeast visiting family and friends.  We, also, have an idea of attending the Gypsy Journal Rally in Ohio before returning to L. A. next fall.

Those are great ideas, but what about the budget?  Well, that’s the next step.  Fuel prices are on the rise, health insurance premiums are increasing, and food costs are going up, but since there is no inflation our income is remaining flat.  Hmmm?  That means that we need to figure out how to squeeze blood from a turnip in order to make ends meet.  I like what the old farmer said, “I don’t just want the ends to meet, I want them to overlap a little!”  Ain’t that the truth.  Anyhow, where there’s a will, there’s a way so our wheels will roll again in 2011.

Being that today is going to be one of the top ten days this week, I’m going to clean out and organize all the outside compartments.  We want to lighten the load before heading out for Christmas in a week and a half.  There are things in the RV that we don’t need to be carrying with us and while we’re in Tennessee we want to get the rig weighed again.  We like to use the same set of scales each time for consistency sake (at least that’s the thought).  The information will help us determine how much water we can carry with us as we head to Texas in April.

Miss Judy will continue working on her Christmas projects.  She’s getting there, but so is Christmas.  The question is which one will arrive first – my money is on Miss Judy.

Well, it’s time for me to get busy so Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -  

Friday, December 10, 2010

Thank Goodness It’s Friday

TGIF!!!  Once upon a time that meant something to us, but now it is just another day.  You’ve heard it said that when you’re retired you don’t get any days off nor any vacations.  Well, it’s true and it makes a rough life, but someone has to do it.  However, it sure beats having a J-O-B and having to w*rk for a living.

Yesterday, after I got checked out at the VA Outpatient Clinic, we made our way to A&E Fabrics, JoAnn Fabrics, and Hobby Lobby.  Judy picked up some more supplies for her Christmas projects and I picked up a few more items for my basket weaving hobby (painting).  By the way, everything checked out alright at the clinic, but the doctor did put me on an anti-biotic.

Being that we got up at Oh-Dark Thirty yesterday morning, we took a little katt napp yesterday afternoon.  Then we got busy reading.  It was soooo nice to just sit back and read for awhile before attending the four o’clock social time.  After dinner it was back to reading, we did stop long enough to watch Bones, then got right back to reading.

Speaking of reading, a few weeks ago I purchased one of those new fangled books.  My research revealed that the Kindle is the probably the best one on the market, but it doesn’t allow you to read books from your public library.  The second best is Barnes and Noble’s Nook which is what I purchased.  With a library card from the Orange Beach Public Library I can download books for two weeks for free. 

The Orange Beach Library has a pretty good selection which includes a lot of my favorite authors and new books being added each week.  So from now on, as we travel, I’ll be able to go on line and check out books from my own library no matter where we find ourselves – pretty neat.  Another neat thing that I discovered is that I can read for long periods of time without my eyes blurring; therefore, I’m happy with my new toy.

So, between painting, reading, the Ta Do List, social times, etc., I have enough to keep me busy.  Where, oh where did I ever find time for a J-O-B.  Here are a couple of parting shots of last night’s sky – Real Purdy!!!

Sunset On East Traveler Street Sunset On East Traveler Street

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Thursday, December 09, 2010

“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

It was up and at ‘em early this morning.  I have a doctor’s appointment at 9:00 this morning at the VA Outpatient Clinic in Pensacola so that meant one of two things.  Either cut my morning routine short or get an earlier start, so I chose the latter and “climbed” outta bed at four o’clock this morning.  Katie thought that I was half crazy, but got up with me anyhow while Judy and Alex just “stood” in bed.

While fixing the morning pot of brew, I glanced at the ol’ thermometer – Brrrrrrrr to the 4th power.  It was 26* outside – that’s not just refrigerator weather, but almost freezer weather!!!!  So much for going south for the winter.  Mikee and Peggy may want to consider staying in Maine a bit longer – heck, we all might be heading north for the winter if this trend keeps up.  Someone up in Canada wanna shut the darned door?

So Amie and Lola were on their way home last night.  Amie was singing, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” while Lola was rocking away to the tune.  When Amie finished singing, Lola asked, “mom, why is a baby outside?  Babies shouldn’t be outside, it’s too cold.”  Gotta love the logic of a three year old.  Keep in mind that they live in “New Hampstir”.  So, yes Lola, you’re right, it’s waaaay too cold to leave  babies outside.

Well, Judy’s going to need a crown put on her cracked tooth.  We pretty much figured that it was a just pipe dream to be able to get away with only a filling.  Norm and I offered to fix it for her at half price (Norm has a Dremel tool and I have some really strong epoxy glue), but she wouldn’t have anything to do with either of us.  Hey, at least we offered to save her some money.

Here’s the latest update on the painting.  I did some work on my own before the class (second photo) and tweaked it a little more during the class (third photo).  I plan to finish it at home over the next few days.

After The First Session

Before The Second Session

After The Second Session

An Island lives on the horizon to the right side of the painting and, maybe, another tree or two live in the foreground.  The lawn hasn’t come in yet and there might be a wooden fence around it once it comes in – who knows?  I’m sure a few bushes will appear (being a Maine scene it might be George and Barbara, snicker, snicker).  Oh yes, there is a small beach down there somewhere as well.  We’ll just have to see where the brush leads from here. 

That’s it for now from our corner of the world so be sure to Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Wednesday, Wednesday

It’s beginning to look a lot like - - - MOVING WEST!!!!!  Tucson’s weather is looking very appealing right about now.  Snow flurries in the forecast for Lower Alabama, that’s ridiculous.  Someone needs to be taken out to the wood shed for a good talking to, right Mother Nature?  This is Deja Vu all over again!!!

Okay, rant over.  Today is usually craft day.  Well, everyday is craft day, but Mondays and Wednesdays are super craft days.  Judy J. usually begins with line dancing and then moves onto beading.  In the afternoons there is generally another craft group or a special project that she attends. 

However, there is a twist in the schedule for this morning; Judy has to go to the dentist to get two, count ‘em, two fillings.  Oh, oh!!  That’s not good.  Also, one tooth is cracked and, hopefully, they’ll be able to repair it without having to have any further work done on it.

I have my Art Appreciation Classes with master painter Gil on Monday and Wednesday mornings as well.  How’s that going?  Not bad.  I’m learning techniques.  I’m not a natural, that’s for sure, but I can learn with enough of the p’s – patience and practice.  I’ll never be a Van Gogh, but should be able to paint well enough for enjoyment and relaxation.  And, if all else fails, I can always revert to paint by numbers :-)

Clouds, Ya Gotta Make Clouds

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Really Wintering

Brrrrrrr!!  Twenty four degrees this morning says the ol’ thermometer.  Not our idea of wintering in the south.  This is supposed to be short lived, but it is too cold just the same - especially being this early in the season.  If it looks like this is going to keep up then we just might have to join Jim and Ellie in the desert.  Enuf is enuf already!!!

Other than that, we are doing pretty much the same ol’, same ol’.  Judy is finishing up her Christmas presents while I’m perfecting my artistic skills (I’m having to dig really deep to find those skills).  Judy tells me to be patient, but patience isn’t one of the virtues that I possess.  I want it and I want it now!!!  But, I’m persisting none the less. 

The katts have been just eating, playing, and sleeping; Alex has become a real lap katt with this chilly weather.  Also, they have found a whole tree full of new toys to play with; just select an ornament, take it off the tree, and bat it around the floor for awhile – what fun!!!  Fortunately they haven’t tipped the tree over, yet!!!

Keep Warm Until Next Time - - - - -

Monday, December 06, 2010


After those “Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer” it would be time for school to resume once more.  I always looked forward to the first day of school (and even the first week, for that matter) so that I could catch up with classmates that I hadn’t seen all summer.  After that first week, however, I was ready for summer vacation to return, but, alas, that would be a long way off.

It was September 1964, my senior year of high school at good old Crosby High.  The Class of ‘65 would be the last class to graduate from Crosby High as construction was underway for the brand spanking new (ugly) Belfast Area High School.

Crosby High SchoolOne  Real Cool Dude - Circa 1964

During the summer I had purchased my very first “kah” which would make me one of the big men on the school grounds (In 1964 it was school grounds not campus, we weren’t sophisticated enough back then to have had campuses).  It was a 1957 Chevy Bel-aire two door coup with a 265HP engine and three speed stick.  The picture below is not the actual car, but it is identical in body style and color – I’d love to have that car back today. 

1957 Chevy

I would cruise town with my friends in that baby.  Cruising town was one of the big events every Friday and Saturday nights in Belfast, Maine during the 60’s.  We’d drive for four or more hours and not cover more than a 5 square mile radius.  Before the evening was over, a stop would be made at Grace LaFonde’s Pizza Shop (the only one in town) for a cheese pizza.  What size?  It didn’t matter, there was only one size – round!!!

That car was a “chick magnet” for sure.  With a car like that there was always a girl by my side.  That was back when bench seats were in vogue and your best girl could snuggle up next to you as you perused the city limits.  Ahhh, the good old days of pizza, pretzels, and beer.  Yes, there was more than enough room in the trunk that car for a case or two of beer plus the spare tire  (a friend of mine had a VW bug, we’d have to leave the spare tire at home in order to have enough room for that evening’s beer).

However, fuel efficiency wasn’t high on the auto makers manufacturing agenda during the 50’s and 60’s.  Seven or eight miles per gallon was good enough; after all, gasoline was around 17.9 cents per gallon back then.  But, still, it was necessary for a high school student to have the means to keep that “cream puff” fueled up and ready to go, so that meant a part-time J-O-B.

My first “real” J-O-B was at F. W. Woolworth’s as a stockboy that I landed toward the end of my junior year (I mowed lawns during the summer months prior to that).  I worked two hours a day after school on Monday through Thursday, from 3 PM to 9 PM on Fridays (that meant that I didn’t get an early start cruising on Friday nights), and from 9 AM to 5 PM on Saturdays with an hour off for lunch.  That totaled 21 hours and 21 bucks a week – more than enough to feed the beast and buy some pizza and beer.  I don’t have a picture of Woolworth’s but it was located on Main Street in the tall building that’s in the middle of the picture below.

Main Street, Belfast, Maine

Now, we weren’t bad kids back then, mind you, but we were prone to get into mischief every now and again.  The good news is that the cops had a sense of humor and wouldn’t “cuff us and stuff us” as is the case today.  Instead, they would just tell our parents what we were up to and the car keys would disappear for awhile – a fate worse than incarceration as everything in the whole wide world revolved around having wheels.  So it behooved us to not get into any serious trouble (or, at the very least, not get caught at it) to avoid being grounded.

Where The Groundings Took Place -The Old Homestead

Social life for a teenager in high school is priority number 1 with receiving an education somewhere down around number 8, 9, or 10.  Having a car was absolutely essential back in the 60’s for maintaining a status on the social “who’s who” list.  Having a “cool set of wheels” just moved you up to the top of that list and my ‘57 Chevy was a “cool set of wheels”!!!  Life was Good.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - -  

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Filling In The Gap

“So, whatcha been up to the past couple of days,” you may ask?  Not much, really.  Same old stuff; our daily chores, our basket weaving endeavors, reading, etc..  Also, there have been the social times with folks, food, and fun throughout the park.  More people are showing up here in L. A. (Lower Alabama), both old friends and new faces to meet for the first time.  Then, if it’s the weekend; it’s football, of course. 

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!!!”  One of our Christmas wishes would be to have our entire family under one roof on Christmas Day.  But that dawg is just not going to hunt, at least for this year.  So pictures do help to “fill in the gap” in the meantime.  Here’s our latest for Christmas 2010 – a nice picture of the New Hampshire Grandkids with the jolly old fat man himself. 

Rocco, Santa, Briana, Lola - Ho, Ho, Ho

So that’s it for today.  Be sure to check us out again tomorrow – It’ll be Flashback Time.  Take Care Until Then - - - - - 

Saturday, December 04, 2010

Katt Tales

Katie here.  “When I was a little bitty kitty my mama (and dadda) would take me in the camper in them old campgrounds back home.”   Our camper was a 1999 Cedar Creek 26 foot travel trailer and we just couldn’t wait to get it out of the storage shed each spring.

26' Cedar Creek Travel Trailer

I just loved that RV; I called it my Kitty Palace.  It had a front kitchen/dining area with a mid livingroom, a walk though bathroom, and a rear bedroom.  One of my favorite places was on the counter right behind the dinette booth where I could stick my head through the metal blinds and look out the front window.  Another was in the middle of the queen sized island bed where there was another window looking out the back of the rig.  Note that I was in my youth back then.

 Favorite Place Number 1 Favorite Place Number 2

We would travel around the northern portion of the southern peninsula and up into the upper peninsula of Michigan.  Our camping season would be from mid-May to mid-October due to a phenomenon known as snow.  That stuff was horrible, it would stick on everything that was outside and was extremely cold on my kitty feet so I had to stay inside for a whole bunch of months.  Luckily I had a nice big house to run around and play in, but that’s another story.

One of our very first trips was to Houghton, Michigan to visit Matt and Jackie.  They had just gotten married the summer before and were attending Michigan Technological University.  We stayed at the City of Houghton RV Park (the first three photographs are from the RV Park website)

City of Houghton RV Park City of Houghton RV Park City of Houghton RV Park City of Houghton RV Park

It was a great jumping off place for mom and dad to visit the kids and go sightseeing.  They loved to chase after waterfalls and would hike into the back woods looking for them; silly kids!!

Back Woods Waterfalls Dad, Mom, Matt Matt and Jackie Back Woods Waterfalls

There were several other campgrounds that we loved to visit as well.  One was Indian River State Park which is on Burt Lake and another was Mecosta Pines Campground which sits on the banks of the Little Muskegon River.

Our Favorite Site At Indian River Little Muskegon River At Mecosta Pines

Wow, it’s getting late and I have to get busy.  There’s breakfast to eat, toys to play with, and a katt nap awaiting me.  So you be good and dad will be back tomorrow.


Friday, December 03, 2010

Living The Routine

Today is shopping day.  The old larder has been significantly depleted over the past few weeks making it time for a journey out to visit Uncle Wally.  Shopping is always so much fun (he says sarcastically) and we are so ever glad that there is no inflation so that our “no cost of living increase” will more than cover the cost of our grocery bill (he says sarcastically).  None the less, we will have food in the cupboard, a roof over our heads, and Christmas gifts under the tree so we are grateful. 

Things at the Plantation are continuing to roll along.  Yesterday Miss Judy continued working on one of her quilting projects – we promise to show pictures after Christmas, if you get my drift.  I defrosted the ‘fridge, gave the bathroom a thorough cleaning, did some reading, and helped Larry the Cook prepare last night’s meal. 

We attended the four o’clock social and then had dinner at the clubhouse.  It was meatloaf night (we like meatloaf if it is done right and Larry’s meatloaf is done right) with “smashed ‘taters” and gravy and green beans.  There’s always a garden salad, tea or lemonade, and dessert.  We ended the day with computers, reading, and television.  Not a real exciting day, but we kept busy anyway. 

It’s been a few days since I addressed any of the “Ta Do List” items so I need to get back at it over the next couple of days.  There are a couple of items that I want to get cleared off the list before we head to Tennessee for Christmas.  The rest can wait until next year (why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?).

Well there you have it – Take Care Until Next Time - - - -   

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Walk Before You Run

Yesterday I learned that “you need to learn to walk before you run” holds true in the painting world as well.  I had a great idea of what I wanted to paint next, but as I started running I fell right on my face.   

My first painting was done by following Gil’s guidance, brush stroke by brush stroke while Gil mixed the paint.  I learned a lot, but not enough to do the painting of the Portland Head Light that I choose to do next.  It’s a beautiful picture that we took last summer during the Maine Event and would make a wonderful painting.  But, it was like trying to play Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony before learning the scales.

Painting 2

Okay, so just what am I going to paint next?  Well, for one thing, I need to learn how to mix paint.  As you can see from the picture above, there are several shades of blue so the question becomes, “What color blue do I start with as a base and then what do I mix with it?”  Obviously I would use white, but do I add a little black to make a very light grey first?  This is obviously a starting point.

Next, where do I start a painting on the canvas?  And how do I proceed from there?  But even more basic, how do I make a cloud, or a tree, or a rock, or ripples in the water?  So, what am I going to paint next?

Clouds!!!  I’m going to learn how to paint the sky and make clouds.  Then I’ll move onto trees, evergreens and colorful hardwoods.  From there, we’ll just need to see what comes next.  In any event, I need to learn to walk first and then I’ll need to walk for a little while before I start running.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

The 2010 Quilting Project

Gary and Millie Small’s (our managers) son-in-law works for a Christian organization out of Minneapolis, Minnesota that acquires medical equipment and sets up hospitals throughout Africa.  The equipment is generally donated by doctor’s and hospitals around the country as they upgrade their own facilities.

The donated equipment is loaded into shipping containers.  Once the containers are full they get loaded onto a freighter for delivery to African countries.  Along with medical equipment their is a need for medical supplies as well.  One of the needs is for receiving blankets for new born infants.  That’s where Rainbow Plantation comes into the picture.

Yesterday, today, and tomorrow the “Quilting” ladies, along with other volunteers from around the park (about 50 people in all), will make around a hundred and fifty 36” by 36” quilts that will accompany the donated medical equipment to Africa.  Also, several other ladies are knitting or crocheting bonnets that will be included along with the blankets.

Ladies, Start Your Engines  The Iron And "Steal" Department These Ladies Are Always "Cutting Up"

Yesterday’s “production line” produced 67 quilts and 27 bonnets were donated, a pretty darned good start.  If you happen to visit the clubhouse it will look like an ant hill of activity with fabric flowing from the “Ironing Department” into the “Cutting Department” and onto the “Sewing Department” with the finished quilts stacking up.  A great big “thumbs up” to all those who are participating in this project.

Take Care Until Next Time - - - - -